Against the Current

Thomas Abowd: Arabs and Muslims after 9/11 (nr.164, maj-juni 2013). Review of Evelyn Alsultany, Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation After 9/11 (New York University Press, 2012) + Nadine Naber, Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politidcs, and Activism (New York University Press, 2012)

Hisham H. Ahmed: The Arab Spring, the West and Political Islam (nr.156, jan.-feb. 2012).
“While it’s true that Islam as a religion and a culture is intrinsic to Arab life, the politicization of Islam is a product of internal and external developments. The support by the West of corrupt regimes and its concerted attack on nationalist and pan-nationalist secular forces have made the rise of political Islam almost inevitable.”

Centre for Studies in Islamism and Radicalisation

Bassam Tibi: Ballot and Bullet: the politicisation of Islam to Islamism (pdf) (nov. 2009, 31 s.).
“If you ask a Muslim, ‘Is Islam for you a faith”Ÿ or ‘is Islam a concept of order? (the unity of state and religion)”Ÿ. And if he says that Islam is a political order, he”Ÿs an Islamist. If he says that Islam is a faith, then he”Ÿs an ordinary Muslim.” And I think that this is the line, this is a clear line.”


Ady Cousins: Muslim opinion and the myth of ‘tacit support’ for terrorism (20. marts, 2015).
“Attempts to smear the entire Muslim population on the basis of dubious opinion polls should be seen for what they are – unfounded and dangerous bigotry.”

Sean Ledwith: Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire (10. jan. 2013). Review of Deepa Kumar book (Haymarket, 2012).
“Deepa Kumar’s important new book on Islamophobia explores the link between the politics of Empire and domestic attacks on Muslims in Western nations.”


Alan Maass: The new hysteria: Islamic fascism (12. sept. 2006).
“The chieftains of the never-ending ‘war on terror’ are peddling a newly updated enemy: ‘Islamic fascism’ … It depends on lumping together all Islamist organizations – from Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which, like the government of Iran, is based among Shia Muslims, to the ultra-Wahhabist Sunnis of al-Qaeda, which regards Shiites as enemies and infidels to be exterminated.”

Tariq Ali: Letter to a young Muslim (25. april 2002).
“Remember when you approached me after the big antiwar meeting in November 2001 (I think it was Glasgow) and asked whether I was a believer? I have not forgotten the shock you registered when I replied ‘no’, or the comment of your friend (‘our parents warned us against you’), or the angry questions which the pair of you then began to hurl at me like darts. All of that made me think, and this is my reply for you and all the others like you who asked similar questions elsewhere in Europe and North America.” Uddrag fra Tariq Alis bog: The clash of fundamentalisms: crusades, jihads and modernity (London, Verso, 2002, s.303-313).

Tariq Ali: Mullahs and heretics (6. feb. 2002).
Uddrag fra Tariq Alis bog: The clash of fundamentalisms: crusades, jihads and modernity (London, Verso, 2002).

Robin Blackburn: Terror og empire: a CounterPunch special report (nov. 2001; online at Internet Archive).
“Robin Blackburns booklength report is the first extended radical analysis of the post September 11 world, what the terror war is all about, and how a just war on terror could be fought and won”. Se i denne sammenhæng specielt kap. 3: ‘The US alliance with militant Islam’ + kap. 5: ‘Coming to terms with the revolution in the Islamic world’.

CovertAction Quarterly

Samir Amin: Political Islam (nr.71, vinter 2001, s.3-6).
“Exploding Samuel Huntington’s ‘clash of cultures’ thesis, Samir Amin exposes political Islam’s full-blown partnership with western intelligence”.

Rezeq Faraj: Israel and Hamas: dancing the Zionist-Islamist waltz (nr.71, winter 2002, s.25-29).
“Rezeq Faraj looks for the roots of suicide bomb attacks on Israel – and finds that Israel helped Hamas early and often”.


Ardeshir Mehrdad and Yassamine Mather: Political Islam’s relation to capital and class (nr.36-37, juni 2005, s.61-98).
“In many countries, the movements of political Islam raise their flag as that of ‘seekers of justice’ and aim their propaganda at the poorest and most deprived sections of society. They, thereby, present themselves as a rival to the forces of socialism and the left. The formulation of a strategy to respond to this challenge requires a deeper understanding of the background to, and reasons for, these developments. This article presents some preliminary theses, based on a necessarily limited and general outline of the characteristics and peculiarities of the Islamic movements.”

