Religion & politics

How socialists fight religion

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Leon Trotsky

In this article Leon Trotsky discusses the Bolsheviks’ efforts to break the grip of religion on the people of Russia after the workers’ revolution of 1917.

Trotsky explains that simple scorn and administrative methods are not sufficient. Only together with an increase in humanity’s conscious control over both its own social and economic structures, and its interactions with nature, can criticism of religion be effective.

Leon Trotsky discusses the Bolsheviks' efforts to break the grip of religion in Russia after the 1917 revolution.

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France's Turkey veto

In the end, despite lobbying by the Polish government and others, the EU constitution signed by 25 member states on 29 October did not contain references to Europe’s “Judaeo-Christian roots” in its preamble. But the question whether the EU should in some senses be a club only for Christians rumbles on, including, strongly, in France.

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Where "honour" means horror

Earlier this year the Metropolitan Police announced a re-examination of more than 100 murders in England and Wales which, they suspect, have been 'honour killings'. Cathy Nugent looks at this chilling phenomenon, and reviews a new novel which examines the effects of honour killing on a Pakistani community.

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Blunkett's law, feminism, Islamic culture and spirituality

Once upon a time I was a Tao-y arty little hippy whose family happens to be flaming scarlet. It happens that I know a good deal about the diversity of the Islamic tradition, or at any rate more than Galloway, German and Livingstone, who appal me and my simple belief that atheism and feminism are the hallmarks of the Left. What follows is certain reflections on religion and the proposed legislation against inciting religious hatred which may be of interest to comrades.

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Muslims, Christians, Marxists, free speech: the Muhammad cartoons dispute. An attempt at a dialogue. [2006]

Author: 

By Sean Matgamna
In the Muhammad cartoons dispute, the issue was free speech.

Q. What for socialists is the issue in the uproar over the cartoons depicting Muhammad?

A. Whether or not the devotees of a religion should be allowed to enforce the precepts, rules, and customs of a set of religious believers on people who do not voluntarily accept that religion and its rules. (Or - and this is important, too, for many of Islamic background - on people who, accepting much of the religion, disagree with some of its rules and customs).

In the Muhammad cartoon dispute, the issue was free speech.

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Muslims, the Mass, Marxists and manipulation (2003)

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

A few months ago I got lost in the backstreets of Leeds looking for a certain church. I came upon a man locking up his shop and I asked him where the All Hallows Church was.

A discussion between a Marxist atheist and a Muslim.

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The SWP, the Mainstream Left and Islamism

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

The Prophet and the demoralised opportunists

Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But, man is no abstract being squatting outside the world.

2002 analysis of liberal and SWP accommodation to Islamism in the anti-war movement

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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