Sunny Hundal website



  • Family

    • Liberal Conspiracy
    • Sunny Hundal
  • Comrades

    • Andy Worthington
    • Angela Saini
    • Bartholomew’s notes
    • Bleeding Heart Show
    • Bloggerheads
    • Blood & Treasure
    • Campaign against Honour Killings
    • Cath Elliott
    • Chicken Yoghurt
    • Daily Mail Watch
    • Dave Hill
    • Dr. Mitu Khurana
    • Europhobia
    • Faith in Society
    • Feminism for non-lefties
    • Feministing
    • Gender Bytes
    • Harry’s Place
    • IKWRO
    • MediaWatchWatch
    • Ministry of Truth
    • Natalie Bennett
    • New Statesman blogs
    • Operation Black Vote
    • Our Kingdom
    • Robert Sharp
    • Rupa Huq
    • Shiraz Socialist
    • Shuggy’s Blog
    • Stumbling and Mumbling
    • Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • The F Word
    • Though Cowards Flinch
    • Tory Troll
    • UK Polling Report
  • In-laws

    • Aaron Heath
    • Douglas Clark's saloon
    • Earwicga
    • Get There Steppin’
    • Incurable Hippie
    • Neha Viswanathan
    • Power of Choice
    • Rita Banerji
    • Sarah
    • Sepia Mutiny
    • Sonia Faleiro
    • Southall Black Sisters
    • The Langar Hall
    • Turban Head

  • Confusion over the liberal-left and Islamism


    by Sunny
    9th April, 2009 at 1:52 pm    

    Let’s start from the beginning of this saga. A few years ago the columnist Nick Cohen wrote a book titled ‘What’s Left’ that poured scorn on elements of the left who ended up siding with Islamist groups because they wrongly believed this was the more progressive option over the ‘imperialists’. Cohen, it must be remembered, was for the invasion of Iraq and wanted to find excuses to justify his ideological position. And there were examples of far-lefties from the SWP etc taking stupid positions (what else do we expect from Trots?), but the key criticism of the book was: why are you paying so much attention to the politically irrelevant?

    With the SWP and Respect party in shambles, Nick Cohen ran out of enemies and has since focused his energies on the mainstream liberal-left. Except he’s on even thinner ground here. So a few weeks ago he wrote a column for the Observer saying the mainstream liberal-left wasn’t supporting “liberal Muslims” enough and took potshots at the Fabian Society and IPPR among others. Sunder Katwala and I hit back separately, to which Cohen came back with the response that “noted lefties such as the Queen” were examples supporting his case. Seriously, he wasn’t joking around. Anyway, we sent in a letter to the Observer protesting, and even the Observer’s Readers’ editor queried Nick Cohen’s attention to facts and his previous record of fawning over people like Hassan Butt, who later turned out to be a fraud.

    Then Martin Bright, former political editor at New Statesman, joined the fray.

    This is unsurprising because they are friends. But it’s a shame that Martin - who I think is vastly more intelligent and measured - has made such a poor case in support of Cohen. Well actually, Martin doesn’t have a case against what we said - he has stuck to the line that we are trying to hound Nick Cohen out of the Observer. I’m not really going to bother addressing that point because it detracts from the real issue.

    At least Martin Bright isn’t ranting and raving, half-drunk, about how Gordon Brown got him fired.

    What he is saying however is that the liberal-left shouldn’t be talking to people like Yahya Birt and Dilwar Hussain because they are affiliated with the Islamist Leicester-based organisation Islamic Foundation. I find this game of six-degrees of separation combined with the ‘condemnathon‘ that certain sections of the left are fond of playing as very boring and useless. I’m not a Trot, and since neither is Martin he shouldn’t play the game either.

    Otherwise I think it would be entirely fair to ask why Martin Bright is blogging for The Spectator - a magazine that:
    - published articles by the thoroughly repugnant and xenophobic Anthony Browne (a man who argued we should limit immigration of blacks into the UK because they carry diseases, and constantly pushes xenophobic conspiracy theories of Muslim demographic growth). Wouldn’t Martin be objecting if the same conspiracy theories were pushed about Jews? Remember also that Nick Cohen was criticising Browne before he embraced him.

    - gives a platform to the even more repugnant Melanie Phillips - the woman who was pushing so many conspiracy theories about Barack Obama over his ethnic background that Harry’s Place was forced to take off their link to her blog. The same woman who keeps pushing… well, ’nuff said. I don’t even have to bother going through Melanie Phillips’ record; it speaks for itself.

    Is that the sort of company Martin Bright is happy to surround himself with? As someone famously crooned - two can play that game.

    In fact, the likes of Martin Bright and Nick Cohen are alone on this stance because even the Quilliam Foundation said early on that the likes of Yahya Birt and Dilwar Hussain should be engaged with as liberal Muslims who share our aims of building a strong Britain that is comfortable in its secular, multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-faith skin - and one that isn’t terrorised by violent Muslim extremism. Their stance hasn’t changed either.

    I’ve been arguing against religious extremists for over a decade - starting at university in 1995. I’ve parted ways with friends over my political convictions and been personally threatened by Muslim and Hindu extremists. I supported the Quilliam Foundation when they launched and continue to do so. I helped out Shiraz Maher before he came on the scene and am still on good terms with him. So I certainly don’t need to hear patronising ripostes from Nick Cohen - who makes such sweeping generalisations that its impossible to take him seriously.

    This attempt to try and use Yahya Birt and Dilwar Hussain as examples of how the liberal-left is failing liberal Muslims is as laughble as it is absurd. Even Martin admits they are “sweet” and yet tries to use them as fodder to make his case. This sort of discussion is beneath him, frankly.


                  Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: Current affairs,Islamists,Media






    65 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. renaud sarda

      Confusion over the liberal-left and Islamism
      http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4142


    2. pickles

      New blog post: Confusion over the liberal-left and Islamism http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4142


    3. Michael Haddon

      RT @pickledpolitics New post: Confusion over the liberal-left and Islamism http://is.gd/rBmr (Complimentary yet scathing towards @MBRIGHT)


    4. links for 2009-04-12 « Embololalia

      [...] Pickled Politics » Confusion over the liberal-left and Islamism I’ve been arguing against religious extremists for over a decade - starting at university in 1995. I’ve parted ways with friends over my political convictions and been personally threatened by Muslim and Hindu extremists. I supported the Quilliam Foundation when they launched and continue to do so. I helped out Shiraz Maher before he came on the scene and am still on good terms with him. So I certainly don’t need to hear patronising ripostes from Nick Cohen - who makes such sweeping generalisations that its impossible to take him seriously. (tags: nickcohen politics uk melaniephillips) [...]




