Islamism

The Mind of Political Islam and the New Al Qaeda Threat of Mass Murder:

By John O'Mahony
The Al Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahri has (July 10th) threatened Prime Minister Gordon Brown with mass murder in Britain, in retaliation for the award of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie. The knighthood, al-Zawahri said, was an "insult" to Muslims. This once more expresses, and in its most brutish and blood-thirsty form, the paradoid intolerance that governs political Islam.

We analysed the "moderate" version of this mindset, in this comment on the outcry that immediately greeted the award of the knighthood.

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Defend Malalai Joya!

By Amina Saddiq

AT 28, Malalai Joya is Afghanistan’s youngest member of parliament, one of only a handful of women MPs. And Joya is a consistent fighter for women and girls.

She has taught literacy classes and ran an orphanage and health clinic. She has spoken out against the continuing dominance of the warlords, religious fanatics and drug traffickers in Afghanistan’s stitched up and botched together post-Taliban parliament.

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US Iraq plan in chaos, but Islamists offer no answer

by Colin Foster

Is a new nationalist political alliance emerging in Iraq, non-sectarian or at least cross-sectarian? Some reporters in the USA claim it is. The balance of evidence, I think, indicates not.

The claim for the existence of a new alliance rests on a “legislative petition” submitted in the Iraqi parliament on 8 May calling for the USA to set a timetable for withdrawal.

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Campaign against stonings in Kurdistan

By Sofie Buckland

A teenage girl belonging to the Yazidi religious sect has been stoned to death in northern Iraq. The killing was a punishment meted out for falling in love with a Muslim man, and has spiralled into further sectarian violence in the area.

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Turkish demonstrations are about freedom

Richard Preece discusses the recent anti-government demonstrations in Turkey

Much mainstream liberal and centre-right reporting on the crisis in Turkey has portrayed the debate as being a kind of “clash of civilisations in one country” between “Islamists” (or even “Muslims” according to others) supporting the ruling Adalet ve Kalk¦nma Partisi and “secularists” supporting the army and the opposition Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi.

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A very Turkish non-coup

By Richard Preece
The current political crisis in Turkey presents a dilemma for left-wingers, because Turkey is a country that doesn’t fit either of the stereotypical views held by knee-jerk “anti-imperialists” or “liberal interventionists” about politics in predominantly Muslim countries.

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Why isn't Hamas the same as the Algerian FLN?

Author: 

Clive Bradley

Islamism represents despair. It is not an alternative economic and political programme, but a retreat from having one, trusting instead in God.

Old-style nationalism was for something positive and concrete in the real world. The Islamists of course have their ideology (or ideologies, plural, ranging from that of Sayyid Qutb to that of Khomeini) - but what it represents is essentially negative.

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The ‘veil’ – symbol of liberation or oppression?

From Workers' Liberty Teachers NUT conference bulletin 2007
Some on the Left argue that Moslem women have taken to wearing the ‘veil’ (meaning such attire as the niqab or burqa) as a political act with a positive content.
‘Veiling’ becomes support for anti-imperialism, an expression of solidarity with co-religionists under attack. They point to aspects of Frantz Fanon’s writings about the Algerian war of independence against the French as a vindication of this position. What’s wrong with this approach?
Marginalisation

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The shame of the invertebrate liberals

The liberal Establishment, including the liberal newspapers, have responded to the still-burning political explosion ignited by the Danish cartoons showing Muhammad in a downright disgraceful way. They have turned tail on the traditions of freedom of religion and freedom to have no religion, of free speech and a free press, which in less demanding times they claim as their own and are ever ready to denounce Marxists for allegedly not accepting or defending.

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French paper defeats "Danish cartoons" prosecution

The editor of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo has defeated the court charges brought against him for publishing the "Danish cartoons", some of which satirised the Prophet Mohammed.

The Union of French Islamic Organisations (UIOF) and the Grand Mosque of Paris - both very much "establishment" Muslim organisations, favoured by the French government - brought the court case against Charlie Hebdo after it published two of the cartoons relating to Mohammed from the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten which caused such an uproar in 2006, and another cartoon lampooning that uproar.

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What is left anti-semitism?

What is “left-wing anti-semitism”? Where is it manifested? What is to be done about it?

There are three difficulties, three confusions and obfuscations, that stand in the way of rational discussion of what we mean by “left-wing anti-semitism”.

The first is that left-wing anti-semitism knows itself by another and more self-righteous name, “anti-Zionism”. Often, your left-wing anti-semite sincerely believes that he or she is only an anti-Zionist, only a just if severe critic of Israel.

The fact that their proponents are surely not racists does not answer the questions raised by root-and-branch "smash Israel" agitational themes.

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University cancels lecture after Islamist pressure

Leeds university has cancelled a talk by US academic Matthias Kuentzel for "security reasons" after it received Islamist emails complaining about the talk.
The talk was to be entitled "Hitler’s Legacy: Islamic Antisemitism in the Middle East".
It is a widely-argued thesis - and, besides, a true one - that much of the anti-semitism now commonplace in Islamist ideology derives not from old Islamic traditions, but from the influence in the 1930s on Middle Eastern politics of European fascism.

