The Strange Alliance between Progressives and Islamists

March 20 2019

While Islamists’ positions on homosexuality, the role of women, and religion would seem to place them on the American right, in fact politically involved American Muslims sympathetic to Islamism have tended to align themselves with the hard left. Sam Westrop explains:

Prominent radical Muslim voices now argue for “intersectional feminism.” Groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)—just ten years ago named by federal prosecutors as part of an enormous terror-finance network—rally for Black Lives Matter and campaign for “social justice,” prison reform, and a minimum-wage hike. Leading Salafist clerics protest President Trump’s immigration policies at the border. And the prominent activist Linda Sarsour dreams of “a world free of anti-black racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism, sexism, and misogyny.” . . .

[A] rising group of activists from Islamist circles genuinely seem to believe in a progressive-Islamist alliance. Branches of CAIR are increasingly staffed with young, hijab-wearing graduates of Muslim Student Associations, who appear to have reconciled working for an extremist-linked organization with publishing transgender-rights petitions on their social-media accounts. . . .

Other Islamists who have embraced and adopted progressive rhetoric are clearly being duplicitous, however. The Texas-based cleric Omar Suleiman, for instance, has been vocal in protesting the Trump administration’s immigration policies. . . . And yet, speaking before an Islamist audience, Suleiman has warned Muslim girls that if they are “promiscuous,” they may face death at the hands of a family member. [Still] other Muslim thinkers have begun to regret their forays into progressive politics. . . .

In 2018, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress—Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib—won office with the support of both Islamist and progressive voters. Intersectional Islamists have a much greater chance of imposing extremist ideas on American society than the Muslim Brotherhood or the Wahhabists ever did.

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Read more at City Journal

More about: American Muslims, Ilhan Omar, Islamism, Politics & Current Affairs, Rashida Tlaib, U.S. Politics

What Israel Can Learn from Its Declaration of Independence

March 22 2023

Contributing to the Jewish state’s current controversy over efforts to reform its judicial system, observes Peter Berkowitz, is its lack of a written constitution. Berkowitz encourages Israelis to seek a way out of the present crisis by looking to the founding document they do have: the Declaration of Independence.

The document does not explicitly mention “democracy.” But it commits Israel to democratic institutions not only by insisting on the equality of rights for all citizens and the establishment of representative government but also by stressing that Arab inhabitants would enjoy “full and equal citizenship.”

The Israeli Declaration of Independence no more provides a constitution for Israel than does the U.S. Declaration of Independence furnish a constitution for America. Both documents, however, announced a universal standard. In 1859, as civil war loomed, Abraham Lincoln wrote in a letter, “All honor to Jefferson—to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so to embalm it there, that to-day, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of re-appearing tyranny and oppression.”

Something similar could be said about Ben Gurion’s . . . affirmation that Israel would be based on, ensure, and guarantee basic rights and fundamental freedoms because they are inseparable from our humanity.

Perhaps reconsideration of the precious inheritance enshrined in Israel’s Declaration of Independence could assist both sides in assuaging the rage roiling the country. Bold and conciliatory, the nation’s founding document promises not merely a Jewish state, or a free state, or a democratic state, but that Israel will combine and reconcile its diverse elements to form a Jewish and free and democratic state.

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Read more at RealClear Politics

More about: Israel's Basic Law, Israeli Declaration of Independence, Israeli politics