By Nicholas Goroff
I don’t think too many people were honestly surprised when Sunday’s news of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando turned out to be the work of a homegrown Isis supporter. When news of the shooting first broke, I myself while expecting identification of the suspect to be that of a young, Muslim man, I reserved final judgment until the evidence and information came in. Thus when such did land on my screen, announcing that Omar Mateen, an American born Muslim of Afghan heritage, had not only carried out the killings, but called 9-11 beforehand to announce his allegiance to the Islamic State, I was less than shocked and altogether very dismayed.
My feelings of sadness however were not rooted in the identity of the shooter. In truth, the fifty now dead club goers whose only crimes were hoping to enjoy their weekends having been savagely murdered at the hands of a religious psychopath were at the center of my mind, with a peripheral annoyance making matters even worse. This of course was the eagerness with which partisans and ideologues ought to exploit the tragedy before the bodies were even cold, so as to advance their political narrative.
From the alt-right, we found the relatively quiet but altogether predictable murmurings of “remove kebab” and “ban them all,” usually accompanied by an avatar sporting a red Donald Trump “Make American Great Again” ball cap. From the other side of the regressive left, I was even less surprisingly presented with a series of mixed messages and confusion, generally oriented first at assumptions that the shooter was their mortal enemy, the straight white man, followed then by near howls of frustration as the true identity of the shooter became apparent. From there, it was one attempted pivot after another as regressives sought to lay blame on the NRA, guns, conservatives, whites and in a few instances, Donald Trump himself.
As easily dismissible as such insipid nonsense is, I found it also sadly emblematic of one of what I feel to be the two greatest challenges in respect to dealing with radical Islam. This first problem faced is quite simply that for a substantial portion of our population, the narratives of identity politics have run so deeply within their psyches that their identification of Muslims as a whole as an oppressed and marginalized people, has seemed to have created an environment where, like women with feminists, they may never be held accountable in any capacity. As though the rape and sexual assault crises of the U.K. and continental Europe were not bad enough, nor the rampant barbarism and savagery carried out by the Islamic State, it is now between the trinity of American attacks since 9/11 –those being the Boston Marathon bombing, the San Bernardino shooting and now Orlando- that the regressive progressives of the west are entirely incapable of recognizing the massive cultural compatibility problem between Islam and the west.
Blurring the lines between the people and the ideology, the regressive left has sought tirelessly to declare that they are not only one in the same, but that Muslims as people are themselves a collective whole, with any condemnation of one Islamic individual, group or act being a condemnation of all adherents to Islam. Where this but an isolated and abysmal misunderstanding of what those who are critics of Islam are saying, it would be one thing. However in addition to their skewing of every uttered syllable offered against either the doctrines of the faith or the terrible acts that some more devout believers may carry out, the shrieking tone of the social justice warrior in defense of Islam seeks to brand any who speak such as bigots.
Understandably, this has made having honest discussions about the problems presently facing the world which originate within Islam very difficult to say the least. For all their bellowing about tolerance and acceptance, even in the face of obvious trouble, this ideology which seeks to make apologies for Islamic terrorism and shift the burden of guilt onto its preferred target, western society, has managed to even infect atheism, largely making such criticisms forbidden in the course of discussions, even at skeptics’ events such as the recent Reason Rally in Washington D.C. Can it be any surprise then when the mainstream media, outside of certain right leaning outlets, each fail to fully regard Islamic terror attacks as matters of Islamism, rather than those of the aforementioned guns, mental health or political matters aimed at promoting progressive narratives?
The long and short of matters such as the politicized exploitation of the recent tragedy is that such serves as yet another front in the regressive left’s war to control dialogue. Not interested in nuance, let alone fact or objectivity, the focus of their interpretation and discussion of ongoing events such as terrorism is one that is less focused on properly examining the matters and moreso on utilizing them to advance the notions of oppression hierarchies, progressive values and political theater. It will not be until such can be recognized and rebuffed by greater numbers of the general public that any actual or genuine progress can be made by way of frank and honest discussions about issues such as radical Islam.
Should the modern regressive left have its way, attacks such as these will not only continue to occur with increasing regularity, but will be apologized for and excused on the grounds of identity politics. Though social natures dictate such will be rejected by the masses in time, such may come too late to avoid the seemingly inevitable escalation of cultural conflict we can see evolving before us. For as it is, when nuance and reason fail to win the day, it is quite often simply the adoption of a different radical orthodoxy in opposition to the old which people are likely to flock to.