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

Eddie Abrahams: Communism, fundamentalism and the question of Palestine (nr.111, feb.-marts 1993).
“With the collapse of the USSR, the Great Powers are targeting Islamic fundamentalism as the ‘evil enemy’ undermining world order, the market economy and democracy. Such propaganda combined with fundamentalism’s radical, anti-western and anti-Israeli rhetoric can generate illusions that it has progressive, democratic, anti-imperialist features. Hamas’s record and role shows this is not the case. Islamic fundamentalism – like its Christian and Jewish variants – is an anti-democratic, reactionary and pro-capitalist political trend”.

Green Left Weekly

Kim Bullimore: A dispassionate look at Hamas (nr.712, 1. juni 2007).
Review of Khaled Hroub’s book: Hamas: A Beginner’s Guide (Pluto Press, 2006).

The Guardian

Timothy Garton Ash: In identifying those trying to kill us, we should choose our words carefully (22. nov. 2007).
“What should we call the people who want to kill us? Islamofascists? Islamists? Jihadists? Or just plain murderers? … finding the right words is part of stopping them. It means we’ve correctly identified our real enemies. It also means we don’t unnecessarily create new enemies by making all Muslims feel that they’re being treated as terrorists.”

Hamza Alavi Internet Archive

Hamza Alavi: The rise of religious fundamentalism in Pakistan (2001).
“Religious fundamentalism has become a powerful and dangerous force in Pakistan, due mainly to the opportunism of successive political leadership that has pandered to it. Militant sectarian religious groups and parties, led by half-educated and bigoted mullahs, many of them armed to the teeth, are holding our civil society and the state to ransom. They threaten the very fabric of Pakistan society”.

In Defence of Marxism

Lal Khan: Political Islam in Pakistan (2. sept. 2014)
“After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the capitalist counter-revolution in China, an immense political vacuum opened up in ideology and politics on a world scale. In these conditions there was the resurgence of political Islam and religious fundamentalism.”

Maarten Vanheuverswyn: Saudi state visit to Britain underlines double standards of ruling classes of the world (30. okt. 2007).
“The fact is that the Saudi monarchy is one of the most horrible, corrupt and vicious (in all senses of the word) regimes on this planet.”

Lal Khan: Islam and America : friends or foes? (11. maj 2004).
“The majority of the rulers of the Islamic countries are either the agents of America or they are bowing before it because of their weakness and greed. The Mullahs and the fundamentalists are as much fearful of the class struggle as are the Americans. They have been used by imperialism earlier and they will be used in future.”

Dr. Zayar: The Iranian revolution – past, present and future (2000, 106 s.).
“Dr. Zayar, quoting a wealth of original sources, proves beyond a shadow of doubt that the movement of 1979 was a proletarian revolution which was betrayed by the leadership, leading to a counter-revolution in which the reactionary mullahs seized power by stepping into a power vacuum”.

Alan Woods: The first shots of the Iranian revolution (17. juli 1999).
“The mass demonstrations and riots in Iran are the first shots of the Iranian revolution. This article points out the importance of these events, underlines the decessive role of the workers and explains the need to link democratic demands with a socialist programme”.

Lal Khan: Fundamentalism resurgence: causes and prospect (28. okt. 1994).
“The collapse of the Soviet Union has resulted in one of the most turbulent and disturbed periods in human history … As a reaction to these crises new, and some not so new, phenomenon have emerged on the political horizons of most countries. In most of the ‘Third world’, ‘Islamic’ countries there is the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism”.

In These Times

Salim Muwakkil: The forgotten history of Islam in America (nr.21, 16. aug. 2002).
“Deeply rooted in U.S. culture, Islam has proven its utility as an agent for change and a force for stability. Those who argue that the religion is atavistic or a product of postmodern nihilism must be more careful in their condemnation. Like other religious believers, Muslims often oscillate between precept and practice. But pluralistic cultural pressures are more likely to moderate the excesses of Islamist cults, like al Qaeda and Islamic Jihad, than an endless war”.

International Review

Dawson: Resurgent Islam: a symthom of the decomsition of capitalist social relations (nr.109, 2002).
“Not for the first time, capitalism is justifying its march towards war by invoking the idea of a ‘clash between civilisations’. In 1914 workers were marched off to war to defend modern ‘civilisation’ against the Russian knout or German kaiserism; in 1939 it was to defend democracy against the new dark age represented by Nazism; from 1945 to 1989 it was to fight for democracy against Communism, or for the socialist countries against the imperialist ones. Today the refrain is ‘the Western way of life’ against ‘Islamic fanaticism’, or ‘Islam’ against the ‘crusaders and Jews'”.

