Tendance Coatesy

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Posts Tagged ‘Islamism

The Murder of Mahsa Amini: Protests Against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Iranian women shave heads and burn hijabs on TikTok to protest death of Mahsa Amini

“The public anger that erupted over her death has seen an outbreak of political unrest in Iran, with protests reported in Tehran, Qazvin, Arak, Mashhad, and several other cities.

Women who are unable to take part in the protests have turned to TikTok to express their outrage at Amini’s death, with the hashtag #mahsaamini receiving more than 66m views at the time of writing.

A number of videos show Iranian women cutting their hair or the bottom of their hijabs in solidarity with Amini, who was punished under the Islamic republic’s strict dress code that demands women wear headscarves in public.”

Some of the protests can be seen here.

Solidarity:

Le Monde: Iran demonstrations once again reveal a regime removed from its people

EDITORIAL

Triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini, the courageous protests by Iranians demonstrate that they are a people subject to a political position they do not support.

Once again, the Iranian regime has been caught off-guard by demonstrations. Once again, it is responding to them in the only way it seems to know how: brute force. It all started with the death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, in Tehran on Friday, 16 September, three days after her arrest by the “morality police” – the sinister Gasht-e Ershad. The reason was her veil, which must be worn in Iran, and which they say she was wearing in a way that was inappropriate.

After decades of arbitrariness, the word of the authorities – who denied any “physical contact” between the police and the young woman – did not convince anyone. No autopsy has been performed. Many Iranians, most of them young, responded as they do when frustration peaks: They took to the streets.

Elected in 2021 – in a process controlled from start to finish by this military-religious regime which tolerates as “opposition” only that which it chooses itself – the ultra-conservative President Ebrahim Raissi made his position clear with an announcement in July. As Iran sinks once again into economic stagnation, largely due to international sanctions linked to its nuclear ambitions, Mr. Raissi said it was necessary to take “preventative measures” to stop “the enemies of Iran and Islam” from harming “the values and religious foundations of society.”

This was a brutal step backwards after the relative leniency of his predecessor, Hassan Rohani, during his term in office. In 2018, Mr. Rohani disavowed the police force which is today incriminated, reproaching them for an “aggressiveness” highlighted by a widely shared video in which three of its members violently attacked a woman accused of wearing her headscarf in a manner deemed “indecent”.

After Mr. Raissi’s remarks in July, another video spread on social media. It showed a mother trying in vain to prevent the arrest of her daughter by the morality police. Under pressure, the authorities admitted to an overzealous approach. In the face of the public reaction to Ms. Amini’s death, some dignitaries once again deplored the methods used.

In addition to displaying the courage of ordinary Iranians who defy security forces known for their brutality, the latest demonstrations once again reveal a regime removed from its people, entirely focused on its own survival – and a people without freely elected representatives, who are subject to political positions they do not support.

Written by Andrew Coates

September 21, 2022 at 12:20 pm

Mahsa Amini: Murdered by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Morality Police.

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Protests break out in Iran after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini dies following morality police arrest

Over the past few months, Iranian rights activists have urged women to publicly remove their veils in an act of defiance. The gesture can lead to women being arrested for defying the Islamic dress code.

Mahsa Amini fell into a coma while in custody in Tehran after being arrested by officers enforcing the country’s strict hijab rules.

Police said the 22-year-old was taken to hospital after she allegedly had a heart attack.

Pro-reform news websites quoted an uncle of Ms Amini as saying she had no history of heart disease.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has asked for the cause of the incident to be investigated with “urgency and special attention”, state media has reported.

The Centre for Human Rights in Iran said Ms Amini had been visiting her family in the capital when she was arrested on Tuesday for her “alleged inappropriate hijab”.

“Her family was told that she was being taken for ‘re-education’ and would be released later that night,” the organisation said.

“Under Iran’s sharia (Islamic) law, imposed after the 1979 revolution, women are obliged to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes to disguise their figures. Violators face public rebuke, fines or arrest.” France 24.

Iran is an Islamic Republic. Article 2 of the constitution the Islamic Republic states that the Republic “is a system based on belief in … the One God … His exclusive sovereignty and the right to legislate”. It is ruled by Islamic Law, in this case the decrees passed by the government (no non-Muslim can be a supreme legislator) and inspired by the Shia concept of “of velayat-e faqih (guardianship of the jurist)”.

Arash Azizi in The Shadow Commander (2020) explained what this means.“Iran’s ruling doctrine Welayat al-Faqih (as he transcribes the term) or ‘guardianship of the jurist’ could only work in a Shia-majority society. The key article of faith transfers all political and religious authority to the Shia clergy and makes all of the state’s key decisions subject to approval by a supreme clerical leader, the vali-e faqih (guardian Islamic jurist). Azi argued that with this structure, Iran has not created an “attractive model of Islamist politics and economics to offer the world” (ibid) It is essentially a “Shia theocracy”.

Written by Andrew Coates

September 17, 2022 at 11:26 am

Roger Garaudy, Holocaust Denier, Gets Unearthed.

