About 16 years ago, I sardonically averred that Left-wing intellectuals, particularly the academic variety, never had much use for radical Islam until they found that they had something in common with it—namely, a deep and abiding hatred of Western Civilization.
It turns out that I may have been onto something. It’s not that I’m so prescient: It’s that they’re so predictable.
“While the attractions of radical Islam for secular Western intellectuals remain, for obvious reasons, limited, some of them sympathize with its anti-modernist thrust and find its fierce rejection of Western capitalist societies congenial and refreshing,” Paul Hollander writes in his new book, From Benito Mussolini to Hugo Chavez: Intellectuals and a Century of Political Hero Worship. “These sentiments have prompted some Western intellectuals to reconceptualize supporters of radical Islam as the new virtuous victims of the West and even to feel some sympathy for Islamic notions of blasphemy.”
“Thus John le Carre` reproached Salman Rushdie ‘over the publication of “The Satanic Verses.” Nobody has a God-given right to insult a great religion and be published with impunity,’ he opined.”
The late Chris Warden, a veteran journalist and mystery buff, once noted that le Carre`’s books, although they had different titles, were strikingly similar, kind of like Left-wing angst through the ages.