One of my favorite podcasts is the satirical news show Shire Network News, an unabashedly conservative British weekly show. This week has some very funny humor, as well as an informative interview with Mark Stein. He mentioned at least three really interesting ideas regarding liberalism, Europe, and Islamofascism.
1. Liberal Europeans are underestimating Islam’s anti-freedom tendencies, and their freedom is being taken away by the Islamification of their culture.
He discussed how a gay couple moved to Amsterdam to get away from the "oppressive" anti-gay culture in the US, and found that the gay bashing due to Muslims in Europe is even worse than here, mostly because Europe does not have a strong Christian conservative movement resisting Islam.
- They conflate Islam with conservative Christianity, and so give Islam’s more radical racial and anti-gay views room to grow in the same low level of opposition that they rightly use regarding Christianity. Instead, they ought to differentiate and oppose Islam with MORE force.
- They mistakenly believe that the more oppressive and violent Islam is not part of the mainstream of Islam, or that it really doesn’t influence mainstream Islam very much. But they are wrong, and by assuming that such ideas are marginal in Islam, are allowing it to grow in mainstream Islam
- They fail to view Islam with a suspicious, critical, and alarmed eye, buying in to the smooth words of the Islamic apologists like CAIR. Erring on the side of not wanting to believe the worst, and wanting to be multiculturally sensitive, they convince themselves that it’s not that bad, when in reality, they ought to be more willing to condemn not just radical Islam, but anyone who bears the anti-human policies of Islam. Stein remarked that "It’s going to be a long time before the mainstream left abandons its cobwebbed pieties." Indeed.
Bruce Bawer discusses this in First They Came for the Gays, as well as his book, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within.
Stein remarked that while some liberals are concerned about Islam, they are often accused of becoming right wing, and are, in general, a minority. And don’t get me started about the silence of feminists on this issue, not to mention abortion!
2. Why the demonization (criticism) of Islam is necessary, because it is more true than false
He mentions that liberals often defend Islam against criticism or mockery (such as in the cartoons) because they are afraid that some Islamophobes will be motivated by that to do violence against Muslims.
Of course, what instead happens is the opposite – Muslims go on killing sprees when such things happen, calling for beheadings, and proving definitively that the criticisms of virulence and hatred within Islam were accurate.
3. Islamophobes and Homophobes – who is right?
He mentions that gay advocates call Muslims who call homosexuality a sin "homophobes," but Muslims often merely reply that gay advocates are merely being "Islamophobes." The ridiculousness and inaccuracy of the phobe labeling is clear in such an exchange.
The truth is, you can morally disapprove of Islam, Christianity, or gay advocacy without resorting to the ridiculous claim of phobia. I think such discussions cloud the issue. The real issue is, what is right, and why? What is morally wrong, and why?