Radical Islam’s Fellow-Travellers

From Standpoint.
Contemplating with his customary scorn the artists who had embraced the Russian Revolution, Leon Trotsky wondered what it would take to break their attachment to a cause that would eventually murder many of them — and kill Trotsky too, although he was yet to know it. “As regards a fellow-traveller,” he said, “the question always comes up — how far will he go?” Would the barbarism of the dictatorship of the proletariat persuade him to “change at one of the stations on to the train going the other way”? Or would he stay on for the rest of the ride?

As Trotsky implied, fellow-travelling with communism was not always akin to endorsing the creed. Communists accepted crimes committed in the name of the revolution without hesitation. The fellow-traveller looked away from communism’s victims and invited others to do the same. Communists damned “bourgeois democracy”. It disillusioned communism’s fellow-travellers, too, but not enough to persuade them to give up on democratic politics completely and join the revolution. They wished the Soviet Union well and found its experiments on the human race bracing. But in the words of David Caute, the best historian of fellow-travelling, their support was a “commitment at a distance”.
The reception given to Tariq Ramadan when he arrived in New York in April showed that today a type of fellow-travelling with radical Islam has spread from Europe to America. From the applause he drew, it seemed to me that no one involved would be changing trains for a while.

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3 thoughts on “Radical Islam’s Fellow-Travellers

  1. What do British Muslims for Secular Democracy have to say about the visit? They only seem to dust off their placards to demonstrate against those opposing Tariq Ramadan’s ilk.

    They are sinisterly silent over Harrow Council’s force-feeding of halal food to schoolchildren. The last time BMSD turned out in Harrow was to oppose SIOE.

    Never has an organisation been more ill-named than British Muslims for Secular Democracy, with the possible exceptions of Unite Against Fascism and ….er…. the Liberal Democrats (I know, stop laughing).

  2. You don’t get better than essays like this one.
    The courageous and calm Ayaan Hirsi Ali has an immovable ally in Nick Cohen. While Islamists and their like will always have a hard pen and voice against them, from him.

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