Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Islam

Frank Furedi Cashes in on Rushdie’s Plight.

with 2 comments

Frank Furedi, writing in Spiked’s sister paper The Mail, says, “the most shocking thing about Friday’s attack on Sir Salman Rushdie is not that it happened in the first place. The author had, after all, spent much of his life with a bounty on his head – a burden he bore with bravery and resilience. No, what has astonished me is the reaction in some quarters to the attempted murder of a blameless novelist – especially from the Left.

The former leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party and present day admirer of national populist Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, is engraged. He focuses on the hesitation of some media outlets, such as the centre-liberal Guardian, to link the attack to Islamists, or as Fuerdi delicately put it, “The attacker’s apparent sympathy for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard and Shia extremism was by then obvious to anyone with an internet connection. ” The reason for this hesitation to say the obvious? “The Left, as I say, are squeamish about stating plainly what the rest of us can see with our own eyes. For too long, they have appeased and pandered to the extremists.”

To charge ‘the left’ the emeritus sociology professor takes few risks, “As recently as 2019, a columnist for the Left-wing Independent newspaper (who also hadn’t read the book) wrote: ‘I wouldn’t have it in my house, out of respect to Muslim people and contempt for Rushdie… I’d be quite inclined to burn it.’”

Having never heard of Sean O’ Grady extensive research reveals that he is not considered one of our own on the left, “The capitalist-supporting journalist at the INDEPENDENT, Sean O’ Grady, chided Oxfam for drawing attention to the fact that eight men own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population.” (Socialist Studies).

The Mail squib continues without reference to what any left wing group, individual, or writer, has said on the issue of Rushdie. Ferudi talks about the uncalled for attacks on J K Rowling, the shameful treatment of the Batley Gate Grammar School Teacher hounded for talking about Charlie Hebdo.

The article has a narrow focus. It does not discuss the slaughter of our Charlie comrades, nor of the decapitation by a Chechen Islamist of teacher Samuel Patty at Éragny in 2020, or of the attack outside the former Charlie offices in September of the same year – two people seriously wounded – as the trial of those implicated in the 2015 killings had got underway. Nor the murders carried out by Islamists, in huge swathes of Africa,

Al-Qaeda and Islamic State are on the rise in Africa. Washington Post.

The scale of the violence shows how the central zone of Islamist-related violence has shifted away from the Middle East and South Asia. “In Mali nearly 2,700 people were killed in conflict in the first six months of this year, almost 40 percent more than in all of 2021,” the Economist detailed last week. “Last month jihadists attacked a military checkpoint 60km from Bamako, the capital; a week later they hit the country’s main military camp on its doorstep. In Niger, deaths in conflict have fallen slightly but will probably exceed 1,000 in 2022. In Burkina Faso in the first half of the year about 2,100 people have been killed.”

Instead the retired Kent University teacher talks about…universities.

As an academic, I have watched in despair as the ability to speak freely has been steadily eroded. When I was a young man in the 1960s, thought flourished in Britain’s universities. We could say almost anything, debate any view, challenge any orthodoxy.

No longer. Today, if a professor wants a lively conversation, he can go to the pub among trusted friends – but he must exercise great caution in the lecture hall.

‘Wrongthink’ is ruthlessly policed and legion are the tales of transgressors suspended by authorities and barracked on the college lawn by placard-waving mobs.

Students who once insisted on the right to think for themselves now demand to hear only what has been approved by ‘correct’ Leftist thinking.

Oddly many people on the democratic left care a lot more about the Islamist totalitarian micro-states operating in places like Africa, the oppression carried out by by regimes like the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Islamist terror across the world, including in Europe, than what happens on college lawns.

The stand of this Blog and many, many, others, is defence of Rushdie and freedom of expression is unambiguous.

Rushdie’s Right to Write, Our Right to Dissent

As Salman Rushdie lies gravely injured in hospital, Feminist Dissent expresses sorrow at the brutal attack on him and on Ralph Henry Reese in New York state on August 12, 2022, at an event focusing on asylum for writers. It is our fervent hope that Salman will recover to write and live a full life again. We send our love and solidarity to him, his family and friends around the world and to all those whose lives have also been endangered by this renewed threat to freedom.

Many of us are founders of Women Against Fundamentalism (WAF) which defended Rushdie in the wake of the fatwa issued by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 following the publication of his novel The Satanic Verses. Against the demonstrations that attacked Rushdie for having hurt Muslim sentiments and calls for his book to be burnt, WAF argued that women’s right to dissent was deeply intertwined with Rushdie’s right to write.

