Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Mansoor Hekmat and the Socialist Critique of Islamism.

with 11 comments

The Worker-communist Party of Iran (حزب کمونیست کارگری ایران‎) is known to many on the international left, but perhaps not well enough.

The party’s central slogans are “Liberty, Equality, Workers’ Rule”, “Down with the Islamic Republic”, “For a Socialist Republic”, and “The Basis of Socialism is the Human Being”.

Maryam Namazie, the prominent secularist, comes from this background.

The Mansoor Hekmat Foundation is an important resource.

Who was Mansoor Hekmat? by Hamid Taghvaie provides a sigficiant introduction to his ideas, and those of their organisation.

Not everybody on the left will agree with the detailed positions of the Worker-Communists, or follow their theoretical and political divisions.

But there is no doubt about their importance for those trying to make sense of Islamism, which they often call simply “Political Islam”  and the democratic and secularist left-wing response to combating its diverse forms.

In this respect Mansoor Hekmat’s 1994 Islamic Terrorism  The World After September 11 are significant documents.

There are other, and important, contributions from this tradition, on a wide range of issues, from class, nation, imperialism, and these are just some aspects of their thought and analysis that I signal.


11 Responses

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  1. These idiots backed the banning of the hijab in France. Coates, you are all messed up on this stuff.


    January 2, 2014 at 5:44 pm

  2. Obviously Charman Proyect has never been “messed up” on anything.

    he's mr. know it all

    January 2, 2014 at 7:08 pm

  3. Actually I find Maryam Namazie’s blog essential reading, so if there’s more like her there’s hope for the left.

    Oh and Louis, Coatsey gets it right on Islamism and related issues, which is more than I can say for most of the left.

    Howard Fuller

    January 2, 2014 at 11:36 pm

  4. I am, and was in favour of the anti-ostentatious symbols law.

    What Next? No.29 2004


    “A STRANGE alliance has arisen: from conservative members of the Muslim Association of Britain, the SWP, to London’s Mayor, all are in an uproar about “Islamophobia”. Ken Livingstone has taken it upon himself to criticise the French move to ban wearing ostentatious religious symbols in schools. He has also given lessons on religious freedom by defending a cleric, al-Qaradawi, who supports female genital mutilation.1 This bloc draws support from the mainstream of the Anglican Church and Prince Charles to, with rare exceptions, the bien-pensant pages of the Guardian.

    All are reactionary responses to the secular view, which is at the centre of anti-racism. This stand, eloquently supported by Henri Pena-Ruiz in Qu’est-ce que la laïcité? (2003), rests on the fundamental principle of the Enlightenment: the freedom of the public sphere from religious dogma. As he states, of the realisation of the problems religion causes: “Il a fallu que les fous de Dieu, auparavant encouragés par l’Amérique causant la mort en plein coeur de Manhattan pour que le monde prenne enfin conscience du danger.” (It required those crazed by God and earlier encouraged by America to cause death at the very heart of Manhattan before the world finally realised the danger they posed.)2 The imperialist reaction is well known.

    But as Henry Pena-Ruiz has also stated, we need to activate simultaneously “la lutte sociale contre toutes les dérégulations capitalistes et pour la promotion des services publiques, qui produisent de la solidarité et non de la charité; la lutte pour une émancipation intellectuelle”. Through a “une laïcité universelle” we aim for “l’émancipation laïque du droit, gage de liberté de tous les êtres humaines”. (A struggle against capitalist deregulation, for public services, for solidarity and not charity, a fight for intellectual emancipation. Through universal secularism we aim for secular emancipation, the measure of all human liberty.)3 Only by defending universal rights, and by denying special privileges to religious groups, can a genuine anti-racialist position unite the oppressed.”


    And by the way Project your use of the English Public School way of my addressing me, as ‘Coates’, is perhaps a symbol of your own distance from the issues involved.

    Andrew Coates

    January 3, 2014 at 3:33 pm

  5. It’s come to something, hasn’t it, when Western so-called “leftists” like Mr Proyect, criticise Iranian Marxists for their uncompromising, militant secularism. Bloody hell: the world turned upside down, eh?

    Jim Denham

    January 3, 2014 at 3:38 pm

  6. Proyect is a contributor to Counterpunch, says it all, innit?

    Andrew Coates

    January 3, 2014 at 4:07 pm

  7. Counterpunch publishes worthwhile material as well as utter crap. I suspect they’re much like Z Magazine — they don’t believe in editing.


    January 3, 2014 at 4:51 pm

  8. Not only did they back the hijab, Hekmat was anti-choice for women.


    January 4, 2014 at 11:14 am

  9. I meant to say hijab ban. I am close to several Iranian socialists, they all called this group a cult and left it long ago.


    January 4, 2014 at 11:19 am

  10. This is also what I have hear, read how my description is careful.

    But this no excuse for a leading American leftist (Proyet) to talk about a group, whose members have been killed and tortured by the Iranian regime, to dismiss them lightly on the basis of something he barely grasps.

    Andrew Coates

    January 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm

  11. Fuller is a full on Islamophobe. His sole raison d’etre is apologising for Israel and scaremonegring about Muslims.

    But Coates is not messed up, he is a fine warrior for apology to imperialism. Dressed in up the workers verbiage of course.

    Socialism in One Bedroom

    January 9, 2014 at 6:51 pm

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