30 thoughts on “Why the online Right flirt with the Taliban

  1. Well, which party in Congress has the most Muslim members?

    Islam is a collectivist theocracy. It fits right in there with other philosophies that discount individual choice.

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          1. Well that’s sort of the whole point of the article that is being flattened.

            The far right is attracted to the Wahhabists for their theocracy, while the left is attracted to Muslims’ status as a persecuted minority group. Center-Left for IDPOL reasons, and far-Left as necessary partners in any serious proletarian movement.

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          2. Exactly. Democrats have always had a very broad constituency relative to the Republicans. So it will seem, and, at times, is a bit chaotic looking.

            Republicans were historically the party of business. Not enough votes there, so the culture wars were nailed as new planks in the platform. And that included racial issues, updated. McCain’s illegitimate Black child campaign and Helms’ “minority got the job”ads are today’s CRT.

            When a party has no agenda, wrapping itself in the flag a carrying a Bible works well enough.

            Gosh, though, it sure would be nice to drive around in a Ford F-150 (no Toyota for a “red” American) with a flag and mounted .50 cal. big gun chasing immigrants and “selected others”. As such, the Taliban are heroes for the right wing theos.

            In my opinion, of course.

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          3. Theocracies are bad no matter what religion. There are major nations that are Islamic, like Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan which have mostly free market capitalist economies.

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    1. “Islam is a collectivist theocracy. ”

      Funny, I thought Islam was a religious practice. Are there governments that adhere to Islam? Sure. Just as much as this country adheres to Judeo-Christian principles. (Mostly Christian, but that is a completely different topic.)

      And as I recall there is a thing called the First Amendment that allows citizens of this country to worship in the manner best for them without the government telling them how.

      You appear quite Islamophobic concerning yourself with the religious beliefs of some ELECTED representatives.

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      1. Islam theocracy is pretty much the opposite of libertarian.

        I have kind of a thing about women being held as chattel. Kind of an exception to my live and let live philosophy.

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        1. This is just lazy. You’re taking a very specific form of Islam and pretending it is representative of like a billion people.

          There are neighborhoods in Brooklyn where women are imprisoned by their communities, yet you are a full throated Zionist.

          Ditto Utah.

          You know how in American Christianity it is tradition for a young man to ask his future father-in-law’s permission before a marriage proposal? Then the father walks the bride down the aisle to her husband, which is symbolic of a young woman being transferred from the possession of her father to her new husband?

          What is unique about Islam that offends your Libertarian sensibilities?

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          1. The article is about the Taliban. Honor killings are well documented under their rule.

            Any of those around the Hassidic Community in NY? Mormons in UT?

            If Orthodox Jewish girls let an ankle show, does she get beaten with steel cables?

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          2. The ill treatment of women is much more of a tribal issue based on traditions rather than Islam. For that matter, honor killings are an issue in Brazil. That country is almost all Catholic. But I doubt the Church says it is OK.

            Anyone can use religion to excuse atrocities. And they do. Bob Jones University used to ban interracial dating until a few decades ago. Biblical reasons on the separation of races. Not an atrocity, but slavery and Jim Crow were.

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        2. RE: “Islam theocracy is pretty much the opposite of libertarian.”

          That’s very true today. On the other hand, chattel is a kind of private property. Perhaps something can be worked out.

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          1. Fair enough, but I’m serious. Besides, Islam is not without theological reverence for women.

            It seems to me that abuse of women in Islam is not inevitable or permanent.

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  2. I think the essayist gets a lot of things right, especially these two statements, taken together:

    “In effect, theological and metaphysical considerations have been rendered obsolete on both the Left and the Right when it comes to religion.”

    “The fact that many look for or encounter traditional ideas in [extremist political] subcultures is telling of the fact that these ideas are severely underrepresented in political discourse.”

    In my own experience, the Left’s embrace of Islam occurred in part during the New Age Movement of the late 1970s and 1980s. There was a book called The Sufis (1964) that many New Agers credited with originating or inspiring much of the countercultural/spiritualist landscape that later became their preoccupation. Sufis are the third but much smaller main branch of traditional Islam, the other two being Shi’ites and Sunnis.

    It would be hard to convey the sense of pure, awestruck reverence that once attached to just the word Sufi among New Age seekers. People even refused to say it out loud. I suspect that many on both the Left and Right are loathe to criticize Islam in 2022 as a result of their brush with Sufi ideas back in the day.

    A related note is that in the 1800s, when psychology was just beginning to formalize as a science, there was tremendous academic interest in Europe in Islamic metaphysical and mystical philosophy (meaning Sufism). This period produced a wealth of the source material and translations that New Agers studied.

    The point is: Many today can’t just throw away Islam without throwing away an important developmental chunk of their own heritage.

    These observations probably aren’t answering the mail; so I offer them as footnotes to the essay.

    Separately, I’d agree with the essayist that concepts of cultural and spiritual purity are important to people on the emerging Right. I read purity in this context as meaning “true to one’s own valid traditions.” Expressing respect for the Taliban — because they represent a foreign tradition — is often just a way of making a political point of principle; something like saying that every nation has a right of self-determination. The loss of purity in the West is also a theme.

    But even here there is always the problem that people don’t always understand what they revere.

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    1. I have a friend who is devoutly Muslim, and he often speaks of the beauty of Sufism, and how it has become virtually unique to Islam.

      I wasn’t around in the 70s, but I suspect you are correct about the earnest respect and admiration for particular schools of Islamic thought and practice.

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    2. RE: “he often speaks of the beauty of Sufism, and how it has become virtually unique to Islam.”

      As a tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorist, I like to imagine that The Sufis was published in the West in 1964 as a kind of preparation for the age (not the New Age, specifically) that was coming. The U.S. response to 9/11, for example, might have been even worse than it was. The long-term potential for Islam to integrate productively with the West might have been utterly lost.

      Of course, the author of the book would have had to have been prescient. That can’t happen, right?

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