The Spine

'the Nation's Proud Tradition


I know that elements in the American left are sympathetic to Muslim
hardliners. It's just another expression of the hostility to American
power that made I.F. Stone a capo for Stalinism, Norman Mailer an apologist
for Castro, Jane Fonda a devotee of the North Vietnamese, Andrew Young a
champion of Robert Mugabe, Noam Chomsky a paladin for Pol Pot, the students
of John K. Fairbank enthusiasts for Mao, Richard Falk a voice for the
Ayatollah Khomeini, and all kinds of fools cheerleaders for Yassir
Arafat. And George Soros a self-appointed emissary for Hamas.

But I didn't know that there seems to be some feeling that, among American
leftists, there is a vulnerability to Islam itself. From my point of view,
everyone to his own God or to no God at all. But still...Why would a
culture in which hostility to religious true-belief is a cornerstone of the
political faith have a soft-spot for, of all religions, the Muslim
religion? It is not, after all, the Unitarians (who, as one preacher of
the denomination said in his lapidary way at a service in the church in
Harvard Square, believe "there is at most one God"); it is not the Quakers
either, with their gentle "eldering" being a substitute for doctrine; and
it's not "liberation" Catholicism or run-away Anglicanism. It's not even
Michael Lerner's meta-eschatological formulation of Judaism: the healing of
the whole world, and nothing less, but of the Palestinians first of all.

What is my evidence of part of the left being prone to proselytizing by
Islam? I confess it's not exactly conclusive proof. But I saw in The
Nation on-line three discrete little ads:

One was a link to "How to convert to Islam." The second had a hard-line
come-on: "Science versus The Qur'an." But then the clincher: "The
harmonious relationship between science and The Qur'an." The third assumes
that The Nation has many Muslim subscribers: "Find Muslim Singles."

Either those whose ads these are are being ripped off, or they get
results. My actual guess is that The Nation's readership is still largely
children of Communists--and mostly Jewish communists--who have inherited
the "hate America" gene.

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