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“Half echo of the past, half menace of the future”

By Mark Osborn

The Economist believes that the Algerian government is likely to fall to fundamentalism. If it does, the repercussions will be felt right across the Muslim world and far beyond. The Economist concludes that “we” must “live with Islam,” which is “not like communism, something to be resisted tooth and nail.”
They think “Islam is a force for good, offering a moral underpinning for a world that surely needs one.”

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Egyptian secular activist jailed - Free Kareem Amer!

By Amina Saddiq

22 year old Egyptian blogger and former law student Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman, or Kareem Amer as he is known online, was arrested by the authorities in Alexandria on 22 February and charged with the following offences:

• Spreading information and malicious rumours that disrupt public security;

• Defaming the president of Egypt;

• Incitement to overthrow the regime based upon hatred and contempt;

• Incitement to hate Islam and to breach public peace standards; and

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What is the Muslim Association of Britain?

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

Since September 2002, Stop the War Coalition protests have been co-sponsored by an organisation called the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB). More recently, the SWP-sponsored Respect electoral coalition has worked closely with the MAB, with former MAB President Anas Altikriti heading Respect’s Yorkshire and Humberside slate for the European elections in June 2004.

A briefing on the Muslim Association of Britain and its links with the Muslim Brotherhood.

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The Prophet and the Pope

By Sean Matgamna

“They take each other by the hand today, but they will take each other by the throat, tomorrow,” we said not long ago, commenting on the United Front of Christian, Muslim and Sikh zealots to repress “disrespectful” comments on their respective religions.

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Free Kareem Amer!

[Posted 28 Feb, 2007]
22 year old Egyptian blogger and former law student Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman, or Kareem Amer as he is known online, was arrested by the authorities in Alexandria on 22 February and charged with the following offences:

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As you were saying - Tony Cliff against the Muslim Brotherhood

Author: 

Tony Cliff

The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) was prominent on the platforms at the European Social Forum on 15–17 October, and as a joint sponsor of the demonstration which closed the ESF, on 17 October 2004.

The 17 October demonstration saw the first return for a while of the sort of message from MAB which it promoted on its first big public appearance, a demonstration in April 2002 on the themes Zionism = Nazism, Sharon = Hitler, Star of David = Swastika, the Israeli brutalities in the Occupied Territories are the “real” Holocaust.

When Tony Cliff described Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood as "clerical fascist".

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Tamimi's new book on Palestinian liberation

Apparently Azzam Tamimi is about to release a book on the Palestine liberation movement and he had a launch meeting on September 21st in Glasgow I think. I don’t know who was in the audience. A video of his talk is viewable at: http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=6997561560673766578 (corrected as a result of change of URL)
Below is an edited transcript of parts of it. Can't wait for the book
Tamimi speaks

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With the Iranian workers — against war, against the Islamic Republic

The crisis between Iran and the US entered a new stage with the election of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to the presidency of the Islamic Republic last June. Amina Saddiq looks at the background

Who is Ahmedinejad?

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Freedom of religion and Jack Straw

By Sean Matgamna

Do Muslim women in Britain have the right under law to wear the hijab or the niqab (face-covering veil)? Yes, they do.
Has anybody challenged their legal right to dress as they feel their religion demands? Not that I know of.
Is it appropriate for a government minister, Jack Straw, to publicly criticise the religious observances of the Muslim community? No, surely, it is not!

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TUC Blog: Monday afternoon – the Muslim Council of Britain

Dr. Abdul Bari, new leader of the Muslim Council of Britain gave a speech to Congress on Monday afternoon, and the General Council presented us with a joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain. There was no opportunity to propose amendments to it, just a take-it-or-leave-it vote, and little time to explain or organise around what was wrong with the statement.

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Who are Hizbollah?

By Clive Bradley

The Lebanese political system, from 1943 until its collapse in the 1970s, enshrined the religious divisions in the population. There was a Christian president, a Sunni Muslim prime minister (and a much weaker Shi’a Speaker of the House); parliamentary seats were allocated with six Christians to every five Muslims. The Shi’a Muslims were often poor, and this “confessional” system discriminated against them.

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The left that backs Hizbollah

By Ruben Lomas

“Only they who can keep their heart strong and their will as sharp as a sword when the general disillusionment is at its worst can be regarded as a fighter for the working class or called a revolutionary.”

Antonio Gramsci

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Islamist militias target Iraqi gays

By Amy Fisher

Islamist violence against LGBT people in Iraq is reaching a new level with the extension of homophobic attacks to children.

An underground network of LGBT activists in Iraq is reporting the execution of an eleven year old boy by Islamist militias for the crime of having been forced into same-sex prostitution. Ameer Hasoon al-Hasani was kidnapped from his home by police. His body was found three days later; he’d been executed with a single shot to the head.

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The return of the Taliban

by Cathy Nugent

On 10 July the government announced a further 850 troops for Afghanistan, bringing the UK total to around 4,500. UK troops have been increased gradually since the beginning of the year, as part of an plan which will see all troops, including US troops, under the control of NATO.

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How Iranian workers toppled a dictator

The Iranian revolution 1978-79 was one of the seminal events of the twentieth century, rich in lessons for working-class socialists. It is a story of class struggle, female self-assertion and the awakening of national minorities. The Iranian workers were the decisive force behind the toppling of the hated regime of Mohammed Reza Shah. Yet this movement was smashed by the theocracy that took the place of the monarchy. That Islamic state ruled by clerics has been a catastrophe for workers, for women and the oppressed.

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