What Is ‘Islamo-Leftism’ and Why are People Talking About It?

Published March 14th, 2019 - 01:04 GMT
Linda Sarsour, Islam and the Left (AFP)
Linda Sarsour, Islam and the Left (AFP)

The terms “Islamo-Leftism” in English and “Islamo-gauchisme” in French, have been seen in the western media more lately. What does it mean and what does it refer to?

While it is not confirmed when and by whom was the word first used, an article published by France24 in 2017 accredited it to the French philosopher, political scientist and historian Pierre-André Taguieff who first used the term in his essay 'The New Judeophobia' in 2002 to refer to the collusion between the extreme left in the west and Islamists.

Pierre-André Taguieff has described the term as a new kind of alliance between Islamists and far leftists to describe a movement of Islamo-fascism which involves the extreme left and strong elements of anti-Zionism.

A few years later, the term was used by philosopher Pascal Bruckner in his book in 2015 to describe the alliance between the atheist far left with radical Islamists.

According to Bruckner, the Islamo-Leftism is "a desperate attempt by moldering, putrefying, brain-dead Marxists to hoist themselves out of the dustbin of history by latching onto the coattails of Islam."

The author, who does not see the problem only in France, but rather all over the west, has explained how the leftists perceive Islam's potential for fomenting societal unrest, therefore they promote tactical, temporary alliances with reactionary Islamic parties.

Meanwhile, Islamists pretend to join the left in opposing racism, neocolonialism, and globalization to achieve their true goal of imposing the "totalitarian theocracy," Bruckner suggests.

France's far-right Marine Le Pen has also used the term to refer to the biggest threat of the century which is the unhealthy alliance between “Islamists fanatics” and the left of France.

The use of the “Islamoleftism” did not stop there. It has been used lately by conservatives who use it as a tool to accuse the leftists of alliance with Islamists in opposition to western values.

For some, “Islamoleftism” is an Islamophobic term, used by those who fear an alliance between radical religious Islamists and the western left.

Recently, westerners have been seeing the “Islamoleftism” more regularly in the media. The latest example was with the US Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who has been accused of anti-Semitism.

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