ISIS has as much relationship to Islam as Assadists do to progressive politics

In the wake of the Manchester attack, journalists Patrick Cockburn, Robert Fisk, & John Pilger published another round of their tattered theme that ISIS is rooted in Islam, specifically the Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia. Cockburn, writing in the Independent said the US & UK “will look in any direction except Saudi Arabia when seeking the causes of terrorism.”

Cockburn, Fisk, & Pilger represent what happens when you try to write political analysis with your head stuck up your ass. The US & European powers have been linking terrorism to Islam since before 9/11 & since 9/11 have been whipping up a frenzy of Islamophobia as the primary ideology of war, genocide, occupation. It is Zionists & the so-called left (erstwhile socialists & anti-Semitic libertarians) who have linked it specifically to Wahhabism without having a clue what Wahhabism is theologically or politically.

It’s true ISIS identifies itself as jihadi fighters but as numerous Muslim scholars & theologians have so cogently argued, ISIS has no affinity with Islam but is a warped political response to the terrorism & destruction of US-European forces in the Middle East. ISIS is a counter-revolutionary force, a rightwing response morphing from defeat & demoralization going back nearly 30 years to the first Gulf War & kept in operation by weapons from the US Pentagon & other countries. These scholars point to the killing fields of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, & to the massive repression in Egypt & Bahrain because they root their analyses in political reality, not in Islamophobia.

ISIS has affinity to Islam in the same way Cockburn, Fisk, Pilger, Tariq Ali, & the whole Hands Off Syria Coalition crowd have affinity to leftism & progressive thought. They wave their hammer & sickle banners but they’ve grown old before their time, decrepit, warped, hateful & stupid, & more than anything lazy in their scholarship. They know nothing & get away with it because those who share their antipathies for Muslims & Arabs know even less, are content with tropes about Wahhabism & don’t require understanding.

There’s a polarization taking place, a sifting of the wheat from the chaff. Those who will make this world a better place to live have nothing in common with social hatred toward anyone. Let the haters go straight to hell.