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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-04-06 08:15 AM
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Islam and the Left
by Tariq Ali
April 02, 2006


The following interview with Tariq Ali was conducted by Alex De Jong and Paul Mepschen of the SAP (Dutch section of the Fourth International) at the Ernest Mandel symposium held in Brussels in November 2005. It was published in the March-April 2006 issue of the SAPs journal, Grenzeloos.

Grenzeloos: It is of course the assassination of the film-maker Theo van Gogh and the threats made against the liberal member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali which have particularly drawn attention to Islam in the Netherlands. Like her, you are an unbeliever who comes from the Muslim world. Have you already felt threatened?

Tariq Ali: No, never. I travel a lot both in the Muslim world and in the rest of the world, but I have never yet felt threatened. Why is that? It is no doubt because people who dont agree with me about religion know that I am an enemy of imperialism. I unceasingly criticize imperialism and all its works, more than the believers do. Whereas Hirsi Ali and people like her in the United States and in Europe make a profession out of attacking Islam. There are other important questions in the world.

Why do these people concentrate endlessly on Islam? In the way that they attack Islam, they go along with existing prejudices. And for that they are hated. There is no excuse or justification for acts of violence against these people. It is necessary to discuss with them. But these acts are a sign of despair: people are so much at the end of their tether that they have recourse to violence.

Dont you think that the violence and threats against these people also represent a threat to all those of Muslim origin who do not correspond to the norm? To the unbelievers, the feminists, the homosexuals?

Certainly. But you have to understand that the Muslim community is very diversified. People are very uninformed about the Muslim world. The image that they have of it comes to a large extent through the immigrant communities in Europe, who are, besides, very different from each other. Life in the Muslim world is not monolithic: there are believers, unbelievers, atheists.

Whether the unbelievers can freely express themselves is obviously another question. Often they cant, but that doesnt mean that they dont exist. As is the case here, religion is not the central element in the life of Muslims. People work, eat, make love, build families. Some go to the mosque, others dont. Exactly like in other parts of the world. The difference lies only in the fact that in some countries it is forbidden to criticize Islam. But that is not the case for example in Turkey. In other countries where it was also possible it has become more difficult today.

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=4...
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PsychoDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-26-06 12:15 PM
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1. It's interesting to note...
The socalist roots of both Christanity and Islam. Both movements embraced peace over violence, mercy over justice and stressed the need for community unity and social obligation to the needs of the community.

Peace.
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