Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack: Western Left and Islam make common cause in suppressing liberty

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.

Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack

  • Bik Byro

    person : “I think homosexuals are an abomination and women should be second class citizens”
    leftie : “Racist ! Homophobe ! Mysoginist !”
    person : “I am a Muslim”
    leftie : “Oh I’m sorry, I take it all back, I didn’t mean to offend your culture”

    • Bob Marshall

      black person: ‘I like being black.’
      white person; ‘That’s nice. I like being white.’
      black person; ‘RACIST!’

  • Owen_Morgan

    When Salvador Allende became president of Chile, in a very tight, three-way election, he confided in a fawning French journalist that there would never be another free election in Chile. The People had spoken – just the once – and that was that.

    When Algeria had a free election, Qutb’s ideological successors promised the Earth, knowing that they had no need to deliver; since their victory was the clear will of Allah, it would obviously be blasphemous for anyone to want to overturn it in a future election. The same mentality motivated Morsi, in Egypt, and propels Erdogan.

    The truth is that, either islam isn’t a religion, or communism is. I see both as shopping-lists of how to live, invented by misanthropes, imposed by extreme violence. Neither tolerates the apostate. Both, in fact, revel in identifying supposed heretics, precisely in order for leaders to have a pretext to eliminate rivals.

    I suggest that the threat of death for apostasy, along with the violent consequences for not submitting to islam in the first place, is the only thing that has kept islam going all these centuries. It’s a set of Arabian rules, devised to appeal to a subset of the male sex and to demand servitude and utter obedience from everybody else. Even if communism supposedly treats the sexes as equal, rattling off a random list of notorious commies makes me question that: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Bela Kun, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Ceausescu, Tito, Honecker… I expect most of them had wives, but Stalin’s shot herself and Lenin’s widow was told, by Stalin, that she should toe the party line, because the party could always find a new widow for Lenin. Not obviously feminist, in any rational interpretation of the term, but the same is true of the useful idiot women who marched against Trump, with islamic imagery to the fore and even, in Germany, to the sound of the muslim call to prayer (which, typically, is mandatory and an intentional sign of conquest).

  • Little Black Censored

    An illuminating article. Are there totalitarian Christians? I mean the Roman Catholic Church.

    • Groan

      Actually a really interesting question. In a sense our state is totalitarian in that the head of the Church is also the head of state. Of course as the author points out this tends to result in a lack of actual totalitarian practice because of the strong opposition to the “collective” in Christian teaching. So I’d suggest there are attempts at totalitarianism (on the part of some Popes in the early middle ages for instance) but generally they fall upon difficult times due to the notions of individual worth and separation of earthly kingdoms and heavenly kingdoms. Islam has no such separation with the norm being that the religious leader is also the secular leader, it is inherently a collective ideology if viewed shorn of any mystical content. However this mystical content is diametrically opposite to the materialist determinism of Marxism and its “heresies” (probably the last widely followed being feminism) so the alliance must simply be “my enemies enemy”. However as the author points out for the marxists an alliance cannot be explained as just a momentary tactic it has to be believed as a “historical inevitability” hence Zana Ramadani’s “crime” is to suggest its a momentary political tactic, the latter idea being “bourgeois” the reason why ” bourgeois democracy” is wrong being precisely because it does such politicking rather than pursuing the true historical inevitability of progress to the communist society.
      I guess the answer is not that there hasn’t been the impulse to try, just this has usually been kicked back. As I said in theory at least here in England the Ruler and Ideological Leader are the same yet the result is chock full of “balances” so I doubt if anyone seriously regards it as actually totalitarian.
      Certainly our deeply held notions of a sort of separation between church and state consistently undermines our understanding of and responses to the Iranian Islamic State.

    • There are totalitarian humans who pervert Christianity!

  • Partridge

    If we look at the original teachings of the founders of Christianity and Islam, we can see why totalitarian ideologies feel more akin to one rather than to the other. And this becomes even more clear if we ask: who is prepared to die, but never to kill, for their beliefs, and who is prepared to both kill and die for their cause?

  • Superb article. You can tell a lot about an ideology by its allies and indeed its enemies!

    “Today their shared enemy is individual liberty grounded in the Judeo-Christian concept of a personal relationship with, and responsibility before, God.” – Spot on, couldn’t agree more!

  • Mary Robinson

    We’ve all seen and been sickened by how quickly lefties turn on people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Maryam Namazi so its unsurprising they sideline this particular woman too.

  • WFC

    As you rightly point out, Rousseau was no liberal. His concept of the “social” “contract” was merely a rehash of what had gone before.

    One of the best demolitions of this sort of thinking can be found in the trial of Hank Reardon:

    “No, I do not want my attitude to be misunderstood. I shall be glad to state it for the record. I am in full agreement with the facts of everything said about me in the newspapers—with the facts, but not with the evaluation. I work for nothing but my own profit—which I make by selling a product they need to men who are willing and able to buy it. I do not produce it for their benefit at the expense of mine, and they do not buy it for my benefit at the expense of theirs; I do not sacrifice my interests to them nor do they sacrifice theirs to me; we deal as equals by mutual consent to mutual advantage—and I am proud of every penny that I have earned in this manner. I am rich and I am proud of every penny I own. I made my money by my own effort, in free exchange and through the voluntary consent of every man I dealt with—the voluntary consent of those who employed me when I started, the voluntary consent of those who work for me now, the voluntary consent of those who buy my product. I shall answer all the questions you are afraid to ask me openly. Do I wish to pay my workers more than their services are worth to me? I do not. Do I wish to sell my product for less than my customers are willing to pay me? I do not. Do I wish to sell it at a loss or give it away? I do not. If this is evil, do whatever you please about me, according to whatever standards you hold. These are mine. I am earning my own living, as every honest man must. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact of my own existence and the fact that I must work in order to support it. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact that I am able to do it and do it well. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact that I am able to do it better than most people—the fact that my work is of greater value than the work of my neighbors and that more men are willing to pay me. I refuse to apologize for my ability—I refuse to apologize for my success—I refuse to apologize for my money. If this is evil, make the most of it. If this is what the public finds harmful to its interests, let the public destroy me. This is my code—and I will accept no other. I could say to you that I have done more good for my fellow men than you can ever hope to accomplish—but I will not say it, because I do not seek the good of others as a sanction for my right to exist, nor do I recognize the good of others as a justification for their seizure of my property or their destruction of my life. I will not say that the good of others was the purpose of my work—my own good was my purpose, and I despise the man who surrenders his. I could say to you that you do not serve the public good—that nobody’s good can be achieved at the price of human sacrifices—that when you violate the rights of one man, you have violated the rights of all, and a public of rightless creatures is doomed to destruction. I could say to you that you will and can achieve nothing but universal devastation—as any looter must, when he runs out of victims. I could say it, but I won’t. It is not your particular policy that I challenge, but your moral premise. If it were true that men could achieve their good by means of turning some men into sacrificial animals, and I were asked to immolate myself for the sake of creatures who wanted to survive at the price of my blood, if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above and against my own—I would refuse. I would reject it as the most contemptible evil, I would fight it with every power I possess, I would fight the whole of mankind, if one minute were all I could last before I were murdered, I would fight in the full confidence of the justice of my battle and of a living being’s right to exist. Let there be no misunderstanding about me. If it is now the belief of my fellow men, who call themselves the public, that their mood requires victims, then I say: The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!”