Why aren’t liberals critical of Islam? (Part 2)
What is it about the very liberal Obama Administration that it would ignore the explicit, written warnings in 2012 from a Saudi Arabian official about the soon-enough-to-be Boston bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev? (Oh, and by the way, Russia had warned us of Tamerlan as well.)
The Saudis denied him a visa to visit Mecca on pilgrimage in 2011. We, on the other hand, were cheerfully forking over $100,000 in welfare benefits to Tamerlan and his family while he and his mother became ever more radicalized by their re-embrace of Islam.
But liberals, in government, the press, and academia, still refuse to allow a critical look at Islam.
In a previous article, I have already noted the deepest reason. Liberalism is an essentially secular movement that arose within a thoroughly Christianized culture. Christianity was the obstacle to be overcome. Liberalism therefore thinks of progress in terms of secularization understood primarily as de-Christianization.
Precisely because it sees Christianity as the enemy to be overcome, liberals have a deeply-ingrained historical habit of blaming Christians for every imaginable evil—war, slavery, the irrational rejection of science, and (now) Islamophobia. Since Western culture is so obviously based upon Christianity, liberals for the same reason consistently blame the West for the ills of the world.
To take a really close and critical look at Islam would go entirely against this ingrained historical habit. Any religion is better than Christianity. It has to be.
Islamic jihad must therefore be a justified reaction to simmering resentment against the Christian Crusades and/or Western imperialism.
But that brings up what should be an obvious, additional point. Liberalism and Islam share a deeply-entrenched common view of Christianity as the obstacle to their respective aims. Islam arose in the early 7th century, and understood itself to offer a decisive revelation that both surpassed and corrected Christianity. Christians were the infidels who still needed to be converted.
Both liberalism and Islam therefore understand progress in terms of de-Christianization and the universal adherence of a converted world to their respective creed and culture. Both want to take down the cross from the public square, one to achieve a world-wide fully secular culture, the other to achieve a world-wide fully Islamic culture wherein all things conform to Sharia law.
In this sense, for liberals, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. That makes Islam its friend, and one does not criticize one’s friend.
But a third and rather more complex point follows, one that will take a broader understanding of history to grasp fully.
Again, Islam arose centuries after Christianity. For Muslims, a sign of Christianity’s errors and Islamic superiority was that Islam went on to conquer the Middle East and into the Far East, North Africa, Spain, large portions of Russia, and even more painfully, Constantinople, and set up one of the most dynamic, intellectually advanced, and powerful civilizations in history. Islamic success lasted from the mid-8th century well into the 17th century (with the Ottoman Empire).
Just when the Ottoman Empire seemed, to Islam, an ever-enduring sign of indubitable success, the West itself was creating an even more dynamic, intellectually advanced, and powerful civilization, one that would decisively deflate or displace Islamic civilization over the next four centuries.
Islam thereby underwent an intense humiliation by Western, infidel-based culture from the 17th century on. But in trying to understand how it happened, Islam could not allow that the West’s superiority was caused by its adherence to Christianity.
During these same centuries—the 17th to the 20th—secular liberalism ever more boldly set forth its claims in the West. As with Islam, liberals could not admit that the growth of science, technology, intellectual culture, and political power so visibly defining the modern West could be rooted in Christianity. So they launched a kind of propaganda assault (beginning in the Enlightenment), claiming that Christianity was an irrational superstition at the root of every war and in the way of every scientific and political advance.
Again, we have a strange symbiosis. Both liberalism and Islam want to extract the fruit of modern Western civilization, even while denying its roots in Christianity. Liberalism wants to establish a secular world defined by the peaceful enjoyment of techno-hedonism. Radical Islam wants to reestablish the prestige of its golden age, bringing all under the rule of Allah and his prophet, and will use the latest Western technology to do it.
A set of visuals that captures the twin aims, and their ultimate contradiction: a little white Plan B pill for liberals, and for Islam, the devout Tamerlan detonating a pressure-cooker bomb with a toy car speed controller.
Speaking of the contradiction, a fourth and final point. As liberals will find out—if they succeed in de-Christianization, as they largely have in Europe—the enemy of my enemy will not prove to be a friend. Liberal culture and Islamic Sharia law are on opposite ends on nearly everything. If they both succeed in extinguishing Christianity, they will only have to face each other.
Author and speaker Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D. has published eleven books, his newest being Worshipping the State: How Liberalism Became Our State Religion. His website is www.benjaminwiker.com