Left Wing Cheers Soleimani as Anti-Imperialist Hero

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An Iranian wears a t-shirt with a picture of slain IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani (Photo: ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)
An Iranian wears a t-shirt with a picture of slain IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani (Photo: ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)

Qasem Soleimani’s body isn’t even cold yet, but he’s already being championed as an anti-imperialist hero by the same group of people who just learned his name last week.

The Iranian Quds Force Commander was the ruthless architect of the Iranian proxy wars in Yemen, Syria, and Libya. He was also central to Iran’s ties with Hezbollah and Hamas. Yet. for America’s political left, he’s an anti-imperialist hero.

Not everyone was having it, though.

Writing for Al Jazeera, a Qatari propaganda outlet, Malak Chabkoun calls out the Left’s adoration of a ruthless killer most people only learned about a few days ago. She writes,

Much of the left in the West (the same ones who describe themselves as progressives) also viciously attacked people in the Middle East who celebrated the deaths of Soleimani and al-Muhandis. While it is wrong to praise Trump’s decision to assassinate the two commanders as a “noble deed”, framing what happened within the old, tired left-wing narrative of US imperialism erases the regional context and the suffering of millions of people in the Middle East at the hands of other powers.

Even Al Jazeera, , has enough sense to recognize Soleimani was a devastating leader whose first target was other non-compliant Muslims.

Chabkoun goes on to further add,

But when Syrians, Iraqis, Yemenis and other Arabs posted celebratory comments on the assassinations of two commanders they perceive as war criminals, Iran’s defenders immediately criticised these people, resorting to insisting they didn’t know anything about their own countries, claiming they are pro-imperialism.

In so doing, these self-identified leftists and “anti-war” activists once again downplayed the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in the region. For them, the only civilian deaths that can be acknowledged are those caused by the military intervention of the US, Israel or their allies.

However, it is hard to cover up the crimes Iran and its regional proxies have committed over the past 10 years.

As a conservative Muslim, I have seen how the Left fails to see Muslim faith and identity beyond the hijab-wearing celebrity protesters or Muslim LGBT advocates hammering Islam to fit the mold of sectarian values.

The Left refuses to see the wreckage on Muslim lives that Iran and its facilitator Soleimani has wrought. As Chabkoun points out, consider how Iran:

  • Backed brutality against Syrian opposition protests
  • Uses Yemen as a battleground for its proxy war against Saudi Arabia
  • Turned Iraqi militias against Iraqi civilians.
  • Weaponizes Muslim children as soldiers, parceling them from war-torn Afghanistan to Syria as if their value was nothing more than disposable pawns for a war they cannot even spell, let alone understanding or consent to being in

What’s becoming clear to Muslims is that they have bigger problems than the run-of-the-mill Islamophobia that the Left typically pins on conservatives. There’s an entire demographic on the Left that doesn’t care about the reality of everyday Muslims outside of social justice activism.

And while we, as American Muslims, can’t necessarily impact geopolitical politics in the Middle East, we have every ability and opportunity to impact how Muslims are used as props and puppets in the West.

We do that by setting aside our differences and talking to each other.



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Shireen Qudosi

Shireen Qudosi is Clarion Project's National Correspondent.

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