IT CAN’T HAVE escaped the intelligent observer that the left — and what we can call the Establishment in general — is more than indulgent towards Islam. It is truly, madly, deeply, pathologically besotted with it.
Whether it’s Merkel opening her country up to a million immigrants or the other leaders of the West dribbling inanities about Islam being a religion of peace or the police and other authorities ignoring the systematic sexual abuse of thousands of girls by Muslim gangs, etc., to the immediate response of the media to every terrorist atrocity with blatherings about solidarity, unity and a condemnation of the threat from a phantom right-wing, the message is clear: Islam is a marvellous, wonderful, humanity-enriching culture that cannot be held responsible for the actions of those who act in its name, and those of us who aren’t Muslims (affectionately known as kuffars) must prostrate ourselves in admiration and submission to its every wish.
There’s something more to this than straightforward ideological affinity or downright stupidity, I think: it’s an actual love affair. A sordid, pathetic, one-sided, love affair.
I think there are various groups of people who we can eliminate from this particular syndrome: There are the ignorant and the apathetic, that is, those who aren’t paying any attention and don’t see a problem, or don’t care if there is one. There are those who sense there is something wrong with the way things are going but are are too frightened to say anything, not least because they may end up being ostracised, driven out of their jobs, or worse — physically assaulted.
Then there are, to use a term The New York Times recently attributed, incorrectly, to Lenin and applied to Donald Trump, the useful idiots. These are, the Washington Post explains, fools who are “secretly held in contempt, but whose blind support is happily accepted and exploited”. In other, kinder, words, these are well-meaning folk, often with degrees, often secular (but not exclusively), who follow the general soft-left liberal attitude that all religions are the same and have the same goal, ie, universal peace and brotherhood, that we should accommodate every demand of outsider communities, and generally blame ourselves for the violence of Islam’s radical elements. Try to engage with them seriously and you will encounter all of those things, plus the Crusades, the past evils of Christianity, a huge dose of denialism wrapped up in an inability to join up the dots, and possibly some incomprehensible, post-war European, sociological claptrap as well. The more drippy-hippy of them are responsible for the candles, flowers, vigils and virtue signalling following every atrocity. Most of them will not have read the Koran or acquainted themselves with any aspect of the religion.
I would say quite a few of these people are half in love with Islam. As a culture it still has an element of alien exoticism to it, especially the women with their scarves and body coverings – the men not so; nobody finds their beards, hats and pyjama garb attractive. The architecture of mosques and minarets can also be beautiful. Some of this exoticism must play its part in the affair. It’s noticeable that the media (always at the forefront of infatuation) choose to foreground women in discussions when they can. If they can find a young Muslim woman, preferably pretty and even more preferably in a hijab, they will do so. This acts to soften the presentation; it removes the sense of threat or aggression and also makes it difficult for anyone to criticise. It makes it nigh on impossible for a man to criticise because he will be immediately accused of sexism (as well as Islamophobia). This tactic will be most successful with the useful idiots.
HOWEVER, THE PEOPLE who are truly infatuated belong to the Master-Slave group. These are the hard left. They love Islam because it is against Western values, Western civilisation, capitalism and anything else you can think of that makes life comfortable. They see Islam as a partner in the war against the West. It’s a revolutionary, insurgent force, fulfilling the credo Marx and Engels gave the Communists, to “support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things.” Like the far left, Islam is authoritarian, absolutist, totalitarian, violent — and fissiparous, ie, constantly at war with itself as well as the world outside.
This appeals to the men mainly, who are attracted to the idea of dominating others and fancy themselves as Masters. They don’t see the aggression and violence of Islamic fundamentalism as a negative. On the contrary they love it and wish they could emulate it. And they would love to dominate women in the same way and be able to exploit them sexually (Houellebecq in Soumission has worked that one out). It’s not something they’re likely to admit, however, as they’re so immersed in self-delusion.
Their female counterparts tend to fall into the Slave category. As avowed feminists they seem very happy to drown their belief in female equality and autonomy in an ocean of silence when confronted with the misogynistic nature of Islamic culture. It makes you wonder if they’re actually in love with the patriarchy they so profess to hate, and that they would like nothing more than to submit themselves as slaves to the domination of males. There is, for example, something truly perverse about pampered, avowedly feminist, Western women championing the hijab as a form of empowerment. The sound of cognitive dissonance in their minds must be like screaming metal.
That’s the nature of an infatuation like this. It discards reason, principle and experience without a thought of consequences. It can’t acknowledge that it’s a one way relationship, and an abusive one, at that. Their collaboration in the project of domination, no more than their submission to its domination will save them when the crisis comes. It’s a love affair that has no good ending.
Currente Calamo columnist, poet, writer and lecturer Michael Blackburn lives in Lincolnshire . From 2005–2008 he was the Royal Literary Fund fellow at the University of Lincoln where he now teaches English Literature and Creative Writing. His poetry has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies over the years, including Being Alive (Bloodaxe) and Something Happens, Sometimes Here (Five Leaves Press). His most recent collection is Spyglass Over The Lagoon. A selection of his Fortnightly Currente Calamo columns, Sucks To Your Revolution: Annoying The Politically Correct (US), is available as a Kindle ebook.