Progressives’ Odd Collection of Identity Politics


We should take a moment to observe the Left’s parade of identity groups and ponder the ideology that keeps it all together.  A week and a half ago, the Providence State House rallies featured vulgar language at events that, across the nation, featured explicit posters and outfits depicting female genitalia.  This week, being related to immigration and the Muslim-identity-group branch of progressivism, the rally had a decidedly different feel.

Steve Ahlquist — known by many as the atheist uncle of the Cranston student who successfully erased her school’s theological heritage — has posted videos of speeches from the latest rally, at which a parade of Rhode Island Democrat politicians spoke.  Skimming through the non-politician speakers, one finds a variety of activists, and an investigation of each might raise some interesting points as to the nature of the movement’s message.

But for the moment, what caught my eye was the commentary of Mufti Ikram Ul Haq.  He was speaking on behalf of Rhode Island’s Muslim Chaplains and is the founder and director of the Fatwa Center of America, an online resource for Muslims seeking answers to questions about how to apply their faith to daily life.

My purpose, here, isn’t to disparage the mufti.  As a devout Catholic, reading through his answers to readers questions, I can see his sincere effort to answer difficult questions in light of a faith that coheres because it is grounded in tradition and scripture.  Rather, what strikes me is that Ahlquist — who is constantly on the watch for sins against modernism among Christians, particularly Catholics — would surely be uncomfortable with Islam if it weren’t an approved identity group of the Left.

For example, what do Ahlquist and his fellow progressive humanists — who invest resources in offending Christians during Christmas — think about the moderate Islamic stance that, while nobody has authority to forcibly prevent a woman from praying at the Masjid (i.e., mosque), she’d be better off praying at home?  What does Ahlquist think about the suggestion that Muslim women should try not to travel more than 48 miles unaccompanied, except out of necessity; is that too many miles or too few in the progressive view?

To those women who participated in the previous week’s TMI celebration of their body parts and menstrual cycles: What’s your take on the proscription against women touching their holy book with bare hands during that time of month… even on an iPad if they don’t use styluses?  And what about the insistence that homosexuality is a “heinous crime” resulting from “how a child is raised or how he grows up” as part of an ongoing affront to Allah, who in history “destroyed them later on account of this and many other sins that were induged in [sic].”

Again, I’m not going after Ul Haq with these links.  I think he and I could have very sincere and edifying conversations, in which I would take the more liberal position.

But that’s what’s so weird.  What organizing principle leads the likes of Ahlquist to embrace Muslims while taking such relish in discomfiting traditionalist Christians who are objectively closer to his worldview?  Is it unthinking adherence to the nigh-upon-contractual membership list of the Left or a reaction to the superficial marker of skin color or simply oikophobia?

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Justin, I don’t think “freedom of religion” is the bedrock we think it is. Look at the history of what we did to Mormons, the only “american religion”. Consider Waco where we sent in tanks to rout the Branch Davidians. I will never forget the FBI saying “We cannot allow the Federal Government to be embarrassed like this”, just before they sent in the tanks. Why didn’t they turnoff the power and water. How much respect do Voodoo practitioners receive? It all seems to depend on what day it is. We sent in federal troops to break up Moron “cohabitors”, we now seem accepting of Muslim “plural marriage”.

  • Raymond Carter

    Don’t know why you’re puzzled. This is what the left has been doing for a century-trying to Destroy White Christendom.

  • Mike678

    It takes courage to stand against evil–especially evil that hits back. Much safer to protest against civilized people that obey the law. Thus the term “snowflakes.”