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Thread: The left and militant Islam - an interesting article

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    Default The left and militant Islam - an interesting article

    Apologies for a militant Islam, Liberal Left

    The Left is onside with hate

    By Pamela Bone, The Australian
    Saturday, February 10, 2007

    As their response to David Hicks and militant Islam shows, progressives are losing their moral compass

    WHY is it, asks British journalist Nick Cohen, that apologies for a militant Islam, which stands for everything the liberal Left is against, come from the liberal Left? Why are you as likely to read about the alleged conspiracy of Jews controlling American foreign policy in a literary journal as in a neo-Nazi hate sheet? Why, after the bomb attacks in the London underground, did left-leaning British newspapers run pieces excusing the suicide bombers, these same young men who were motivated by "a psychopathic theology from the ultra-Right"?

    Why, in short, have Left and Right changed places? Nick Cohen is not the first to write about the unholy alliance between Western liberals and extreme right Islamic fundamentalists, but he does it in a particular and powerful way in his new book What's Left? How Liberals Lost Their Way.

    The book is not available yet in Australia (there are extracts of it on The Observer's website), but in Britain it is already one of the most discussed books of the new year. "At the very least it forces, or ought to force, anyone on the Left to think carefully about where their movement has ended up in the modern world," wrote Martin Kettle in The Guardian.

    Cohen is firmly of the Left. When he was 13, he was shocked to find out that his English teacher, who "gave every appearance of being a kind and thoughtful man", voted Conservative. "I must have understood at some level that real Conservatives lived in Britain - there was a Conservative government at the time, so logic dictated that there had to be Conservative voters. But it was incredible to learn that my teacher was one of them," he wrote. "To be good you had to be on the Left."

    The Left still claims the moral high ground, but it is rather harder these days to see that it still holds it. Yes, those who opposed the Iraq war are entitled to feel vindicated. But wouldn't you think leftist commentators could put aside their self-righteousness long enough to support the Iraqis who are trying to build a free and democratic society? The anti-war movement disgraced itself not because it was against the war in Iraq, but because it could not oppose the counter-revolution once the war was over, wrote Cohen. "A principled Left that still had life in it and a liberalism that meant what it said might have remained ferociously critical of the American and British (and I could add, Australian) governments while offering support to Iraqis who wanted the freedoms they enjoyed," he said.

    When there is - rightly - condemnation of America's many mistakes in Iraq but no condemnation of the terrorist outrages carried out by Islamic extremists; when there is - justified - criticism of Israel but no equal criticism of those whose stated aim is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth; when letters to the editor pour out compassion for one Australian held too long in custody, but there is nary a mention of the victims of a genocide that is going on right now in the Darfur region of Sudan, one suspects at best selective compassion, at worst, bad faith. One suspects that indignation over human rights abuses depends less on the extent of the abuse and more on who is doing the abusing.

    I too pity David Hicks. I wish the US would either properly charge and try him or release him. If he is being chained to the floor, as his lawyer says (a US military lawyer says he is not), this is disgraceful. But to compare an American prison - in which there is reportedly a problem with prisoners becoming overweight - to a "Nazi death camp"?

    There is something strange going on in the attempts to diminish the unique horror of the Holocaust.
    T
    here is something strange in attempts to establish a sinister connection between Jews and American power. There is something very murky going on when in certain left-wing circles it is quite safe to compare Jews to Nazis.

    Why is scarcely a word spoken by liberal commentators about the treatment of women under the Taliban rule - child marriages, stonings, absolute exclusion from public life - that Hicks wanted to fight to uphold?

    Why are Muslim feminists derided as apologists for imperialism, or "neocons"? How in the world did the Left allow feminism to be hijacked by the Right, when it was always the Left that fought for women's liberation and the Right that resisted it?

    Of course what it means to be part of the Left is much less clear these days. Most people are left on some issues and right on others. But it is not valid either to say these attitudes belong to only an extreme fringe. To greater or lesser degrees they are prevalent in mainstream liberal thinking.

    The Left used to be about the future and improving the lot of mankind. The problem for it today, as Cohen points out, is that it has got most of what it wanted. Although there is still a way to go, the Left of a century ago would see the prosperity of today's workers, the equal opportunity laws, the intellectual freedoms, as a paradise. It is harder today to see yourself as a victim of a pernicious system.

