Variousness 39

14May11

Another small one.

Ross W: The Works of the Historian and Marxist Theorist Moishe Postone

Steven Johns: Anarchism and British Islamism: putting things in perspective

Rebecca L: US Boat to Gaza and Gilad Atzmon. More from Adam Holland.

Modernity: Occupied Palestine.

Mark Gardner: Routledge’s Journal of Contemporary Leftist Anti-Semitism

Max Weber: Can anarchists be legal scholars?

See also: Poumista/Bob

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10 Responses to “Variousness 39”

  1. variousness 38?
    I see that you have linked to the reply to paul’s article on Islamism and british anarchism but not to the original article; Johns makes a number of allegations and an even larger number of aspertions on paul and upon Class War, as it was when Paul was a member (as I was too). Johns argument is of a par with the liberal, anti imperialist, melange that is Libcom’s special milieu, and is even in conflict with the stated position of the Anarchist federation, which Johns is a member who as it has been pointed out elsewhere on the web far more anti islamist ( and anti Islamic) that anything that paul wrote in his article:
    “Revolutionary anarchism is atheist. Anarchists have always rejected all authority, not least that of a mythical god. Islam in contrast is all about submission to such a nonentity.
    Muslims are essentially enslaved not to a god but to a set of bogus revelations found in the Koran. And, it is the task of Islam to ensure that all of the peoples in the world are similarly enslaved.
    Modern, fundamentalist Islam seeks to destroy the gains of enlightened thought and replace them with the values of a religious leader from the seventh century. To the true Muslim, the words of the Koran are literal truth, valid for all peoples at all time.
    Slavery is at least tolerated within Islam and half of humanity, women, are considered inferior to men. Women are subject to all sorts of handicaps, starting from the outrageously sexist assertion that men are their protectors and maintainers (Koran 4:34). Furthermore should wives be disloyal, husbands are ultimately instructed to beat them (ibid). In legal cases women’s evidence is considered less than men’s‚ and in all social respects except for the family home, the women has inferior status.
    Anarchists have always advocated sexual freedom. Not so in Islam where marriage is the only acceptable sexual relationship. For example, according to one Koranic verse, sex between unmarried people is punishable as follow: “Flog each of them with a hundred lashes” (sura 24:2). In Islam, homosexuality deserves even harsher punishment.
    Islam enshrines inequality and promotes commerce (seventh century style that is). However, those with adequate means are required to give the needy 2.5% of their capital assets per year, hardly a massive wealth redistribution.
    Given the Muslim view that the Koran contains the word of God, the severest punishment must be meted out either here on earth or in hell fire. There can be no tolerance for
    non-believers and a variety of other belief systems. To give up Islam is to invite the death penalty.
    So, Islam is an enemy of all freedom loving people. Anarchism alone recognises the need to destroy all gods and replace them with human solidarity, freedom and equality. It is certain that, if given the opportunity, Islam would introduce another form of authoritarianism in Britain and across the globe. It must be resisted.”

  2. Thanks Darren. I think I linked to Paul S’s article in a previous variousness and it is also linked to from the start of the JOhns article. Here, folks, is the url: http://shiftmag.co.uk/?p=407

    For what it’s worth, I am completely on Paul’s side and agree with the AF statement you’ve pasted here Darren.

  3. By the way, though, what are the false allegations about Class War? I clearly recall a debate in Subversion over support for the IRA, with CW arguing for it – or maybe that was one individual CW person and not CW policy? Is the Mo-effigy burning a lie? The allegation that rings least true for me is that “Members of Class War have in the past also abandoned anarchist principles on Islam, supporting France’s state ban on the headscarf.”

  4. I was surprised by the headscarf comment.

    For the record, I believe people should be able to wear what they want.

    I can’t really recall Class War writing or talking much on the subject of the headscarf ban (in either France or Turkey) and certainly would not have seen it as a ‘betrayal of Anarchist principles’ if members had differing views on the issue.

  5. Sorry I failed to clear up the point on the effigies.

    Back in 2006, Class War held a bonfire party on Guy Fawkes Night in London Fields. It was attended by several hundred people, from locals passing through, the Anarchist movement and even the odd local Trot.

    At the event effigies of Tony Blair, George W Bush and the Hackney Council leader were burned, along with the US flag. Then effigies of Jesus and Mohammed were paraded around the fire, and set alight. Jesus was portrayed as a hippy wearing yellow stained Y fronts, Mohammed had a beard, nightshirt and a plastic folder marked “Koran”. You can see a video here:

    There was no fuss or objections at the time (the riot cops on the far side of the park probably did not notice) Later there was a critical letter in Socialist Worker, and a lengthy thread on Libcom. The Libcom thread denounced CW for racism, and complained about the way Mohammed was portrayed as a stereotyped Arab. My rhetorical question ‘what was he supposed to wear, top hat and tails?’ remains unanswered.

    I had left CW by the time of the 2008 bonfire, which was broken up by riot police, with some minor injuries sustained. The local Labour council justified this in the Hackney Gazette on the grounds that at a previous event, CW had burned effigies that were important to local faith communities.

    I can’t help thinking that in hindsight the effigies were most important to Libcom and the Anarchist Federation………


  1. 1 Variousness 40 « Anti-National Translation
  2. 2 Kritik & theory « Anti-National Translation
  3. 3 Looking back at 2011 « Anti-National Translation
  4. 4 horoscope

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