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US Islamist site, Garaudy “died persecuted and isolated⁠—all because he rejected the Zionist version of history.”

Like the Loch Ness Monster, though less beguiling, Roger Garaudy has been rediscovered. Roger Garaudy: Why This French Intellectual Remains Unknown. Hint: He Was Muslim headlines a recent piece in the US Muslim Skeptic. The writer, one Bheria, asks, “Who was this Roger Garaudy? Who was this individual that received one of the most prestigious awards in the Muslim world; and that too for his “Service to Islam”; and then also having shared this honor with the renowned Ahmed Deedat? (And how do you even pronounce his name?).”

Garaudy died in 2012. He was 98 years old. The US author laments, “He basically died persecuted and isolated⁠—all because he rejected the Zionist version of history.”

Roger Garaudy is pretty well known, and not just because he was one of “France’s leading intellectuals from the last century.”  He was (successively), a Communist (he joined the French Party in 1933), a Resistance Fighter, leading Stalinist Communist (he appeared for the French Communist Party (PCF) during the Kravchenko libel Trial in 1949, to stand with the USSR against the charge that it held concentration camps, as one of the witnesses of its ‘morality’, témoins de moralité), an ‘Official Philosopher’ of the PCF from the 50s to 60s, Marxist-Humanist (first during the Party’s opening to these ideas, to which a number of its intellectuals were attracted, such as the – serious – philosopher Lucien Sève), some-time Atheist, Christian-Marxist (Protestant, from youth he had an association with La  Réforme  in France, then Catholic) , Ecologist, and finally, in 1982, a convert to Islam.

One of Garaudy’s legacies is the Calahorra Tower in Spain. This museum, which he founded, celebrates the Arab colonisation of the Iberian peninsula, and suggests that the invasion under the Umayyad Caliphate and Muslim rule over their new subjects led to a “time of brilliant cultural, artistic and scientific achievement” between the 9th and 13th century”.

A more famous reason why Garaudy is remembered is this, which Behria cites:

Already in 1982 his miltant anti-Zionism led him to compare Zionism to Nazism.

In the 1990s he published The Founding Myths Of Israeli Politics, which argued, among a number of other controversial claims, that Hitler had ordered the deportation and not the extermination of the Jews and that typhus, not gas chambers, was responsible for the deaths of Jews in Nazi concentration camps.

After an outcry in the press, Garaudy was prosecuted under France’s tough laws against inciting racial hatred and denying crimes against humanity, to be found guilty in 1998.

He appealed against the judgement at every possible level but lost each time, with the final verdict from the European Court of Human Rights declaring that he had received a fair trial.

Garaudy died in Chennevières, in the Marne valley east of Paris, at the age of 98.

The Muslim ‘sceptic’ comments, “Yet another example of the sheer hypocrisy of freedom of expression—an un-Islamic liberal concept.”

I have little idea of who the chap who has rediscovered Garaudy is. He writes stuff like, “Holy Incest in Zoroastrianism” and Salman Rushdie: Neo-Orientalism and Western Hypocrisy He looks like an Islamic version of political confusionism, mixing appeals to the fight against ‘colonisation’ with this, ” The 19th Century Jewish Critique of Modern Liberal Western Degeneracy.” On second thoughts, he is a genuine fascist….”You can’t reject Western degeneracy selectively because you like this person’s poetry or that person’s painting. In order to be coherent you have to be “radical.””

The one-time humanist turned anti-Semite is not exactly forgotten in the Muslim world: Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praises Holocaust-denier Roger Garaudy as brave and tireless. (2019)

Garaudy’s development does raise the question of what kind of ‘Marxist humanism’ he ever believed in.

During the early sixties, stated no less a figure than Perry Anderson, “the values of humanism were extolled from the balconies of the French Politbureau by its major ideologue Roger Garaudy, while in the USSR Kruschev’s new party programme for the CPSU proclaimed ‘Everything for Man’.” (Arguments within English Marxism. 1980) The case of Garaudy, the erudite one-time New Leftist wrote, “was well known”, comparable to John Lewis in the UK”. Another writer, perhaps more familiar with French politics, once wrote of him as “formerly witch-hunter general, now dispenser of extreme unction, in quick succession champion of Stalin and defender of the Khrushchevite faith” (Gregory Elliott, Althusser – The Detour of Theory. 1987, hat tip, MHW))

Lewis, a former Ipswich Unitarian Minister who became a leading philosopher in the Communist Party of Great Britain, wrote in 1961 that “Stalin’s work tends to be undervalued today.” “The great creative statesman, however much he may have blundered in later years” expressed, the Soviet leader said, “the definitive objective of developing real freedom in the best sense of the term.” (Socialism and the Individual). He was in this respect a supporter of official ‘humanism’.

