Then, there is the ideological quandary in which the Left now finds itself. Militant Islam represents everything the historic Left should despise: a patriarchal feudalism which treats women like chattels and uses the full force of law against homosexuals. But Islam represents the repudiation of the West, especially of America. It also draws its strength from being able to play the ethnicity card. Not all Muslims are people of color but the majority are, making criticism of Islam vulnerable to accusations not only of Western imperialism but also racism. This is why some on the bien pensant Left have taken the view that the French satirical magazine was asking for it, because it had a track record of lampooning Islam and Muslims. That is hate speech, though not as harmful or indeed as hateful as putting a bullet through somebody’s head.
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