Vanessa Taylor, Muslim Social Justice Warrior

Leftist activist Vanessa Taylor, who recently appeared at a June 26, Washington, DC, New York University (NYU) event against “Islamophobia,” is “black, queer, and Muslim,” according to an online description. Her prominence in like-minded circles only highlights that their understandings of these identities are in various ways disturbing, incoherent, and superficial.

Taylor’s claims to “know what it’s like to be a black Muslim woman” and to be a Muslim leader are suspect given her brief time among Muslim believers. This African-American Minneapolis, Minnesota, native has been a Muslim for fewer than three years since embracing “Black Muslim liberation theology” in 2016. In her online account, these views “boiled down to one simple question: Allah, how are we getting my niggas free?”

Taylor quoted 1960s black firebrand Malcolm X for her inspiration:

I am a Muslim, because it’s a religion that teaches you an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It teaches you to respect everybody, and treat everybody right. But it also teaches you if someone steps on your toe, chop off their foot. And I carry my religious axe with me all the time.

This founder in 2015 of a Black Lives Matter-inspired group in Minneapolis, the Black Liberation Project, correspondingly integrates her Islamic faith into a worldview of unrelenting racism and black victimization. She has written that “global anti-blackness is served up as the world’s main course,” while her previous writing reflected her NYU event comments that “Islamophobia is built on white supremacy, imperialism, anti-blackness.” She also declared there that “slavery is continuous” while “black people are denied the category of humanity” and “dehumanized and viewed closer to animals than they would be to the rest of the population.”

Taylor even stated that “Islam and the United States cannot be compatible” given the “construction of this country” that historically enslaved African-Americans, many of whom, she claims, were Muslim. “Black American history,” she has previously written, has a “foundation of an identity that ultimately began with the subjugation and oppression of African Muslims woven into the original drafts of this nation.” Alternatively, she has never analyzed whether her Islamic beliefs are compatible with her impassioned abolitionism. Often brutal Islamic slave tradeslasted far longer and enslaved many more millions across disparate geographic areas than slavery within historically Christian societies such as the United States, which ultimately led global abolition efforts.

Viewing the world through an ideological racism lens unsurprisingly has led Taylor to dismiss condemnations of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s antisemitism. These merely result from “her uniquely threatening triple identity as a black Muslim woman,” Taylor has written while playing race cards. “Black women’s public humiliation is an accessible form of entertainment offered to the American public,” and the “backlash against Omar must instead be understood through the lens of what is known as the ‘afterlife of slavery.’”

Taylor has correspondingly radical attitudes towards law and order. Reiterating her past writings, she condemned at the NYU event Minneapolis’ federal Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program as a “surveillance and entrapment program” that “has targeted the Somali community.” Meanwhile, she caustically responded to violent leftist Antifa assaults on the journalist Andy Ngo in Portland, Oregon, with the tweet that she has a “list of names who all deserve more than some silly string and milkshakes.”

The “queer Muslim” Taylor’s ideas about LGBT ideologies and their relationship to Islam are perhaps most bizarre yet, such as her claim that “White colonialism itself constructed the anti-Black gender binary we all must grapple with today.” Her gender-insane twitter account lists “they/she” as her preferred pronouns, while the Queer Muslims website promotes her alongside “Transphobia is Haram” t-shirts. The hijab-observing Taylor has also collaborated with Advocates for Youth (AY), an organization that sexualizes young people with LGBT, pro-abortion, and other agendas through activities including the Muslim Youth Program.

While Islamic doctrines have become infamous globally for repeatedly brutal treatment of homosexuals, Taylor sensed little contradiction between her lesbian and Islamic identities during an October 31, 2018, AY interview. She airily declared that she “centers Islam in liberation work” and is “reimagining and constantly questioning want Islam can be for me and what it is going to actualize in my life.” “Islam is something that is always going to be shifting,” and thus “when I think of Islam, I think of water and I think of things that move within it.”

However Taylor has conceded that not all LGBT individuals have a similarly fluid view of harsh Islamic realities. “When I enter LGBT+ spaces wearing an easily recognizable hijab style, my body and the way it is clothed, becomes perceived as a threat,” she has written. When going to a 2016 LGBT parade,

I left my house wearing an abaya because it was also Ramadan. I would need something to pray in later. After arriving at the gates, I consciously removed the black abaya, because I knew keeping it on would frighten people. The myth that all Muslims are heterosexual and inherently homophobic persists.

Taylor’s writing indicates that she is perhaps even more isolated among Muslims. “My LGBT+ community primarily exists in Black Muslim group chats and late-night group sessions,” she has noted. Accordingly, “my community has formed itself online, outside of physical bodies and spaces. We know how to read each other, but nobody else knows what to make of us.”

Yet even online, Taylor has encountered opposition from Muslims opposed to her homosexuality. “Saying you’re a queer Muslim is the same as saying I’m a [insert random sin] Muslim,” she tweeted to one female Malaysian Muslim, Umm Yusra. She has likewise tweeted a Malaysian sign that “is part of an awareness campaign to reject LGBT and the foreigners promoting its ideology” and has thanked a person “for standing up to the rainbow mafia.”

Umm Yusra has tweeted support for anti-LGBT Muslim authorities who have far more experience with Islamic teaching than the initiate Taylor, such as the muftifor Malaysia’s Federal Territories. “MUFTI: Standing against the LGBT and other perversions is a form of jihad,” she tweeted in a summary translation of a mufti thread.

Umm Yusra most starkly and disturbingly differed from Taylor in supporting Brunei’s recent implementation of Islamic hudud criminal law with its cruel corporal punishments, including the death penalty for homosexuality. Umm Yusra tweeted:

Congratulations on implementing hudūd, Brunei. May Allah accept it. Self-proclaimed human rights activists don’t bat an eye when the US and Europe kill millions of Muslims through war, sanctions and occupation; apparently they only value the lives of sodomites and rapists.

The philosophical chasms between the self-identified Muslims Taylor and Umm Yusra easily explain why the former blocked the latter on twitter within an hour of Umm Yusra’s first tweet to Taylor.

Of course, no such condemnation of homosexuality by Muslims such as Umm Yusra could ever bring woke Taylor to criticize Islam and/or condone Israel in the slightest. Taylor at the NYU event repeated the hackneyed slanders that Israel uses “pinkwashing,” namely Israeli pro-LGBT policies, to cover a supposed “genocide that is occurring there” against Palestinians. Meanwhile, she faulted the LGBT community for “homonationalism” and “Islamophobia.”

Confused individuals such as Taylor may pursue their radical foolishness within the safe spaces provided by free societies such as the United States, but she deserves no serious consideration. The axes and other sharp objects she so unsettlingly invokes can, in the hands of Muslims, chop off not just the body parts of her opponents, but of people including Taylor herself. Support for such intellectual and physical mayhem simply dishonors socially respected institutions like NYU, as a further article on this event will examine.

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