[Editor’s note: Make sure to read Robert Spencer’s masterpiece contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
Two recent articles in the far-Left New Lines Magazine has illustrated yet again the Left’s fascination with Islam and disdain for Christianity. In Islam, Leftists have found a religion that coalesces nicely with their authoritarian agenda; the Judeo-Christian tradition, however, gave the world its notions of universal human dignity and individual rights, and so as far as Leftists are concerned, it must be destroyed.
All that New Lines really offers up are old lines; it is a doctrinaire Leftist publication, reflecting the political and media establishment line on everything. One recent article warns: “Abortion Access Under Threat.” A New Lines podcast discusses “War on a Warming Planet.” New Lines’ founder and editor-in-chief is Hassan Hassan, who has written for a lengthy list of far-Left propaganda sites, including The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Guardian and Foreign Affairs.
As New Lines’ publisher and most of its staff appear to be Muslim, and Hassan’s most recent article for his own publication is “Yusuf al-Qaradawi Leaves Behind a Complex Legacy,” offering qualified praise for a genocidal antisemite who praised Hitler (Hassan doesn’t mention any of that), New Lines’ pro-Islam bias is not surprising. However, even if there were no Muslims on New Lines’ staff at all, its editorial line, including its stance on Islam, would fit well within the contemporary Leftist mainstream.
On Friday, New Lines published an article entitled “How Islam Inspired the Music of the Late Jazz Legend Ahmad Jamal,” by Nathan Lean, a longtime purveyor of the Leftist propaganda fiction of “Islamophobia,” the claim that opponents of jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women are really engaged in irrational, race-based prejudice and bigotry that must be eliminated from the public discourse, with those opponents vilified, shamed, stigmatized, and silenced.
Although he has been more muted in recent years, Lean was for a considerable period one of the most vicious and hateful exponents of this vilification, as well as an open and unapologetic advocate for the destruction of the freedom of speech and the forcible silencing of foes of jihad terror. New Lines is ill-advised to publish a hate-filled thug such as Lean, but of course the Left’s hypocrisy in this regard is boundless, and unlike the Right, the Left never toes the opposition’s line and throws its own people under the bus, no matter what they do. As Lean’s burning hatred for critics of jihad violence is mainstream on the Left, he has a bright future.
It is well known that many jazz greats were converts to Islam, including Art Blakey, Pharoah Sanders, McCoy Tyner, Yusef Lateef, and numerous others. In New Lines, however, Lean goes much farther than simply noting this as a social phenomenon; he wants us to know that what made jazz great is Islam itself, hailing “the sacred influence that turned an edgy genre of music into a celebrated and storied art form.” Lean quotes Cannonball Adderley saying that Islam “must have something to do” with the calm heart of Jamal’s music; Adderly added: “He lives that way. He seems to be always at peace.” Lean calls upon readers to “heed the simple advice” that Jamal “once gave when asked about his conversion to Islam: ‘Listen to my music. The answer is there.’” Lean adds: “In the steady grooves. In the hushed passages. In the rises and falls. And in the clean-as-a-whistle, no-frills kind of playing that made him a pioneer.”
The unwritten subtext of Lean’s piece is that the filthy “Islamophobes” have wrongly tarred Islam for the sins of the jihad terrorists, impugning upstanding and heroic artists such as Ahmad Jamal. This, however, is also a Leftist fiction, as the principal opponents of jihad terror and Sharia oppression never denied the existence of peaceful Muslims, much less of Muslim jazz greats. The idea that articles such as Lean’s about Jamal have to be written or published at all is based on the Leftist claim that opposition to jihad is really just prejudice, so that if non-Muslims come to see that Muslims can be great men and innovative artists such as Ahmad Jamal, their hatred will dissipate. This is a false premise. Opposition to ISIS and al-Qaeda and the rest was never about Ahmad Jamal and his colleagues; it was Lean and his fellow propagandists who did their best to obscure the necessary distinctions in order to defame the Islamocritics.
In stark contrast to all this, New Lines on May 18 published a reminiscence by a Catholic who grew up in Yugoslavia, Ana Sekulić. Sekulić returns to the church she attended as a child in Istria, where, she says, she once looked at the other people in the congregation and wondered “why God chose to speak to them and not me.” Now, Sekulić notices graffiti on the backs of the pews and realizes that she “wasn’t the only one bored and confused.” She adds: “The church struck me as chipped, perhaps even a little cheap.”
Would New Lines ever publish an article in which a former Muslim writes about not experiencing Allah in the mosque, but rather being bored and confused, and revisiting the mosque years later to find that it looked “cheap”? Of course not. Would it ever publish an article that rhapsodized about the Christian influence upon, say, Bach, Beethoven and Mozart? Once again, the answer is obvious. New Lines feels free to denigrate Christianity but would never dare publish the slightest negative word about Islam. That’s what makes it a mainstream Leftist publication.
The Left and Islam are deep ideological kin. They both envision establishing an earthly paradise: the dictatorship of the proletariat on the one hand, and the hegemony of Sharia on the other. Both are enforced by violence and terror against those who dare to step out of line. That’s why the Leftist/Islamic alliance is so close, and why, despite some recent Muslim protests against the trans madness being forced upon primary school children, it is likely to endure.