By Alexander Reid Ross (June 10, 2017)
I’ve seen a lot of snark from the Patriot movement saying that antifascists are demonstrating today in defense of Sharia law. The problem is that the Patriot movement has no idea what either Islam or Sharia law actually are, let alone why antifascists have taken to the streets today.
Joey Gibson came close when he said that 1/3 of Muslims believe in Sharia law. The number, according to a Pew poll, is closer to 50 percent. However, there is a broad divergence of opinion on what that means. A vast majority of Muslims surveyed believe in religious freedom—likely a larger percentage than the Patriot movement’s constituents.
Sharia law, in general, connotes an attempted formalization of the spiritual law. Since spiritual law changes, Sharia is always imperfect. However, it is the closest that many Muslims believe people can come to obeying their religious faith through practice.
People who believe in Sharia law are not necessarily pro-life, like the Patriot movement is. They are not necessarily patriarchal, like the Patriot movement is. They don’t believe in racialized hierarchies like the Patriot movement does.
When people come out into the streets to oppose the Patriot movement, they are not making of confession of the faith; they are standing up for the rights of people everywhere to practice their own faiths without hurting others. The Patriot movement has shown that it does not share this sincere believe, which incidentally is right there in their constitution.
Antifascists stand on the side of freedom and liberty. The Patriot movement gets Islam wrong and perpetuates the racist misogyny they claim to fight in the name of the civil liberties they attempt to destroy. The Patriot movement would do better to single out and alienate the Nazis in their own midst, rather than pointing the finger at everyone but themselves.
Solidarity with antifa!