Once a darling of the Left, Zana Ramadani, a German of Albanian Muslim origin, founded the German chapter of the radical feminist group Femen. She took part in radical feminist demonstrations, appearing topless to protest sexual exploitation. She now finds herself shunned by her fellow feminists.
Ramadani’s book, The Veiled Menace published last month, criticising the oppression of women within Islam, has become a nationwide bestseller in Germany. Predictably the Left have rounded on her. She has been called mentally ill, received death threats, been accused of racism and even forced out of the Femen branch she founded. The far left sisterhood cannot tolerate criticism of Islam.
Figures loosely termed far left in the UK are often found tied in with Islamist extremists, or being apologists for Islam. The egregious George Galloway eagerly supports every barely legal radical Islamic cause. Before his recent obsession with analogies between Jews and Hitler, and whilst still Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone embraced a radical Islamist preacher who maintained Hitler had been sent by Allah to punish the Jews.
Even figures on what may charitably be termed the mainstream left support aspects of extremist Islam. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, regards the terrorist group Hamas, who are dedicated to destroying Israel by any means possible, as among his friends. The toleration of widespread anti-Semitism within the Labour Party is not unconnected with their courting of Muslims and Islam for electoral purposes.
This is nothing new. The Palestine Liberation Organisation has always been composed of a mélange of radical Muslims and radical Marxists. In 1979 the Iranian Communist Party joined in the rejoicing at Khomeini’s revolution, although having radically differing presuppositions, theysang from the same hymn sheet when it came to overthrowing society. The communists’ euphoria lasted only for a short time, a very short time. Those who ally with Islam quickly learn Islam is not so friendly when it gains power.
The differences undoubtedly appear great. The Left rejoices in sexual freedom whilst Islam punishes homosexuals and adulterers; the Left promotes feminism whilst Islam makes women very much subservient to men. Islam turns a blind eye to these differences in order to gain an ally in their mission to Islamise the West. Islam’s rejection of Western Christian-based values is mirrored by the radical Left. My enemy’s enemy is my friend.
To understand the Left’s eagerness to ally itself with Islam, go back to the 18th century and the supposed godfather of modern progressivism, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau developed the concept of the ‘social contract’ in which every member of society was bound to the other members in a bond of corporate well-being in which they agreed to abide by certain mutually agreed rules.
This is sometimes portrayed as a wellspring of the idea of a liberal society. However, it contained the seeds of the secular totalitarianism, which has seen the rise of the Terror of the French Revolution, Soviet communism and Nazi ideologies.
Rousseau’s concept of ‘freedom’ differed greatly from freedom as understood in Christianity. For the Christian every individual stands before God, free to act as a responsible individual and personally accountable for the choices made in life.
Rousseau rejected the individual freedom found in Scripture. For Rousseau everything depended upon submission to the General Will. He considered it essential for his utopia that, ‘Whoever refuses to obey the General Will shall be compelled to do so by the whole body’. This ‘means nothing less than that he will be forced to be free’. It is understandable why Rousseau, and the totalitarians who have followed him, so admire Islam which demands, and means, ‘submission’.
Perhaps the most influential theologian in the rise of modern Islamist theology is Sayyid Qutb. Today, 51 years after his execution for plotting the assassination of Egyptian president Nasser,his work is still required reading for budding Islamists. His stance is perhaps most clearly illustrated in his tract, Social Justice in Islam, where he teaches that Islam is about the collective, and those who resist the Muslim ummah (the community of believers) must, as Rousseau would have agreed, be ‘forced to be free’.
In Islam, as in all totalitarian systems, freedom is merely an illusion. According to Qutb, ‘integrating’ humanity into ’an essential unity’ under sharia is ‘a prerequisite for true and complete human life, even justifying the use of force against those who deviate from it, so that those who wander from the true path may be brought back to it’. Qutb argued sharia makes ‘unbelief’ a ‘crime’ that is ‘reckoned as equal in punishment’ to the ‘crime of murder’. Forms of treason such as apostasy and fomenting discord in the ummah are capital offences.
Progressives and Islamists alike share a fundamental belief in the collective as a body requiring the submission of the individual. Today their shared enemy is individual liberty grounded in the Judeo-Christian concept of a personal relationship with, and responsibility before, God.
The Christian also believes in the collective, the Church or fellowship of believers. For the Christian this is a body into which the individual willingly enters and within which freely explores and develops a personal relationship with God in company with other believers. This is a vastly different concept.
Totalitarian ideologies, whether they be Islamist, progressive, Nazi or communist will always seek, at the very least, to sideline both Jews and biblical Christians. If necessary they will make common cause. Those who live by biblical principles or according to the cultural legacy of Christianity are dangerous people for totalitarians to have around. We insist on making up our own minds and where necessary resisting the General Will.