Monday, October 8, 2007

The New Atheism (and the left)

"If someone tells you that Islamic extremists are part of a “liberating” multitude because they are against imperialism, remind them that some folks in an earlier generation of leftists were quite able to be anti-imperialist and also to be against the Stalin-Hitler pact. They didn’t need hundreds of pages of theoretical delirium to figure it out. And remember that there were leftists whose theoretical hallucinations led them to imagine that the Second World War was little more than a reprise of conflicts among imperialists.[...]

Nonetheless, I am struck at how parts of the extreme left apologize for Islamic extremism in ways reminiscent of how an earlier generation found ways to apologize for Stalinism. The objects excused are different but the patterns of apologetics are sadly similar. It shows that there really is something I once called ‘the left that doesn’t learn.’"

Mitchell Cohen (professor of political science), Dissent Magazine, Fall 2007
An interesting article that has insights both on religion in USA as well as the Left.
It is no doubt a problem today that parts of the left do not follow up on their ideals when it comes to Islam. That is sad, because some good old idealism and activism for human rights is a lot better now than a relativistic fight for "the right to conform to your culture". I'm not sure it's the stalinist types that are currently defending Islam though. It seems to me it's the all too liberal left that does so. I hope the left can get more active, because a lot of the debate is hampered by the fact that Christians are more eager to fight for universal feminism and whatnot than the left itself.
It's going to be another black spot on leftist history unless they pull themselves together.

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