When Islamists Go Woke

July 15 2021

In the U.S., writes Ayaan Hirsi Ali, proponents of radical Islam have “recognized the alluring power of ‘woke,’ and . . . started to adopt the language of civil rights and multiculturalism.” Progressives, meanwhile, tend to remain oblivious to the unprogressive aspects of Islamism, focused instead on finding common cause with “people of color” or Muslims. The resulting alliance has allowed Islamists to embark on a long march through progressive institutions, to borrow the phrase used by German Communists in the 1960s.

[T]he internal tension between “wokeism” and Islamism is never far away. Just look at Al Jazeera, which uploads documentaries about transgender rights on to its social-media channel, while broadcasting sermons suggesting husbands should beat their wives on its Arabic station.

Nevertheless, the two movements do share objectives. Both are anti-Western and anti-American. Both have a critical attitude towards “capitalism” based on individualism. True, the Islamists have been around for much longer. But Islamist ideologues are willing to co-operate with non-Muslim leftists so long as it serves their purposes.

Indeed, at the 2019 Netroots Nation conference—America’s “largest annual conference for progressives”—multiple panel discussions and training sessions reflected the Islamist agenda, frequently coalescing around a critique of Israel while neglecting the toxic role played by Hamas in perpetuating the conflict.

In government, too, Islamism’s capture of progressivism has become increasingly clear. Turkey’s Islamist President Erdogan might lead one of the world’s most brutal and repressive regimes, but that hasn’t stopped Ilhan Omar, the Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, from expressing support for him. No doubt she was inspired by Erdogan last year when he proclaimed that “social justice is in our book,” and that “Turkey is the biggest opportunity for Western countries in the fight against xenophobia, Islamophobia, cultural racism, and extremism.”

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Read more at UnHerd

More about: Ilhan Omar, Islamism, Israel, Progressivism, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, U.S. Politics

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy