Leftists and Islamists

Events in Egypt present contradictions that provide insight into why Israel is demonised by many Feminists and Gays, irrespective of the fact that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where these groups have a decent life. It depends on which card is trumps.

Barry Rubin explores the issue here of how Leftists in the West view the fate of other Leftists in Muslim countries.

He ruefully notes that there is minimal support for fellow leftists in a country like Egypt if they run into trouble at the hands of Islamists.

Rubin writes:

“In Egypt, the left provided a youthful, pseudo-democratic cover at the revolution’s beginning that fooled the Western governments, journalists, and “experts.” Now the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t need them anymore.

Here’s a small example of that. The Egyptian leftist newspaper is al-Tahrir and its editor is Ibrahim Issa. He is now being investigated by the government prosecutor on charges of ridiculing the Quran and Sharia law as well as mocking Islam. Soon, people are going to be shot by Salafist terrorists on the basis of such accusations. For now, they just face trials and possible jail time.

What is worth noting is that just about anyone—in this case, as usual, it was an Islamist lawyer—can urge that charges be made against people who say something that offends the Islamists. This analysis also implies, of course, to any women’s rights’ groups in the West, so sensitive to the most minor details of life in their societies yet willing to overlook massive repression–even embrace it elsewhere.  I was fascinated by one of the statements that got Issa in trouble. It was a very typical leftist theme whose equivalent is used about every five minutes in the United States and every day in these times by Obama Administration officials. Issa sarcastically remarked that if someone steals a wallet Sharia mandates that their hand be cut off but for stealing millions the punishment is far less harsh.

Issa certainly has guts. He was once sentenced to death under the Mubarak regime, and then pardoned by that dictator. But now there has been a supposed democratic revolution.   If the opposition cannot make such non-theological points how can it criticize Sharia and Islamist rule at all? And while Issa may be defiant, most will be deterred from speaking out or acting by fear of punishment. A common mistake is to think that repression is aimed at silencing courageous critics. Not really. It is intended—and usually works—in getting a far larger number of bystanders to shut up.

There has been a major failure on the part of the Western left. Can’t they imagine themselves living in such places and being punished for saying or doing all the things they take for granted?”
Rubin concludes with the following telling remark    “ Sure, the Western left were for decades apologists for repression carried out by leftist regimes–the USSR, Soviet bloc, and Third World dictatorships among them–but not about repression carried out against leftists. Now things have changed. The left has sided with the reactionaries because they hate their own countries’ systems more. This is a mistake and their compatriots will pay for it in blood.”
..  Melanie Phillips writes a powerful article discussing the perverse inversion of reality among the cognescenti regarding Israel
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