Forget all the stories about George Galloway losing support among Muslims because of his willingness to whitewash rape. British Islamist groups are not actually condemning an infidel for being too unfriendly to rape victims, that’s a useful pretext. The real issue is Syria.
The cozy relationship between the Anti-War Left and the Islamists fully bloomed over mutual opposition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Afghanistan had a Sunni Islamist regime and Islamist opposition to their overthrow was only natural. Iraq’s Baath Party was not Islamist, certainly not from the viewpoint of British Islamists, but it was a Sunni ruling power in a majority Shiite country where regime change would mean Shiite rule.
And so leftists and Islamists cheerfully bonded over denunciations of British troops and effigies of Tony Blair. The left thought that the Islamists genuinely opposed intervention in sovereign Arab and Muslim countries. And then came Syria.
Syria is a majority Sunni country ruled by the Neo-Shiite Alawites. And the Muslim Brotherhood has managed to finagle its way into becoming the rebel government backed by AKP Sunni Islamists in Turkey and by Obama, who also comes from a Sunni family.
Syria is a Sunni Islamist cause and the Islamists want Western intervention, at least of the kind they got in Libya, to help them beat Syria and Iran.
The Anti-War Left on the other has joined the Shiite Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis in opposing any “imperialist” interventions. This has led to some peculiar clashes with Anti-War Leftists not understanding why their old Islamist friends have suddenly turned on them.
Western useful idiots like George Galloway and Patrick Seale are catching flak for acting as mouthpieces for Iran and Syria. Ironically much of what British leftist journalists and activists write about the Syrian opposition and its holy war is quite correct. Even more ironically much of what they are writing in defense of the Syrian Baath Party replicates their old writing in defense of the Iraqi Baath Party.
But the Islamists are a sectarian force, they have no interest in opposing war or foreign intervention as a principle, like the left, they are willing to bend themselves into pretzels to get into power. And the Western Anti-War Left is now in the awkward position of having to choose between Shiite and Sunni Islamists.
The Anti-War Left opposed Iraqi Shiites in the debates over the Iraq War. Then the leftists awkwardly switched over to the Shiite axis to oppose any US action against Iran. Now they’ve found themselves on the wrong side of the Sunni Islamists who run many of the political organizations of the Muslim diaspora in the West.
The left thought the Islamists were anti-war, when they were actually just Anti-Semites and Anti-Shiites.