Saturday, October 20, 2007

THE LEFT AND JIHAD

Lucien van der Walt of South Africa is a rare breed of Anarchist. He speaks the truth about radical Islam and is not taken in by their attempts to hijack the Left.

Leftists love to bash Israel for being part of the American hegemonic satellite.

The truth is we are a very weak suzerainty of the US. As van der Walt says below, the US has far more powerful countries in its satellite, among them Muslim countries: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and lesser partners: Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan.

How many Leftists know that and, if they know it, dare to "break ranks" and write it on the net?

However, let me hasten to say, and this is critical if we will have peace, that is a small number of genuine Muslim Anarchists and other progressive thinkers in Britain, the US and elsewhere. They are intrepid individuals. I am sure there are some in Arab lands too, but they dare not speak.

We Jewish Anarchists have A LOT in common with them. Every effort should be made to join forces with them. We have more in common as Anarchists who hold to a Monotheistic tradition than we have differences. Muslim Anarchists are not jihadists. They are very much "live and let live".

We should exert ourselves to put out "feelers" for Anarchists and progressives in our area and establish ties with them, support their efforts, let them know there are like-minded Jews in the area, and let them know they are not alone.

It transpires that there have always been a few Muslims with Libertarian ideas. This article is very interesting:

"Ibn Khaldun; A 14th C. Arab Liberatarian":
http://tinyurl.com/2ljek5

Let's put our conditioning and prejudice aside, as we ask them to do concerning us, and build bridges.

On Anarchy Africa van der Walt posted the following link:
"The Left and Jihad"
http://tinyurl.com/lw79a

He also wrote:

"I think we need to distinguish several things here: 1) the propaganda the US wages in its imperialism 2) imperialism and its effects on countries and 3) criticisms of Islam, as such.On the first point, sure, the US government has sometimes invoked the supposed flaws of Islam to justify its current interventions in the Middle East, and the more nebulous "war on terror" through which it is pursuing its military project elsewhere. I think, though, its a serious misrepresentation of the US propaganda to claim it is outright "Islamaphobic". Give me some concrete cases, not vague references to lots of materials being produced by the flunkies of the CIA, and show me I'm wrong.

I don't think the idea that "one who doesn't like muslims is not going to tell you he doesn't like muslims he's going to tell you he wants to defend the rights of women or freedom of speech" helps your case. You are simply asserting a hidden agenda, not showing one. And the implication of your argument thatIslamaphobia is orchestrated by the CIA, and that critics of Islam are the conscious or unconscious tools of imperialism, is that every critic of Islam is a scoundrel and a rogue, which is just insulting.Moreover, how does your theory explain the US setting up a puppet regime in Iraq, run by Muslim extremists? The fact that the US invasion of Iraq toppled a relatively modernist secular Arab nationalist in favour of his Islamist rivals? The point that one of the merits of the overthrow of Hussein highlighted byWashington was the massive expansion in public space for Muslims in Iraq? That the US-backed constitution makes Islam the official religion and source of law?Things are a bit more complex than the West versus Islam.

On the second point. Some historically Muslim countries are directly oppressed by imperialism but are they oppressed because they are Muslim? Are they oppressed any more than countries that are not officially Muslim? Are historically Muslim countries oppressed on a larger scale, in a larger number,in a more systematic fashion than other countries?Some historically Muslim countries are junior partners of Washington (like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt); some are lower-level imperial powers who also sometimes clash with American agendas in their own regions (like Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan); some are directly subject to Washington (like Afghanistan, Iraq); some are seeking allies with other great powers (like the EU). The variety of relationships shows the picture is much more complex than the notion of "Islamaphobia" suggests; the same variety of relationships that exist between between historically Muslim countries and the great powers can be found for any other grouping of less powerful countries one might identify (e.g. sub-Saharan Africa).

Yes, I am against imperialism and capitalism, but I am also critical of Islam in general, and absolutely opposed to Islamic fundamentalism.On the third point, there is nothing wrong with criticising mainstream Islam, and there is an absolute necessity of fighting against Islamic fundamentalism. The first is a broad set of religious ideas, which take many forms, and have many contradictions, and which certainly contain many objectionable elements. The second is an actively reactionary movement, and the expression of the same upsurge of the far right that is represented in western Europe by forces like the NF in France. (We can and must distinguish between criticism of Islam as a religion, and the struggle against Islamic fundamentalism, although it is misleading of groups like the Labour Party in Pakistan to draw a neat and absolute distinction between the two, and claim that Islam as a religion is not a political force). We live in a time of all-sided ethnic, tribal, religious andracial conflict, promoted, deliberately and also accidentally, by the great powers, but also driven from below by local warlords and thugs.

