Congressional Republicans and social conservatives across the U.S. raised an uproar in the wake the Arab Spring. They decried the rise of Islamist governments across the region and the declaration of sharia law, and lamented its expansion into the U.S. While sharia supplanting American civil law seems far-fetched to most, Islamophobia has become a mainstay on Fox News' daily broadcasts, subtly ascribing events across the region to the Muslim Brotherhood. Interestingly, the Islamic leaders who aid the Muslim Brotherhood are as wont as American conservatives to make sweeping, outlandish, headline-grabbing statements.
At the end of the day, are America’s conservatives that different from the Islamists they so often rail against? Their attitudes towards women's roles and rights and towards homosexuality can sound extremely similar.
See if you can tell whether the statements below came from American social conservatives or from Islamist leaders. (Answers to follow.)
1. "The meaning of 'morality' is limited to such an extent that all those aspects which distinguish man from animal are considered beyond its sphere. In these societies, illegitimate sexual relationships, even homosexuality, are not considered immoral."
2. "If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s personal bondage, despair, and enslavement."
3. "There is no difference in killing the fetus in a mother’s womb or killing a person after birth."
4. "If you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband."
5. "The real place of women is the house."
6. "[If] you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does... That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing."
1. Islamist - Sayyid Qutb, Islamic fundamentalist theorist
2. American - Michele Bachmann, Tea Party leader
3. Islamist - Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish prime minister
4. American - Pat Robertson, conservative media mogul
5. Islamist - Abul-Ala Mawdudi, Pakistani politician
6. American - Rick Santorum, former U.S. Senator and Republican presidential candidate
7. American - Mike Huckabee, former Governor and Republican presidential candidate