Useful Idiots

Below are excerpts from an interview with Gilles Kepel (the author of The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West) that was published several years ago in Open Democracy. It’s not new, but Mr. Kepel’s analysis of the convergence of the European radical Left and Islam is even more relevant today:

Islam and the left: an unholy alliance

Gilles Kepel: An interesting new development here is the way Islamists are hijacking the political agenda of the anti-globalisation left, which lacks any political compass of its own. Tariq Ramadan has attended the last two European Social Forums in Paris and London, and has formed an alliance with the far left, in hope of becoming the public voice not only of French Muslim communities but of a “universalist” political agenda. For him, Islam is the destination not the starting-point, and the vehicle is created by a fusion of radical “pro-hijab“ elements within the European Social Forum with the more deluded anti-globalisation activists.

This “entryist” approach is evident in several social coalitions in France, for example a project in the Lyon suburbs (Diverscités) organised by leftists and communists which later included Islamists as representatives of the “exploited Muslim masses”. The founders trained the newcomers in public speaking and debate (the same way I was taught as a young Trotskyist thirty years ago); but when the organisation launched a campaign in defence of prisoners in Guantanamo who came from the Lyon area, the Islamists hijacked the organisation, and the leftists were sidelined.

In the face of such attempt to seize the anti-globalisation movement or its offshoots and local initiatives, greens and ex-leftists look at Islamists the way European fellow-travellers of the Soviet Union viewed the communist parties in France, Italy, Spain or Britain during the cold war. As they once believed the communists to be true representatives of the suffering proletariat, they now see Islamists as spokespersons for the suffering of Muslims, on the bottom rung of European society.

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The Islamist claim of victim status for Muslims worldwide thus has a ready political echo on the left, and helps to blur distinct political agendas and flatten political complexities in the name of a generalised suffering.

Here, “multiculturalism” is one of the key terms in the battle for Europe, because it offers a perfect opportunity for all shades of Islamism to demonstrate that European culture or its traditions are only relative, and that their own worldview is ultimately absolute. European values and perspectives are particular, but at the end of the day if not at the starting-point, theirs are universal.

This is a long way from answering your question about dissimulation. In my view, the question of whether someone like Tariq Ramadan is two-faced is not the real issue. I see nothing particularly wrong in someone who is in politics using all the means at his disposal. The more relevant point is about the kind of alliance he seeks to form with the extreme left, calculating that it is unlikely to long resist the Islamists’ much more potent and organised ideology.

Hat tip: Insubria.

9 thoughts on “Useful Idiots

  1. The “perfect conjunction” of the Left and Islam can be found in one person.

    He is in a position to do the most harm to the only powerful obstacle to Islam conquering “the world of war”–the non-Islamic part of the world.

    If you have not yet guessed who he is and where he reigns, one hint should suffice: he occupies the structure at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.

  2. They use islam as a tool, we can use it in our way too: A contrast means to identify what is utterly evil in the leftist mind. There are some resources overlapping each other – in islam and in the left.

    I do not know how to perform this operation – spend some time in the leftist brain like a cosmonaut – involve him in a discussion…something might come out of it. If we work live.

    And playing useless idiot, the suspect will tell us more.

  3. I believe in creating Agent Provocateurs, creating characters that is both multiculturalists and islamists but is so far extreme that it outweighs 20 Choudarys and Sheikh Catmeats or 20 similar dhimmi-fools for that matter. That could create an interesting situation.

  4. “Useful idiots” is an understatement of the leftists in this “unholy alliance”. A better term would be “deluded imbeciles”. Nevertheless, I expect to see some changes over the next 20 years as Leftist parties gradually turn into shills for shariah “theocracy”, all in the name of “tolerance”, “diversity”, and “protection of an oppressed misunderstood minority” (Muslims are learning effective techniques and tactics). Imagine the incredibility of the situation when (soon) the feminist/ LGBT issues are derided as “antiquated instruments of Western Imperialist ruthless oppression of the exploited third world (muslim) peoples(!)” and anyone supporting these policies is a “fascist hate-monger” (remember Pim Fortym of Holland).

    More to the point, Leftists suffer from a deeply pathological ethnocentric bias in which they think that the West is all- powerful and oppressive, that they are the most advanced people, and that anyone who disagrees with their philosophy (especially religious people) is more “psychologically primitive”. This could be considered Ideological racism or the Master Class Syndrome. They simply can’t fathom a non-western theocracy sweeping the progressive agenda into the dustbin of history, and thus they cooperate with the muslims.

    All the islamists have to do is caterwaul about “Western Imperialism” umpteen zillion times and they will get the Eurabian Caliphate.

    What can be done about this?

    First, keep track of the progress of the “unholy alliance” (Leftists as shills for shariah).

    Also, tell liberals in conversations that you think that progressives will become the shills of theocracy over the next 20 years and bring theocracy to pass. (Their reactions could be very interesting.)

    P.S.–Maybe these Leftists should be called “indespensible idiots

  5. Yep. Both the Islamists and Leftists think they are using the other but in the end will come out on top.

    Islamists have reason to think so as they fill the cradles and Welfare offices of Europe. But what passes for thinking in the leftist brain? Once they and their ally have destroyed what made Europe and North America successful and are standing on the rubble, do they think that the Muslims are going to pack their tents and steal away in the night leaving Leftists to reap the spoils and carouse with endless celebratory libertine sex?

    What could be a clearer example that leftism is a mental disorder with magical thinking?

    If Leftists only had their own country to give away to the Muslims, one could enjoy the play. Instead, they have infiltrated the power levers of every country and are dragging us down to the New Dark Ages with them.

  6. Both have in common that they firmly believe they oppose some fundamental evil. This makes them really evil, saints by definition, with brains eternally switched off.

  7. Graham,

    I don’t believe it either.

    I remember reading an article years ago that said that Prince Charles gets his jollies by making controversial political gestures (like the time he shook Mugabe’s hand in public).

    The real danger to Britain in this regard is that the Labour Party will amend the Act of Settlement for greater “inclusiveness” as they’ve already hinted is their intention.

    As with the proposed “blasphemy” law in Ireland this is supposedly being done on behalf of Catholics but I’m guessing it’s really being done to facilitate the mujahideen.

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