Friday March 23, 2018
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Left has failed to confront Islamism


Tarek Fatah

As the world struggles to understand and cope with the rise of pan-Islamism and international jihadi terrorism within western countries, one thing is becoming increasingly clear.

The success of the Islamists is partly due to what I believe is a grand betrayal of civil society by the political left in the western democracies.

Instead of leading the fight against the fanatics’ religious obscurantism, they have embraced it.

The refusal of social democrats, liberals and leftists to stand up to Islamofascism in the democracies of Europe, North America, India and South Africa, has also had an unintended consequence.

It has paved the way for an anti-immigrant backlash against all non-whites, in which the left are portrayed as apologists for religious fanaticism.

An unnecessary rise of xenophobia that could have been avoided, had the left led the struggle against Islamofascism, is now entrenched.

Imagine if Labour in the UK, Democrats in the U.S., the Congress and CPM in India, socialists in France and the left in Canada had not catered to Islamists, but instead drawn a line in the sand on such issues as gender apartheid.

Think how different things would be today.

Instead we’ve had more than a decade of appeasement.

Last week I sat down with a few surviving friends on the left from the 1960s, who are fortunately in Canada now.

“What is wrong with the left today?” we asked ourselves.

Back in 1965, fresh into college, I was first exposed to the phenomenon of pan-Islamism when India and Pakistan went to war.

Millions marched chanting, “Allah O Akbar”, “Death to Hindus”, “Islam Zindabad” (Long live Islam) as we followed the mobs burning American and Indian flags and, for some reason that escapes me now, attacking the local offices of KLM.

In the following weeks I would meet the first influential leftists in my life.

They were senior students at my college who distributed leaflets saying “beware of religious fanaticism” and, “We want peace, not war”.

I was flabbergasted at the thought a Muslim would not want to wage jihad against Islam’s enemies and engaged in a heated debate with a med student.

What followed was weeks of missed classes, late-night debates under dim streetlights and the opening of a new world to me ­— that of politics.

Religion was not the answer, science and reason were, these senior students convinced me.

I read Bertrand Russell’s Why I am Not a Christian, Maxim Gorky’s The Mother and John Reed’s Ten Days that Shook the World.

I read Lenin, including one of his first works, Draft Theses on National and Colonial Questions, which he had presented to the second Congress of the Communist International — the Comintern.

This is what Lenin said about what he labelled as states, “in which feudal or patriarchal relations predominate.”

Leftists who today excuse, defend, and even support the Islamists should pay attention.

“It is particularly important to bear in mind: The need for a struggle against the clergy and other influential reactionary and medieval elements in backward countries; … the need to combat Pan-Islamism and similar trends, which strive to combine the liberation movement against European and American imperialism with an attempt to strengthen the positions of the khans, landowners, mullahs, etc.”

I detest what communism ended up doing, but Lenin’s wisdom on this point left an imprint on this Muslim’s mind forever.

The left’s betrayal will not be forgotten.

Tarek Fatah is a leading voice of free speech. Based out of Canada, Tarek is an Indian Muslim born in Pakistan.

This article has been reproduced from his website.

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Facebook, Twitter Urged to Do More to Police Hate on Sites

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Twitter starts the initiative #BloodMatters. VOA

Tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google are taking steps to police terrorists and hate groups on their sites, but more work needs to be done, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Tuesday.

The organization released its annual digital terrorism and hate report card and gave a B-plus to Facebook, a B-minus to Twitter and a C-plus to Google.

Facebook spokeswoman Christine Chen said the company had no comment on the report. Representatives for Google and Twitter did not immediately return emails seeking comment.

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Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said Facebook in particular built “a recognition that bad folks might try to use their platform” as its business model. “There is plenty of material they haven’t dealt with to our satisfaction, but overall, especially in terms of hate, there’s zero tolerance,” Cooper said at a New York City news conference.

Rick Eaton, a senior researcher at the Wiesenthal Center, said hateful and violent posts on Instagram, which is part of Facebook, are quickly removed, but not before they can be widely shared.

He pointed to Instagram posts threatening terror attacks at the upcoming World Cup in Moscow. Another post promoted suicide attacks with the message, “You only die once. Why not make it martyrdom.”

Cooper said Twitter used to merit an F rating before it started cracking down on Islamic State tweets in 2016. He said the move came after testimony before a congressional committee revealed that “ISIS was delivering 200,000 tweets a day.”

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This photo shows Facebook launched on an iPhone, in North Andover, Mass., June 19, 2017. VOA

Cooper and Eaton said that as the big tech companies have gotten more aggressive in shutting down accounts that promote terrorism, racism and anti-Semitism, promoters of terrorism and hate have migrated to other sites such as, a Facebook lookalike that’s based in Russia.

There also are “alt-tech” sites like GoyFundMe, an alternative to GoFundMe, and BitChute, an alternative to Google-owned YouTube, Cooper said.

“If there’s an existing company that will give them a platform without looking too much at the content, they’ll use it,” he said. “But if not, they are attracted to those platforms that have basically no rules.”

The Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, hate, and terrorism. (VOA)