יום רביעי, 7 במרץ 2012

A dangerous alliance: Faux liberals and Islamists

Jerusalem Post - By Omar Dakhane - The extreme left in the West and Israel seem to have become the official representatives and mouthpieces for Islamic extremists, despite their beliefs that they are the first defenders of human rights. Ironically, these are the same human rights that those Islamic extremists are trying to rob from all of humanity, including their fellow Muslims and including their far-left supporters. This position of the far-left to defend Islamic extremists demonstrates a cognitive dissonance of an unbridled magnitude.
As a secular Muslim Arab who has lived my entire life in the Middle East and North Africa, I find the level of convergence of the far-left in the West and the Islamists (who represent a far-right ideology) both perplexing and alarming. It raises many questions. How is it that two completely unrelated groups who appear to have completely conflicting goals and ideologies have reached common ground, especially when one considers that the Islamists believe that non-Islamists are their enemies and must be destroyed, whether the non-Islamists have a left or right leaning political ideology? 
What is noticeable about the extreme left in Israel and the West is that they use the same rhetoric used by Islamists. We see far-left activists labeling acts of terror as “resistance” and in some cases, calling for the destruction of their own countries where they live under relative safety, privilege and convenience. We also see far-left activists cooperating with enemies of their countries’ national interests, as with Western far-leftists aligning themselves with radical Islamic groups and Israeli far-leftists aligning themselves and parroting the rehearsed indoctrination and propaganda of Palestinian terrorist groups, often times defending the acts of the terrorists by claiming it’s a reaction to “oppressive Israeli policies.”
What I find most dangerous about this bizarre alliance is that the far-left is trying to control and be the mouthpiece for the mainstream liberals by being more vocal in their extreme views. I consider myself a liberal and the far-left is about as far as you can get in representing what I consider to be true liberal principles such as freedom, separation of religion and government, and equal rights for all despite one’s religion, nationality, color, sexual orientation or gender. It seems to me that the political spectrum is not linear, but circular, and that the far-left has met up with the far-right on that circular political spectrum. 
Emotion evoking sentiments that the far-left claim to represent like “defending human rights” and “supporting freedom of expression” are contradicted by their actions. How can you defend the rights of a human who is trying to deprive other humans of their basic human rights? How can you support one’s freedom of expression when it is used to incite terrorism and to call for the removal of secular law to be replaced by laws from the Middle Ages? Do the extreme left stop to consider this? Do the extreme left have any idea what the goals of the Islamists are?
As someone who stands for liberal views and stands against Islamists and their extremist ideology, I was very surprised to learn that the Islamists’ biggest defenders weren’t the Arab and Muslim world, but are, in fact, the far-left Westerners and Israelis who claim to be liberal. In the course of publishing my personal blog, I have been viciously attacked on numerous occasions by far-leftists in the United States, Europe and even Israel, simply because I spoke about the elephant in the room known as Islamic extremists, refused to ignore the problem and actually gave it a name. 
My position as an Arab who lives in the Arab world and deals with the issues I write about on a daily basis was not enough to convince these attackers that I was in a better position in truly knowing what is happening in the Arab world, despite the fact that most of them live thousands of miles away from the Arab world and do not speak Arabic. Most of them seem to be under the impression that Islamist acts of terror against the West and Israel only occur because of Western imperialism or support for Israel, when in fact; the Islamists have been committing terrorist acts against the Arab world for centuries. It began with us and it has nothing to do with Western imperialism, but, in fact, has to do with Islamist imperialism.
Another element of this bizarre alliance is how the far-left and Islamists both utilize the freedoms of Western countries to push forth an agenda that is contradictory to the freedoms and successful lifestyles they enjoy. Do the far-left not realize that the Islamists seek to destroy those freedoms and replace them with a lifestyle from the dark ages that is oppressive and intolerant? 
As for the extreme left in Israel, I think they’ve gone too far and they no longer have the ability to distinguish between defending human rights and criticizing your country’s foreign policy toward the Palestinians, and conspiring against your country’s national security by cooperating with organizations whose goals are the destruction of Israel and the extermination of Jews.
By the way, the destruction of Israel and the extermination of Jews will include the far-leftist Jews as well, trust me.
As an Arab who wants to purge Arab societies of the scourge of extremism and terrorism, I have come to realize that Islamists aren’t the only obstacle and that the far-left are also an obstacle, perhaps an even larger obstacle, because they have emboldened the Islamists, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah in particular, and as a result, the Islamists have increased in strength. We are feeling the result of the far-left’s assistance and support of the Islamists in the Arab world. I have seen far-left rhetoric that is supportive of these Islamist groups from once mainstream and formerly liberal groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch by their disproportionate criticism of Israel, yet their silence regarding Hamas and Hezbollah. I can no longer call these groups liberal when their words and actions are supportive of Islamist groups who seek the destruction and genocide of others. 
There is hope, however. The time is now and the true liberals of the world who believe in human rights and secularism must remove the legitimacy of the far-left and stop them from acting like the self-appointed representatives of liberals. The true liberals of the world must also realize that the protection of human rights sometimes requires taking harsh measures against those who seek to tamper with it, and that terrorists gave up their human rights the day they decided to target innocent people. There is no legitimate resistance that purposely targets women, children, or civilians – that is called terrorism and both right and left should stand against it. The Islamists who use terror to make their points do not care about the subtle differences between left and right political views; they consider anyone who does not follow their brand of Islam as their enemy. 
Their alliance with the far-left is just a way to achieve their goals, and I assure you, their far-left supporters would be their first victims if Islamists were to control the world someday, God forbid.

Omar Dakhane is a pro-American, Arab blogger. Writing from his home-country of Algeria, Omar examines the rise of Islamic extremism throughout the Arab-world and the West. This month, Jpost Blogs will feature a mini-series of Omar's writing.  

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