An anarchist must be a merciless critic of any doctrine, or behaviour, or institution, that hinders social and economic equality. Just like mainstream Christianity, mainstream Islam can and should be criticised. Islamic fundamentalism is a quasi-fascist and counter-revolutionary movement, activelyinvolved in massacring leftists and union members and feminists, and repressive in the extreme in power. It is anti-imperialist, but that is no saving grace: some of the worst thugs to cross the 20 century stage were anti-imperialist, among them Hendrik Verwoed, Idi Amin, and Mao Zedong.I don't hold back on criticising capitalism because Stalin might have agreed with some of my points, and I don't hold back from attacking mainstream Islam just because George Bush might have agreed with some of my points. That a character like George Bush might agree with some of the criticisms that honest people make of Islam in no sense makes such criticisms illegitimate. If George Bush thinks slavery is bad, or that murder is bad, does it follow that people can't criticise slavery or murder? The only logical endpoint of the position that criticism of Islam is "Islamaphobic" is the uncritical defence of Islam, in all its forms, and regardless of its record.

Finally.

I said before why I think its a problem to call, without qualification, these countries "Muslim countries": do we call Latin American countries "Christian countries" or part of the "Catholic world"? This is just stereotyping: it ignores the struggles and varieties within these countries (the great clashes after 1945 between radical Islam/ Arab nationalism/ Communist forces, for example; the revolt of many youth against the old traditions; the rise of labour etc.), and concedes the key claim of the Islamic fundamentalists (that all countries where Islam played some role in the past are essentially part of auniversal Ummah).But things are not that simple.

See, for example,Iraqi Communists Celebrate May Day 2007http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php/post/2583/Iraqi_Communists_Celebrate_May_Day\

Farooq Sulehria, Making Of The Islamic Threat, Labour Party Pakistanhttp://www.laborpakistan.org/articles/intl/notmyname.php

Houzan Mahmoud, The Constitution, Islamic Sharia law, and Women's Rights in Iraqand Kurdistan, Worker-Communist Party of Iraqhttp://www.wpiraq.net/english/2007/HouzanMahmud-Media210307.htm

Lucien"

Let's clear out the obfuscations of radical Islam that is dressing up in Leftist clothing and make peace with real Muslim Anarchists and progressives.

In response to this, a contributor to a list wrote:

"Dear Doreen:

Having been a history buff, having studied all types of history for a lot of years; I've read some pretty horrendous things done to people, done mostly to the Jews who lived along the route either by the Christian or by the Muslims. Things I won't discuss on this thing as I won't talk like that in front of women or children. It's not obscene language it's the terrible things that were done to the Jewish women. When I first reared it I simply couldn't believe one human being could do this to another but after you read account after account of this sort of thing being done to innocent people just because they were Jews.
Now to learn that these people are teaching it to their children as though they or those who did this awful thing to the women and babies just because they were Jews, then these people are compared to devils. Not so, I wouldn't down grade a devil to level. Compared to these people who could justify the terrorist actions of those to children, they're worse than the one's who committed the acts in the first place.
I'm sorry for these as they'll have to pay for their crimes either in this life or in the next.
Shalom, Shalom."


To which I responded:

You may rest assured that Muslim Anarchists and progressives are not the kind of people who commit atrocities and are as sickened by them as you are.
They are as critical of that which does not serve humanity in their religion as Jewish Anarchists are aware of same in our religion.
It is no more fair to assign collective guilt to another ethnic group or religious group, in toto, than it is for the anti-Semites to assign such to all Jews.
There are those who fault all of us Jews for the horrific deeds that have been carried out at the behest of the super-wealthy Jews. The wars that have been waged to keep them rich have spawned deeds (carried out not by them, oh no, they don't get their hands dirty, but by the soldiers that were sent to do their dirty work for them and die and be maimed if need be) were *just as ugly* as anything ever done to us.
Yes, we have to *admit* the guilt of the Jewish rich. AND we have to admit that they have harmed the rest of Jewry no less than our enemies have and no less than they harm other Peoples and cultures. They care not one whit for our welfare. We should not excuse them to ourselves or to the world.
If we separate ourselves from the rich Jews who cause so much harm to the world, we will not be despised for their sake. It is because we cover for them that the guilt is laid at our doorstep too. The effect of this is that poor Jews in Israel die to keep rich Jews in America and Europe and Asia rich AND we have incurred the disgust of the world as well.
I say, let the world know that the rich Jews are no less a pox on us than they are on them.
Shabbat Shalom,


D2

In response to this he answered simply:

"Dear Doreen:
Amen!
Shabbat Shalom"


Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
DoreenDotan@gmail.com

Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign
Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign!