Islam and the Problem with Liberal Allies

Reading Time: 14 minutes

by Lenna

My last post was a candid analysis of why Muslims need to restore the Khilafah. It’s not a post that will win over liberal allies, and in fact is likely to repel them.

Muslims like me are between a rock and a hard place and that is just one more reason why restoring the Khilafah is such an urgent need.

Just a few years ago, I did feel I had a place among classic liberals. But things have changed, and I want to devote this post to explaining why.

Classic Liberals

Once upon a time, I was a liberal. Born to a nominally Christian family and raised in America, I believed exactly what you’d expect.

I was a staunch secularist and well-versed in classic liberal arguments. When I converted to Islam, this did not change.

A convert doesn’t miraculously change overnight, and I didn’t see any reason to anyway. It seemed okay to me to practice Islam and live and let live. I remember defending homosexuals on my old blog, where such views received a chilly reception from some of our more conservative readers.

It was only later that my views changed and received an even chillier reception from our liberal readers. Dismayed by my harsh criticism of feminism, many lost their love for me.

The Great Debates

When I first showed up at Harry’s Place, I was ambushed. Shocked by the hostile reaction I got there, I scampered off.

But as I observed their agenda, I decided to go back. Sometimes I would debate with the visitors there for days on end, and I really enjoyed it despite their thuggishness.

I knew the framework very well and could keep my views very consistent.

In Harry’s Place parlance, I was a “regressive liberal,” meaning I was too into appeasement for their test. On top of that, I was a Muslim convert, which added a layer of suspicion.

But I was a true believer in liberal secular democracy and fell squarely in the camp of a classic liberal, arguing against what I saw as their excesses.

Suffocating

At the time Harry’s Place prompted the first wave of doubt. Simply because they refused to make space.

It seemed impossible for a Muslim who was a Muslim in any meaningful way to have a place among them. They were always subjecting Muslims to litmus tests and shoving them into tighter and tighter spaces.

It wasn’t enough to say you were perfectly happy living in a secular liberal democracy and abiding by the rules. You had to actively denounce any role of Islam in governance and social engineering for anyone, anywhere in the world.

They even policed the dreams of Muslims, quizzing them about what they endorsed in an “ideal Islamic state.” You were not even allowed to deviate from their script in hypothetical scenarios that would never come to pass!

I found this suffocating. Especially because some of their questions really put Muslims on the spot, needlessly embarrassing them and subjecting them to possible accusations of blasphemy and apostasy from other Muslims.

To be a Muslim accepted by Harry’s Place meant you were a sellout. Mostly because you had to be. Their idea of a “Muslim” was Majid Nawaz, whose credibility is less than zero in the Muslim community.

Regressive Liberals

Back then I still felt quite at home with those Harry’s Place denounced as “regressive liberals.” I really didn’t agree that these liberals needed a label because as I saw it, Harry’s Place was the one that had split off from the norm.

I had a long history with liberals who shared a “big tent” philosophy. I had for years worked alongside Zionists in a “big tent” project with Tikkun, despite having always been thoroughly pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist.

We could ally with one another across a wide spectrum of views because we never insisted on ideological purity. All we agreed upon at the time was the two-state solution and as long as we were working toward that, we’d put our differences aside.

I later became more rabidly anti-Zionist and the original group at Tikkun split apart anyway. I think mainly due to the ever-fading prospect of “two states for two peoples.”

In any case, “big tent” collaboration was my thing and that made me an excellent candidate for Loonwatch.

Loonwatch Liberals

Loonwatch didn’t promote itself as liberal or conservative. It was a site devoted to defending Muslim civil rights.

Sometimes people would say the site was “Islamic,” but that wasn’t true. There is a big difference between promoting Islam and defending Muslim civil rights. We didn’t take a stand on matters related to how Islam should be interpreted and practiced.

This was fertile ground for another “big tent” project because Muslim civil rights could rally people from across the political spectrum. The theme attracted mostly liberals, whose devotion and self-sacrifice was impressive and commendable.

I don’t know of any other project like it. At one time, we were taking on the anti-Muslim loons almost singlehandedly. And having people from various political and religious (or unreligious) vantage points gave our side an advantage over the far more narrowly focused haters we countered.

Just as had happened with Tikkun before, our alliance began to weaken. A shifting landscape can topple the framework and set people off in their own directions. From my experience, you simply have to accept that such arrangements usually run their course, often in a matter of a few years.

Neocon Squeeze

I talked quite extensively to Sarah from Harry’s Place, both on Disqus and in private email. I liked her personally and would have loved to meet for lunch if I’d ever made it to London.