We knew then as we know now that many calling for Rushdie’s murder were the same fundamentalist leaders who contributed to women’s oppression within communities. We spoke out in the name of our secular traditions, with the banner ‘Our tradition, struggle not submission.’

WAF was equally committed to anti-racist politics that opposed the demonisation of all Muslims as fanatical, as it was to challenging fundamentalism in all religions—Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist and Muslim. It called out the ways in which fundamentalists were exploiting patriarchal power to control women and sexual minorities.

Unfortunately, the dangers that we warned against then are still among us and yet, too often, they are not named. Authoritarian and fundamentalist forces are stronger than ever.

We are not only devastated by the attack on Rushdie’s life, we are angry. We are angry at the failure of both the left and the right to take a stand for freedom of speech and conscience, and to advocate for the abolition of blasphemy and apostasy laws.

All those who believe in universal values should hold to account states such as Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia which have promoted hate, organised vigilantes to attack writers, and kept alive the concept of blasphemy. 

No individual Muslim should be held responsible for the actions of another. In fact, people of Muslim heritage are often at the forefront of struggles for socialism, secularism and against blasphemy laws, yet too often their struggles are mocked and diminished as pro-imperialist or Islamophobic. We stand with them, and the struggle for secularism everywhere.

We call out Muslim fundamentalist organisations (including those in western countries) that advocate death to blasphemers such as atheist bloggers in Bangladesh, while complaining that any criticism of them is Islamophobic. We need to stop treating them as advocates of human rights.

We call out those sections of the left that see Islamists as anti-imperialist allies and attack Rushdie as a stooge of the West. Organised violence against artists, writers, feminists and free-thinking dissidents has been alchemised by post-truth politics into support for the suppression of ‘offence’. We recall the refusal of many writers to support their own organisation PEN’s award to the murdered journalists of Charlie Hebdo. In refusing solidarity, they helped create a world in which it was possible for writers or teachers to be murdered with barely an eyebrow raised in polite society.

Salman Rushdie has always understood the importance of opposing all forms of authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism. He supports persecuted artists everywhere, from Ukrainians fleeing war to murdered bloggers and cartoonists.

In 1989, about 40 women of Women Against Fundamentalism confronted a huge fundamentalist march demanding death to Salman Rushdie, and the banning of his book. We shouted ‘Salman Rushdie Zindabad’ and today we repeat, ‘Long Live Salman Rushdie’.


Mélenchon’s party, (with its own structure, but part of La France insoumise):

Clémentine Autain, (NUPES, Ensemble!):

Written by Andrew Coates

August 16, 2022 at 12:23 pm

“Respect pour Salman Rushdie”- Charlie Hebdo.

with one comment

Salman Rushdie condemns attack on Charlie Hebdo. 2015.

English PEN condemns today’s shootings at the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo as a shocking assault on press freedom and free speech. Writer and PEN Pinter Prize winner Salman Rushdie has issued the following statement about the horrifying events in Paris

Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.”


Charlie Hebdo has responded to the attack on Salman Rushdie,

Respect pour Salman Rushdie. 12th of August, Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau.

“The word respect has become a weapon used to threaten and even kill.”

Nothing justifies a fatwa, a death sentence” , the editor of Charlie Hebdo,  Riss wrote after the attack against the British writer Salman Rushdie . “At the time of writing, we do not know the motivations of the perpetrator of the knife attack,” wrote Riss, one of the few survivors of the 2015 terrorist attack in Paris. Adding, with heavy irony: ” Was he enraged about against global warming, the cost of living crisis, or against the ban on watering flower pots during the heatwave? “

“Let’s take the risk of saying that he is probably a believer, that he is just as probably a Muslim and that he committed his act even more probably in the name of the fatwa launched in 1989 by the Ayatollah Khomeini against Salman Rushdie, and which condemned him to death” the cartoonist, writer and publisher continued.

[Attaque au couteau de Salman Rushdie: ce que l’on sait de l’agresseur présumé. Agé de 24 ans, Hadi Matar a été arrêté après avoir tenté d’assassiner l’écrivain. D’après ses réseaux sociaux, il vouait un culte au régime iranien et au Hezbollah libanais. Salman Rushdie knife attack: What we know about the alleged attacker Aged 24, Hadi Matar was arrested after attempting to assassinate the writer. According to his social networks, he worshiped the Iranian regime and Lebanese Hezbollah. Libération.]

“We heard commentators this evening explaining that the fatwa against Salman Rushdie was all the viler because what he had written in his book, The Satanic Verses, was not at all disrespectful towards Islam. This is distorted logic, because conversely, disrespectful remarks towards Islam would then explain a fatwa and a punishment, even if it was fatal.”

