Archive for the ‘Secularism’ Category
Caroline Fourest: Attacked by Far-Right and ‘Anti-Imperialists’.
There were many virulent anti-gay marriage demonstrations in France over the weekend.
On Saturday at Nantes, Caroline Fourest, was at a meeting to debate Islam and secularism. (Caroline Fourest était venue débattre d’islam et de laïcité).
The journalist, who is herself gay, was violently taken aside by those against the law enabling “marriage for all”. (Report here)
As she arrived at Nantes by train over 100 screaming demonstrations from the extreme-right were waiting for Caroline.
That was only the beginning.
They followed her to the meeting venue.
They disputed the meeting, shouting, and throwing stink bombs and tear gas.
Returning to Paris at Montparnasse the anti-gay marriage far right were waiting for her at the station.
It appears that these thugs were part of the ‘Printemps français’ alliance of Christian extremists and the neo-fascist right and racists.
Caroline was attacked in September last year at the annual Fête d’Huma by the Indigènes de la République and the Indivisibles. They prevented her from talking about her latest book against the Front National
They claim she is ‘Islamophobic’ and had no right to speak.
Caroline then, has been shouted down by Islamists, so-called ‘anti-imperialists’ and now, the extreme right has taken upon itself the task of stalking her.
Is it a coincidence that she is a gay women feminist?
Perhaps the Printemps français and the Indigènes de la République could get together and organise a united attack against Caroline Fourest.
Her report: Les homophobes sont allés trop loin à Nantes
Two suspected killers of Tunisian left-wing Democrat Chokri Belaïd, have been arrested, Libération reports today.
They are both from the Salafist movement.
One of them is active in the Ligue de protection de la révolution (LPR).
L’un de ces sources a précisé que le tueur était actif dans la Ligue de protection de la révolution (LPR) une milice brutale pro-islamiste, du Kram, une banlieue populaire de Tunis voisine de Carthage.
A source adds that the killer was active in the Ligue de protection de la révolution (LPR), a brutal pro-Islamist militia, in Kram, a poor suburb of Tunis, not far from Carthage.
This body is described on Wikipedia as “Soutenue par deux partis de la coalition au pouvoir, le Congrès pour la République et Ennahda, elle est particulièrement proche de ce dernier, ainsi que des salafistes“
It is backed by two parties of the (then) governing Coalition, the Congrès Pour la République and Ennahda. It is particularly close to the latter and to the Salafists.
You will find absolutely no reference to this link with Ennahada in the Guardian’s report on the arrests.
They simply describe the suspects as “hardline Islamists” and “Salafists”.
We wonder why….
Chokri Belaid: Tunisian Patriot, Marxist and Secularist Killed by Islamists.
At the of January Chokri Belaïd wrote, “Official violence and that of the militias is present, with the political assassination in Tataouine, and warnings and calls for the liquidation of political competitors without the authorities responding. The situation that gave birth to December 17, 2010 is still current.” (Hat-tip Paul F)
His party the Mouvement des patriotes démocrates (حركة الوطنيون الديمقراطيون) is Marxist, pan-Arab and Secularist.
It is part of the Front Populaire, (الجبهة الشعبية) ou Front populaire pour la réalisation des objectifs de la révolution (الجبهة الشعبية لتحقيق أهداف الثورة) * which unites left parties in opposition to the Ennahdha, Islamist-led Tunisian government.
Belaid has been described as the “bête noire” of the Islamists, particularly after the lawyer defended freedom of expression, and the film Persepolis.
Yesterday he was shot outside his front door.
Tunisia Live reports,
Leftist politician and leader of the Popular Front coalition Chokri Belaid was shot to death this morning outside of his home.
Shortly after news of his assassination consumed the airwaves and social media, protesters took to the streets to express their indignation over Belaid’s assassination.
Over the course of the day, demonstrators made their way to the Interior Ministry in Tunis’ main thoroughfare, Habib Bourguiba avenue, where they showed solidarity with Belaid and chanted slogans against the ruling Ennahdha party.
The situation turned violent at around 2:30 p.m. with police resorting to tear gas and batons to empty out and lockdown Habib Bourguiba avenue.
Protests have spread across the country, and some of Ennahdha’s regional headquarters have been attacked.
As today’s (Friday) General Strike is underway this is what people have been saying,
They are also crying anti-Ennahdha slogans, such as “Ghannouchi (Ennahdha founder), you are a predator,” “dégage (get out, in
French),” “This will be the last day for this government,” and “Bring down the oppressor of the people, bring down the Brotherhood party.”
Belaïd’s family openly accuse that government of responsibility.
Le Monde reports,
L’assassinat de Chokri Belaïd n’a pas été revendiqué. Mais partisans et sympathisants de l’opposition dénoncent déjà à l’unisson le “premier assassinat politique“ en Tunisie depuis la chute de l’ancien dirigeant Zine El-AbidineBen Ali en janvier 2011 et affirment : “On a assassiné un démocrate”. Tous les regards se portent en particulier contre Ennahda, ouvertement accusé par la famille d’être responsable du meurtre de l’opposant.
Nobody has claimed responsibility for the assassination of Chokri Belaïd. But opposition supporters and sympathisers have already denounced, in chorus, the “first political assignation in Tunisia since the fall of the former leader, Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. “They have killed a democrat”, they have declared. All eyes have turned towards Ennahda, openly accused by the deceased’s family of being responsible for the murder.
Le frère du défunt, Abdelmajid Belaïd, a ainsi lancé: “J’accuse (le chef d’Ennhada) ached Ghannouchi d’avoir fait assassiner mon frère”, sans plus d’explication pour étayer cette accusation.
