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Siding with the Oppressor: The Pro-Islamist Left

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  • Cort Greene
    *Siding with the Oppressor: The Pro-Islamist Left* A new report by One Law for All entitled “Siding with the Oppressor: The Pro-Islamist
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 20, 2013
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      *Siding with the Oppressor: The Pro-Islamist Left*

      A new report by One Law for All entitled �Siding with the Oppressor: The
      Pro-Islamist Left<http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/siding-with-the-oppressor-the-pro-islamist-left/>�
      exposes Stop the War Coalition, Respect Party, Unite Against Fascism and
      individuals such as Ken Livingstone and George Galloway and their agenda
      and methods.

      This section of the Left uses accusations of racism and Islamophobia and a
      conflation of Muslim with Islamist in order to defend Islamism and Islam
      rather than out of any real concern for prejudice against Muslims or their
      rights, particularly since Muslims or those labelled as such are the first
      victims of Islamism and on the frontlines of resisting it.

      The report has been written as a companion volume to �Enemies not Allies:
      The Far-Right<http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/new-report-enemies-not-allies-the-far-right/>�.
      Like the far-Right which �despises� multiculturalism yet benefits from its
      idea of difference to scapegoat the �other� and promote its own form of
      white identity politics, the pro-Islamist Left also uses multiculturalism
      to side with the oppressor by viewing the �Muslim community� and �Muslim
      world� as homogeneous entities thereby ignoring and silencing dissenters.

      This politics of betrayal sides with the Islamic far-Right and the
      oppressor. Challenging this perspective is especially important given its
      wide acceptance as �progressive� in mainstream society.

      Any principled point of view must oppose all forms of fascism, including
      Islamic fascism, and instead side with the countless people, including
      Muslims, who are fighting and challenging Islamism here in Europe as well
      as the Middle East, North Africa and the world.

      http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/siding-with-the-oppressor-the-pro-islamist-left/
      Siding with the Oppressor: The Pro-Islamist
      Left<http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/siding-with-the-oppressor-the-pro-islamist-left/>
      By MaryamNamazie*Published:* June 19, 2013*Posted in: *Featured, Press
      Releases*Tags:*
      [image: Siding with the Oppressor: The Pro-Islamist Left]

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      The below is Maryam Namazie�s postscript to One Law for All�s new
      publication Siding with the Oppressor: The Pro-Islamist Left. It is a
      companion volume to Enemies not Allies: The
      Far-Right<http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Enemies-not-Allies-web-version1.pdf>.
      You can read full report
      here:SidingWithOpressor_Web<http://freethoughtblogs.com/maryamnamazie/files/2013/06/SidingWithOpressor_Web.pdf>
      .

      The politics of the pro-Islamist Left is a politics of betrayal.

      It�s a betrayal of the dissenters and victims of Islamism but also of the
      very principles that the Left has historically defended (from social
      justice, egalitarianism, secularism, universalism, and human liberation,
      including from religion).

      This Left uses multiculturalism, charges of racism and Islamophobia, and
      anti-imperialism, amongst others to defend the far-Right political Islamic
      movement.

      *Multiculturalism and Cultural Relativism*

      The Pro-Islamist Left relies on multiculturalism (not as a positive lived
      experience but as a social policy and political point of view) to deny the
      existence of dissent by pigeonholing innumerable individuals with
      innumerable characteristics into one imagined homogeneous grouping: �the
      Muslim community� or �the Muslim world�. And since it is those in power
      that determine the dominant culture, this point of view sees Islamist
      values and sensibilities as that of �authentic Muslims�.

      In fact, �Muslims� or those labelled as such include secularists,
      ex-Muslims, atheists, free thinkers, women�s rights activists, LGBT
      campaigners and socialists.

      Conflating Islamism with Muslim is a narrative peddled by Islamists in an
      attempt to feign representation.

      Contrary to how it�s viewed, regressive Islamists are given authority as
      �community leaders� not because they actually represent the �Muslim
      Community� but because of their access to the state, political power and
      their links with the political Islamic movement. Multiculturalism is a
      cheap way for the state to outsource social control.

      Clearly, the �Muslim community� is not synonymous with Islamism any more
      than English is synonymous with the English Defence League or Christian
      with the Christian-Right.

      Ironically, like the far-Right which �despises� multiculturalism yet
      benefits from its idea of difference to scapegoat the �other� and promote
      its own form of white identity politics, the post-modernist Left also uses
      multiculturalism to defend cultural and moral relativism and side with the
      oppressor.

      To accept the Islamist narrative that Muslim equates Islamist is to hand
      over countless individuals to the political Islamic movement and to ignore
      the dissent, political, social and civil struggles and class politics.

      This conflation means that those who challenge Islamism are accused of
      cultural imperialism and orientalism because the pro-Islamist Left has
      bought into the culturally-relativist notion that societies in the Middle
      East and North Africa (and the �Muslim community� in the west) are
      �Islamic� and �conservative�. Whilst those in power determine the dominant
      culture, there is no one homogeneous culture anywhere. Those who consider
      opposition to the veil or Sharia law as �foreign� and �culturally
      inappropriate� are only considering Islamism�s sensibilities and values,
      not that of the many who resist.

      Only those who see their rights and lives as separate and different from
      those deemed �other� and who have bought into (or are selling) Islamism�s
      narrative can see solidarity and the demand for equality in this warped way.

