ISIS and American Conservatives: If It Looks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck…

Look who just banned teaching evolution in schools:

The extremist-held Iraqi city of Mosul is set to usher in a new school year. But unlike years past, there will be no art or music. Classes about history, literature and Christianity have been “permanently annulled.”

The Islamic State group has declared patriotic songs blasphemous and ordered that certain pictures be torn out of textbooks.

But instead of compliance, Iraq’s second largest city has — at least so far — responded to the Sunni militants’ demands with silence. Although the extremists stipulated that the school year would begin Sept. 9, pupils have uniformly not shown up for class, according to residents who spoke anonymously because of safety concerns. They said families were keeping their children home out of mixed feelings of fear, resistance and uncertainty.

I know we’re not supposed to say this out loud because it’s so outrageous to suggest that ISIS and American conservatives might have anything in common. And obviously the level of outrageous and murderous violence perpetrated by ISIS has no parallel in the American political system–but that’s also because of the secular counterweight of civil society and constitutional democracy. Culturally, there are a lot of striking similarities between the conservative reactionary ethos in both the western and the Islamic worlds.

Hate evolution? check.

Hate sexually liberated and empowered women? Check.

Love guns and hate gays? Check.

Hate big liberal government? Check.

Believe that society should be organized according to religious principles and that secular people should have no right to curtail religious “freedom”? Check.

Want to empower down-home rural principles against those corrupt city bubble dwellers? Check.

Believe in eye-for-an-eye retributive justice? Check.

Love to sport big Duck Dynasty-style beards? Check.

Just how much quacking do we need to see here before we acknowledge they’re just differing species of the same family of ducks?

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David Atkins

David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.