Secularism

2019 debate on hijabs in schools

Published on: Mon, 21/10/2019 - 18:04

Photo: CC BY 2.0 DFID

In the AWL in the run up to our 2019 conference, we are having a debate on the hijab in schools, after one member brought a motion on it. Please see the editorial note below, and below that, the articles that have been written in Solidarity to date on this. We have internal discussion documents on it, but most of the debate we have had publicly. Third on this page is the policy we passed in 2004, and fourth is some articles from the debate at the time.

Editorial note

Our existing policy decided in relation to the French ban on the hijab/veil in schools is printed at the

Self-determination for Kashmir!

Published on: Wed, 14/08/2019 - 09:04

Taken from The Clarion

By revoking Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution that provide special autonomous status and residency rules for Jammu and Kashmir, and preparing to break up the state, Narenda Modi’s far-right, Hindu-supremacist government has effectively declared war on the Kashmiri people.

It has virtually declared a literal war too, with tens of thousands of troops invading the state, mainstream political leaders under house arrest, a total communications blackout, and reports of widespread human rights abuses. An already bad situation has got much worse, fast.

This attack

“Islamophobia”? It’s anti-Muslim racism

Published on: Wed, 17/07/2019 - 09:03
Author

Pragna Patel

Pragna Patel from Southall Black Sisters spoke to Martin Thomas from Solidarity about the controversy over the Government’s rejection of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) definition of “Islamophobia”.

We were against the idea of having a specific definition of “Islamophobia”. Racism against Muslims exists. It is pervasive and needs to be resolutely challenged. “Islamophobia” conflates legitimate criticism of religion, which groups like Southall Black Sisters have always engaged, with racism towards people of a particular minority. The use of the term “Islamophobia” makes it very easy to

Gardiner and the Hindu pogromists

Published on: Wed, 29/05/2019 - 12:02
Author

Todd Hamer

The Parliamentary Labour Party is full of unscrupulous and unprincipled politicians willing to exploit communal divisions and promote reactionary “community leaders” for electoral gain. However, the efforts of shadow trade minister Barry Gardiner go well beyond a few public appearances with the local vicar or imam.

On 23 May, Gardiner tweeted to give a lavish welcome to right-winger Narendra Modi’s victory in India’s election. In 2001, in the wake of the Gujarat earthquake, Gardiner visited India and handed a £1 million cheque to Modi, who was then Gujarat’s Chief Minister. The money was

How not to criticise religion

Published on: Tue, 14/08/2018 - 16:57
Author

Daniel Randall

Tory politician Boris Johnson has provoked a scandal by writing, in a Daily Telegraph article opposing Denmark's ban on Islamic face veils, that women who wear them“look like bank robbers” and “letter boxes”. There have been calls from within his own party for disciplinary action to be taken against him, with many arguing (fairly, on the evidence) that his comments are expressive of a deep seam of anti-Muslim bigotry in the Tory party. Others have defended Johnson with claims that he was simply defending “liberal values”, and that the right to criticise religion and religious practise must be

A split in Iraqi socialist group

Published on: Wed, 18/07/2018 - 10:54
Author

Nadia Mahmood & Martin Thomas

Nadia Mahmood of the Worker-communist Party of Iraq spoke to Martin Thomas about a split within her organisation.

Nadia: The resignation of our comrades Muayad Ahmed and Yanar Mohammad was announced after the central committee’s decision to take away Falah Alwan’s membership of the party.

MT: There must have been some political issues behind it, like the referendum?

Nadia: We always have different political views in our party. We always take decisions based on votes. That is basic. As regards the referendum, we had our differences but we set them out. So it wasn’t an issue. And the referendum

The Third Irish Revolution?

Published on: Wed, 30/05/2018 - 11:39
Author

Sean Matgamna

Have you heard the ultimate “Irish” joke? In a referendum on a united Ireland the Protestant Unionists of north-east Ulster campaign for “no” on the grounds that the South is too liberal. The people no longer fear God, maybe scarcely believe in God, and refuse to listen to their spiritual advisers.

The two-to-one vote on 25 May to rip up the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution — entrenched there by a referendum in 1983 — was a great empowering and liberating event for the women of Ireland, Mná na hÉireann. Legislation to allow abortion will soon follow.

The yes vote in the referendum on

TV fictions and AWL reality

Published on: Wed, 14/03/2018 - 13:03
Author

Sean Matgamna

An open letter to Ashok Kumar

It’s been said before, and it will bear saying again. If everything published by the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty in the last five decades were to disappear, and if future historians of socialism had to rely on what our political opponents said about us, then the historians would find it impossible to make political sense of the story.

On the one hand we are people who do, and have always done, everything we can to help workers in their struggle against employers and governments. We throw everything we have into that.

We preach working-class revolutionary

Against the "my enemy's enemy is my friend" binary: an interview with Meredith Tax

Published on: Sun, 04/02/2018 - 19:33
Author

Andy Heintz

Meredith Tax has been a prominent feminist voice and political activist since the late 1960s. She is the author of several books including The Rising of the Women: Feminist Solidarity and Class Conflict, 1880–1917, Double Bind: The Muslim Right, The Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights, and A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State, as well as two historical novels, Rivington Street and Union Square. Her 1969 essay “Woman and her Mind: The Story of Everyday Life” helped influence the US women’s liberation movement.

In 1986, Tax and Grace Paley initiated the PEN American

Secularism is a women's issue: an interview with Marieme Helie-Lucas

Published on: Sun, 04/02/2018 - 19:00
Author

Andy Heintz

Marieme Helie Lucas is an Algerian sociologist and the founder and former International Coordinator of the “Women Living Under Muslim Laws” international solidarity organization. Helie Lucas also is the founder of “Secularism is a Women’s Issue.” Helie Lucas has long been a critic of Western human rights organizations’ sole focus on the crimes of the state as opposed to the crimes of non-state actors. She is a fierce champion of secularism in governance and a harsh critic of all forms of religious fundamentalism. She was previously interviewed by Workers’ Liberty here.

This interview was

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