Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Guardian Publishes Rational Article on Supporters of Isis Genociders.

with 7 comments


The Kurdish International Brigades Fight Against Islamic State and Foreign Jihadis.

I was going to post about the sick feeling in my stomach I get every time I hear people try to explain away the reasons why people from the UK go to join the genociders of the Islamic State.

I was going to begin by looking at some making excuses for Actually Existing Islamism on the Left. That is by citing  Alisdair Crook’s writings, such as Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution (2009) and his writings in Red Pepper, (Red Shi’ism, Iran and the Islamist revolution) which influenced leftists like Caliphate John.

But the delusions of these people, who see in Islamism something potentially progressive beyond Western secular imperialist ‘rationalism’, have crumbled. Even they balk at Isis.

I was going to have a go at the psychological template, “Teenagers and young people who flee Britain to fight jihad are just depressed and lonely and should be allowed to return to the UK without being criminalised, a leading professor has said. Kamaldeep Bhui, Professor of Cultural Psychiatry and Epidemiology, at Queen Mary University of London, said that radicalisation should be treated as a health issue in the same way as drugs or alcohol abuse. ” (Telegraph October 2014.) I don’t care about why they murder, I care that they torture, rape and slaughter.

I was going to have a go at people who talk about a crisis of values, Islamic or Western  – as if acts are not the most important thing in this.

I was going to cite the following, “A London woman who travelled to Syria to marry an Islamist militant has said she wants to be the first female jihadist to kill a British or American captive.Glorying in the beheading of James Foley on Twitter, Khadijah Dare asked for links to footage of the brutal murder. Writing under the name of Muhajirah fi Sham, which means “immigrant in Syria”, she said: “Any links 4 da execution of da journalist plz. Allahu Akbar. UK must b shaking up ha ha. I wna b da 1st UK woman 2 kill a UK or US terorrist!(sic)”. Independent August 2014.

I was going to look at another template: the Islamic State’s open racist hate There is plenty of that out there, full of loathing for the ‘kafirs’ and unbridled sadism.

I was going to say, that taking sides is important:  that the left should support the Kurdish fighters and their International brigade in the armed struggle against the Islamic State.

I was going to say that I hoped that British supporters of Isis who travelled to Syria and Iraq to murder our comrades and all the ‘kafir’  ended up dead as soon as possible, and if not they should be brought to justice and spend the rest of their lives paying for their crimes.

But most of what I have to say has been said by in the Guardian today.

We are the dupes if we think no British citizen could be illiberal enough to be seduced by Isis’s fanaticism

It has now become a bitterly regular scenario: news of the disappearance of one or more British citizens, apparently to join Islamic State, or the announcement of the deaths of those who already did so. Distraught families in Bradford raised the alarm this week when three sisters and their nine children – aged between three and 15 – failed to return from a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. On 9 June they are thought to have boarded a flight to Istanbul in Turkey – often used as the route into Syria – and nothing has been heard from them since. The brother of the women is already thought to be fighting with Isis.


The observations frequently made following such news, from the media and devastated families alike, are that those involved have been “duped”, “fooled”, “groomed”, and “brainwashed” by radicals. The recruits are frequently described, no doubt accurately, in a domestic context, as pleasant and thoughtful family members and friends. It is natural that the British families of Isis recruits should wish to believe that their relatives have somehow been ideologically deceived into joining. Yet if we go along unquestioningly with that perception, we are also deceiving ourselves. Whatever other charges could be laid at the door of Isis, concealing its true nature is not one of them.


Isis doesn’t bother greatly with hypocrisy, however: that would imply a residual acknowledgement of liberal values in the first place. It openly defends the enslavement, sale and systematic rape of Yazidi women by Isis fighters. It posts pictures of Isis zealots throwing allegedly gay men off high buildings to their deaths. It shoots, decapitates, or immolates prisoners of war, and publicises its mass beheading of captured Coptic Christians because of their faith. It compels women to wear the full veil in public or be flogged. It glorifies violent death as martyrdom, despises other religions and cultures, and is happily intent upon erasing their most ancient history. Name a single liberal value, and Isis is in open opposition to it.


Written by Andrew Coates

June 17, 2015 at 11:20 am

7 Responses

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  1. It’s not just Caliphate John who thinks there’s something progressive about jihardist Islamism. Unite’s Chief of Staff seems to hold a similar view:http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-881b-Fundamental-questions-on-Islamism#.VYFVCf50zcs

    Jim Denham

    June 17, 2015 at 12:10 pm

  2. Thanks for reminding everybody of what a fool Murray is.

    He studs the review with remarks about “rigid secularism” “aggressive and insensitive — to put it charitably — secularism”.

