As we look around the world at the countries that practice Islam as a state religion, it is almost incomprehensible that the left should defend Islam so fervently. We don't have to look to the radicals in the Taliban or Hamas to see issues that most Americans would question. Sharia Law is practiced by most Islamic centric countries, and it is in almost direct opposition to the principles on which America was established and in direct contrast to the agenda of the left in America. What is important to realize is that Sharia Law isn't an outlier, practiced by radicals like al-Qaeda, but actually the mainstream core of jurisprudence in the Islamic world.
The application of Sharia Law is incomprehensible to most Americans used to Western common law. For example, late last year, the Saudi equivalent of the Supreme Court refused to grant a divorce to an eight-year-old who was essentially sold to her fifty-year-old husband by her father. Child brides are prevalent and legal in Muslim countries governed by Sharia law. In another example, just recently, a case of a couple who were stoned to death for having sexual relations outside marriage made the news from Afghanistan, and a thirteen-year-old was stoned to death for being raped and ending up pregnant. When the leader of Iran says that there are no homosexuals in Iran at a Columbia university speech, he is saying the bare truth, as Iran frequently executes homosexuals since homosexuality is a capital crime under Sharia Law. In addition, under Sharia law, killings of children or wives for embarrassing the "honor" of a family are often tolerated and considered excusable. In Saudi Arabia, it is even taught to children that killing adulterers is a good thing. Finally, even in moderate Islamic countries, women are second- or third-class citizens, being denied education, prevented from driving, holding a job, and even dressing themselves as they wish.
Without even delving into the actions of violent radicals, in one paragraph, we have illustrated any number of things that would be outright crimes in the USA and would seem to go directly against the agenda of the left. Apparently gay rights, women's equality, protection of children, human trafficking, and murder or domestic violence are not important to the left so long as the perpetrator of the incident is of the religion of Islam.
The left's support for the Ground Zero mosque in New York is perplexing, as it would seem to go against many of their stated political goals. However, the support for the mosque is only one of many incidents that form a pattern of political and moral support for Islam. In fact, the Obama administration has made a number of conciliatory gestures to Islamic countries, even going so far as apologize to Islam and preach American tolerance of Islam in Cairo, Egypt. Combined with the removal of the words "terrorism" and "Islamic radicalism" from State and Justice Departments language, the pattern is unambiguous. Finally, the left has shown that it is perfectly willing to deride those who question the practices of Islam and Sharia law as "Islamophobes" while ignoring obvious intolerance from the practitioners of Islam. The fact that the critics of Islam get censored and threatened with death for speaking out doesn't seem to bother the left's interpretation of the First Amendment in the way that a death threat from a Catholic to atheist critics would.
The alliance between the left and Islam is also a study in irony. If either of the two groups were to achieve all of its aims, the other group would be wiped out. Let's say, hypothetically, that the left is able to convert the whole world to a secular socialist state. In such a world, there would be no room for discrimination of gays or slavery of woman, not to mention any room for a fundamentalist religion at all. On the other hand, if the Islamic radicals were ever to establish their Caliphate, the left would be plowed under with all of the rest of the non-believers, the homosexuals would be executed on discovery, the women who dared practice feminine independence in selection of their intimate partners would be stoned to death, and in general they would be subjugated to be little more than property.
When searching for the reason why these two unlikely groups might get together, we find that the only thing that they share in common is a deep-seated belief that America is the cause of most of the problems throughout the world. Even moderate Islamic countries have long pressed the worldview that despite the fact that the world's energy supply has come from the Middle East for sixty years, that it is America that is the reason for abject poverty in most of the Middle East. Neither the American left nor the Islamic countries even consider that it could be the dictators sitting on golden toilets and oppressing their people with militant force and autocratic control of the media that might be the problem. America is, to many countries in the Islamic world, at best infidels and at worst the great Satan. In either case, the Koran mandates violence against us in many suras; those suras are no more open to interpretation than are any other part of the Koran, as the Koran is the exact word of God to Muslims. Interpretation is not only impossible; it is blasphemous to Muslims. The violent Islamic radicals have been very clear that their goal is to bring about a world-dominating Caliphate and convert the world to Islam and Sharia Law by force. This isn't an accusation, but something they admit to and are proud of. They occasionally latch on to various political issues to forward their agenda, but the agenda itself is driven by a deeply believed religious conviction that "there is no god but Allah" and anyone who believes otherwise is to be subjugated if possible or destroyed. The left in America proceed under the assumption that it is the "excesses" of the Western Caucasians that are the cause of strife in the world. The left has outright said that it is the "imperialism" of the USA that has caused the problems in the world today despite America not actually having an empire. The undertone message is that if it weren't for us, there wouldn't be any terrorism, poverty, war, disease, or strife. Of course, that is preposterous. Only a person with little education in the way the rest of the world actually lives would put forth such incredible proposals. In a recent talk at the Brookings Institution, Hillary Clinton actually opined that America should be more like Brazil, a statement that could be uttered only by someone who hasn't seen the miles and miles of slums that make the poor in America look like millionaires. Still, even the educated and well-traveled left fail to recognize the excellence of America. The left often attribute to American soldiers the traits of third-world dictators' armies without blinking an eye. Finally, the left often accuse America of being imperialistic even though America has left after rebuilding every country that has attacked it. However, the problem that many Americans not on the hard left have with the moderate Islamic countries has nothing to do with racism, as Islam is a political and religious ideology, not a race. Instead, the disagreements center around the Islamic countries' continued support of brutality inherent in Sharia Law, their refusal to condemn and expel violent extremists in their midst, and their steadfast devotion to demonizing the Western world for all of their domestic woes. Tolerance, in the American psyche, is not a one-way street, but must be reciprocated by the Islamic people tolerating the American culture. When the Muslims wish to build a mosque in a spot designed to twist a knife in America's guts, named The Cordoba House -- historically symbolic of Muslim conquest -- Americans don't see tolerance of their views.
Most fair-minded Americans have no problem with people who wish to practice their religion. In addition, most fair-minded Americans know of the difficult pasts of Christianity and Judaism and would demand of Islam what has been demanded of other religions. Americans don't tolerate inquisitions anymore than they do Sharia courts. Americans realize that religious freedom is inherent in the melting pot that is America, but they also understand that all religions must exist under an umbrella of mutual respect and within the boundaries of common law. Americans would no more accept honor killings than they would accept a Catholic man killing atheists for the sake of his religion. The freedom of religion, in the end, is not a carte blanche to do whatever you wish and then yell "first amendment," but rather a constraint to prevent the government from imposing a single religion, as Islamic governments do.
The Islamic radicals are happy to use their influence with the left to forward their agenda, but when are fair-minded people who lean politically left going to realize that their allies are not allies at all -- that they are being used to forward an agenda in direct contrast to their own?