Islamist Extremists Exploit the Caring Nature of Progressives

We progressives stand for equal rights of women and LGBTQ people, pro-choice, immigration reform, free education, election reform, fair trade, universal health care, justice for all, and saving the environment.

Despite this, we are often guilty of conflating Islamists with peaceful followers of Mohammad– Muslims.

Islamists are not Muslims.
“Islamism is not a form of the Muslim faith or an expression of Muslim piety; it is, rather, a political ideology that strives to derive legitimacy from Islam.” — Soner Cagaptay

This political ideology is at the heart of the discriminatory policies of Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. One can be jailed or beheaded in these countries for even speaking about progressive policy.

Progressives have rightly pushed against the war and genocide visited upon the people of Yemen, by Wahhabist Saudi Arabia, but are deafly silent about the ongoing kidnapping, forced conversions, and rape of minority women in Pakistan. Is this because they don’t want to be called Islamophobic?

While being progressive means to be open tolerant and vocal in supporting people with differing views and ideologies, it also means to be open to the idea that there are extremist factions out there.

If someone points out the bad things that Islamists do, many progressives will call that Islamophobia. Yet when they criticize Zionist’s actions, they are not anti-Semitic. Progressives say they are not talking about Jews in general, just those extremists who are committing genocide on the Palestinians.

Progressives are fine with calling out Christians who commit terrorism as zealots, fanatics, and even extremists. Nobody claims that it’s anti-Christian to do so.

When Buddhists commit terror against the Rohingyas of Myanmar we call them extremists, rightfully so. Nobody is saying all Buddhists are bad or the Dalai Lama is somehow driving them to act that way.

Yet, when we get to the topic of Islamic terrorism, and the Islamists that commit it, suddenly we have to walk on eggshells. Why?

Most Muslims agree that Islamist Extremists are a bane to society, many prefer to live in a free secular state, nobody likes to be told how to believe, true faith comes from the heart, not from politicians.

Islamists are responsible for the murder of millions of Muslims. I can’t imagine any progressive would support the stoning of women or the beheading of political prisoners.

Progressives believe in tolerance, yet point out the paradox of tolerance, which states that if a society is interminably tolerant, its ability to be tolerant is eventually seized and destroyed by the intolerant.

paradox of tolerance

To create justice and fairness for all, we should advocate for secular governance that respects the rights of all to raise their kids as they wish, worship or not worship as they want, and respect other’s right to do so.

We need to uplift Muslim voices that speak for tolerance, and not tolerate Islamists who preach intolerance, hate, and the genocide of non-believers.

Our allies are the people that seek the equal rights of women and LGBTQ people, pro-choice, immigration reform, free education, election reform, fair trade, universal health care, justice for all, and saving the environment.

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