    And so it goes.

    Frankly I have rarely seen such a ” bewildered and incoherent” review, apparently praising 1990s, “cultural studies”.

    Perhaps that’s why he doen’tbother to make any empirical reference to the Ottoman Empire, an oppressive ‘prison of the peoples’, and all the other exploitative medieval and blood-drenched empires when he refers to this: “Take the whole idea of the caliphate as the ideal political form for Muslim society here on Earth — “the nodal point around which a global Muslim identity was structured,” as Sayid points out — prior to its abolition by Turkish leader Kemal after the final break-up of the Ottoman Empire in the wake of WWI. ”

    And so it goes – again….

    Which side will Murray take in the life-and-death battle between the Kurds and Islamic State?

    Who fucking knows…..

    Andrew Coates

    June 17, 2015 at 12:24 pm

  3. Andrew Coates

    June 17, 2015 at 12:35 pm

  4. From the book review in the Morning Star;

    “It is also very much aimed at specialists in cultural studies — there is quite a lot of Foucault chasing Derrida through its pages and the invocation of “sedimented, ‘naturalised’ subjectivities.”

    Wont be reading that crap then!


    June 18, 2015 at 4:17 pm

  5. Alisdair Crook’s Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution (2009) is also fond of quoting Foucault to back his claim that Islamism is some kind of a more human (???) approach to the perplexities of our age. It really is a trudge to get through it.

    A shorter version of this self-deluded drivel was published in Red Pepper the same year (which is where I heard about this moral cretin).

    Essay: Red Shi’ism, Iran and the Islamist revolution

    “From the Iranian revolution to the Palestinian struggle, it has often been Islamic ideas that have inspired resistance to imperialism.”

    “…The root of political Islam.

    It is a principle that represents a complete inversion of the ‘great transformation’. Instead of the pre-eminence of the market, to which other social and community objectives are subordinated, the making of a society based on compassion, equity and justice becomes the overriding objective – to which other objectives, including markets, are subordinated. It is not, therefore, a form of social democracy. Social democracy accepts the principle of market efficiency but attempts to mitigate its effects on those who are its victims. Islamism, by contrast, seeks to invert the market paradigm completely.

    It is revolutionary in another aspect. Instead of the individual being the organisational principle around which politics, economics and society is shaped, the western paradigm is again inverted. It is the collective welfare of the community in terms of such principles – rather than the individual – that becomes the litmus of political achievement. ”

    “The Islamist revolution, therefore, is much more than politics. It is an attempt to shape a new consciousness – to escape from, and challenge, the most far-reaching pre-suppositions of our time. It draws on the intellectual tradition of Islam to offer a radically different understanding of the human being, and to escape from the hegemony and rigidity of Cartesian literalism. It is a journey of recovery of insights from that ‘other history of Being’, as the French philosopher Henri Corbin termed it, that is far from over.


    This is from Foucault’s famous visit to Tehran to worship at the feet of the emerging dictatorial theocracy,

    “One bears on Iran and its peculiar destiny. At the dawn of history, Persia invented the state and conferred its models on Islam. Its administrators staffed the caliphate. But from this same Islam, it derived a religion that gave to its people infinite resources to resist state power. In this will for an “Islamic government,” should one see a reconciliation, a contradiction, or the threshold of something new?

    The other question concerns this little corner of the earth whose land, both above and below the surface, has strategic importance at a global level. For the people who inhabit this land, what is the point of searching, even at the cost of their own lives, for this thing whose possibility we have forgotten since the Renaissance and the great crisis of Christianity, a political spirituality. I can already hear the French laughing, but I know that they are wrong.

    First published in Le Nouvel Observateur, October 16-22, 1978.”

    Andrew Coates

    June 18, 2015 at 4:49 pm

  6. Must be some very red faces in Heaven. (Or, are they languishing in Hell?).

    Sue R

    June 18, 2015 at 8:59 pm

  7. “the making of a society based on compassion, equity and justice becomes the overriding objective”

    Islamism is an ideology that by its own proud admission entails the subjugation, banning or murder of women, non-Muslims, secular Muslims and various social minorities. Only someone who approves of such actions against such groups could use the word ‘compassion’ within a hundred miles of the word ‘Islamism’. It is a profoundly cruel, unjust and inhumane ideology, and its apologists are sick, evil bastards.


    June 18, 2015 at 10:39 pm

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