Mark Sandell’s letter (Solidarity 3/87) attacking my article on secularism in France did make a sustained effort at picking holes in my argument, but did little to justify his own position.
By Alan Thomas
At the present time, Muslim populations across Europe are under-privileged and oppressed. Within the UK as well, Muslim populations suffer all the usual social indicators of racism, as well as being at the sharp end of the recent “antiterror” laws, as well as a wider post-9/11 backlash. The image of Muslim as savage, terrorist “other” is thus at the fore in a way that it has not been in many years.
By Vicki Morris
I’m not against people being allowed to publish or see the cartoons. I oppose people threatening people with violence for publishing them. And, yes, seeing them does give people more information about them (for example, they’re not all bad). But if the AWL were humanity’s last hope of seeing these cartoons, should it give them houseroom?
by Sami Zubaida, Emiritus professor of politics and sociology, Birkbeck College, London (open democracy website)
Apart from the debatable wisdom, good taste or motives for publishing the offending cartoons, the episode does raise important questions.
A petition being circulated by the Worker-communist Party of Iraq
This is a issue between political Islam and freedom of speech, but it is secondary to the killing of Van Gogh who was murdered by Islamic people in Netherlands because of his short film about the real situation for women under Islamic rule.
Paul Anderson, writer, journalist and academic (from Tribune)
It’s clear that Jyllands-Posten was deliberately attempting to provoke a reaction when it decided to publish, and by some accounts it seems to have been motivated by a rather crude antipathy to Islam.
By Salil Tripathi, writer and journalist (from the Index on Censorship website)
IN 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini posed a stark choice: would we support an author’s right to express himself freely, or would we stand by as he is hunted down by state-sponsored assassins?
by Martin thomas
Danish author Kare Bluitgen could not find an illustrator for a children’s book on Islam. The illustrators were scared of being attacked by Islamists. Eventually Bluitgen found an illustrator to do the work anonymously.
A call from the Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq
To all women’s, progressive, secularist and labour movement organisations
Make International Women’s Day on 8 March a day of saying no to Islamic sharia law in Iraq
It has been known for some time that Iqbal Sacranie, General Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, was right-wing. After all, he accepted a knighthood last year, and serves on government quangos including Blair's "task force" against terrorism.