Western Liberalism’s Muslim Paradox
Americans and the world are again witnessing the unspeakable brutality of Islamist barbarians in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Americans’ reactions to Muslim violence tend to differ by their political leanings, diverging, especially, on the Hamas terrorism and intransigence which started and fuels the Israel/Gaza conflict.
Not all liberals agree, but, generally, the American left has embraced Gaza and Hamas, while most conservatives favor Israel, the lone democracy in the Middle East.
Pluralistic democracies like Israel, the United Kingdom and America afford Muslim citizens far greater freedoms than Muslims concede where they’re in power.
In America, Muslims have the right to build mosques, worship and dress as they wish. Christians have no rights – none — in a multitude of Muslim nations where Christian churches are outlawed and Christians are persecuted, condemned to death for converting from Islam – or gratuitously slaughtered.
Under Islamic sharia law, Christians receive no legal protections like those Muslims receive in pluralistic societies. Despite having fled brutal Islamic regimes, some western Muslims impose sharia law in their neighborhoods in preference to independent western judiciaries and the secular rule of law.
Muslim societies, even those relocated in Western nations, remain largely immune to liberal criticism despite Islam’s institutional tolerance of misogyny, honor killings, pederasty, brokered and arranged marriages of children, and female genital mutilation, among other distasteful, decidedly illiberal practices.
Influenced, perhaps, by a perverted sense of moral relativism, few on the left appear to understand the pure nihilistic evil of Islamist jihad, yet they react angrily and judgmentally when Israel strikes back at Hamas.
Its apparent indifference to the moral illiteracy of Muslim fundamentalists is a paradox of western liberalism, especially when contrasted with its attitudes toward Christians.
The American left reserves its ugliest bigotry for Christians, one suspects because devout liberals view Christianity as a competing theology in much the same adversarial way Islamists regard Judaism.
When pious liberals speak or write about practicing Christians, especially evangelicals and, during the last presidential campaign, Mormons, no insult, ridicule or slander is unacceptable – nor are threats of violence.
America’s most prominent liberal has condescendingly denigrated Christians as "bitter clingers" to guns and religion. Ignoring that Muslim regimes actually do it, liberals seriously ask: "Do All Evangelical Leaders Believe Gays Should Be Put to Death?"
American Muslims tend to vote for Democrats, so progressives worry instead about reports of evangelical Christians voting in record numbers.
Christians are fair game for liberal animosity, because liberals fear no reprisals from Christians.
The left would never characterize Muslims the way they do Christians. That would violate the liberal orthodoxy of multiculturalism, but, more compellingly, such behavior might invite retaliation from some in the Muslim community.
Apparently, there is nothing like a savage history and a continuing, credible threat of violence to immunize a group from liberal animus, to focus the liberal mind and encourage them to attend to their own affairs.
Perhaps if Christians were to emulate Islamists and hack off a few heads over the treatment they receive from liberals, they’d face less open hostility.
Ironically, many of the same liberals who casually use ugly stereotypes to characterize Christians loftily reserve the "moral authority" to detect, condemn, and punish others who only tell the truth about radical Muslims – and they do so dogmatically and angrily, sometimes injecting racial politics into their "arguments."
How do liberals reconcile – or even rationalize — their defense of Islamists like Hamas with liberal cultural orthodoxy?
Although some fell short and hit their own citizens, since 2001Hamas has fired over 15,000 rockets intended to murder Israeli civilians, placed their rocket launchers in Gaza’s civilian facilities and residential neighborhoods and used Palestinian civilians and children as human shields, thus cynically increasing the likelihood of home and public infrastructure damage, civilian deaths, and attracting misplaced sympathy and international funding.
Many incurious, naïve Americans swallow the Hamas propaganda which stigmatizes Israel, even though no military has ever done more to avoid civilian casualties than Israel’s.
If otherwise politically-polarized American liberals and conservatives can come together on only one thing, surely our judgments will coincide on a simple, straightforward question of probity:
Can we all just agree that the "moral" precepts of contemporary religions and cultures which corrupt, abuse, disfigure and willfully slaughter innocents and celebrate death are inferior to those which do not?