    1. libsoc — on 9th April, 2009 at 2:28 pm  

      Here

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&v=JpwSXTqHdFE

      Martin Bright in an interview with Julia Hobsbawm far from distancing himself from Mad Mel, actually goes on to praise her.

    2. Leon — on 9th April, 2009 at 2:52 pm  

      It’s good the wider context has been detailed here (particulary because it includes your history Sunny) but I wonder, where is this going? What’s the aim other than to engage in a bit of easy blog pwnage?

    3. saeed — on 9th April, 2009 at 2:56 pm  

      Good, well argued points sunny…if you go over to HP Sauce they have targetted IPPR, instead of the fabians, now…

    4. The Common Humanist — on 9th April, 2009 at 3:22 pm  

      David T’s point about IPPR (Who I usually have an awful lot of time for) is a valid one though.

      The IPPR would never suggest working with the non violent parts of the white Far Right so why does it think working with the (supposedly) non violent component of the Islamists (who stand against pretty much everything the IPPR does) is a strategy a left wing think tank should be advocating?

    5. Sunny — on 9th April, 2009 at 3:43 pm  

      The establishment does engage with large parts of the non-violent far right. In fact Melanie Phillips is part of that and Martin Bright shares a platform with her.

      I’m not going to bother addressing David T’s points on there but he’s wrong on several counts:

      Firstly, it’s perfectly legitimate for organisations to engage certain more conservative elements as long as the terms of engagement are clear (which IPPR lay out in the article).

      Secondly, as IPPR states, if the govt followed Shiraz Maher’s suggestion then it wouldn’t work with the Catholic church among other organisations.

      Thirdly, the Policy Exchange document that David T endorses has a forward by Ruth Kelly MP specifically stating that govt policy should make a distinction between organistions we work with for tackling extremism, and those we work with on social cohesion. That is a stance I endorse.

      Fourthly, as I’ve said above - by David T’s inference, we should not work with people like Yahya Birt or Dilwar Hussain. This is completely counter-productive since they are very intelligent and well respected individuals who are committed to our ideals.

      David T et al can try and hound these people out of the national conversation through their games of ‘six degrees of separation’ and ‘condemnathons’ but then they’ll have no one to work with who has any credibility among ordinary working class Muslims.

      And lastly, as I said above, even the anti-terrorism think-tankers from the Quilliam Foundation would disagree with this strategy. So David T and MArtin Bright are by themselves.

      Another last point, David T insinuates that Fabians were in favour of this strategy in the past and have now changed their position. This is rubbish. Fabian and IPPR strategy has broadly been the same for ages - as has mine. We just don’t bother playing the games that others do.

    6. fugstar — on 9th April, 2009 at 3:47 pm  

      6. Simply because the parallel you are fed, between the BNP-C18 and Islamic Movement spillover organisations from south asia and north africa fails quite quickly.

    7. Shamit — on 9th April, 2009 at 3:47 pm  

      I personally thought the article written in the Observer actually had some very good insights - especially the bits about Hazel Blears and Brown and Straw.

      And what happened with Channel 4 and the police about the hate monger in West Midlands is very true too.

      Obviously, he has an agenda and he cites examples that suits his theme — that is not unique to Nick Cohen is it?

      But I find it hard to believe cohen’s argument that IPPR would not have published the research published by Policy Exchange — I think they would have.

      But the points raised by TCH is valid though.

    8. Sunny — on 9th April, 2009 at 4:05 pm  

      I do have one issue though. The IPPR article states:

      The argument runs that the linkage between non-violent and violent extremism is underplayed: that non-violent Islamism is a gateway drug – the marijuana to jihadism’s cocaine. This claim is unproven.

      I’m not entirely convinced - I think there are some linkages…. but more between the hardcore orgs such as Pizza HuT and Al-Muhajiroun and Al-Qaeda then many of the just politically active Islamist groups like the MCB and their affiliates (incl the Islamic Foundation).

      the IPPR article makes the same mistake as David T does - lumping all Islamists together as if they say the same things.

      Similarly, there are difference between richard Littlejohn, Mel Phillips, the BNP and Combat 18.

    9. Sid — on 9th April, 2009 at 4:30 pm  

      the IPPR article makes the same mistake as David T does - lumping all Islamists together as if they say the same things.

      Why are you asking for calm when you post nonsense like this. David T is the only blogger I know who has made the taken the time to differentiat between various Islamist factions into their ideological roots into a fine art. And he should be given full credit for that. This kind of off-the-cuff slanging does your argument no good. So calm down, roll yourself a big fattie and indulge in a period of self-reflection. It’ll do you good.

    10. Shamit — on 9th April, 2009 at 4:56 pm  

      Sid

      Are you calling the stalwarts of the Fabian society wrong — after all they were the lot that enabled Ed Balls to campaign to get rid of an elected leader of the labour party. They were the lot who wanted an elected PM to go and the real progressive agenda along with him. Why is Hazel Blears sidelined? And Balls — the great progressive - him and cooper were the first ones falling into the ethical trap of second home. How could you argue with them?

      They are followers of the GREAT LEADER BROWN. Come on Sid — didn’t you know that no one can be left liberal without their approval. How dare you.

    11. Sid — on 9th April, 2009 at 5:14 pm  

      Shamit

      I’m not calling the Fabian society wrong. I don’t want to enter into that particular slanging match. I will say that Nick Cohen overstated his point.

      On the other hand, the Fabians are seen to be very close to this government. And this government has been very good at working with far-right Islamist groups and by doing so, granting them legitimacy. So, if you join the dots, the Fabians had to be told. I think its the “manner” in which they were told that has pissed off Sunder and Sunny.

      But I think both sides of this funny little battle of handbags agree on the main points. They just need to bury t’hatchet.

    12. MaidMarian — on 9th April, 2009 at 5:16 pm  

      Very well - I will stick my head above the parapet.

      Sunny, the main criticism of the excellent ‘What’s Left’ is that Cohen did not really engage with the arguments of the more measured critics of the Iraq conflict such as Robin Cook. Cohen picked the easy targets, that was where his book lacked.

