Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a Muslim political scientist, Harvard University scholar, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East questions why many liberals, who criticize Christianity and religious conviction in general, appear to open their arms to radical Islam so affectionately.
The liberal and leftists love affair with radical Islam is perplexing at the very least and while they loath at those who are Christian and criticize Christians and Christianity at every chance they get, they insist on defending radical Islam and its violent elements.
If you had grown up, as I did, between two authoritarian governments — the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria — under the leadership of people such as Hafez al Assad, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, you would have seen your youth influenced by two major denominations of Islam in the Muslim world.
You also would have seen how the religion of Islam intertwines with politics, and how radical Islam rules a society through its religious laws, sharia. You would have witnessed how radical Islam can dominate and scrutinize people’s day-to-day choices: in eating, clothing, socializing, entertainment, everything.
You would have seen the tentacles of its control close over every aspect of your life. You would have seen the way, wielded by fundamentalists, radical Islam can be a powerful tool for unbridled violence. It is the fear of this violence, torture, and death, wielded by extremist Muslims, that keeps every person desperate to obey.
My father was brutally tortured — justified by some of the fundamentalist Islamic laws of the ruling governments in both Iran and Syria. The punishment extended to my mother, my family, and other relatives, who were tormented on a regular basis.
What was even more painful was, upon coming to the West, seeing the attitude of many people who label themselves liberals and leftists, towards radical Islam.
These liberals seem to view themselves as open-minded, but they have a preconceived way of thinking about Islam: to them, it seems, there is no radical Islam, Islam is only a force for the good, Islam can do no evil.
How could they not see the way extremist Muslims exploit some aspects of the religion of Islam to legitimize its acts? How could they not even acknowledge that radical Islam, a force that threatens to destroy the planet, let alone my family, exists?
Instead, many liberals would criticize me or attempt to turn a blind eye, as if I were accidentally making some embarrassing mistake. They seemed instead to love being surrounded by Western Muslim “scholars”, those who are apologetic towards radical Islam and — notably — have never actually lived in a Muslim country under the strangling grip of the official fundamentalist laws, sharia.
If, as liberals argue, they support women’s and LGBT rights, why, by their silence, do they condone gays executed and women subjugated on a daily basis throughout most of the enormous Muslim world? If liberals are in favor of freedom of speech, why do they turn a blind eye to Islamist governments such as Iran that, based on the government’s radical, theocratic laws, execute people for expressing their opinion? And why do they not let people in the West express their opinion without attacking them before even giving them the respect of hearing what they have to say?
Liberals argue that they are in favor of critical thinking, but they do not like anyone challenging their “comfort zone”. They seem, in fact, to be just like the autocratic people from whom I was fleeing, who also did not want their simplistic, binary way of thinking to be threatened by logic or fact.
These liberals — indulging in faulty, sophistic, logic — seem to think that if they criticize Christianity and Islamists criticize Christianity, then Islamists will like them for hating the same thing.
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