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.”
Read more on UnHerd: https://unherd.com/2021/07/why-islamism-became-woke/