      It is just not true to say that What’s Left focused on the politically irrelevant. Was not the Stop the War/Freedom For Palestine The Biggest Protest March Ever (TM)? Was not this the movement that would condemn Blair to defeat? Was this not the movement on every news bulletin/front page etc?

      I have argued on here before that StW/FFP had a hole in its heart in that it appealed to the lowest common denominator. But to suggest that the left in general terms did not tie its fortunes to StW/FFP protests is fanciful.

      Cohen’s arguments that the left became shrill and hawked itself to religious causes in the name of ‘my-enemy’s-enemy’ sadly ring true.

      The article may want to reduce this all to personalities, but Cohen’s points went beyond that. The left’s unholy alliance with religion was always a bit of a panto horse. In the early and mid parts of this decade, the left was more interested in willy-waving at New Labour rather than principled thought and tough choices. Some had a go at the tough stuff, like Robin Cook, who Cohen was guilty of skating over.

      There is no reason to have a go at Cohen for pointing out that the left was gulty of lazy thinking early in the decade.

    13. Imran Khan — on 9th April, 2009 at 5:23 pm  

      Sid - “Why are you asking for calm when you post nonsense like this. David T is the only blogger I know who has made the taken the time to differentiat between various Islamist factions into their ideological roots into a fine art. And he should be given full credit for that. This kind of off-the-cuff slanging does your argument no good. So calm down, roll yourself a big fattie and indulge in a period of self-reflection. It’ll do you good.”

      If you love HP so much why don’t you go and blog there?

      Are you chairman of the DaveT fan club?

      some of the posts there and their claims have already been highlighted by Sunny but you persist in claiming it is a cuddly site but yet they haven’t let you write there and you end up here continually telling us how good they are. Well why don’t you leave and go there and leave us be?

      BTW You wouldn’t dare treat people on HP the way you do with Muslims here.

    14. Shamit — on 9th April, 2009 at 5:27 pm  

      Sid

      That was one my more childish rants — I am not very proud of it.

      But its one of those days where I have been told (by way too many people) online and offline and on the phone — about why I am not the right kind of left — and sorry I took it out here.

      Apologies to all concerned especially Sunny. Your post did not deserve it..

      *************************************
      “..the Fabians are seen to be very close to this government. And this government has been very good at working with far-right Islamist groups and by doing so, granting them legitimacy.`’

      I agree with you. Many so called liberal left would criticise Modi and his likes and rightly so,but hardly ever finds a word to say against the far -right Islamists. Now if that is being progressive I don`t know what is regressive

    15. Imran Khan — on 9th April, 2009 at 5:31 pm  

      Sid - Nick Cohen, Hazel Blears, Receipt Exchange et al. all have the same problem that they want to blame Muslims and the left for everything.

      That isn’t true and the right with its loud mouthed and dodgy warring isn’t much better.

      The right simply wants an empire to rule and its approach is self-centered and only good for a small number of countries of the world.

      If the right love their version America so much why don’t they piss off there and leave the rest of us in peace.

      The Rights Failures include:

      Damaging the international community

      Destroying the credibility of established international organisations

      Seeking control and empire for their own policy

      Exacerbating the war in the Middle East

      They have destablised the long term peace prospects for Israel thereby endangering its ability to become a part of the region.

      Their refusal to help with global agreements on climate change (Does your mate DaveT accept climate change or is he like Mel?!)

      Their lies at any costs to achieve their war aims

      are all part of their own failure and they want to blame everyone else for it.

      What good have they brought?

    16. Shamit — on 9th April, 2009 at 5:43 pm  

      Who is right and who is left — isnt that the question

      *********************************************

      **Damaging the international community

      Wow — Soviet Union was also party to it — was Soviet Union right wing —

      **Destroying the credibility of established international organisations

      Sure — the day all the so called left and the opressed elected Zimbabwe to the UN Human Rights Council —

      Sure — the day OIC — got the human rights declaration to declare that human rights are subservient to religious laws —

      **Seeking control and empire for their own policy

      How many puppet states and opressive regimes did Soviet Union have

      China-tibet - taiwan

      ** Exacerbating the war in the Middle East

      On this you are right — too many rightwingers in Likud, Hamas and Hezbollah —

      *** Their lies at any costs to achieve their war aims

      Historically it has bee a practice of the far left communists and others who use that.

      ************************************************

      I consider myself a progressive centre-left person before you jump on me calling me a right winger

    17. Imran Khan — on 9th April, 2009 at 6:47 pm  

      Shamit - it was a reply because the writers mentioned were bashing the left. it was to balance that the right is pretty bad also.

      Sid - In all your writing what you fail to see is that the only way to defeat Islamism is by engagement to refute the idea. Not by disengagement.

      Its never worked and never will because it feeds the extremism and doesn’t counter it.

      If someone hadn’t spoken to “Ed Hussein” or Majid Nawaz etc. they may not have left. Now they have they don’t want to afford the same opportunity to others they were afforded.

      Although the right lambast Chamerlain for talking to Hitler their judgement isclouded by the fact that Chamberlain exposed Hitler and thus history shows that he was given a chance and rejected it. The Allies were not seen as crusaders on aggressors.

      By not talking that is the view.

      Engage to refute. Ignore and be portrayed in a negative way.

    18. Imran Khan — on 9th April, 2009 at 6:53 pm  

      MM - “Cohen’s arguments that the left became shrill and hawked itself to religious causes in the name of ‘my-enemy’s-enemy’ sadly ring true.

      The article may want to reduce this all to personalities, but Cohen’s points went beyond that. The left’s unholy alliance with religion was always a bit of a panto horse. In the early and mid parts of this decade, the left was more interested in willy-waving at New Labour rather than principled thought and tough choices. Some had a go at the tough stuff, like Robin Cook, who Cohen was guilty of skating over.

      There is no reason to have a go at Cohen for pointing out that the left was gulty of lazy thinking early in the decade.”

      Oh what utter nonsense. Did Cohen have the conviction to challange the right for its association with the Evangelical Christians and Rigth Wing Jewish Movements?

      Why not?

      So the left backed the Palestinians and the right backed the Zionist and Evangelicals. But Cohen spouts about one only.

      It wasn’t only the left who forged religious alliances the right has its fair share.

      Cohen lacked balance and focus; instead blaming the left for everythign and absolving the right. Cohen who supported the Iraq war cosily forgot to mention that this was a war advocated by the religious right. So why was that religious backing acceptable? Ah yes because is suited his own agenda.