International Socialism

Ron Margulies: The general elections, Islam and the left in Turkey (9. okt. 2007, web only).
“Are Islamist movements ‘radical’ or ‘ultra-conservative’? A so-called ‘Islamic’ party has just been elected with nearly 50% of the vote in Turkey. It is in no way ‘ultra-conservative’. It is, of course, conservative on such issues as the economy, the family, social mores, etc., but no more so than Blair and less so than Bush.”

Chris Harman: Between ritual and revolt (nr.112, efterår 2006, s.218-222).
“A review of Ali Rahnema (ed.): Pioneers of the Islamic Revival … The new edition of this book is welcome. Its essays dissect the contrasting approaches of eight of the most significant figures to develop political Islam.”

Sam Ashman: Islam and imperialism (nr.95, sommer 2002, s.125-30).
A review of Tariq Ali: The Clash of Fundamentalisms (Verso, 2002).
“.. (Ali) argues that ‘the rise of religion is partially explained by the lack of any other alternative to the universal regime of neo-liberalism’, and that the ‘fundamentalism of the Empire has no equal today’. This is combined with a challenge to what Islamists have to offer in response–‘a route to the past which, mercifully for the people of the 7th century, never existed’. This approach is critical for the left today, not only if it is to build opposition to racism, imperialism and fascism in Europe, but also if it is to rebuild its roots in the Middle East, South Asia and beyond.”

Anne Aleksander: The crisis in the Middle East (nr.93, dec. 2001, s.59-80).
“This article attempts to map out the contradictions of the US policy in the Middle East, and the shaky foundation on which the war in Afghanistan depends. It also examines the economic forces shaping the crisis of imperialism in the region, and discusses the potential for resistance from the nationalist movements, the Islamists and the working class”.

Phil Marshall: The children of Stalinism (nr.68, efterår 1995, s.117-130).
“Chris Harman’s article on Islam, ‘The Prophet and the Proletariat’, (International Socialism 64) has a strength but also several weaknesses … it also leaves some key questions unanswered, notably that of how such a vacillating current can draw support in many countries of the Middle East …”

Chris Harman: The prophet and the proletariat (nr.64, efterår 1994, s.3-63).
“Chris Harman charts a careful course through the contradictions of Islamism, revealing its class roots … He goes on to show in which circumstances Islamism plays a reactionary role and in which circumstances the Islamists challenge the establishment.”

Phil Marshall: Islamic fundamentalism : oppression and revolution (nr.40, efterår 1988, s.1-51).
“In this article Phil Marshall unravel the history of Islamic fundamentalism. Using Marx’s analysis of religion he examines both the class basis of the creed and how its has come to represent the hopes of the oppressed. He also explains how the heritage of Stalinism has, at crusial turning points in the struggle, allowed the fundamentalists to gain at the left’s expense”.
Artiklen er ikke online, men findes i dansk oversættelse på Marxisme Online.

Jonathan Neale: The Afghan tragedy (nr.12, forår 1981, s.1-32).
“What I do here is to develop a Marxist analysis of the roots and forms of the Afghan tragedy. I deal first with the values of the peasantry and their historical traditions. Then I move to the class roots of the Afghan left, the causes of their coup and the consequences of the Russian invasion.”

International Socialist Review

Joseph Daher: Marxism, the Arab Spring, and Islamic fundamentalism (nr.106, efterår  2017, p.90-113).
“… Islamic fundamentalist movements have to be understood as a fundamentally reactionary political force throughout the region. This counterrevolutionary role necessitates a reevaluation of much of the Left’s analytical understanding of, and strategic approach to, Islamic fundamentalism.”

Gilbert Achcar: Islamic fundamentalism, the Arab Spring, and the Left (nr.103, vinter  2016-17).
“Ashley Smith interviewed Gilbert Achcar about one of the pressing questions raised by the Arab Spring””the Left’s understanding of, and approach to, Islamic Fundamentalism.”

Deepa Kumar: Political Islam: a Marxist analysis, Part 1 (nr.76, marts-april 2011) + Part 2 (nr.78, juli-august 2011).
“Part one of this article showed how traditions of secularism and the separation of religion and politics have long been a part of the political culture of the ‘Muslim world’. It also argued that the rise of political Islam is historically new and contingent upon various contemporary factors. Part two examines the other conditions that enabled the parties of political Islam to grow.”

