Yanking the Overton window back and forth

Maajid Nawaz points out in a public Facebook post that liberalism is not extremism.

No, my secular liberalism is not the “other extreme” to Islamism (a desire to enforce a version of Islam over society). The other extreme is anti-Muslim bigotry & the desire to ban Islam.

My liberalism means a legal right for you to be religious, or not.

So no, I have not gone from ‘one extreme to another’. Nor have ex-Muslims for that matter, so long as they remain liberal, ie: support individual liberty.

But obviously, if your starting point is way out there with Islamism, then even conservative Islam appears “moderate” to you, and the idea of liberalism would appear like an extremely distant aberration, even extreme.

And for non-Muslims to adopt this trope & charge me with it, shows how low their expectations of Muslims have become. In fact, this tells us how far we all have to travel, yet, to reach a reasonable centre in this debate.



  1. polishsalami says

    Sayonara to that comment then.

    Redux: I’m pessimistic about all this. All the best to Maajid anyway.

  2. Saad says

    I despise the well-poisoning that many of us ex-Muslims have to put up with in secular circles almost as much as I hate the pressure we’re under from our own Muslim families and communities.

  3. rjw1 says

    Perhaps there’s a propaganda campaign under way to discredit liberalism, I recently read an article where the author claimed that liberalism was inherently ‘Islamophobic”.

  4. says

    liberalism was inherently ‘Islamophobic”.

    Arguably, it’s inherently anti-authoritarian, so…. well, kinda. But only as a side-effect.

  5. polishsalami says

    Ophelia Benson #2:

    My ‘nym and email were auto-filled so I tried to comment without logging in via the usual route. Comment #1 sums up what I said. Weird that the sites robots accused me of being an “impersonator” though.

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