When the left is right, who's left and who's right?"Socialism and Islam are very close, other than on the issue of the existence of God. We are synthesising the socialist idea with religious ideas in Britain in a way no-one else in the world is doing. It’s one of the reasons for the success of the Stop The War Coalition. It’s one of the reasons for the success of Respect.”
- George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green & Bow.
"Many moderate Muslims believe that much of Britain is decadent. They are right. Mr Blair says that the fanatics who want to blow us up despise us, but he won’t admit that their decent co-religionists — who are the best hope of undermining the extremists at source — despair of us. They despair of the moral decline and the ugly brutishness that characterise much of urban Britain. They despair of the metropolitan mix of gay rights and lager louts. And they despair of the liberal establishment’s unwillingness to face the facts and fight the battle for manners and morals. They are not alone."
- John Hayes, Conservative MP for South Holland and The Deepings.
Is this how Islamist ideology will become the new "middle way" - the happy compromise for both the Left and the Right of the political spectrum? The Islamic Party of Britain seem to think so. In their manifesto they say:
"Islam is the middle way. Both communism and capitalism have to admit that they fall short of the aim they set out to achieve and cannot deliver what they promised to provide: a happy way of life. Islam, often being blamed to be an outdated medieval system, is indeed the only answer for the future. "
And, they have just the stuff to please Mr Galloway's faction:
"Islam rejects these aspects of capitalism. Islam rejects the ethos whereby the measure of human worth is degraded to a toting up of bank balances. We as Muslims reject that system of economics whereby millions of human beings have to starve to death and suffer utter deprivations in order that a country can pay off extortionate interest payments on foreign debts. We also reject that system of economics whereby a food mountain in one part of the world is refused to the starving in another, so that the international price of this or that commodity is not threatened. "
And, just the sauce for Mr Hayes's moral crusaid:
"Islam condemns and outlaws homosexuality. As far as Islamic law is concerned, the rules are that the state does not interfere in the privacy of people's homes, but it would need to safeguard public decency by preventing any public advocacy for homosexuality. Such activity would come under the heading of public incitement. The death penalty the questioner mentions only applies to a public display of lewdness witnessed by several people. "
So the terms "Left" and "Right" don't seem particularly useful any longer. What is needed is a new label that combines these right-wing social policies with left-wing economic policies. Perhaps we could call it something like "National Socialism".