“Not at all. We will have to repeat again and again that nothing, absolutely nothing justifies a fatwa, a death sentence, by anyone for anything whatsoever….”

Riss is impassioned against giving authority to religious figures and texts written by an “illuminé” (a fanatic inspired by faith). He asks, “By what right do individuals – and we don’t give a toss about whether they are religious believers – take upon themselves the right to say that someone must die? ” It would be better insead to put “our trust in Humanity,” “human intelligence, sensitivity and creativity.”

“…the word “respect” is systematically brandished by religions. Their dogmas affirm absurd things which can only be imposed by submission or intimidation. When you inspire respect, you don’t need to issue fatwas to be credible. Respect is not due, it is earned. This is where the great weakness of religions lies. They more often inspire ridicule than respect.”

Salman Rushdie made the same essential point, in fewer words,

“Why can’t we debate Islam?” he said. “It is possible to respect individuals, to protect them from intolerance, while being sceptical about their ideas, even criticising them ferociously.”

Salman Rushdie on Islam: ‘We have learned the wrong lessons’

Guardian July 2015.

“The Satanic Verses, if published today, would not be defended by those who protested against Charlie Hebdo’s PEN award, says author.”

On Newsnight yesterday evening:


Written by Andrew Coates

August 13, 2022 at 4:35 pm

Muslim Protests to Remove “Blasphemous” The Lady of Heaven from Cinemas.

with 3 comments

The media outlet of the theocratic Islamist regime of Iran posts,

Press tv, Birmingham

The release of a sacrilegious film in the UK has sparked protests among the country’s Muslim community.

Protests have erupted across the UK as thousands of British Muslims are expressing outrage at the release of a new film described as blasphemous and sectarian by critics.

The film is titled ‘The Lady of Heaven’ and details events surrounding the passing of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. However, the movie’s narrative has provoked protests.

Community anger is on the rise across the country and protests continue to spring up all across the UK. All demanding the same thing that British cinemas abandon the movie. An online petition has also been launched and has gained around 100k signatures in just a few days.

The reasons listed why Muslims dislike the film are various.

The film’s writer is also a matter of controversy. The movie is written by notorious UK-based hate preacher, Yasir Habib. He has a long history of spreading offensive and insulting rhetoric against Muslims.

Protesters made clear they will not stand idly by and allow a hate preacher to use a mainstream platform.

So far, the film has been a flop. Reports suggest it has performed poorly in the US and a counter-petition calling for support for the film accumulated a mere 2.5K signatures. 

However, protest leaders say they won’t stop the fight until the film is dropped from all British cinemas.

A CINEMA in Bolton has pulled a film, described as ‘blasphemous’. following protests.

The Bolton News.

Bolton Cineworld will no longer be taking booking for Our Lady in Heaven following an outcry from some Muslims in the borough.

More than 100 people turned out to protest yesterday afternoon against the showing of the film.

And Bolton Council of Mosques had sent an email to the cinema, based in The Valley.

Signed by the chairman, Asif Patel, it stated: “You many well be aware of the recently released film ‘Lady of Heaven’ which has caused much distress to Muslims across the globe.

A few months ago:

Lady of Heaven: pure, unadulterated sectarian filth writes the sectarian Islamist site 5 PIllars,

Roshan Muhammed Salih reviews Lady of Heaven, the sectarian hate film that is being platformed by cinemas in the UK and could provoke serious Sunni-Shia tensions.

There is no doubt that Lady of Heaven is going to create sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shias in the UK once it becomes widely available here.

Its trailer, released over a year ago, has already received over three million views and gave us a glimpse into the sectarian narratives that would follow.

The actual film itself has been released in the United States, Canada and Ireland and will surely hit cinemas here soon as well as prominent streaming services. After all, the film’s mysterious financial backers will have to recoup their $15 million budget somehow.

In short, the worst fears of Sunnis will be more than realised. Lady of Heaven is two hours plus of the most extreme Shia sectarian narratives about how the caliphate was supposedly “usurped” from the Ahl ul Bayt. And most Muslims will find the invective against three of the most beloved companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) shocking and disgusting.

But it is also a deeply racist film with all the main negative characters being portrayed by black actors. What’s more, the film directly disrespects the Prophet (pbuh) by showing his face.

That said, given that the scriptwriter was the notorious hate preacher Yasser Al-Habib no one should be really surprised.

There is a detailed Wikipedia entry, “The Lady of Heaven is a 2021 British epic historical drama film directed by Eli King in his directorial debut and written by the Twelver Shia Muslim Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib, the spiritual leader of The Mahdi Servants Union. “

David Taube (aka Habibi) gets retweeted:


Written by Andrew Coates

June 6, 2022 at 4:42 pm