One of the things that seems very challenging in popular social or political discourse today, is the fear of being identified with a group or person with whom you would rather not be identified. Indeed, this seems to underlie much of the motivation among otherwise liberal people for not criticising islam. While some are die-hard SJW identity politicians, who sincerely subscribe to cultural relativism, it seems that many on the left avoid criticizing islam (and islamic societies) less because they fail to see its problems, and more because they fear being labeled a racist member of the alt-right. I myself am willing to criticize islam, but for a long time, I refrained from following Tommy Robinson, or retweeting anything he said, because I did not want to be associated with him. I still would not say I ‘support’ him. Some of his ideas seem impractical and cruel to me. But I think his statements of the problems which Britain faces due to islamic immigration are usually valid, even if his solutions may not be.
But it is ridiculous to take a person’s agreement with some statements of another person and assume they support that person’s agenda entirely. I enjoy Nietzsche’s work, and I think he makes many valid points, but he was also very wrong about women. For a more contemporary example, take Black Lives Matter. I do not like this group. I do not support their tactics. Many of their leaders are avowed anti-white racists. The leader of BLM Toronto said:
While the BLM movement in Philadelphia, the ‘city of brotherly love,’ has no love for their white brothers:
So, I do not support BLM as an organization, and I actively oppose the racists among them (also, Deray is a neoliberal shill). On the other hand, I absolutely support many of their criticisms of our police and the issues of racism and unjustified violence which they raise.
Now, if I can agree with some of the points of BLM, without agreeing with the movement, why not with Robinson or others who are further right of myself, without being conflated with them?
To quote the excellent ex-muslim and critic of islam, Yasmine (@ConfessionsExMu):
‘Ppl are too scared to say the TRUTH if the other side says it too. Let the truth guide you, not tribalism. Please.’
By the same token, we need to stop judging others by the people whom they quote or agree with them. If, for example, someone quotes a generally pro-Clinton source, we should not immediately dismiss it as irrelevant, or assume that person is a Hillbot. The assumptions can occur in any direction. They are all equally unjustified.