A Leftist Islamic Paradise?

Abdullah Al-Muhajir, a.k.a. Jose Padilla, was convicted Thursday of supporting terrorist activity and, said Associated Press, “conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim people overseas.” At the Leftist website Daily Kos, Padilla was hailed as an “American Martyr to ‘War on Terror,’” and his trial was compared to the witch hysteria: “As was the case during the witch trials of yesteryear, only the socially unpopular, the mentally ill, and the politically dangerous end up at the end of a noose or in yet another bonfire of political vanity.” The barely literate posting went on to complain that the case against Padilla “hinged on one piece of papar [sic]: an application with his fingerprints.” No mention of the fact that this “one piece of papar” happened to be an Al-Qaeda application.

The Kos entry was an example of the Left’s tendency to see defensive efforts against the global jihad as manifestations of an encroaching Bush police state. Michael Moore said it a few years ago: “There is no terror threat in this country. This is a lie. It’s the biggest lie we have been told.” This has become conventional wisdom on the Left, coalescing neatly with a solicitude toward Islamic jihadists: one notorious example was radical feminist lawyer Lynne Stewart who became a water-carrier for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, now in prison for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The activities of various members of the “nonviolent” International Solidarity Movement have given rise to numerous questions about its ties to violent jihadists.

So what kind of a world will it be for Leftists who turn a blind eye to the jihad, if the jihadists achieve their objectives? Writing in the entertainment paper TimeOut London in June, TimeOut editor at large Michael Hodges imagined that London under Sharia law, Hodges wrote, would be healthier: “the Muslim act of prayer is designed to keep worshippers fit, their joints supple and, at five times a day, their stomachs trim.” It would be sober: “Forbid alcohol throughout the country, and you’d avoid many of the 22,000 alcohol-related deaths and the £7.3 billion national bill for alcohol-related crime and disorder each year.” Islamic education would raise “general levels of discipline and self-respect among London’s young people.” Religious bigotry would disappear as Jews, Christians, and — probably — Hindus became protected dhimmis under the benevolent rule of Islamic law.

Unfortunately for future dhimmis, however, and for like-minded liberals, Hodges left a few things out of his Islamic Leftist paradise. He didn’t mention that in exchange for the “protection” they would receive from their new Islamic overlords, religious minorities would have to accept a humiliating second-class status that institutionalized their humiliation and denied them equality of rights with Muslims in numerous ways — ensuring that they “feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29). Nor would life be any more comfortable for trendy liberal atheists.

An Islamized country in the West, meanwhile, would be filled with liberal bugaboos: prayer in schools; illegal abortion (except, most likely, in cases involving the life of the mother); punishments (varyingly draconian) for homosexuals; and even legalized polygamy (Qur’an 4:3) and wife-beating (Qur’an 4:34). Freedom of speech would also probably disappear, at least where discussion of the elements of Islam that incite to violence are concerned — but given their propensity to smear rather than answer their opponents, Leftists probably wouldn’t miss it much.

Nonetheless, there is no doubt that a world in which Jose Padilla’s activities continued unhindered, and the jihadists finally succeeded in imposing their will on the rest of us, would hardly be comfortable for liberals. So why do liberals so reflexively take the side of the jihadists? Evidently they believe that there is no real challenge to the West from the Islamic world, and that Christianity (as I detail in my new book Religion of Peace?) represents the real theocracy threat to Western pluralism and non-sectarian government. The multiculturalist anti-Americanism from which this delusion springs may be more lethal to the American Republic in the short run than the jihad itself; but in the long run, the two threats coalesce quite easily.