Deepa Kumar: Islam and Islamophobia (nr.52, marts-april 2007).
“Islamophobia in its current form derives from a body of knowledge known as ‘Orientalist’ thought, which came into being in the late eighteenth century, and it is here we must turn in order to understand the roots of Islamophobia.”

Sharon Smith: Women and Islam (nr.35, maj-juni 2004).
Hijab ban: Racist hypocrisy – Imperialism does not ‘liberate’ women – Islam and resistance to imperialism – Religion, class society, and women’s oppression – Marxism and religion – The Russian Revolution – Conclusion: Past and present.

International Viewpoint

Francois Sabado and Pierre Rousset: The 13 November attacks in Paris: the terror of the Islamic State, the state of emergency in France, our responsibilities (International Viewoint, nr.490, nov. 2015).
“The Islamic State and other similar movements do not just react; they act according to their own agenda.”

Niciolas Qualander: Hezbollah Debate: ‘The savage anomaly’ of the Islamic movement (nr.383, nov. 2006).
“Hezbollah won a great political victory in the Lebonan war this summer. But isa this movement really a reactionary and rightist movement, or a deformed expression of rebellion and radicalisation?”

Gilbert Achcar: Eleven theses on the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism (sept. 2006/1981).
“Given the renewed discussion, we are producing this 1981 document, which stands the test of time. The ‘theses’ were circulated widely and have been translated into many languages. Their success was due to the fact that they gave a Marxist analysis of a phenomenon that was then still relatively new. The current resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism dates from the 1970s, and reached its first crescendo, after years of underground activity, with the Iranian revolution of 1979.”

Jacobin: Reason in Revolt

Marx and the Prophet: An interview with Gilbert Achcar (14. april 2019)
“On why the rise of fundamentalism in Muslim-majority countries owes much to the failings of the secular left.”

Joseph Daher: Hezbollah and the workers (1. dec. 2016)
“Hezbollah’s record shows that the party’s interests are more aligned with elites than with workers.” Joseph Daher is author of Hezbollah: The Political Economy of Lebanon’s Party of God (Pluto Press, 2016, 320 p.)

Khamsin: Journal of Revolutionary Socialists of the Middle East

Lalif Lakhdar: Why the reversion to Islamic archaism? (nr.8, 1981, s.62-82).
“In order to gain a critical understanding of the persistence of Islamic archaism and all its paraphernalia, one must approach it through the logic of its own history, as well as that of the Arabo-Muslim bourgeoisie of the 19th and 20th centuries, which is radically different from the process of European history and from the residual folkloric Christianity of the present-day West”.

Links: International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Lisa Macdonald: The nature of Islamic fundamentalism (nr.21, maj-aug. 2002, s.67-86).
“‘Islamic fundamentalism’, along with ‘terrorism’, has replaced ‘communism’ as US imperialism’s justification for its militarism. Lisa Macdonald looks at the history of what is perhaps more properly called ‘political Islam’, outlining in particular its often changing relations with imperialism. ‘The current enmity between imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism’, she concludes, ‘will not necessarily be long lasting. As soon as a working-class movement begins to seriously threaten imperialism’s interests, the old hypocritical anti-left alliance is likely to be re-established’.”

Farooq Tariq: A reciepe for suicide (nr.20, jan.-april 2002, s.33-41).
“The author, who is the general secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan, writes on the importance for the Pakistani left of not appearing to support the reactionary Taliban even while seeking to build a mass movement against imperialism’s war”.

The rise and fall of political Islam. A discussion with Mansoor Hekmat (nr.20, jan.-april 2002, s.42-49).
“In the article, Mansoor Hekmat of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran explains why ‘political Islam’ (a term he considers more accurate than ‘Islamic fundamentalism’) in Iran “has become the prelude to an anti-Islamic and anti-religious cultural revolution in people’s minds, particularly amongst the young generation, which will stun the world with an immense explosion and will proclaim the practical end of political Islam in the whole of the Middle East”.

Farooq Sulehria: Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan (nr.18, maj-aug. 2001, s.55-63).
“Farooq Sulehria from the Labour Party Pakistan, writes of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in that country, explaining it through the interaction of such factors as the decreased usefulness of religious reaction as an ally of imperialism after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ability of religious institutions to provide a partial substitute for the social-welfare measures that cannot be provided by the state”.

Dianne Feeley: Fundamentalism : US style (nr.18, maj-aug. 2001, s.69-86).
“From the other side of the world, Dianne Feeley, from the US socialist organisation Solidarity, provides a guide to Christian fundamentalism in the United States, tracing both its extensive influence and the limits on that influence within the politics of the Republican Party”.