The brother of the deceased, Abdelmajid Belaïd, has launched this charge, ‘I accuse Rached Ghannouchi of the assassination of my bother”, he said, without giving details to back up this accusation.
The Islamist Government has denied that this is the case, deeply regretting the murder.
But as, Nadia Chaaban, (left Tunisian deputy) says,
Tout le monde savait que Chokri Belaïd était menacé. Aucune mesure de protection n’a été prise. En laissant se propager des discours violents dans des espaces tels que les mosquées, ce gouvernement laisse faire et cautionne.
Everybody knew that Chokri Belaïd was under threat. There were no measures taken to protect him. In letting violent speeches (Note, by the Salafists) flourish in such places as mosques, the government has let this happen and endorsed it
Others point to Ennahdha’s ”ambiguous” relations with violent Salafists (Here)
Nor is Ennahdha completely above suspicion.
Their persecution under the Ben Ali regime should not make us forget that even this ‘moderate’ Islamist party has a past acquaintance with violence, for example, in the bombing of tourist hotels in the 1980s.
Last year opposition trade unionist protester, Lotfi Naguedh, was killed fighting with Ennahdha thugs.
The most that one say with certainty, on the present evidence, is that this murder did not happen in a political vacuum and that the ruling Islamists did not protect its opponent.
In 2011 George Galloway said of this party and of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood,
I welcome the imminent victory of the Islamic movements in Egypt and Tunisia, which I think will provide very good governments on the Turkish model.
The once savagely repressed progressive Islamist party An-Nahda (Ennahdha) won the Tunisian elections this week on a platform of pluralist democracy, social justice and national independence.
His paper has frequently offered space to Ennahdha supporters.
The governing coalition of secularist and Islamist parties is now in its second year. Despite their differences, these parties have clearly demonstrated the possibility of reconciliation, co-operation and partnership between moderate Islamists and moderate secularists, an important model for the Arab world.
Others who claim to be on (Western) the left, have, with varying degrees of hostility, judged the Tunisian secular opposition, and left, harshly.
The latest news is that a “technocratic” government of national unity it being formed around Ennahdha.
Many Tunisians seem not to share Milne or Galloway’s assessment of the party.
The coming days will see them out r protesting against Ennahdha in force.
With one death already this promises to be a very serious challenge.
Manifestants à Tunis devant le ministère de l’Intérieur, jeudi 7 février. (Khalil – AFP)
The General Strike is underway and Funeral of Chokri Belaïd is this afternoon.
News en-direct from a variety of sources, including the Nouvel Observateur.
* Front Populaire.
- Parti des travailleurs tunisiens de Hamma Hammami
- Parti du travail patriotique et démocratique, aile menée par Mohamed Jmour
- Mouvement des patriotes démocrates de Chokri Belaïd
- Patriotes démocrates (Watad) de Jamel Lazhar
- Parti de la lutte progressiste de Mohamed Lassoued
- Ligue de la gauche ouvrière de Jalel Ben Brik Zoghlami, trotskiste
- Parti populaire pour la liberté et le progrès de Jelloul Azzouna, socialiste
- Front populaire unioniste d’Amor Mejri, panarabe marxiste
- Mouvement du peuple de Mohamed Brahmi, nationaliste arabe nassérien
- Mouvement Baath d’Othmen Bel Haj Amor, nationaliste arabe baasiste
- Parti d’avant-garde arabe démocratique de Kheireddine Souabni, nationaliste arabe baasiste
- Tunisie verte d’Abdelkader Zitouni, écologiste
The Qatar-based Egyptian Islamic preacher Youssef Qaradawi has called on Egyptians to participate and vote ‘yes’ in the constitutional referendum set on Saturday, Turkish news agency Anadolu reported on Friday.
Qaradawi, who heads the International Union of Muslim Scholars, said during the Friday prayer’s speech that voting ‘no’ in the awaited polling in Egypt will cost the country a ‘big loss’ as the attraction of investments will be hampered especially, $20 billion from Qatar.
Breaking news (from here)
“ A hardline Islamist preacher who was banned from entry into Britain will lead President Morsi’s attempt to strengthen Islamist control of al-Azhar, the ancient Islamic university in Cairo that influences the thoughts of Sunni Muslims around the world.
” Hello Andrew,
Appreciate you are probably with the LRC, but thought you may be interested to see these.
Enclosed two “Original” Briefings.
I have great respect for the comrades who produce this journal (this is not made up)
It’s always good news to learn that Bob Pitt of Islamophobia Watch and ex-WRP is still spilling bile against secularism.
One would have though that the Arab Spring, and the relentless fight of Egyptian democrats against his old mate Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s Muslim Broherthood would have led him to shut his gob.
Liberty, Equality and Islamophobia is his latest offering to the only left journal willing to give him space.
Pitt has got this theory that there is some kind of ‘left-wing’ wave of Islamophobia going on in France.
On the basis of some tiny crank orgs who have recruited a couple of former far-left individuals (Cassen and Engleman - yes I underlies a couple that is 2 people) he manages to suggest that there is some kind of widespread turn to the far right of French secularist lefties.
But the bite is in the tail.
“there are hardline secularists in Britain too, some of them active in the labour movement, whose claim to oppose all forms of religious belief doesn;t prevent themselves with the right in portraying Islam as a particular threat to civilisation”.
Now we know that Bob is referring to one main target who is tapping away at the keyboard now.
Readers of the ‘Original’ Briefing will not be any the wiser as to who the other ‘hardline secularists’ are by reading the obituary of hardline secularist Terry Liddle in the same issue.
In Stalinist style it does not mention Terry’s secularism once!