Classroom at the University of Lyon with markings on wall reading

The debate around Islamo-leftism ignites in France

The debate around rising Islamo-leftism in France gives the impression of gigantic amateurism, while testimonies accumulate in the press on the growing racial divide happening in universities in the country. Germany will not spared either.

Published: February 27, 2021, 9:44 am

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    Are these debates around the concept of Islamo-leftism an indication of a new political divide? In the face of Islamo-leftism, there are three types of responses: those who are accomplices, those who want to fight against it and those who are in denial. In France, the latter are all supporters of President Macron’s LREM party.

    Thus, LREM members ignore people like the Islamo-leftist Fatima Khemilat, a PhD student in Political Sciences and lecturer at the University of Paris Est Créteil. Khemilat is conducting research on the relationship between Muslim worship and French public institutions and she poses as one of the “specialists of Islam in France”.

    Her work on issues of gender, race and sexuality, has a “decolonial and intersectional perspective” and her lectures are exclusively reserved for non-white women.

    The term Islamo-leftism describes the attitude of mainly in the new Ecologist and old leftist camp of the political spectrum. It sees Muslim immigrants as the substitute proletariat. But the fact is that it has hardly anything to do with reality in Islamic countries since it ignores the potential for Islamic violence and separatism witnessed daily in France. Islamo-leftists view the world with political expediency regardless of the consequences.

    The writer Michel Houellebecq aptly noted in his novel “Submission” how the left-wing Islamist ideology is “the desperate attempt by the last, clinically dead and already foul-smelling Marxists to get out of the bins of history by clinging to the rising forces of Islam”. Old left-wing revolutionaries may have ended their march through the institutions because they are largely of retirement age. But their spirit has remained and is being resurrected in studies on genderism, race and sexual diversity funded by the European Union.

    The debate has been causing a stir since the Minister for Higher Education, Frederique Vidal, announced in an interview that a study should be carried out on left-wing Islamism at French universities in order to examine whether tax money is being wasted on this ideology.

    More than 600 professors and lecturers responded angrily that Vidal had put freedom of research in danger. Quite the opposite is true: Sociologist Bernard Rougier, who became famous in France over a year ago with his study on “The Conquered Territories of Islam”, has since receives death threats, while orientalist Gilles Kepel, who has drawn attention to the dangers of Islam in France, is now one of many researchers and public figures requiring police protection.

    Kepel was the first researcher to notice the unholy fraternization between the left and Islam as a new political and totalitarian trend. He has argued that leftists remain blind to the totalitarian dangers represented in the ideology of their new allies.

    The left view the Muslims as a new proletariat, simply designating the Muslim community “as an abstract and uniform category” and “disregard their social, cultural or even religious differentiations as they exist in every human community” according to Kepel.

    The slogans of the Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood and jihadists is seen as a rebellion against the capitalist system. In his latest book, “The Prophet and the Pandemic”, he compared Islamism with the virus that spreads via aerosols. Jihad is in the air, so to speak, since the new generation of Islamists no longer need any instructions on how to go forward. The promise of salvation for the warriors of Allah, seems to be enough.

    Although the debate does not yet have a name in Germany, the federal state of Berlin has set up an “Expert Commission on Anti-Muslim Racism” to push back against critics of the alliance between Islam and the left. The Senate Department for Justice and Anti-Discrimination announced on Friday that it consisted of “civil society members” and should “deal intensively with anti-Muslim racism as a specific form of racism”.

    The committee is coordinated by the head of the state anti-discrimination agency, Eren Ünsal. The responsible Senator Dirk Behrendt (Greens) justified the appointment of the commission that it was unbearable “when women in Berlin have their headscarves torn off or even small children are attacked”. The country must take a closer look at anti-Muslim racism, he argued.

    The aim of the committee is to “develop a theoretical basis for the development of prevention and empowerment strategies”. Its members include Yasemin Shooman from the German Center for Integration and Migration Research, Sanem Kleff from the initiative “School without Racism – School with Courage” and two members of the Islam forum of the integration commissioner of the state of Berlin.

    But curiously Berlin keeps making headlines because of radical Islamic or Islamist incidents, not attacks on Muslims. In the fall, an 11-year-old Muslim student threatened to behead a teacher. A week earlier, the same student had attracted attention with violence when, after the minute’s silence for the teacher Samuel Paty, who had been murdered by a Muslim, he declared that those who had insulted the prophet Mohammed, should be killed.

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