Islamism

Free speech is a feminist issue

Author: 

Pragna Patel

Southall Black Sisters have always organised autonomously as an anti-communalist, anti-racist, and progressive organisation. We’ve been going since 1979, as both a service provider to black and minority women, and an anti-racist and feminist organisation.

Religious fundamentalism and the religious right are all to do with power and politics. The use of violence to suppress alternative ideas and any form of dissent from religious orthodoxies glorifies criminality and dresses it up as a fight for a just cause, even sometimes defence of human rights. It uses violence to destroy free, open democratic societies created out of struggles for accountability.

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Daesh has pushed women back decades

Omar Raii spoke to Gona Saed from the Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women's Organisation.


Daesh (Islamic State) has been strategically defeated and driven away in Kobane, and in major areas in Shangal, but they still exist in some surrounding villages and are still a big threat. They occupy many cities in Syria and Iraq, they launch attacks here and there; recently they attacked the city of Kirkuk in north Iraq. They were defeated, but there are reports of them putting together forces to attack again.

Omar Raii spoke to Gona Saed from the Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women's Organisation.

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After Copenhagen: fighting Islamism, the racist backlash and state repression

Author: 

Bjarke Friborg

We join the comrades of the Red-Green Alliance of Denmark in unequivocally condemning the attack on a meeting to debate free speech and a Jewish synagogue in Copenhagen on Saturday-Sunday 14-15 February.

Extreme Islamism seeks to replace one form of oppression (against some people of Muslim background) with many kinds of virulent oppression — of non-religious Muslims, Jews, people of other religions, women, LGBT people.

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Increased police powers are not the answer

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Almost half of Syria’s population now requires humanitarian assistance of some kind. Almost three million people have fled Syria, with Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey dealing with increasing numbers of refugees.

Islamist ideology should be tackled head on, engaging people in basic socialist ideas, opposing root-and-branch the reactionary nature of Islamist ideology and building support for equality, humanity and real democracy.

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Egypt: militancy and Morsi

Author: 

Harry Glass

On 25 January 2011, an 18 day struggle began that toppled one of the Arab world’s longest-serving dictators, Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt.

Eighteen months later, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, the founding party of political Islam, was elected president. After barely a year he was deposed by a military coup and the old order was restored under Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. In the space of four years, Egypt has traversed from Mubarak’s military Bonapartism through the so-called “Republic of Tahrir” to the current “Republic of Fear”.

A review of Bread, Freedom, Social Justice: Workers and the Egyptian Revolution (Zed Books, 2014).

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Free speech on campus and beyond

Author: 

Omar Raii

We are living in a time when freedom of expression is being curtailed on many different fronts.

On February 14 in Copenhagen, a meeting debating blasphemy and the right to offend was cut short by a gunman apparently determined to execute Lars Vilks, a Swedish cartoonist known for his cartoons of Muhammad. The gunman managed to kill a 55 year old audience member and followed this by killing a Jewish security guard outside a synagogue the following day.

We are living in a time when freedom of expression is being curtailed on many different fronts.

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Pragna Patel and Yemisi Ilesanmi speak on secularism, religious fundamentalism, feminism, and human rights

Pragna Patel, of Southall Black Sisters, and Yemisi Ilesanmi, Nigerian socialist and LGBT rights activist spoke at a Workers' Liberty London Forum on secularism and religious fundamentalism on Thursday 12 February.

Here are recordings of their speeches (unfortunately the recording of Yemisi's speech was cut short):

Speeches from the February 2014 Workers' Liberty London Forum.

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Charlie Hebdo and the politics of anti-imperialism

Author: 

Barry Finger

"Killing in response to insult, no matter how gross, must be unequivocally condemned. That is why what happened in Paris cannot be tolerated. But neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction." (Bill Donohue, Catholic League)

"Now, I think there’s a critical difference between solidarity with the journalists who were attacked, refusing to concede anything to the idea that journalists are somehow “legitimate targets,” and solidarity with what is frankly a racist publication." (Richard Seymour, Lenin’s Tomb)

US socialist Barry Finger contributes to the debate around the Charlie Hebdo attacks and the left's attitude to political Islam.

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ISIS defeated in Kobane

Author: 

Gerry Bates

Kurdish fighters have expelled Daesh (ISIS) from inside the Syrian border town of Kobane.

This is a huge physical and symbolic blow to Daesh’s ambitions.

Some Daesh forces reportedly remain in the Maqtala district, on the eastern outskirts of the town.

Daesh is said to have lost more than 1,000 fighters since it began its advance on the town on 16 September 2014 in an attempt to control the border between Syria and Turkey. At one point the group had taken over most of the city.

Kurdish fighters have expelled Daesh (ISIS) from inside the Syrian border town of Kobane.

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France’s Front National tries to exploit Charlie Hebdo attack

Author: 

Bill Holmes

The far right in France appear to see recent terrorist attacks as political currency to attack both the government and the EU on immigration.

The Front National has said the attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine and an assault on a Jewish supermarket are the final proof that open borders and poor efforts to tackle immigration in France have led to an “enemy within”.

The far right in France see the recent terrorist attacks as an opportunity to attack both the government and the EU on immigration.

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