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Why Islamism became woke


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Extremists are using progressive rhetoric to fool the West

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

July 13 2021

Following ISIS’s demise, Islamists around the world have been forced to radically reassess their strategy against the West. Dashing the utopian hopes of its sympathisers, the fall of the Caliphate has set back the Islamist cause for decades. Just as when many Communists became disillusioned once their ideology had been implemented in the Soviet Union, ISIS’s barbarity can no longer be ignored.


Yet as historian Daniel Pipes has noted, the relationship between Islamism and extreme Leftism is nothing new. In 2007, Oskar Lafontaine, former chairman of Germany’s Social Democratic party, noted: “Islam depends on community, which places it in opposition to extreme individualism, which threatens to fail in the West. [In addition,] the devout Muslim is required to share his wealth with others. The Leftist also wants to see the strong help the weak.”

But the internal tension between “wokeism” and Islamism is never far away. Just look at Al Jazeera, which uploads documentaries about transgender rights on to its social media channel, while broadcasting sermons suggesting husbands should beat their wives on its Arabic station.

Nevertheless, the two movements do share objectives. Both are anti-West and anti-American. Both have a critical attitude towards “capitalism” based on individualism. True, the Islamists have been around for much longer. But Islamist ideologues are willing to co-operate with non-Muslim Leftists as long as it serves their purposes.





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