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Islamists and the Secular Media

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

I’m sure many have asked this question: “Why is the secular media so sympathetic to Islamists?” The answer is because most of those who make up the secular media apparatus are on the left side of the Left. The Left has always been sympathetic to Islamists. In fact, they share some deeply held commonalities.

1. They are both great consumers of slogans.

They both are indeed propagandists. I personally remember how President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, who was both leftist and Muslim, lived by propaganda. And who could ever forget Saddam Hussein?

2. Many Islamists share the leftists’ idealism of a classless society.

For both of them, this belief is, of course, on paper only. Because when push comes to shove, they each have their own set of hierarchical structures—whether they call it the enemy of “the progressives” or “the enemies of Islam.” Nonetheless, they both talk about social justice. Islam claims to be an all-inclusive religion where economic justice is part and parcel of its tenets, even if it has to be accomplished by force. Mao’s dictum—that political power comes from the barrel of a gun—would fit well with the Islamic notion of jihad. This brings me to the third commonality.

3. They both believe that their ideologies must be the dominant one in the world. Thus, they tend to use each other to accomplish their ultimate purpose: dominance.

Most often, leftists are the ones who find themselves at the short end of the stick. Today is no exception. Remember the liberal leftists in Iran, when they were used by the Islamists? Once they got rid of the Shah, the leftists were eliminated. And who can forget the recent events in Egypt, where the leftist liberal students and trade unions led the revolution against President Mubarak? Now, Islamists—who called these leftists “the donkeys of the revolution”—have succeeded in slowly but surely eliminating them from the scene.

4. The fourth meeting point between the leftists and the Islamists is a deep disdain for Western democracy.

In their secret chambers, most Islamists admire leftist dictatorships and totalitarian regimes because they deliver the goods and save everybody from the messiness of democracy. Oh, to be sure … they both are skilled at using democratic language, but only until they reach their goals. Remember Hamas—who is both leftist and Islamist and who used democratic language until they had their election, which now has become known as “one man, one vote, one time.” Western capitalism goes hand in hand with Western democracy, which both groups detest and see as the mother of all evil.

The sad tragedy of all tragedies is that leftists in the West are really writing their own obituary—whether they know it or not.

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