The political left, the forerunners and champions of the LBGT movement, further the political clout of Muslims, but Muslims, by far and large, are opposed to LBGT rights, recognition and political advancement; hence, the furtherance of the political clout for Muslims comes with at least some detriment to the LBGT movement. So why does the left support Muslims? It seems so self-defeating.
I mean, readers, consider these facts. In the Muslim-majority countries of Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, you can be put to death by the state for having homosexual sex. In Algeria, Egypt, Maldives, Malaysia, Qatar, Somalia and Syria, it is illegal to have any homosexual sex, and in Kuwait, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, homosexual sex between men is illegal. True, homosexual sex is strictly legal in about 20 Muslim countries, but no Muslim-majority state recognizes same-sex marriage or same-sex civil unions, and the very, very few Muslim-majority states with anti-discrimination laws for persons with same-sex attraction are rarely enforced.
Muslims’ opinions is no refuge for liberals either. One Pew report states this: “Across the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed, as well as in the six sub-Saharan countries, solid majorities across age groups share the view that homosexuality should be rejected by society.” In another Pew poll, it states this:
Muslims overwhelmingly say that homosexual behavior is morally wrong, including three-quarters or more in 33 of the 36 countries where the question was asked.
Only in three countries do as many as one-in-ten Muslims say that homosexuality is morally acceptable: Uganda (12%), Mozambique (11%) and Bangladesh (10%).
In most countries surveyed, fewer than one-in-ten Muslims believe homosexual behavior is not a moral issue. The exceptions are Bangladesh (14%), Guinea Bissau (14%) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (10%).
So here we have a widespread commonality against gay rights and moral acceptance shared amongst Muslims, especially when they’re in the majority. And of course that which grounds this widespread commonality is Islam, because these Muslims do not share any other variable that can account for it (these Muslims are divided by ethnicity, race, history, nationality, language, etc). Thus, across the board, in every Muslim country, Muslims are no friends to LGBT rights and the moral permissibility of same-sex sexual behaviour.
What about elsewhere, in more liberal countries that are not predominately Muslim? In liberal, non-Muslim states? Well, within liberal Canada, 43% of Muslims rejected the social acceptance of homosexuality. Only 36% believe that society should accept homosexuality while the remaining respondents were equivocal or unclear in their view. True, these Canadian Muslims differ vastly from Muslim-majority countries, but remember that this opinion persists within liberal Canada, a place where 86% of the general population believes society should accept homosexuality (see here). No other religious or political group within Canada can boast such numbers of resistance – not a single one! That’s a significant point to keep in mind, for it shows the Muslim resilience on this issue. But what’s perhaps even more important to keep in mind is that, when in the majority, that is, when they have a great deal of clout, no Muslim nation in the world favours LGBT rights and Muslims resist these rights even as minorities within socially liberal countries (over 50% of Britain’s Muslims feel similarly).
So it seems, then, that on this issue (and other issues: e.g., abortion, extramarital sex, suicide, and the importance of religion), Muslims are natural allies of social conservatives. Indeed, it seems that Muslims are social conservatives. Hence, my advice to actively gay liberals is to rethink your alliance. Muslims are not going to say, “Gee, those gay dudes were really nice, so maybe God was wrong about two men doing it in the pooper.” That just won’t happen, particularly not while Saudi Arabia is the largest exporter of Sunni Islam and Iran is the biggest exporter of Shiite Islam. So, gay liberals, I suggest you rethink things.
In any case, why does the political left support Muslims? Well, aside from leftist stupidity, and bigot-baiting, liberals support them because Muslims tend to vote liberal (come to think of it, the left and Muslims share a common disdain for Israel, too). But why do Muslims vote liberal despite their socially conservative beliefs?
If I had to answer that now, I’d say that conservatives are framed and sometimes perceived as exclusive, white, anti-immigration and “Islamophobic”. And let’s be honest, there hasn’t been any great effort to convey the contrary, even though such a framing and perception is inaccurate. Thus, Muslims might not feel welcomed.
In contrast, the leftists bend over backwards to depict themselves as inclusive of minorities of every stripe, even at the pains of incoherence or social and civil disruption. That’s also why the left wins much of the black Protestant and Catholic Latino vote, too. They’re captured minorities that would otherwise slant toward a conservative vote.
If conservatives want to acquire more of the vote, I suggest that they make an effort to forge natural alliances and become a more inclusive party. That doesn’t mean opening the border, but it does mean making efforts to welcome Muslims, black and Catholic Latinos citizens into the fold without pause or prejudice. And social conservatives should want to do this, because, as R.R. Reno points out, those groups are not our primary enemies. They’re not the ones that legalized abortion, divorce, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage. That was the handiwork of secular liberals—they’re the enemy. Thus, we should not do them anymore favours by letting them capture populations that think more like us. Let’s re-brand ourselves in the public eye, explicitly opening the tent to everyone who shares our ideas, because the political left will be worse off from it.
- Unnatural Allies: The Left, Gays and Muslims - February 23, 2017
- Self-Legislation, Obligation, Natural Law, the State, Evil and Small ‘l’ Liberalism - February 1, 2017
- There is No Such Thing as “Sexual Orientation” - January 30, 2017
- On Animals and the Pursuit of Virtue: A Rejoinder - January 24, 2017
- Our Treatment of Animals and the Pursuit of Virtue - January 8, 2017
- Hey, Non-White Guys and MTV - December 31, 2016
- Love Wins? - December 22, 2016
- Political Vaginae - November 30, 2016
- God Matters: On Liberty, License and Liberalism - November 15, 2016
- On Freedom, Excellence, Liberals and Minorities - November 5, 2016