People are sometimes puzzled as to why we find that figures on what is loosely termed the far Left are so often tied in with Islamist extremists. Those who, on the surface, should be at daggers drawn are often found in alliance
We need look no further than the egregious George Galloway who appears heart and soul behind every barely legal radical Islamist cause. The same Galloway who, having been rejected by the London electorate, intends to stand at the next Holyrood elections in order to “bring a touch of class to the Scottish Parliament.”
This is something much wider than the antics of Gorgeous George in Bethnal Green. The Palestine Liberation Organisation has always been composed of a ménage of radical Islamists and radical Marxists.
Although operating on differing presuppositions the Iranian Communist Party rejoiced at Khomeini’s 1979 revolution. They rejoiced only for a short time, actually a very short time.
Last year’s “peace flotilla” attempting to break Israel’s blockade of Hamas controlled Gaza was composed of Islamist radicals and progressives. Some of the progressives were well meaning and deluded into thinking they were on a humanitarian mission, others were more realistic and were determined to undermine the only state in the Middle East with pretentions to recognisable democracy.
To understand these alliances, or marriages of convenience, we must go back to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, godfather of modern progressivism. In 1762 he wrote The Social Contract one of the pivotal books of Western culture. In it he developed the concept of the “social contract” by which every member of society, irrespective of wealth or position, was bound to the other members in a compact of corporate wellbeing in which they agreed to abide by certain mutually determined laws.
This is sometimes portrayed as the wellspring of liberal society. However, Rousseau considered it essential to his utopia that there be an “undertaking which alone can give force to the rest,” which was, “Whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be compelled to do so by the whole body.” For Rousseau the concept of “freedom” depended upon submission to the general will. This “means nothing less than that he will be forced to be free.” That is why Rousseau, and those who follow him, so admired Islam.
Perhaps the most influential theologian of the Muslim Brotherhood is Sayyid Qutb. His work, 44 years after his death, is still required reading for budding Islamists.
His stance is perhaps most clearly illustrated in his tract, Social Justice in Islam where he teaches that Islam is about the collective, and that those who resist the Muslim ummah (the community of believers) must, as Rousseau would have said, be “forced to be free.”
According to Qutb, “integrating” humanity into “an essential unity” under sharia is “a prerequisite for true and complete human life, even justifying the use of force against those who deviate from it, so that those who wander from the true path may be brought back to it.” Qutb argues sharia makes unbelief a crime that is “reckoned as equal in punishment” to the “crime of murder.” Forms of treason such as apostasy and fomenting discord in the ummah are capital offenses. As in all totalitarian systems, freedom is merely an illusion.
The Islamist and the progressive, despite their utterly contradictory views of morality and basic presuppositions will willingly embrace when opposition appears to their utopian ideals. Today their shared enemy is individual liberty based upon the Judeo Christian concept of a personal relationship with, and responsibility before, God.
Progressives and Islamists alike share a fundamental belief in the collective as a body requiring the submission of the individual. The Christian also firmly believes in the collective, the Church or fellowship of believers. For the Christian this is a body into which the individual willingly enters and freely explores and develops his relationship with God in company with other believers. These are vastly differing concepts.
Totalising ideologies, whether they be Islamist, progressive, Nazi or communist will always seek to, at the very least, sideline biblical Christians. We insist on making up our own minds and where necessary resisting the general will. That makes us intolerable people to have around.