We tried hard to bridge our differences, but never quite managed. We eventually cut off our alliance, and I can’t even remember the last time I talked to her. In the meantime, Loonwatch came to a close, existing now only as an archive.

Harry’s Place was a problem for me because their neocon coterie had gained a very strong foothold int he UK, where the government was putting the squeeze on Muslims and I started to have doubts about our ability to continue in any sort of alliance.

I feared they were going to squeeze out the “regressive liberals” and employ the apparatus of the state to make the Muslim place in society untenable. David Cameron’s speeches at the time set off even more alarm bells.

Personal Trauma

At the same time all of this was going on in my online life, my personal life fell apart. For the first time ever I understood what my Islamic studies teacher meant when she said, when you’re debating with someone, you must never “strike at the pillars of their heart.”

I found that expression curious. But what happened in my life didn’t just strike at the pillars of my heart. Trauma knocked those pillars out from under me, suddenly and with blunt force. I felt shattered into a million pieces and then pulverized to dust.

What happened was not a one-time event from which I could recover. The trauma kept on coming in a long series of events that spanned years. I’ve kept those events to myself until recently, only sharing with people who were a party to my situation in one way or another.

I had never wanted to tell anyone because frankly, the truth seems implausible. Telling someone only proved that to be true and justified my long silence, to which I’ve returned.

What exactly happened in my life is not something I talk about anymore. But it’s had a profound impact on me, my views, and my daily life.

Rebuilding and Re-evaluating

When everything you understood about everything is shattered and don’t even know who you are anymore, you have to rebuild. You start over, and when that happens, you see things through different eyes.

I was suddenly scrutinizing things I had always taken for granted, on many different fronts. Notions about myself, my loved ones, and the society where I live.

Because I couldn’t make sense of what happened, I began searching for the cause. What destroyed my former life and wrecked my family? What has left me so shell-shocked the combat veteran support groups are the ones I best relate to?

I lived a fairly affluent, clean, middle-class life and as I see it, what happened should not have happened. I can probably ponder for the rest of my life how the events that unfolded came to pass and never find satisfying answers.

But I do know one thing. What happened turned me against this society and everything that it’s become. As the trauma of the last six years fades into the background, my resentment does not.

Online Transformation

I didn’t talk about my personal life online. Not beyond the occasional hint at what was happening though people certainly noticed a change.

I was angry and while I don’t think I was on my best behavior, I remember why and I forgive my excesses. Feminists became a prime target since I saw their social engineering experiment as a probable cause for what happened in my life.

Loonwatchers were taken aback when I found a kindred on the discussion forum and we railed against feminists and ridiculed their agenda.

I learned much later my fellow anti-feminist had experienced trauma similar to my own. Similar trauma had bread a similar hatred in our hearts, and it spread like a brushfire.

Backlash

I found myself despising feminists and resentful because I didn’t know how to counter them. For years I had written talking points for Palestine, so I was well-versed in that sort of activism.

But I wasn’t sure what I had to say about feminism, at least not at first. My efforts were clumsy and my disposition was that of a fire-breathing dragon. My rants attracted mostly like-minded anti-feminists, especially on Twitter and acquired a small following.

Over time, my anger toward feminists leveled off. All of my arguments against them are the same, and I’m able to express them more eloquently. But the burning rage I once felt has given way to embers.

Meanwhile, my targets have expanded to include most of the liberal agenda, which I literally view as satanic and extremely harmful. Especially to the young people who for the last few years have been congregating in my basement, in need of rescue.

Compromise

For a long time, I was still preaching the gospel of secularism. Even as I became more religious because I was still convinced any mixing of religion and state would corrupt them both.

Though I was increasingly opposed to the liberal agenda, I was still very much in favor of compromise.

I advocated LGBT rights in earlier times, for example, but had shifted to more neutral ground. I believed in a parallel compromise very much aligned with the “live and let live” philosophy I’d long endorsed.

Gays could support Muslim civil rights and we (Muslims) could support gay civil rights. Neither side had to offer the other a moral seal of approval. We just needed to “make space” for one another, and I thought that could work.

That uneasy compromise lasted until the gay tidal wave hit, and I found myself drowning in GAY! GAY!! GAY!!!!! themes day and night and started to wonder why this had become the single most important cause in American society…perhaps now tied with TRANS! TRANS!! TRANS!!!

Revisiting Harry’s Place

That sort of compromise does work, actually. The number of times I’ve been rude or critical of a gay person in real life stands at precisely zero! I’m always polite and kind and try to be that way to everyone.

But I no longer agree with the gay agenda. Just as I don’t agree with feminism or the trans agenda. So my alliances with liberals have become increasingly strained.

Meanwhile, over at Harry’s Place, I completely changed my tactics and challenged them on another front.