      Tell me why is the right so attached to major evangelical organisations and then bashes the left for its association with Muslims???

    19. Chris Baldwin — on 9th April, 2009 at 8:07 pm  

      Wow, Sunder Katwala really started something. I think the Decent Left era is drawing to a close. Not a moment too soon.

    20. Sunny — on 9th April, 2009 at 9:40 pm  

      But I think both sides of this funny little battle of handbags agree on the main points. They just need to bury t’hatchet.

      NO. There are fundamental differences in the issue being debated and they have to be brought out. I’m not interested in pretending everything is hunky dory and ending up on the same side as the discredited Policy Exchange and the incoherent Nick Cohen.

      Let’s be clear about this. There are two issues here:

      1) Who do we engage with, and on what basis?

      2) How do we bring ordinary British Muslims on side, engaging as British citizens, while sidelining the hard Islamists.

      On both these issues I’m not on the same page as David T, Martin Bright - especially going by their recent posts. And neither are the Quilliam Foundation on the same page as them going by what they’ve said in the past. Do feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

      MaidMarian: There is no reason to have a go at Cohen for pointing out that the left was gulty of lazy thinking early in the decade.

      As I said earlier - this may apply to the SWP lot but you haven’t clarified what you mean by “the left” and who specifically are you referring to.

      In 2006 when I launched New Generation Network I specifically even criticised organisations like the 1990 Trust (now largely defunct) and the Ken Livingstone lot for working with Islamists (though in his defence Ken worked with Sikh and Hindu ‘community leaders’ too - simply because those are the people who came to him). So I’d be interested in who you are criticising then.

      And if you could clarify who you think is guilty now, that would be good too.

      “..the Fabians are seen to be very close to this government. And this government has been very good at working with far-right Islamist groups and by doing so, granting them legitimacy.`’

      The same government that has passed anti-terrorism bill after bill? The same govt that wanted to extend pre-charge detention to 90 days? The same one that made it possible to lock up people such as ‘the lyrical terrorist’? Are you sure you want to accuse the Labour party of being soft?

    21. halima — on 9th April, 2009 at 9:44 pm  

      Imran

      Good points at 20.

      It’s strange how we are still bashing the left, I would’ve thought we should give this one a rest now - seeing that it’s the right ( however you want to define it) that’s come under strain with the global downturn. We haven’t seen a strain like that in history before . Will the Right explain itself please? Whether the left flirts with samosas , steelbands and diversity is a trivial issue compared to the size of the hole the right needs to dig itself out of.

      I hate the way the left is being discredited for its association with religious pluralism . I thought the majority of the world still believes in one religion or another. That would make the left democratic by my standards.

      Secular fundamentalism was a nice phrase the sociologist Tariq Madood coined.

    22. MaidMarian — on 9th April, 2009 at 10:28 pm  

      Imran Khan (20) (and halima (23)) -

      Firstly, untwist your underwear!

      Cohen does not by and large criticise the right - your point is what? What’s Left (which I assume you have read?) was not presented as an even-handed ‘pox on all your houses’ work.

      Why has he not criticised them? I don’t tell Cohen what to write. Your rhetorical flourish rather betrays you. You think there has been a shortage of criticism of ‘the right’ (however defined?). There has been oceans. Are you saying that those who criticise a particular section of the left should apologise for holding views and not publish them? Of course that is not what you are saying, so why such a one-eyed kick?

      Do you have a Cohen article where he says that the right have not formed unholy alliances? - if so I’d be interested to see it.

      What’s Left should be regarded on its own terms - not the ones you would rather have it regarded on.

    23. MaidMarian — on 9th April, 2009 at 10:46 pm  

      Sunny (22) - Thank you for your reply, much appreciated.

      First point to make is that What’s Left was published in early 2007, so I assume it was written in 2006. I agree that there are some parts of the argument that may have been valid in 2003-05 that are not as valid in 2009. As I say in my earlier comment, WL should not be wrenched out of context.

      The SWP are the most obvious candidates, but I believe that the ‘guilty’ are those who conflate willy-waving at New Labour (and politics in general) with a principled stance. I’d guess this is not the specific answer you ask for, but there you go.

      I do not claim that this lazy thinking is exclusive to the left - the article that inspired my earlier comment was about the left. I simply do not understand Halima’s demand that the right justify themself - go and read the Telegraph, not PP if you want a right-wing justification!

      What Cohen articulated was how identity politics infected political thought and how on the left the balance shifted to identity and away from prgressive principles. The left, in the shape of Respect/SWP jumped on the bandwagon more obviously. I give Cohen credit for saying as much.

      One thought - one person I don’t like now is David Davis. That man is a gay hating, union bashing hanger and flogger who, jaw-droppingly, has become a civil liberty pin-up boy. Would you say DD is left or right?

    24. Roger — on 9th April, 2009 at 10:57 pm  

      “It wasn’t only the left who forged religious alliances the right has its fair share.”- Imrsn Khan(20)

      In fact, the unique thing about the left-muslim alliance was that it was the first religious alliance the left in Britain- however defined- had forged. Historically amy leftists had either abandoned their religious background or regarded their rligious beliefs as an entirely private matter. Traditionally the left had fought for freedom of belief, not for privilege of belief.

    25. dave bones — on 9th April, 2009 at 11:08 pm  

      It is obvious that you know your mind and can confidently justify what you have done “post 9/11″ to conciously take part in society Sunny. It is very good to see and be inspired by.

      Personally I’m not against some of Cohen’s assertions in his book. I can see quite obviously and with great amusement that I am way more guilty of Cohens crimes of association a “lefty” commits than anyone here in that I give time to people with extreme views without getting angry with them or “Taking a stand against them” or any of that sort of bollocks.

      Nick Cohen believes one thing, Anjum Choudhary something else and I have a set of values which are totally different again. We are all neighbours in a society which is still broadly against thought crime so fuck it.

      I like principled people but I don’t think I am one. It is interesting to me that you say you have parted ways with friends over political convictions. I don’t tend to dissasociate myself from friends with dodgy views for some reason. I think I have taken a concious decison for some reason not to be as pricipled as you or Nick Cohen because my reaction post 9/11 was to deliberately try and make friends amongst Islamic fundamentalists and US Republicans. Fuck knows why. Anyway I don’t regret it.

