The Meaningless Politics of Liberal Democracies

The desire for theocracy in the Muslim world can be partly understood through the failures of Western secularism.

Ben Affleck has become an unlikely spokesman for a view on Islam held by many on the American left. In 2014, the actor made a now-famous stand against Bill Maher and Sam Harris in defense of Muslims, arguing that it’s wrong to make generalizations about the religion based on ideological extremists and terrorists. “How about the more than 1 billion people who aren’t fanatical, who don’t punch women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, and pray five times a day?” he said.

In his new book Islamic Exceptionalism, Shadi Hamid—an Atlantic contributor, a scholar at Brookings, and a self-identified liberal—calls Affleck’s declaration a “well-intentioned … red herring.”

  • Martin B

    The desire for theocracy in the Muslim world is the same now as it was in the 7th century. It’s not a reaction to Western secularism. Great big chunks of what is now the Muslim world were once devoutly Christian nations. The Muzz intend for all of us, secular and religious alike, to surrender to Islam.

    • V10_Rob

      You may not believe in radical islam, but radical islam believes in YOU.

    • Clinton

      One hundred years ago, the new “moderate, westernized” nation
      of Turkey rose from the ashes of the old Ottoman empire after WWII.
      At that time, the ancient Christian communities still made up 20% of
      the Turkish population. Today, after a century of “moderate, westernized”
      government, Christians comprise 0.15% of the population of Turkey.
      Christians have been expelled, disenfranchised, and in the case of
      the Armenians, killed outright. The sole remaining Orthodox Christian
      seminary in Turkey was taken over and closed by the state decades

      This is all because of a deliberate anti-Christian policy on the part of
      what is supposedly the most “democratic, pro-western, moderate”
      Islamic nation out there– one eager to join the EU. The Christians
      of Turkey know the real face of supposedly “moderate” muslims.

  • V10_Rob

    “How about the more than 1 billion people who are fanatical, who stone women, who demolish schools, who kill anyone eating the wrong kind of sandwiches, and want to force you to pray five times a day?”

  • Reader

    Time for a musical interlude.