I said they were the mirror image of those they oppose and specifically compared some of their talking points to those of Sayyid Qutb. I challenged them on some of their contradictions by applying to their arguments the exact same standards they applied to others, only from the opposite viewpoint.

A few of them grudgingly admitted they had trouble countering, though they felt they could think it over and slap me down in the next round. Except before that happened they denounced me as an “Islamist” and we parted ways for good.

Strange Bedfellows

I found myself aligning more and more with conservatives, many of them Christians and Jews. But these relationships are sometimes strained.

In the case of Jews because of my rabid anti-Zionism, as well as their insularity and somewhat unpredictable views.

I find far more common ground with Christians but the conservative ones often see Islam as their arch enemy. I haven’t found very many who are willing to join forces, even as we find ourselves increasingly under siege.

If we frame the conservative right as Trump supporters, then it’s obvious why most Muslims are not going to feel at home with them.

Bite Your Tongue, Keep the Peace

Many Muslims find they’re most comfortable with liberals, even if they are not in lockstep agreement with all of their ideals. Such alliances are really easy for liberal Muslims who are onboard with all or most of the liberal secular agenda.

Other Muslims are more conservative but eager to compromise. Biting your tongue can go a long way toward keeping the peace. And who needs to rail against gays and transgender people anyway? Live and let live.

Problems arise when you get tired of biting your tongue. When your true beliefs are too far out of alignment and you know the only way to make your allies happy is to compromise your deen.

I became unwilling to say things I didn’t mean. Meanwhile, the liberal agenda got a lot more aggressive and weirder by the day.

Up Close and Personal

If I had a donut for every trans or gay or pansexual teenager I’ve met over the last few years, I’d need a forklift to get off the couch. No one is normal anymore it seems. Not by traditional standards.

I caught two 14-year-old boys watching an amateur striptease on their phone. I asked the boy holding the phone what his mother would think of that, and he said she is the one who sent it to him! His mother, it seems, identifies as bisexual and lives with his dad but is not married to him and both parents have “significant others” on the side.

Wow. Okay. And what’s really crazy is that isn’t even particularly weird. Not in this context.

I had another boy who was 16 who stepfather was sending him texts at 2 am, accusing him of stealing his mother’s dildo. He said it was not him but his bisexual brother who was framing him. Both the mother and the stepfather have AIDS and live in a doublewide trailer with 14 cats.

His dad had gone to jail for molesting his sister, and his mother had made ends meet as a stripper. She found out she was HIV+ when she was pregnant, and they took preventative measures so she did not transmit the virus to her son (thank God).

I’m not making this up. Story after story after story of total insanity. When I tell people this, they say I must live in the ghetto.

Denial

No, I don’t live in the ghetto. And if this sort of thing was ever confined to the ghetto, it isn’t anymore. When complete insanity broke out in my life, I was living in an upscale suburb.

In a newly built house with five bedrooms, three and a half baths, and two kitchens. Hardly the ghetto!

How can anyone think the craziness is confined to any particular space when it’s all over popular media? I hardly see a TV show or movie that isn’t filled with such themes.

Is the Big Bang Theory a mainstream show? Because on that show they featured a red-headed scientist with a Ph.D. who was also a nymphomaniac. She had sex with most of the main characters on the show, and on at least one occasion, two at a time.

That wasn’t a show about that ghetto nor was it aimed at a ghetto audience. It’s beamed into living rooms all across the land with hardly a peep of protest.

Compare that to the events of 1956 when Elvis Presley gyrated his hips on national television. Parents and pundits were outraged and the incident caused such a scandal, even the FBI weighed in!

What a drastic change, and not for the better. Not as far as I’m concerned.

Andy’s Story

I’m going to call this person Andy though that’s not his real name. I’ve known him since he was about 7 years old because he used to be involved in drama. I live near the playhouse and used to go and watch the kids and sometimes help with little things here and there.

Andy was a cute, smart, very sweet kid. I lost touch with him for several years, but some of the other kids I know caught up with him one day a the local coffee shop where he informed them he’d had his testicles removed.

He said it was part of his transition to becoming a woman, and he was also on hormone therapy. He had grown breasts and no longer had testicles but still had his penis and was “learning to orgasm differently.”

When I heard this news, I was shocked. I cried. This bothered me for days. This boy is not even 18 years old.

I asked what his parents thought of this and the boys said they do not approve. They tried to send him to Christian counseling and refused to pay for his surgery. But he got a settlement after being bitten by a dog and used it to fund the testicle removal procedure himself.

Undermining Parents

I said how can they do that over the objection of the parent if he’s a minor and they said Andy threatened them with suicide.

I don’t know if everything they told me is true as I heard it all second hand. But I have met Andy, who is over six feet tall. He now has girlish features (sort of) with breasts and a penis.

To me, he has mutilated himself and the doctor who performed this surgery should be thrown prison, along with the “transgender” advocates who are spreading this confusion.

I am convinced in my heart of hearts that this is wrong and something Andy will one day regret.

Going against the wishes of parents and manipulating them with threats of self-harm or aggression is all too common now. The Bible says you should honor your mother and father, but the Satanists say you don’t have to honor anyone and we can see the results.

Countless Stories

I could go on and on and on with these stories. Stories of pansexuals and transexuals and even an otherkin here and there. Of “cutting” and attempted suicide and drug overdoses. Of depression, confusion, and mental illness.

I see it all day every day and in case you think I’m self-selecting, my cousin sees it too. She is teaching in an affluent suburb about an hour away and she could tell you even more stories than I can.

America is a land of broken people from broken families. How many mass shootings have we had this year? Drug overdoses? Cases of sexually transmitted disease?

How much suffering is enough to wake people up?

Define Hate

When I criticize the current state of American society, people often accuse of me of “hate,” “bigotry” and “intolerance.” Sometimes they say I’m ignorant or ill-informed because they simply can’t believe there is anyone who disagrees with the current social agenda in the West.

I’m the one who has taken in countless kids. I’ve let them stay in my home, and I’ve cooked for them and listened to their stories. How many of my critics have done the same?

I don’t think subjecting people to this society constitutes “love” or sincere concern. In fact, I think it’s criminal. I think so not because I’m a hate-filled religious bigot but because I see the results. People are suffering and the whole society is in denial.

Bewitched

The Christians often remind us that Satan is a subtle deceiver. He doesn’t come to us with big red horns and a pitchfork in hand. He seduces us with lies and puts us under his spell.

Check out a concert sometime where the performer gets the whole audience to put up devil horns and chant, “Hail Satan!” Watch an interview where performers admit to selling their soul to Satan or explain how they are possessed by demons who when they perform.

They say these things openly and the people seem blind deaf and dumb. If you ask them why these performers say these things, you’re likely to find they watched them and yet did not even register what they said or did.

This is why I think the zombie genre is so popular these days. People recognize themselves!

Traditional Moral Values

When I was young, I disliked Christianity. If someone had eradicated religion, I would have applauded and thought they’d made the world a better place.

It was only after I found Islam that I gained an appreciation of Christianity and was grateful to my parents for taking me to church. Islam provided a lens through which I could finally appreciate the moral and deeply spiritual lessons the Bible conveys.

I’ve come to see the value in traditional morals, and to understand why every major religion has common motifs. Whether you believe the source is God or human beings, there is a reason people wrote all of this down and passed it from generation to generation.

Because this is what works. Moral values make a sustainable society where the greatest number of people enjoy harmony, peace, and tranquility. When you remove those moral constraints, chaos ensues and everyone pays the price.

I believe this because history is a witness and contemporary society is further confirmation.

Liberal Assumptions

Most liberals assume people will agree with them if given half a chance. I admit they have developed a very compelling framework, which promises a place for everyone. Live and let live, and can’t we all just get along?

If you don’t agree with liberals, you probably are just not well informed. Because if you were informed, then you would agree unless there’s something wrong with you. Maybe you’re brainwashed by religion, or your just plain mean.

These assumptions cause problems when liberals champion democracy for other countries. They assume “self-determination” means, if given half a chance, any country will voluntarily make itself over in their image.

What happens when Muslims reject their ideas and voluntarily choose Islam instead? They seem at a loss. This is not supposed to happen and they are not sure what to do.

The same thing happens on the domestic front. How can anyone oppose feminism? Or not buy into the current homosexual narrative? It’s simply unfathomable, and should probably be chalked up to hate and ignorance.

Except there are people like me who are not ignorant and who don’t hate anyone. What I hate is misguidance and suffering, and that is what I see.

Conclusion

I plan to keep writing about why Muslims need to restore the Khilafah and I’m sure some people are going to find my ideas offensive. That’s okay because I probably find their ideas offensive too.

Some liberals can rail against Islam and how it’s supposedly primitive and barbaric. They denounce me as a fundamentalist, a jihadi, or perhaps even a terrorist. That’s okay as you’re entitled to your opinion.

Don’t be surprised when I describe the West as a cesspool of social decay and moral bankruptcy. Criticism cuts both ways.

I do believe most of us are trying to make the world a better place. We just disagree on the best approach, and that is why I’m calling for an amicable divorce.

Westerners have their way and we have ours. That’s why we need to restore the Khilafah. Sooner rather than later.

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Floki
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Floki

Well thought out narrative of your transformation. *applause*