Tuesday, December 18, 2007

From Islamophobia to Islam

Using concepts of Islamophobia as grounds for alliance with religious fundamentalists is not the sole prerogative of the SWP. In Denmark the red-green alliance, which once boasted that it was doing so well that it might well put forward a socialist platform in the next elections, decided that the way to show solidarity was to stand a Muslim candidate in the November elections. They decided on no half measures and selected as a candidate Asmaa Abdol-Hamid, a young Muslim woman who wears the hijab and avoids contact with people of the male persuasion to the extent of refusing to shake hands with them. The Danish press had a field day, expressing dissatisfaction with her answers to questions on the death penalty and religious fundamentalism.

It is true that Denmark has a history of racist provocation against Muslims and it is the duty of socialists to oppose that provocation, but how it leads an organisation claiming a link with socialism to stand a religious zealot as their candidate is a little hard to follow.

The supporters of the Red-Green alliance found it hard to follow also. In fact they didn’t follow it to the extent that the alliances’ vote was cut from 3.4 % to 2.17 % of the vote, the worst result for the alliance since it entered parliament in 1994. In case the RGA was in any doubt about cause and effect, the opinion polls went through the floor as soon as they announced their candidate. Any remaining doubt was removed when former voters left the polling booth declaring that they no longer supported the group on the basis of Asmaa’s candidacy.

To rub salt in the wounds, the left reformist Socialist Peoples Party (SPP) more than doubled its votes from 6 % to 13 % on the back of worker’s radicalisation based on big mobilisations defending the welfare system.

We are far from seeing a revolutionary movement in Denmark. Neither the Red-Green alliance nor the SSP come close. But certain things are clear-cut. Socialists should oppose imperialist wars. They should defend Muslims from racist prosecution, but a socialist programme is aimed at the working class, rather than some confused liberal alliance with religious fundamentalism.

Mind you, Denmark isn’t the only part of the globe where leftists have given up on the workers and embraced alliances with quite reactionary forces. These miniature Denmarks are likely to go the same way as the Red-Green alliance.


tomeile said...

“It is true that Denmark has a history of racist provocation against Muslims and it is the duty of socialists to oppose that provocation………….”

I assume you must be referring to the Jyllands-Posten cartoon provocation. Pat C is one of the leading organizers of HOPIeire ,an organization that Socialist Democracy is affiliated to .Below is a sample of the comments that PatC posted to indymedia ireland in 2005 defending the publication of the cartoons :

“mohammed was a psychotic mass murdering imperialist. he spread islam by the sword. this is historical fact.”

“ataturk had 200 mullahs hanged in the middle of ankara. this put a halt to their gallop.”

“at the turn of the twentieth century, republican radicals rose up and hanged the supreme ayetollah in the centre of tehran. this is the only way to deal with islamic fundamentalists. but it has to come from the people themselves. maybe eventually the palestinian people will see the islamic clergy for the hyenas they are.”

“if muslims dont like bourgeois liberal freedoms (which are a lot less thgan anarchist freedoms) then they should movce to an islamic country.”

“mohommad was a pedophile who took a 9 yr old wife. he was really in to young women. many of his followers gave their young daughters to him as wives. (2 of the first 4 caliphs who succeeded him had given him daughters, a 3rd, ali, was his son in law AND his 1st cousin!) he also had numerous concubine slaves which he raped (if the swp want to object to that then tell me how a slave gives consent). the pedophile prophet was indeed a lecherous old rapist.”

“it is part of mainstream islamic thinking that adulterous women and gays should be stoned to death.”

“if muslims have a problem with the few freedoms we have then they should emigrate to an islamic country. thats not racist, its secluar democratic socialist common sense.”

“nothing against the danes so i cannot approve of burnimg their embassy. now why cant someone stir them up against the turks?”

“well i reckon its\ time to start portraying mullahs as pigs”

Anonymous said...

What has the above comment from anon to do with islamophbia? I tried to open the link given at the bottom of the post but got a message saying that the site was spam.

Is Socialist Democracy still part of the HOPI group ? I found it very difficult to understand why SD members stayed on the steering committee of HOPIeire after the meeting had rejected its Hands Off Iran resolution in Dublin last year .Would SD clear this up