There are quite a few voices from the Left who not only explain Islamism but who also downright justify it as the “will of the people” or voice of the marginalized. Irrespective of the fact that Islamism is as petty bourgeois as it can get. Beyond that, there are clear links between certain parts of the Left and Islamist organizations – Galloway is a good example, as is StopTheWar, as is Amnesty/CAGE.
On the other hand, progressive voices from the MENA region are oftentimes ignored or played down. The American Left’s solidarity with the Rojava cantons – one of the most impressive progressive projects in the last 20 years -, the PKK and the now staunchly feminist Abdullah Öcalan is for instance very limited to say the least.
I actually think that is circumstance – that parts of the Left ally with the Muslim Far-Right – is neither due to political pragmatism, nor due to a ideological or political misjudgement. The problem is rather that the identitarian Left – i.e. those lefties whose ideology is located at the boundary of postmodernism, post-colonialism, identity politics and cultural studies – share many ideological key concepts with the Far Right (not just the Muslim one but also the Western one). This includes cultural relativism, self-location in the anti-Enlightenment tradition, a mono-dimensional conception of national, religious or racial identity, a soft-spot for traditionalism and social conservatism (unless it’s in the West, see below), and a weakness for ethnopluralist thinking. In the view of the identitarian Left, left-wing ideology is simply the way of thinking of the Western tribe: this allows them to position themselves against the white reactionary but not the non-white reactionary without realizing the bigotry of this act.