The Left's PC Hypocrisy on Islam
Partisans of the Left compulsively claim President George W. Bush was an imbecile who couldn’t be trusted on anything. If they’re right, all of us must reflexively and wholly refute every statement he ever made. It would seem very reasonable, then, to first dispense with a sweeping pronouncement on one of the most pressing and thorny issues of modern times, an issue that obviously no Texan troglodyte could hope to grasp: “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace.” Those words were spoken by America’s forty-third commander-in-chief at the Islamic Center of Washington, DC, just six days after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Lo and behold, if there’s one thing that Bush clearly shares in common with his renowned ideological rivals—Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden—it’s an obstinate belief that the religion of Islam has nothing to do with violence. Obama has defended “the true peaceful nature of Islam.” Clinton has tweeted, “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.” And Biden, after listening to activist, author and ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali discuss the relationship between ISIS and Islam, reportedly retorted, “Let me tell you one or two things about Islam.”
Actually, there are a few things that Bush, Obama, Clinton and Biden share in common. None of them are theologians, none of them are scholars of Middle Eastern history and none of them—not even Obama, as far as I’m aware—can read classical Arabic and, thus, understand the Koran, the hadith (the traditions and habits of Muhammad) or the sunna (the teachings and sayings of Muhammad) in their original form. (Whether Bush, Biden or Clinton has bothered to read a single translated page of these texts remains to be seen. Obama, who from ages six to ten, attended a public school in Indonesia influenced by the West, appears to be in much the same boat.) Yes, our political leaders are perfectly unified in their immense ignorance of the worldview to which 1.6 billion people—around a quarter of the global population—subscribe.
But let’s leave aside for a moment the contentious and oft-debated question of whether Islam is a religion of peace. Why the absence of “’splaining” accusations? After all, the numerous branches of the PC Police typically leap to castigate those who opine on topics beyond their “knowledge.” (“Knowledge” and, accordingly, “credibility” are allegedly derived not from academic training, but instead primarily from lived experience.) To “’splain” is “to explain or comment on something in a condescending, overconfident, and often inaccurate or oversimplified manner, from the perspective of the group one identifies with.”
So with today’s incessant talk of Islam, where are the social-justice warriors who summarily slam nonblack academics who, for example, seek to understand and alleviate the causes of African American poverty? Where are the feminists who excoriate male journalists who, for instance, endeavor to comprehend the difficulties women endure in the workplace? And why is the grievance Gestapo not up in arms, furiously scolding eminent non-Muslims for rendering, from the mightiest of bully pulpits, definitive judgments on issues about which they know virtually nothing? Are Bush, Obama, Biden and Clinton—if I may coin a word—“Christiansplaining”?
Perhaps. It doesn’t truly matter though. What does matter is, first, what is revealed by the dithering of liberals and progressives otherwise obsessed with enforcing mental segregation, who are usually so eager to condemn those who have strayed beyond their designated racial, religious and gender pens. To be sure, more than any other issue, Islam—specifically, the absurdly rudimentary way in which it’s characterized by prominent nonbelievers with no substantive familiarity with the faith—proves that the Left’s outrage is selective. It candidly demonstrates that “’splaining” indictments—along with their ugly siblings, safe spaces and trigger warnings—are systematically used, contrary to the Left’s avowals, to curtail rather than enhance free speech. The bottom line: Who is speaking is of little import as long as what a person utters coincides with one of the Left’s narratives, ambitions or ideals.
A second reason the Left’s willingness to overlook Christiansplaining matters? Its opinions are hollow, which means the allegations of racism and xenophobia it hurls are (usually) similarly empty. When elected officials, who are profoundly distrusted, as polling consistently shows, mimic what some imams and Islamic scholars say—that Islam is a religion of peace—suspicion naturally flows due to the transitive property of equality. Worsening the situation, the reassurances are almost always heard, due to status and the nature of the media landscape, pouring forth from the mouths of elected officials as opposed to the imams and Islamic scholars.