    So the Left now is about resistance to material progress, to globalisation, and most of all to American power. There is plenty to criticise about Western lifestyles. Still, it should be obvious to all but the most blinkered that the system the US wants to impose on the Middle East is far better than the system the Islamists want to impose on us. Democracy is at least self-correcting. I hope the wearers of the "George Bush, World's No.1 terrorist" T-shirts, never have to find that out.
    Pamela Bone is a Melbourne writer. Her book about cancer and war, Bad Hair Days, will be published this year by Melbourne University Press.


    from: http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/bone021007.htm

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Idiotic and patently untrue article from a right-wing rag that everybody in Canada laughs at.

    No lefty that I know throws a party for nutjob Islamists, they abhor their primitive and brutal practices just the same as abhoring the brutal practices of more "enlightened" civilizations.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I agree with Grimmlok. And once again, the article is tied up with the issue of Israel, which muddies things.

    I also wanted to point out that long before the 9/11 attacks, liberals like Mavis Leno (Jay Leno's wife) were advocating for isolation of the Taliban regime for its medieval treatment of women. The article is full of distortions.

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    Fuck this shit, I am so sick of it.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    I don't agree with the article, but extreme leftists supporting a cause that would like to murder and oppress people doesn't surprise me....I do appreciate irony.

    I grew up in the era where they all wanted to be Communists and Maoists, and completely disregarded the little fact that both were systematically putting people to death by the millions.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I love this part:

    There is plenty to criticise about Western lifestyles. Still, it should be obvious to all but the most blinkered that the system the US wants to impose on the Middle East is far better than the system the Islamists want to impose on us. Democracy is at least self-correcting. I hope the wearers of the "George Bush, World's No.1 terrorist" T-shirts, never have to find that out.
    I find it amusing that this dumbass is connecting critique of Bush's desert misadventures with acceptance of Wahhabist or worse forms of Islamic government. It appears you can't be critical of either at the same time. Critique of one automatically means you support the other.

    How blatantly stupid.

    Secondly, you cannot IMPOSE democracy on certain cultures. Japan was a special case after world war 2, their culture was VERY adaptable to new situations. They had gone from a feudal/agrarian society to a fully indistrialized world power in less than 100 years.

    Germany, after the war, slipped right back into democracy.. they had previous experience with it, so it wasn't that big a change.

    Iraq, and most of the middle east sandholes have never, EVER had anything remotely close to democracy. They have existed, for thousands of years, under various dictators, shieks, mullahs, and royal autocracies. Islam, an the cultures it is rooted in, also tend to abhor cultural advancement and move at a glacial pace to accept new realities that would disrupt the classical order.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    I grew up in the era where they all wanted to be Communists and Maoists, and completely disregarded the little fact that both were systematically putting people to death by the millions.
    Pretty sure they wanted the THEORY, which when put into practice never worked due to a raft of human failings.

    The theory is attractive. I seriously doubt any of them were bent on becoming mass murderers.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    ^^ Understood. And I agree that the theory is attractive. But human behavior is not.

    But in my childhood it was no longer a theory, it was a practice that had been murdering and oppressing people for 40-50 years already, and they still praised these systems. I grew up in Greenwich Village, and these systems had numerous apologists who would excuse these things through pretzel logic. Used to walk around with the stupid Mao Tshirts on.

    But if I as child knew about the mass starvations, re-education camps etc, then as adults they should have been ashamed to espouse things like 'Russia has full employment' and 'China takes care of it's people'.

    It's like today when I see some idiot walking around with a Che Tshirt. Especially artists of any sort. He hated artists. Would have had them all rounded up and shot if he had his druthers.
    Last edited by witchcurlgirl; December 31st, 2008 at 12:21 PM.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Che shirts are hilarious. I can't decide if they're ironic or just stupid.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    ^^ especially the ones that cost $100......that always gives me the giggles
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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    Gold Member ymeman's Avatar
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    That article is completely shocking to me, I couldn't get past the first sentence where the writer says "progressives are losing their moral compass". Since when did conservatives claim that progressives have a moral compass to lose? Wow, that is some earth-shattering whoring to make a point. Typical.

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    Elite Member bychance's Avatar
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    Libertarians and Democrats are 'muslim sympathizers' donchaknow.

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