The French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser attacked this form of ‘humanism’ in Pour Marx (1965). He claimed that, Marx broke with an approach “based history and politics on an essence of man.” and an ideology, “(socialist) personal humanism”. His targets included the (unnamed) Lucien Sève  and Garaudy. Whatever the piece’s merits, it is hard to make sense today of Althusser’s talk of “the transition to communism, the end of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the withering-away of the State apparatus, presupposing the creation of new forms of political, economic and cultural organisation”. He was referring to the 1960s USSR and Eastern Bloc…

A more explicit clash took place with John Lewis in the pages of the CPGB journal Marxism Today much later, in 1972. This battle, generally considered to be substitute for the earlier attack on the PCF’s theorists, greatly exercised E.P.Thompson in The Poverty of Theory (1978). The labour historian and long term socialist humanist he declared that the École Normale supérieure  teacher was part of a “general police action within ideology” an “the attempt to reconstruct Stalinism at the level of theory”, when he asserted that it was not “man”, human beings in the abstract, but concrete class struggles by the masses that “made history”.

In appealing to the authority of ‘Marxism-Leninism’ Althusser was on shaky ground at the time, a floor that has collapsed for good since. He claimed that “The “Stalin deviation” was a deviation above all because it implied that the road to communism lay not so much through class struggle as through the development of the productive forces. That is why it can be characterized in terms of humanism and economism. But it is precisely Stalin’s humanism and his economism which Khrushchev did not touch, which he did not rectify.(Louis Althusser Essays in Self-Criticism. 1976.) And further, as Gregory Elliott has shown in Althusser: The Detour of Theory (2014) the theorist failed even to begin to deal with the history of Bolshevism, the shape of Marxist-Leninist ideology in the crystalised in the USSR state, the totalitarian crushing of class struggle and human rights, and its inability to develop the productive forces beyond the capacities of a ramshackle semi-militarised command economy.

But what, to his credit, Althusser and other structuralist ‘anti-humanists’ did was simple. They had little to say on ethics, less on the material reality of human rights created in the successive democratic revolutions of the last centuries. What they did was to question the idea that calling yourself a ‘humanist’ and criticising, a picture of the young Marx’s writings in which he ‘alienation’ of human beings caught up in externalised was both a hallmark of capitalism and a explanatory tool for historical change. Althusser may have been unfunny when he said of Lewis’s worldview that in it “man is a little lay god”. Yet he may well have had in mind the Khrushchev Soviet humanism which the British Communist had backed, one that is a cruel mockery of slogans that made human beings the centre of that society.

Humanism has a long and noble history. E.P.Thompson’s fight, begun under the banner in the 1950s, was against Stalinist Marxism, and the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution by Soviet Tanks in 1956 and the Soviet Glacis in Eastern Europe. Today the word can be a deeply felt rallying cry against injustice, certainly better and more unifying than anything that ‘god’ believers can offer. But as social and political theory? It is an ethical and political objective. There are too many humanisms to pin the word down to one approach to explaining the world, or to one form of politics.

Post-PCF Garaudy did not find an enduring home on the left. After expulsion from the Communists in 1970 for disagreements over the invasion of Czechoslovakia and the May student movement, he branched out. In his writings he advocated new political blocs and ways of organising on the left and the “non-alienated” socialism of “man as a creator” The Turning Point of Socialism (1970). Seeing what few would glimpse today the communist still had some hopes in the socialist camp, “As the Chinese Revolution has shown it is possible to proceed directly from an agrarian-feudal society to socialism without any intermediate capitalist phase.” Yet he plunged further into the sea of a new faith and “self-management” in The Alternative Future: A Vision of Christian Marxism (1976). The book looked to China as “radical alternative to that prevailing in western and Soviet Civilisation…”there are cities without banks, without advertising without drugs and alcohol, without private cars..”

Stability was to come after conversion to Islam he wrote, Les Mythes fondateurs de la politique israélienne (The Founding Myths of Modern Israel), 1996. “In his book, Garaudy rejected many of the premises of the Jewish claim to a homeland in the Levant and to the legitimacy of the state of Israel as “myths,” e.g., the “theological myths” of the Bible; the twentieth century “myth of Zionist anti-Fascism”; the “myth of justice at Nuremberg” the “myth of the six million,” and the “myth of the land without people for a people without a land.” These and other myths, Garaudy’s book argued, had been used by world Zionists in a conspiracy to dispossess the Palestinians of their homeland.”

You can read Garaudy’s book on the site, Radio Islam, alongside articles by other people on subjects such as The Jews behind Islamophobia and Jewish Manipulation of World Leaders.

Forward to the Arabic edition of Garaudy’s The Founding Myths of Modern Israel (Shoah denial site, The Journal for Historical Review)

After the war, the legend of the Nazi Holocaust and its promotion, particularly in the US, attracted Reed’s attention. Reed’s approach in discussing this myth in practice was based primarily on demographic data and what they pointed to. Such data, Reed felt, do not lie. He cited the statistics of the League of Nations on the number of Jews in the world in 1938, the last annual report of this global organization before World War II. Then he compared those data with the figures found in the first post-war population statistics published in 1947 by the United Nations — the organization that replaced the League of Nations. The comparison revealed that the number of Jews in the world after the war of 1939-1945 was the same as it had been before the war — just under eleven million persons.

Written by Andrew Coates

August 30, 2022 at 1:52 pm