    26. Sunny — on 9th April, 2009 at 11:09 pm  

      In fact, the unique thing about the left-muslim alliance was that it was the first religious alliance the left in Britain- however defined- had forged.

      This misses the point of why such alliances were formed in the first place. The alliance were formed to protect minorities without power from being demonised by the national press - not because they were Muslim.

      People forget that the left also protected Jews in the past, which is why Jews in the US and UK see themselves on the left. Would that also mean a religious alliance? Not it wouldn’t. The left has always been about protecting powerless minority groups from the more powerful groups.

      In the US the left protects and stands up for the highly religiously Catholic Hispanics. Does that mean the left has suddenly embraced Catholicism?

      People really need to stop coming up with such simplistic analysis. It’s almost like… people are echoing Nick Cohen.

    27. Roger — on 9th April, 2009 at 11:30 pm  

      In fact, jews have had at least as great an influence on conservative politics as left politics in britain an the U.S.A. I doubt that Barry Goldwater or Sir Keith Joseph regarded themselves as on “the left”.
      There is a difference between “protection” and “alliance”. The claim that religious views should be the basis of politics is traditionally a conservative or even more extreme view. There were a great many different reasons for the leftist identification with muslims- the one you give, support for people being demonised is undoubtedly one, but there were others too- there were the people who thought that the taleban were fighting the U.S.A., therefore the taleban are objectiyely progressive, or that suicide bombers in Iraq were fighting capitalism rather than engaged in squalid sectarian bigotry, there were people who opposed the invasions of iraq and Afghanistan and so did not look closely at the “resistance”, there were opportunists like George Galloway or Ken Livingstone with his belief that anyone who’s anti-British must be progressive. The fact remains, this was the first time that radicals had allied themselves with members of a religion as members of that religion rather than as people whose rights were under attack and the first time they altered their own attitudes to accomodate their new allies.

    28. Sunny — on 10th April, 2009 at 12:28 am  

      The fact remains, this was the first time that radicals had allied themselves with members of a religion as members of that religion rather than as people whose rights were under attack and the first time they altered their own attitudes to accomodate their new allies.

      Sorry, but given it looks unlikely you were involved in the discussions, this simply isn’t true. It may be something you want to be true - but it just isn’t.

      As for my comment regarding Jewish identification with the left - I was referring to the fact that most Jews in the US identify with the Democrat party.

    29. Sunny — on 10th April, 2009 at 1:56 am  

      I’ve updated the original article with an image I made earlier.

    30. Refresh — on 10th April, 2009 at 2:54 am  

      Chris Baldwin
      ‘Wow, Sunder Katwala really started something. I think the Decent Left era is drawing to a close. Not a moment too soon.’

      Yes I think you are right. The beginning of the end came when Cohen, HP et al tried to derive an ideology out of hypocrisy: The Euston Manifesto

    31. Refresh — on 10th April, 2009 at 3:08 am  

      ‘This misses the point of why such alliances were formed in the first place. The alliance were formed to protect minorities without power from being demonised by the national press - not because they were Muslim.’

      This is exactly right.

      The strategy is simple, if the left (and vast majority of the country) was opposed to the invasion of Iraq, then this majority had to be silenced or divided. And since it was the Left, its voices had to be taken out one by one. Failure on this count would not have allowed even countenancing subsequent invasions of Syria and of course Iran.

      And now why do we have Gary Younge in the frame?

      It really isn’t any more complicated than that.

      The only articles worth reading in the Observer were Nick Cohens. And it was he who introduced me to the sharp writers of PP. [They weren't really that sharp]

      Now that we do have sharp thinking Nick Cohen is exposed. The irony.

      Sunny, do think again on Martin Bright. Its worth standing back. You can spot his ilk a mile off.

      The truth is these guys: Melanie Philips, Martin Bright, DavidT/HP et al want nothing less than be the gatekeepers to the national debate.

    32. Roger — on 10th April, 2009 at 3:26 am  

      ” given it looks unlikely you were involved in the discussions, this simply isn’t true. It may be something you want to be true - but it just isn’t.”

      What discussions? People shifted from defending the rights of individuals who follow a particular religion to accepting the right of extremists of that religion to say what they pleased without criticism. Would Livingstone have stood on a platform with anyone with Qaradawi’s opinions on homosexuality who wasn’t a muslim?

      “As for my comment regarding Jewish identification with the left - I was referring to the fact that most Jews in the US identify with the Democrat party.”

      The same Democrat party that was supported by the segregationist southerm states? A better example for your claim about Jewish identification with the left would be the high proportion of jews- defined by ancestry not belief, obviously- in the Communist parties of Europe and the U.S.A. Equally, the fact that these people had abandoned their ancestors’ beliefs and were often virulently hostile to them shows the difference with the contemporary attitude to islam and islamism in Britain. The more religious the jews, the less likely they were to be involved actively in politics- especially radical politics- whereas the opposite is generally true of muslims.

    33. Sid — on 10th April, 2009 at 8:49 am  

      Sunny

      The same government that has passed anti-terrorism bill after bill? The same govt that wanted to extend pre-charge detention to 90 days? The same one that made it possible to lock up people such as ‘the lyrical terrorist’? Are you sure you want to accuse the Labour party of being soft?

      I didn’t say the Labour party was “soft”, I’ll repeat what I said: The Labour party has been very good at working with far-right Islamist groups and by doing so, granting them legitimacy. That’s not the same thing as “soft”.

      Incidentally, just a quick comment on the examples you’ve chosen. The 90 day bill, I think you will recognise, is a general civil rights issue and not policy to target Muslims in particular and should be resisted on those lines. I even think it was you who thought it important to stress that point and I absolutely agreed with you.

      Also, the lyrical poet had in addition to writing jihadi “poetry” on blowing up the ‘kuffar’, also worked in airport security and was known to be passing security details to known Pakistani jihadis.

      Here is a quandary worth considering: People like the “lyrical poet” and other Islamist will be probably the first to demand laws which outlaw free speech against Islam. So they can hardly complain if they are imprisoned if they write rap lyrics concerning her wish for the violent death to kuffar.

    34. Martin — on 10th April, 2009 at 9:44 am  

      Why on earth would any same person want Britain to be Multicultural ?

      Multiracial OK, but Multicultural?

      The most prosperous & peaceful multicultural state ever was Apartheid South Africa, & not many of us liked it.

