British Left Begins to See the Light . . .
The Left has been very conspicuously silent about Islamism for many years now, but some Leftists appear to be waking up to the danger, now that the Islamic State has made Islamism's genocidal, misogynistic, theocratic imperialism all but impossible to ignore. Still, one can't but be surprised to hear this critique from the Left.
Nick Cohen's headline in The Spectator says it all: "Solidarity for the Kurds from - er - the British left. This is is not a misprint" (November 1, 2014).
Cohen then quotes Gary Kent - of the Labour Friends of Iraq - who simply admits:
The Labour movement has been behind the curve in getting behind the Kurds and our grassroots plea for practical action now aims to galvanise solidarity to avert further genocide and horrific crimes against women by Isis.The Labour Friends of Iraq then get down to nitty-gritty:
We, non-Kurdish members of the British Labour Party and Trade Unions, are calling for an urgent and significant increase in the support from Britain and other countries to the people defending the world against the onslaught of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). The Kurds of Kobani, Rojava and the Kurdistan Region, including Yezidis, Christians and other minorities, are on the front line of a global battle against the vilest fascism of our age. We must help them, we must call on the world to help them, and this help must be given by whatever means necessary. The Labour movement is an internationalist movement which understands deeply the plight of those who suffer under tyranny. We must now stand united in our efforts to secure changes to current UK government policy in this conflict.Maybe the British Left will also learn to look at the Islamists at home in Britain and realize that critics of radical Islam are not suffering from some illness called "Islamophobia." If the Left now is going to support the fight against Islamism abroad, they'll also need to take the fight to the homefront. Too often, the Muslim leaders they talk to and listen to are not genuine moderates, but Islamists posing as moderates. The Left needs to listen to what these 'moderates' say in their own languages, for they often turn out to immoderates . . .
The images of grandmothers and grandfathers fighting, and often dying, alongside their younger families is something almost impossible for us in Britain to comprehend. The tales of beheadings, the abandoned dead bodies of women with their breasts cut off, men with their eyes gouged out, sex slavery, genocides and mass executions, and reports of the burning skin of possible acid attacks are too horrific for the British Left to give a half hearted response, or worse.
We in Britain are privileged to live in a peaceful, liberal, secular and democratic society, and we must never forgot that such a society had to be fought for, won and defended. It did not happen through some passive progressive evolution, but was won and preserved through progressive politics, through agitation, and most recently through war against Nazism. Now, a powerful horror is being unleashed into the world by ISIS, who believe they are carrying out divine work. They will not give up, they will not stop. They have to be taken on, and defeated, and this has to be done intellectually, spiritually, and practically. The Labour Party does not turn away from those in need. We help. And we must do so with great urgency now.