      In fact, this politics doesn�t merely ignore dissent, in many ways it
      forbids it. The likes of StWC, Socialist Workers Party, Unite against
      Fascism, Islamophobia Watch, and Respect Party or Ken Livingstone and
      George Galloway are there as prefects to silence dissenters and defend
      Islamism as a defence of �Muslims�. There are many examples to show that
      they equate Muslim with Islamist.

      In responding to those opposing its alliance with the Muslim Association of
      Britain (which is understood to be a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood), the
      StWC�s leadership Andrew Murray and Lindsey German have written:

      Anyone remotely acquainted with the British trade union movement will be
      aware that neither sexism nor homophobia are uncommon in its ranks. [�]
      woman can be subjected to more crude sexist behaviour than they might be
      likely to encounter within the Muslim Association of Britain. No one would
      suggest that an anti-war movement should have no truck with trade unionism
      until its ranks are 100 percent cleansed of such behaviour. Yet this is
      good enough as a stick to beat Muslims. Such attitudes indicate a form of
      racism, a desire to hold their organisations at arm�s length for the flaws
      which are, in some measure, tolerable in ours.

      The comparison is absurd. The difference of course is that the ethos of the
      trade union is not anti-woman, its ethos does not say that apostates should
      be killed or as the head of the MAB said recently at a debate with One Law
      for All that women should be stoned to death. StWC�s alliance with the MAB
      is akin to aligning with the EDL and then saying that racism exists in the
      ranks of the trade unions too so why single out the English!?

      *Racism and Islamophobia*

      This pro-Islamist Left deems any criticism of Islam or Islamism as racism
      or Islamophobia. However, criticising a religion, ideology or political
      movement � far-Right or otherwise � has nothing to do with racism. In fact,
      Islamophobia is a political term used to scaremonger people into silence.

      In some ways, these bogus accusations serve Islamism in the same way that
      Sharia law serves them where they are in power. It helps to threaten,
      intimidate and silence criticism and dissent. Charges of offence and
      Islamophobia are the equivalent of �secular� fatwas. It is a warning by the
      powers that be of what is acceptable and what is not; of what is sacred and
      cannot and must not be challenged.

      This is of course not to ignore that racism exists. Of course it does. But
      racism cannot be stopped by silencing much needed criticism of Islam and
      Islamism. Also as campaigner Rahila Gupta says: �Recent anti-racist
      alliances� reveal the capitulation of the left to the fascists within while
      organising against the fascists without. We should be sophisticated enough
      by now to construct a politics that is simultaneously anti-racist and
      anti-fundamentalist so that vulnerable groups like women, lesbians and gays
      and religious minorities do not get hung out to dry. As feminists we have
      been abandoned by those who should have been supporting our right to make
      �legitimate criticism�. They feel now, during the War on Terror, is not the
      right time. In a racist society, it is never the right time. When we expose
      the underbelly of our communities we are told that we are providing
      ammunition for racists. For us it isn�t a choice. We can�t hide one evil to
      fight another.�

      *Anti-imperialism and force of resistance*

      Fundamentally, this Left�s support of Islamism comes down to its affinity
      with Islamism, which it sees as a force of resistance against imperialism.
      If racism was its real concern, it wouldn�t support the blatantly racist
      notion of different and lesser standards and rights for those deemed
      �different�.

      This Left is part of an anti-colonial movement whose perspectives coincide
      with that of the ruling classes in the so-called Third World. It 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. To them the people in these countries (and the �Muslim minority in
      the West�) are one and the same with the Islamists they are struggling
      against. This is why StWC manhandles and expels anti-Iranian regime
      activists from its demonstrations and rejects resolutions that
      simultaneously opposes a war on Iran and the regime�s attacks on the
      working class and population at large. It sees Islamism as a force for
      resistance whilst it is nothing more than a regressive force for
      repression. But an enemy�s enemy is not necessarily an ally.

      As Women Living Under Muslim Laws says:

      Fundamentalist terror is by no means a tool of the poor against the rich,
      of the Third World against the West, of people against capitalism. It is
      not a legitimate response that can be supported by the progressive forces
      of the world. Its main target is the internal democratic opposition to
      their theocratic project and to their project of controlling all aspects of
      society in the name of religion, including education, the legal system,
      youth services, etc. When fundamentalists come to power, they silence the
      people, they physically eliminate dissidents, writers, journalists, poets,
      musicians, painters � like fascists do. Like fascists, they physically
      eliminate the �untermensch� � the subhumans �, among them �inferior races�,
      gays, mentally or physically disabled people. And they lock women �in their
      place�, which as we know from experience ends up being a straight jacket�

      *What�s most ironic is that Islamism is a force that came into existence as
      a far-Right, anti-Left movement, supported by Western powers. It�s only
      after 9/11 that their relationship has changed and only to some extent.
      It�s still a close ally in helping to manage revolutions and rebellions in
      the Middle East and North Africa.*

      This politics of betrayal supports a far-Right movement that has
      slaughtered an entire generation in a place like Iran, that just recently
      assassinated socialist leader Chokri Belaid in Tunisia, and that shot 15
      year old Malala Yousefzai in Pakistan for wanting education for girls�

      *Clearly, the Pro-Islamist Left�s politics of betrayal is just as inhuman
      as that of the far-Right. It�s particularly dangerous given that unlike the
      far-Right it has managed to gain portrayal in mainstream discourse as
      �progressive politics�.*

      Any principled position must oppose the far-Right of all varieties but also
      this pro-Islamist Left and rather side with universalism, equality for all,
      secularism as well as citizens and human beings, irrespective of beliefs.


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