My Blog has Moved to since 1 November 2011

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The pathetic excuse of much of the European Left is no better

Diane writes: Whilst I agree with stopping any form of Sharia Law here, as far as I can see it's the United Against Fascism group who are in bed with Islamists, not the far right. They defend radical Islam.

Maryam Namazie responds: Yes of course Diane, the Left such as the Socialist Workers’ Party and George Galloway defend Islamism – and of course some more than others. Even so, the far-right - my enemy’s enemy - doesn’t make a friend.

But that doesn’t mean that I think the sad excuse of much of the European Left is any better (even though I myself am on the Left).

It is an anti-colonial movement whose perspectives coincide with that of the ruling classes in the so-called Third World. This grouping is on the side of the ‘colonies’ no matter what goes on there. And their understanding of the ‘colonies’ is Eurocentric, patronising and even racist. In the world according to them, the people in these countries are one and the same with the regimes they are struggling against just as the ‘Muslim community’ here is one and the same with reactionary Islamic organisations, Sharia councils, and parasitical imams. Which is why at Stop the War Coalition demonstrations, they carry banners saying ‘We are all Hezbollah;’ at meetings they segregate men and women and urge unveiled women to veil out of ‘solidarity’ and ‘respect’.

This type of politics denies universalism, sees rights as ‘western,’ justifies the suppression of rights, freedoms and equality under the guise of respect for other ‘cultures’ implying that people want to live the way they are forced to and imputing on innumerable people the most reactionary elements of culture and religion, which is that of the ruling class.

In this type of politics, the oppressor is victim and any criticism racist…

I suppose the whole point of the One Law for All Campaign is to create an alternative space for decent people to resist in a way that does not inadvertently bed them with the fascists or the Islamists and their apologists.

In all of this Diane, you need to choose where you will stand in the battle that lies ahead.

I hope you will choose to be out and about on November 21.


To read more of my criticism of cultural relativism, click here.

To read more of my criticism of the far-Right and European Left, see my open letter to anyone who will listen


Edmund said...

I'm glad, and proud, that not all of the left in Britain is the SWP/UAF/STWC or Respect. If you're based in London then the situation can seem skewed but here in Wales and in much of England the demographics are different and the other left parties (I'm in the Socialist Party) are far stronger.

I've spoken on Iran in the local party and when I have, I've made sure to say that neither the Shah nor the Leader are the answers, but instead, that the answers in Iran have to come from the cooperation of its people in a socialist world. When we've had to share a platform with the SWP or one of their fronts in a public event, I've done what I could to denounce creeping pro-Hezbollah or pro-Ahmedinejad talk.

I certainly have no time for Galloway anymore, especially not since he went on PRESS TV. The man's an embarrassment.

In a backhanded way, we've lucked out for the upcoming demonstration in Newport tomorrow. SWP/UAF/STWC have decided to split off from the main anti-EDL rally and instead hold a march somewhere else. At least we won't have to share a platform with them for the first few hours. Last week in Swansea, they were deliberately lowering the consciousness of the crowd; the people listening to the speakers had picked up on "workers of the world unite and fight" and SWP started shouting them down, deflecting the slogan into "people of Swansea unite and fight". Ludicrous! Backward! I respect SWP's ability to organise; I respect some of the fight they put up; but I always have the feeling they really hold the working class in contempt, somehow consider the people united to be just a blunt instrument to bang against whatever will make the loudest noise.

Surely you know the Socialist Party. How do you feel about our approach to the religious dictatorships of the Middle East and elsewhere?

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