This week, the far-left Center for American Progress’ report on the so-called “‘Islamophobia’ industry” was well-received by one of its target audiences, the foreign Islamist press. Both Al Jazeera and Iranian state-sponsored Press TV did segments on it, and the usual echo-chamber of radical left, anti-Israel, and Muslim Brotherhood-sympathetic blogs and websites gushed predictably.
In a response published yesterday at Pajamas Media, I noted that the far-left had become a kind of “Shariah Defense Lobby“– a lavishly-funded enterprise of propagandists engaged in defending the reputation of Shariah, or Islamic law, from all criticism. Unlike medieval fanatics in search of heretics or blasphemers, though, these ‘high priests’ are illiterate in their own language; they’re so uninterested in the details of what Shariah is, and so unable to engage seriously, they’re left to flail away, denouncing everyone in sight.
In the piece, I point out that these defenders of Shariah are, despite the single-mindedness with which they carry out their mission, in a losing battle with reality and American public perceptions. In the decade since 9/11, Americans have come to learn more about Shariah than they’d ever thought they would, and they don’t like what they see: a constantly-roiled ‘Arab Street,’ and streams of intimidation, killing, and calls for Islamic revolution emanating from mainstream Muslim pulpits in the Middle East. Big Peace readers see the daily onslaught of jihad and its accompanying rhetoric through translations of Arab media. While the mainstream press avoids the topic, Americans watch millions in Egypt (a former US ally) clamoring for a jihad that is not “striving to become a better person,” or whatever smooth-talking propagandists of far-left or Islamist stripes beg them to believe it is. If anything, watching the events of the “Arab Spring” play out only solidifies the analysis of the experts the far-left labels “Islamophobes.”
Rather than look for the predictable “root causes” of economics, xenophobia, conspiracy, and the like that are catnip to the far left and the academy, the Center for American Progress and their fellow travelers in the “Shariah Defense Lobby” could find a more accurate reason for Americans’ increasing concern with Shariah: They could turn on the TV news.