Last month, when Marine Le Pen refused to put on a headscarf for a meeting with Lebanon’s “Grand Mufti,” a friend of mine, whom I’ll call Dave, commended her for it on Facebook. Dave, as it happens, is a Manhattan liberal who voted for Hillary Clinton, despises Donald Trump, and thinks Le Pen is a fascist. But he’s also a gay man who’s very clear-eyed about the danger of Islam, especially to gay people, and who is angry at the left, both in the U.S. and Europe, for appeasing the Religion of Peace. And so he gave Le Pen a thumbs-up for her gutsy action.
Since Dave’s own friends list consists almost exclusively of other big-city liberal types, he was immediately savaged for his post on Le Pen. One of them wrote that just because Muslim women decide to cover their hair or body doesn’t mean they’re oppressed, and added that Le Pen, by refusing to wear a headscarf, wasn’t standing up for women but simply “trying to spread hate” towards Islam. Another of Dave’s friends agreed: Le Pen “didn’t behave properly.” So did another: “This woman is not a feminist, she is a fa[s]cist.” Several more comments were along the same lines. Many of Dave’s friends were livid at him for even daring to compliment Le Pen and criticize Islam.
In response to his friends’ complaints, Dave tried to play the gay-rights card, explaining to them that if they accepted the Muslim rule that women need to don a veil to meet a mufti or enter a mosque, they also had to accept the Muslim requirement that gay people – people such as himself – be stoned to death. Plainly, Dave expected that this argument would win the day with his oh-so-liberal, oh-so-gay-friendly friends. But it didn’t. On the contrary, their responses made it clear that they’d fully accepted the current progressive pecking order among officially recognized oppressed groups: gays (especially affluent white gay American males such as Dave) are at the bottom of the ladder; Muslims are at the very top. Which means that when gays criticize Islam, a decent progressive is supposed to scream “Islamophobe”; but when Muslims drop gays to their deaths off the roofs of buildings, one is expected to look away and change the topic.
Of course, plenty of gays don’t share Dave’s critical attitude toward Islam. They’ve bought into the idea that they and Muslims are fellow members of the oppression brigade. Either they’re unaware that sharia law prescribes execution for gays and that a large majority of Western Muslims are totally okay with that, or they’ve allowed themselves to be convinced that Muslims today don’t care any more about Islamic law than most Christians or Jews do about Leviticus. Or, even more worrisome, they’ve worked out some Orwellian way of knowing the truth while at the same time not knowing it. So it is that we end up seeing grotesquely absurd pictures of gay people waving banners that decry Islamophobia or that declare gay solidarity with Palestine.
Meanwhile news stories mount up that challenge this widespread, fatuous self-delusion. Recently, during a course in “Middle Eastern Humanities” at Florida’s Rollins College, a Muslim student stated a truth about Islam out loud: according to sharia, he explained, gays and adulterers should be punished by beheading, and as a good Muslim he apparently had no problem with that. After the class was over, another student in the class, a Christian named Marshall Polston, expressed his concerns to the course professor, Areej Zufair, about the Muslim student’s statement. The result? Polston was summoned to the office of the dean of safety and informed that he’d been suspended. Perhaps because his case drew nationwide attention, his suspension was later revoked – but of course it should never have happened in the first place.
The other day, Michael Hurd, a Delaware psychologist and author, reported on yet another incident in which ISIS threw “a young man to his death from a rooftop and pelted him with rocks after discovering he was gay.” This happened in Mosul, in front of an enthusiastic crowd that eagerly took part in the stoning. Hurd expressed his continuing astonishment at the failure of such events to move those in America who claim to support gay rights (the same people who, I might add, are capable of getting apoplectic over the failure of Christian bakers to supply a cake for a same-sex wedding). Hurd wrote:
Crimes committed by Muslims against gays are largely (if not totally) ignored by the political left and the gay rights movement. Neither Madonna nor Meryl Streep will stand before mass audiences and sob over the brutal execution of gays by Muslims in Mosul, because this assaults their ideological narrative of political correctness. And that ideological narrative is what matters most to them, not the gays or others they claim to love. In fact, you’re labeled a hater and extremist if you even call attention to these events…
Indeed. The point, wrote Hurd, is clear: according to contemporary progressive ideology, Muslims are higher on the victim scale than gays. Period. Actual events don’t enter into this calculus. Gay rights only matter when the offenders against those rights are people even lower on the totem pole than gays – for example, the aforementioned Christian bakers. When gays are butchered by Muslims, the only proper progressive response is silence.
Consider this: in March, pop singer Katy Perry accepted an award from the Human Rights Campaign, a self-identified gay-rights group that is probably better described as an arm of the Democratic Party establishment. In her acceptance speech, Perry recounted her struggle to shake off her childhood indoctrination in Christian hostility toward gays. “When I was growing up,” she said, “homosexuality was synonymous with the word abomination.” Now, Perry affirmed, she was long past that primitive mentality, and was a strong opponent of discrimination, “whether it be [against] the LGBTQ community, or [our] Latino brothers and sisters, or the millions of Muslims in this country.” Should one laugh or cry?