That Barack Obama has a strong affection for Islam is now indisputable. What’s less apparent is why he has such an affinity for Islam. Polls show roughly one-in-five Americans believe their President is a Muslim. But Obama’s Islamophilia is driven by ideology not theology.
Obama’s left-wing progressivism varies with Islamism on many issues. But their adherents find common cause in a common enemy: the Judeo-Christian worldview at the heart of Western democracy.
At first glance, it would seem an unlikely alliance. Progressives theoretically want to move us forward, while Islamists wish to take us back to 7th Century-style theocracies. Progressive politicians push for marriage for homosexuals, while the Islamists push brick walls on top of them. Cultural progressives celebrate sexual licentiousness; Islamists punish it with death.
But such differences between the left and radical Islam fade to irrelevance in the face of such common enemies as traditional Christianity, Judaism, Israel, free enterprise and the very idea of America itself.
Progressives’ and Islamists’ litanies of grievances against America are strikingly similar. Many heads in university faculty lounges across America surely nodded when Osama bin Laden told a CNN interviewer in 1997, “We declared jihad against America because America is unjust, criminal and tyrannical.” Similarly, many college professors stood behind Professor Ward Churchill’s accusation that the victims of 9-11 were “little Eichmanns.”
Many leftists’ instinctual hatred of America explains their insistence that would-be Ground Zero mosque Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a “moderate” Muslim. To them, his contention that the United States was “an accessory” to 9/11 seemed just the sort of remark a “moderate” imam would utter. Radicals, they argue, would claim that Israel and America were the principal belligerents.
Tellingly, the more left-wing the politician, the more in love they seem to be with political Islam. Socialist former London Mayor Ken Livingstone was fond of hosting conferences with the goal of reconciling Islam with the West. But they usually were noteworthy only for degenerating into competitions among progressives and Islamists about who was more to blame for the ills of the world, America or Israel.
Then there’s far-left British Member of Parliament George Galloway, who in 2005, responded thusly to a reporter’s question about the possibility of a Muslim-Progressive alliance:
“Not only do I think it’s possible but I think it is vitally necessary and I think it is happening already. It is possible because the progressive movement around the world and the Muslims have the same enemies. Their enemies are the Zionist occupation, American occupation, British occupation of poor countries mainly Muslim countries. They have the same interest in opposing savage capitalist globalization which is intent upon homogenizing the entire world turning us basically into factory chickens which can be forced fed the American diet of everything from food to Coca-Cola to movies and TV culture. And whose only role in life is to consume the things produced endlessly by the multinational corporations. And the progressive organizations and movements agree on that with the Muslims…. So on the very grave big issues of the day—issues of war, occupation, justice, opposition to globalization-the Muslims and the progressives are on the same side.”
Progressives and Islamists are indeed on the same side. Their common disdain for Christianity explains why left-wing judges in America find any inkling of Christianity in the public square unconstitutional, while Islamist judges in the Middle East deem it executable.
Their common view that life is expendable explains the left’s embrace abortion-on-demand and why the Islamists don’t hesitate to deploy their own children for homicide bombings.
Their common totalitarian impulse explains why each group has as its governing objective to render its subjects entirely dependent on the state for everything in their lives, from education to healthcare.
Melanie Phillips explores this phenomenon in her new book, The World Turned Upside Down. Describing the “love affair” among Socialists, fascists, radical environmentalists and Islamists, she writes, “what they all have in common … is a totalitarian mindset in pursuit of the creation of their alternative reality. These are all worldviews that can accommodate no deviation and must therefore be imposed by coercion. Because their end product is a state of perfection, nothing can stand in its way.”
This alliance explains why the Obama State Department is spending taxpayer money to send Rauf to the Middle East on a goodwill tour. And it is why it will spend nearly $6 million of your tax money to restore, among other things, mosques and minaret around the world.
There’s a reason Obama won the Muslim American vote by more than nine to one, and why it is suspected that he received millions of dollars in contributions to his presidential campaign from Muslims abroad.
It’s not because Muslims thought Obama would fight for gays in the military. It’s because they knew he’d treat Israel as more of an annoyance than an ally, and because he’d be sure to diminish America’s stature in the world. And they were right.
More fundamentally, left-wing progressivism and Islamism both hold that religious belief and reason are at odds. Of course, Islamists embrace faith and reject reason, while progressives value reason to the exclusion of faith. Eventually these groups may have to address their basic differences.
But there will be time for that later. For now, there’s a greater goal to achieve: the annihilation of moral accountability and individual liberty and the destruction of the Judeo-Christian philosophy that is the foundation of Western civilization.