      Face up to the fact that most muslims are maladjusted to the Western world, help them return to their homelands, and let’s all,
      regardless of race, get on with life. Medieval arab Gods of War are not part of our history & must not be part of our future.

      Martin

    35. Laban Tall — on 10th April, 2009 at 10:08 am  

      Apparently Nick Cohen “constantly pushes xenophobic conspiracy theories of Muslim demographic growth”.

      Now I confess, I don’t read NC as much as I used to. But I’d be very surprised if he’s doing anything other than reporting the demographic facts, which don’t need any conspiracy theories to explain them.

      The comparison between the Catholic Irish of the nineteenth century and today’s Muslims is quite an interesting one. Too many kids, strange religion, terrorist outrages - the Irish ticked all the same boxes …

      The Irish Catholics had an impact on Labour politics which lasted more than a century. The cultural influences were also great - and although most Catholics are pretty integrated, they still, over a century after arrival, have more kids than the native English.

      But when the Irish arrived, with their families of five, six or more, they were arriving into a society which also had a high birthrate. The immigrants from what is now East and West Pakistan arrived in a country where the birthrate was collapsing as the Pill and the cultural revolution took hold. Their demographic, political and cultural impact will be at least as great as that of the Catholic Irish, and IMHO probably much greater. I think the reintroduction of single-sex state secondary schooling, for example, is only a matter of time. It’s likely that abortion rates are near their peak, too, and will then start to decline as there are proportionately fewer of the aborting classes. So it’s not by any means all bad :-)

      The demographics are out there in the public domain.

      Here are the ONS stats for 2001, before the Polish arrivals, when ‘white’ was still a pretty reasonable approximation to native British. Look at Page 14 - estimated rates of fertility by ethnicity expressed as average number of babies per female by age 45. Again, I think ‘Pakistani’ and ‘Bangladeshi’ would be a reasonable approximation to ‘Muslim’.

      http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_population/PT104_v3.pdf

      white 1.8
      Afro-Caribbean 1.8
      Indian 2.3
      Pakistani 4.0
      Bangladeshi 4.7

      As Berthoud says “If the overall trend in Britain is from ‘old fashioned family values’ towards ‘modern individualism’, it can be argued that of the principal minority groups, South Asians, and especially Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, are behind the trend, with very high rates of marriage and of fertility, while Caribbeans are ahead of the trend, with high and rising rates of single parenthood.”

      Or take a look at the fertility of foreign-born mothers, whose babies made up 22% of all babies born in England and Wales in 2006, and well over half of London babies.

      http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_population/FM1_35/FM1_No35.PDF

      Table 9.5 gives us total fertility rates by country of birth of mother. While they differ somewhat from Richard Berthoud’s 2001 calcs, which were based on ethnicity rather than country of birth, the pattern is clear.

      United Kingdom 1.6
      India 2.3
      Pakistan 4.7
      Bangladesh 3.9
      East Africa 1.6
      Rest of Africa 2.0
      Other New Commonwealth 2.2
      Rest of World 1.8

    36. Sunny — on 10th April, 2009 at 1:13 pm  

      So they can hardly complain if they are imprisoned if they write rap lyrics concerning her wish for the violent death to kuffar.

      Firstly, I don’t believe that’s what she was doing but feel free to correct me.

      Secondly, it’s still a facile argument because I’m not trying to bring our human rights down to a level that HuT find appropriate - I have my own standards…. regardless of what harms others may want to inflict.

    37. shariq — on 10th April, 2009 at 2:29 pm  

      Am I the only person who thought this was an excellent post?

      MM, Sunny already said that the big problem with ‘What’s Left’ was that it simply attacked the easy targets on the far left in an attempt to somehow justify Cohen’s support for the War.

      This idea of I was wrong for the right reasons and you were right for the wrong reasons is something that a lot of pro-war lefties haven’t gotten away from and needs to be tackled.

      Andrew Sullivan is a good contrast to Cohen because he actually went through Cohen’s phase before moving on after some more self-reflection.

      Also its important that Sunny stands up for engaging with conservative but not violent or radical muslims like Yahya Birt. Martin Bright is really stretching definitions if he thinks they should be ostracised, especially when we’re dealing with real, violent threats.

    38. MaidMarian — on 10th April, 2009 at 2:38 pm  

      Sunny - ‘The left has always been about protecting powerless minority groups from the more powerful groups.’ and ‘The alliance were formed to protect minorities without power from being demonised by the national press - not because they were Muslim’

      I accept fully that there is truth in that, but the sense that alliance was being used and abused (‘useful idiots’ would be the nasty Telegraph term) is strong. The Respect experience rather reinforces the impression that religion played its alliance with the left - and played it well.

      If, as your quotes suggest, the left has bought into victimhood, the religious cottoned onto that like lightening.

      The protestors were no doubt angry but their protests were conventional. Strangely, a religious movement which was in no small part hostile to the British society that it inhabited embraced readily the politics of victimisation and the similar language of mainstream British leftist protest. The response of British political islam infers to me that the protesters selectively reject the British ‘way of life,’ whilst using some of its cultural/protest resources with admirable pragmatism.

      The left was, in 2003, grievance in search of a cause and it had no problem forming an unholy alliance. The inherent contradictions of this mattered little as everything became reduced to a moral equivalence that still infects debate years after the fact.

      Now, before anyone jumps on me, none of this is to say that the right was immune from the siren calls of a noisy identity politics protest group with a high media profile.

      What it is to say though is that the politics of moral equivalence became a lazy catch-all substitute for rigor and principle. The spite we see thrown about the internet shows just how successful identity politics has been in convincing people that government exists to legislate the prejudices of identity groups.

      Victimhood may make for good protest and internet comment, but in this decade it has made for lousy politics and debate.

    39. MaidMarian — on 10th April, 2009 at 2:41 pm  

      Shariq - Your comment at 39 crossed with mine at 40.

      I think that your comment, ‘This idea of I was wrong for the right reasons and you were right for the wrong reasons is something that a lot of pro-war lefties haven’t gotten away from and needs to be tackled.’

      is a far-sighted point.

    40. Shamit — on 10th April, 2009 at 2:53 pm  

      Shariq

      Pro-war lefties or pro Iraq war lefties — interesting? Because I think most in the centre left support the Afghan strategy especially since Obama said so.

