Religion & politics

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.

Issues and Campaigns: 

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.

Issues and Campaigns: 

French demos were not like Pegida

Author: 

Olivier Delbeke

To see only a fascist threat in the demonstrations in France of Sunday 11 January would be to misunderstand the nature of the mass sentiments which they expressed.

Today in France, the far right is developing various targets for racist hatred. In the first instance, there is hatred against immigrants of French citizens of Arab-Muslim background, mainly those from the Maghreb. Then there is anti-black racism against black people. These two forms of racism come from the tradition of colonialism and slavery and are reproduced by current social conditions (precarity, mass unemployment, demolition of public services, the degrading living conditions of the suburbs, fear for the future in the context of globalisation), combined with the presence of millions of citizens from non-European backgrounds.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Cameron versus the Pope

The Pope’s repsonse to the murderous attack on the journalists and workers at Charlie Hebdo was essentially “the wife beater’s defence”.

“If my good friend Dr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s normal... You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

The Pope’s repsonse to the murderous attack on the journalists and workers at Charlie Hebdo was essentially “the wife beater’s defence”.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

Stop the "anti-prostitute" vigilantes! (1994)

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

LEAVE ASIDE for the moment the question of
whether or not they should do such a thing. What hap-
pens when you set a gang of men - any men - to roam the
streets as vigilantes, harassing, bullying, and intimidating
prostitute women?

They will soon be harassing, bullying, and intimidating
women who are not prostitutes - women who by their gait,
clothes, make-up, or behaviour, or where they happen to
be on a street or in a neighbourhood, look to the gang of
men "like prostitutes."

What happens when you set a gang of men - any men - to roam the streets as vigilantes, harassing, bullying, and intimidating prostitute women?

Marxist Theory and History: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Stop the "anti-prostitute" vigilantes!

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

LEAVE ASIDE for the moment the question of
whether or not they should do such a thing. What hap-
pens when you set a gang of men - any men - to roam the
streets as vigilantes, harassing, bullying, and intimidating
prostitute women?

They will soon be harassing, bullying, and intimidating
women who are not prostitutes - women who by their gait,
clothes, make-up, or behaviour, or where they happen to
be on a street or in a neighbourhood, look to the gang of
men "like prostitutes."

What happens when you set a gang of men - any men - to roam the streets as vigilantes, harassing, bullying, and intimidating prostitute women?

Marxist Theory and History: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

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