Leaving Islam



The Left and Islam: 
Tweedledee and Tweedle dum


By Ohmyrus

On the surface, the Left and Islam have nothing in common. Islam is a religion and the Leftists are usually secular people. But three years after the war against Islamism (aka the war on terrorism) began, it is now clear to me that the two groups have many similarities.  

It is true that Communists, unlike Muslims, do not believe in God. But this difference is misleading. Both ideologies require from their followers a high degree of faith. A Leftist has a deep faith that it is possible to change human nature so that one day a perfect, just and equal society will emerge.  

This is the Communist Utopia. Their dictum, "From each according to his ability. To each according to his needs", reflect their idea of an ideal world. To them, the evils of the world have its source in Capitalism, whose champion is America . Capitalism is based on individual self-interest in which only the fittest survive and the devil takes the hind-most.  

Capitalist economies have succeeded in creating wealth and economic growth.  But the price of Capitalism is that inequalities will develop as those with more energy and abilities will outstrip the weaker individuals. The Leftists see inequality in wealth as an injustice. In their ideal world, everybody happily works for the common good and all share any wealth created equally. To the Leftists, the big corporations are seen as agents of greed and exploitation who exploit labor so as to enrich the idle capitalist class.  

They also believe that the poverty in the third world is caused by exploitative capitalist economies and their multi-national companies. This view is soothing for the Islamists who can then blame the poverty and backwardness of the Muslim world on an external entity instead of looking inwards for a probable cause. I have always argued that Islam plays a central role in the backwardness of the Muslim world. See my article, "The Problem with Islam".  

The Soviet Union , which the Left sees as the closest mankind has gotten towards their Socialist Utopia has collapsed and has moved towards the Capitalist model. The world is heading towards freer trade and jobs are being re-located to places with lower wages. The left is infuriated with these trends.  

They are also blind or make excuses about the abuses and human rights violations in the Soviet Union and Cambodia, where millions were murdered or died in the Gulags and killing fields. Prominent Leftist Naom Chomsky at one stage even claimed that the tales of Communist atrocities in Cambodia were invented or at most localized.  

Meanwhile, the Muslim world is equally beset with frustrations. Most Muslims are living in poor countries ruled by corrupt, incompetent dictators. This is especially true in the Middle East . For them, Islam is the Final Revelation and hence Muslims are supposed to be the Best of Mankind. Yet, they have fallen behind. Defeat and western colonization during the past two centuries brought this home to them. In more recent times, the success of the East Asian countries brought fresh humiliations.  

This lament for their low estate can be seen in a poem, called Shikwa, written by Iqbal, an ideologue of the Pakistan movement. The poem asks why Allah is unfaithful to Muslims when Muslims remain faithful to Him. A part of the poem says:

“Your blessings are showered on homes of unbelievers, strangers all.
Only on the poor Muslim, Your wrath like lightning falls.”

Over the past two centuries, reformers like Al-Wahhab, Sayyd Qutub and al-Afghani diagnosed the malaise and concluded that Muslims have strayed from the original teachings of their Prophet. All preached violent jihad.  

Like Luther, Calvin and Zwingli, these men wanted to strip away all the accretions that accumulated in the practice of their religion. Today, the Islamists seek to unite Muslim countries to restore the Caliphate. It seeks first to overthrow secular Muslim countries so that they can be replaced with Islamic states united under one Caliph as in the days of old. Their ultimate aim is to dominate the world so that Allah’s laws is supreme. Islamists see the Islamic state much the same way as Communists see the Communist Utopia - a Shangri-la world where their idea of justice prevail. 

That neither has attained their respective goals does not deter them. For both, it is a matter of faith. Faith is belief in something that is not proven. In fact, the available evidence is that both Communist and Islamic Utopias do not work. All attempts in establishing them failed. The Soviet experiment failed. Instead of providing justice and prosperity, it created a sick economy, which required cruelty and oppression to sustain. For the Islamists, Afghanistan under the Taliban is as close as one can get to the Islamists' ideal state. The result is hell on earth, not heaven.


1     Next





Articles Op-ed Authors Debates Leaving Islam FAQ
Comments Library Gallery Video Clips Books Sina's Challenge

  ©  copyright You may translate and publish the articles in this site only if you provide a link to the original page.