      Also by the way, the Messiah/Obama went to Iraq and said to the troops he commands that their sacrifice and efforts were not in vain and today Iraq is a democracy — and it is a beacon of hope. So, if the Iraq war was so wrong how could Iraq become a beacon of hope.?

      When the cause is right war is not wrong — and no one could convince me that the cause was wrong in Iraq war.

      But I still believe it was the wrong war at the wrong time and the execution was wrong. I think we get too caught up in the right definition and trying to fit ourselves within constructs that are largely irrelevant but a box to fit in.

      I believed and still believe in the third way that came about through clinton, made into main stream by Blair. Political parties and their ideologies get hijacked by demagogues — and then when the opponents start defining political views based on those demagogues — it becomes a cycle of finger pointing. Everything you accuse the left the right has done too and vice versa.

      When are we going to just be for what is right and what is wrong?

      Cohen overreached no doubt as Sid said but there was a hell of a lot of truth along with some self indulgent crap in what he had to say.

      Finally, we published last week an article by the President of Demos Foundation in Hungary about the state of left in Europe — and I share his views. You can read it here:

      http://www.egovmonitor.com/node/24485

    41. Ravi Naik — on 10th April, 2009 at 2:58 pm  

      Am I the only person who thought this was an excellent post?

      I also think this post is excellent.

      Here is a quandary worth considering: People like the “lyrical poet” and other Islamist will be probably the first to demand laws which outlaw free speech against Islam. So they can hardly complain if they are imprisoned if they write rap lyrics concerning her wish for the violent death to kuffar.

      That is a pretty lame argument and not worth considering unless you have the brain of a wingnut. This argument and its variants are used to justify curtailing our civil liberties, torture, prison camps, death penalty, and so on - that is, in order to defeat “them”, we need to stoop to their standards, or whatever we think they would do if they were in a position of power.

      If she assisted terrorists while she was working in the airport, then she deserves to be imprisoned. If all she did was write violent poems, then it is a travesty to have her imprisoned under anti-terrorism laws.

    42. MaidMarian — on 10th April, 2009 at 2:59 pm  

      Shamit - That link you provide is excellent.

      Well worth a read.

    43. Ravi Naik — on 10th April, 2009 at 3:22 pm  

      Pro-war lefties or pro Iraq war lefties — interesting? Because I think most in the centre left support the Afghan strategy especially since Obama said so.

      Oh please. The Afghan War started after 9/11, and very few objected - certainly not the moderate Left. Bush had 90% of support, and Obama was virtually unknown at that time - so your “especially since Obama said so” strikes me as disingenuous.

      When people talk about “anti-War” movement, they talk specifically about the Iraq War.

    44. MaidMarian — on 10th April, 2009 at 3:30 pm  

      Ravi Naik - ‘When people talk about “anti-War” movement, they talk specifically about the Iraq War.’

      I see where you are coming from, but a caveat. That movement c2003 had a religious element enough to get the whole march renamed from StW to StW/FFP with all the connotations that brings to mind. StW/FFP is not the 1980s peace movement (and for peace moevment read CND). StW/FFP is not fit to lick the boots of CND 1983 vintage.

      Sure, the war in queation may have been the Iraq war, but there was far more under the surface and to simply disregard that is short-sighted. Cohen at least looked at the whole.

    45. Shamit — on 10th April, 2009 at 3:33 pm  

      And your point is Ravi? That was just one line in a post which was not really about the wars at all.

      And if it makes you happy I am willing to retract that particular bit. But please tell me how could Iraq now be a beacon of hope if the cause of the war was wrong. But lets not revisit arguments which we have many times agreed to disagree upon. I think we share similar ideals and so why not just agree to disagree on this Iraq war issue.

    46. Shamit — on 10th April, 2009 at 3:44 pm  

      The key point which I was hoping to make in my post above @42 is both the right and the left have over reached when in power or in opposition — the 70′s and the 80′s. And guess what the world as a whole did not have much to show for it.

      In the 90s the progressive politics of choosing what is right rather than what does my ideology tell me did deliver goods.

      So lets focus on what is right -rather than what fits my ideology best.

    47. Sunny — on 10th April, 2009 at 3:55 pm  

      how could Iraq now be a beacon of hope if the cause of the war was wrong.

      Well, let’s put it this way. India is now a democracy. Do you then think the British Raj was a good and necessary ‘intervention’?

      I think we’re detracting from the main points (thanks Ravi and Shariq) - which is that:

      1) The Red / Green alliance wasn’t created because the Reds wanted religion, but because they saw themselves as choosing the lesser of two evils (which is the same strategy as those who put in their lot with GW Bush) - and because it was naked political opportunism.

      2) That most of the people who came to the Iraq war march weren’t there to support the SWP or the MAB, but to protest against the war. The two are not the same.

      3) That lefties have made other alliance with religious people (evangelical black Christians in London, Hispanics in the US) for specific political goals (minimum wage campaign, immigration reform respectively).

      4) That whatever Cohen’s point was back in 2003 is now redundant since the collapse of the Respect party.

      He has now become a narrative looking for the culprit, and failing miserably.

    48. Sid — on 10th April, 2009 at 4:21 pm  

      Firstly, I don’t believe that’s what she was doing but feel free to correct me.

      From here. Interpretation are welcome:

      Let us make Jihad
      Move to the front line
      To chop chop head of kuffar swine

      Secondly, it’s still a facile argument because I’m not trying to bring our human rights down to a level that HuT find appropriate - I have my own standards…

      I suspect your standards are in keeping with universalist values. And as long as they are, we should be fine.

    49. Rumbold — on 10th April, 2009 at 4:26 pm  

      Sunder seems like a nice chap (I once saw him on the Islam Channel), but I have to agree with Shamit once again- I am not a fan of the Fabian society (but then I wouldn’t be would I).

      Although I haven’t read What’s Left, from what I have heard about it leads me to agree with Sunny; namely about the book tarring far too many lefties with the SWP/Respect brush.

    50. Ravi Naik — on 10th April, 2009 at 4:41 pm  

      And if it makes you happy I am willing to retract that particular bit. But please tell me how could Iraq now be a beacon of hope if the cause of the war was wrong. But lets not revisit arguments which we have many times agreed to disagree upon. I think we share similar ideals and so why not just agree to disagree on this Iraq war issue.

      Shamit - there is no doubt that the Iraq War was wrong, and I haven’t heard Obama say otherwise. But I do not think it is fair to castigate a commander-in-chief for being optimistic about the future of the region, and bringing up the moral of the soldiers and their families - specially considering that they are going to be stationed in Iraq for another year, and some will definitely die. Saying that their lives and efforts are meaningless, or not acknowledging their efforts when he goes to visit them, seems cruel to me.

    51. Ravi Naik — on 10th April, 2009 at 4:58 pm  

      In the 90s the progressive politics of choosing what is right rather than what does my ideology tell me did deliver goods.

      Can you give an example of this? Not sure what aspects of the progressive ideology can be abdicated in order to do what is “right”.

    52. soru — on 10th April, 2009 at 6:56 pm  

      ‘‘Wow, Sunder Katwala really started something. I think the Decent Left era is drawing to a close. Not a moment too soon.’

      No doubt that is true. Now all we need to do is agree on whether:

      1. they were idiots who said nonsense no-one could possibly take seriously.
      2. their position was so self-evidently true no-one could possibly take seriously anyone who disagreed with it.

    53. Roger — on 10th April, 2009 at 7:22 pm  

      “If all she did was write violent poems, then it is a travesty to have her imprisoned under anti-terrorism laws.”

      “Let us make Jihad
      Move to the front line
      To chop chop head of kuffar swine”

      “Must a man stand by what he writes
      As he stands by his camp-bed or his weaponry
      Or shell-shocked comrades as they sag and cry?”
      asked Geoffrey Hill in The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy . On the other side:
      “Did that play of mine send out
      Certain men the English shot?”
      Yeats said.
      Is a poet less reprehensible because they only commit the tongue’s atrocities or more so because they inspire others to kill? Is the only justification for the lyrical terrorist’spoems the fact that they were so bad they could not inspire what she aspired to?

    54. Sid — on 10th April, 2009 at 8:31 pm  

      That is a pretty lame argument and not worth considering unless you have the brain of a wingnut. This argument and its variants are used to justify curtailing our civil liberties, torture, prison camps, death penalty, and so on - that is, in order to defeat “them”, we need to stoop to their standards, or whatever we think they would do if they were in a position of power.

      Exactly. The curtailment of free speech in the UK is very much in wingnut-land at the moment. And it is the laws which have been introduced to support this curtailment that is being used to abuse the civil liberties, not to mention freedom of speech or to publish offensive thoughts, of the very people they were introduced to protect.

    55. Sunny — on 10th April, 2009 at 10:33 pm  

      The curtailment of free speech in the UK is very much in wingnut-land at the moment.

      Right - so I’m assuming you’ll disagree with David T’s decision to want to ban all these Islamist nutters coming into the country, and Geert Wilders etc?

      Anyway, you’re backing away from your original position - which was stupid to start with. It’s the kind of crap that bigot Archbishop Cranmer comes out with: ‘we shouldn’t let these Muslims build mosques because Middle Eastern countries don’t allow churches’.

    56. Sid — on 10th April, 2009 at 10:41 pm  

      My position on nutters coming into the country has been clear all along. Let them all in unless they or the organisation to which they belong to have a precendents of inciting violence.

      And as for likening my position to Archbishop Cranmer? You’re in danger of losing the plot entirely.

    57. Shamit — on 10th April, 2009 at 10:45 pm  

      “Well, let’s put it this way. India is now a democracy. Do you then think the British Raj was a good and necessary ‘intervention’?”

      Sunny

      I think the analogy is probably not very accurate — I don’t see the coalition forces in the same light as the British Raj. But even if I agree with your argument, by your logic-intervening in Afghanistan is wrong as it would be in Pakistan.

      So the intervention in Balkans would have been wrong?

      I always felt that there should have been some kind of intervention would have been needed and appropriate in Rwanda and Sudan (there is some but far too little).

      It is not only the Blair doctrine but also the pope and the Secretary General of the UN have argued for humanitarian intervention.

      I rest my case

    58. Ravi Naik — on 10th April, 2009 at 11:41 pm  

      So the intervention in Balkans would have been wrong? I always felt that there should have been some kind of intervention would have been needed and appropriate in Rwanda and Sudan (there is some but far too little).

      Shamit, it is good not to conflate things. I think most progressives would support military intervention in places where there are humanitarian crisis - Balkans, Rwanda and Sudan. Most moderates supported the Afghan War because of Al Qaeda attacks.

      Iraq is a completely different matter. The cause of war was formulated in 2003: Iraq had WMDs, and Iraq had something to do with 9/11.

    59. douglas clark — on 11th April, 2009 at 1:21 am  

      Shamit,

      What Ravi is talking about is a thing called R2P - Responsibility to Protect, which, I think was and is a good Liberal doctrine. It has been treated like a pariah since Iraq. Because it’s clothes were stolen by neo-cons and lies were told in its name.

      It is an incredibly hard sell these days. Both to governments and peoples.

    60. Sunny — on 11th April, 2009 at 1:23 am  

      What Ravis said.

      In addition to that, I supported the Afghanistan attacks because I felt the ascendancy of the Taliban was fundamentally destabilising for the whole of South Asia, and might lead to an escalation between Pakistan and India. So I also took that into account. Iraq on the other hand was going to make everyone more insecure - as inevitably happened.

    61. Arif — on 11th April, 2009 at 9:14 am  

      The “right” engages with the Saudi regime while savaging the Taliban. It engages with Saddam Hussein one decade while he launches invasions and massacres Kurds, and savages his regime the next. And the “left criticises these double standards - and most Muslims - however right-wing in their social or economic philosophies, will also criticise them. This makes the broad left and many Muslims fellow travellers in many geopolitical arguments.

      The “left” also wants a critical relationship with political agents, because it is always questioning who the victim is and who the victimiser - and it seems that the victimiser in one context is the victim in another. And then the lefties fight it out about who is siding with which oppressor for what sly motives. In a way this is a healthy argument, but the level of hostility it generates gets out of proportion.

      My view is that we are all sensitive to different forms of oppression and domination, and that the fact that some are more traumatised and fearful about Imperialism and others by Fascism does not mean we should be at each others’ throats. I am happy to have a left able to engage with anti-fascists and anti-imperialists alike, and work with their allies to broaden everyone’s sensitivity to different forms of oppression.

      If the left becomes dominated by self-righteous condemnation of anyone with different sensitivities, then it’s sad, but maybe it can help them understand the mindset of the Takfiri Muslims they are most afraid of.

    Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

    Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
    With the help of PHP and Wordpress.