Marxist Left Review

Omar Hassan: Hezbollah: The Political Economy of Lebanon’s Party of God (No.14, Winter 2017). Review of Joseph Daher’s book (Pluto Press, 2016, 288 p.): “Taken together, the argument made by Daher clearly indicates that Hezbollah is a bourgeois party on the counter-revolutionary wing of Arab politics.” See also review by Anne Alexander (Socialist Review, Issue 421, February 2017).

Marxists Internet Archive

M.N. Roy: Historical role of Islam: An essay on Islamic culture (1939).
Introduction – The mission of Islam – Social and historical background of Islam – The causes of triumph – Mohammad and his teachings – Islamic philosophy – Islam and India.

Minutes of the Second Congress of the Communist International: Fifth Session, July 28, 1920 + Theses on the national and colonial question.

Minutes of the Second Congress of the Communist International: Fourth Session, July 25, 1920 + Supplementary Theses On The National And Colonial Question.
Se også What Next! længere nede.

Middle East Report

Abdullah Al-Arian: Between terror and tyranny: Political Islam in the shadow of the Arab Uprisings (30. dec. 2015).
“… the Society of Muslim Brothers and movements inspired by its ideology across the region find themselves in as precarious a position as any they have faced in the past half-century.”

Maxime Rodinson on Islamic “Fundamentalism” (nr.233, vinter 2004). An unpublished interview with Gilbert Achcar from 1986.
“His understanding (in the deepest sense of the word) of the sources of the resurgence of fundamentalism as a political-religious ideology did not lead him, thoroughly anti-clerical atheist that he was, to have the least sympathy for it.”

Khaled Abou El Fadl: Islam and the theology of power (nr.221, vinter 2001, s.28-33).
“In deeply prejudiced fashion, commentators who explain the September 11 attacks by referring to a ‘clash of civilizations’ assume that terrorism is somehow an authentic expression of the predominant values of Islam. But the common responses to this interpretation do not adequately explain the theology of radical Islamist groups”.

Sara Roy: The transformation of Islamic NGOs in Palestine (nr.214, forår 2000, s.24-27 + 48).
“What does the Islamic movement look like seven years after Oslo? How and why has it changed? What position do Islamic NGOs now occupy within the movement and what position does the movement occupy within the social constellation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank?”

Charles Hirschkind: What is political Islam? (nr.205, okt.-dec. 1997, s.12-14).
“Many scholars have argued that ‘political Islam’ involves an illegitimate extension of the Islamic tradition outside of the properly religious domain it has historically occupied. Few, however, have explored this trend in relation to the contemporaneous expansion of state power and concern into vast domains of social life previously outside its purview- -including that of religion.” The article is online at

Monthly Review

Samir Amin: Political Islam in the service of imperialism (nr.7, dec. 2007).
“Political Islam is not only reactionary on certain questions (notably concerning the status of women) and perhaps even responsible for fanatic excesses directed against non-Muslim citizens (such as the Copts in Egypt) – it is fundamentally reactionary and therefore obviously cannot participate in the progress of peoples’ liberation.” See also the debate between Tariq Amin-Khan and Samir Amin: Analyzing Political Islam: A critique of traditional historical materialist analytic + Political Islam and historical materialism – an exchange (marts 2009)

1917: Journal of the International Bolshevik Tendency

Islam, empire & revolution: class war – not holy war! (nr.17, 1996).
“The rise of Islamic fundamentalism is a response to a century of imperialist domination. It is, among other things, an attempt by a section of the people of the region – particularly the petty-bourgeois elements – to assert their identity against the economically and culturally dominant Western powers. But much of the left refuse to learn – even when the lesson is written in its own blood – that every response to oppression is not necessarily healthy and progressive”.

The Nation

Edward Said: The clash of ignorance (22. okt. 2001).
“Labels like ‘Islam’ and ‘the West’ serve only to confuse us about a disorderly reality.”

New Internationalist

Islam: resistance and reform (nr.345, maj 2002, s.9-28).
“What’s has gone wrong? Why has Islam and its relation with the West become so fraught with violence and mistrust?”
Temanummer. Har også en historisk tidslinie ‘Key movements of Islamic civilization’.

Fundamentalism: reaching for certainty (nr.210, aug. 1990).
“The fundamentalist is by and large a reactionary but not a conservative in any traditional meaning of the word. A conservative wants to conserve what is: be it the existing system of privileges, a set of political boundaries or a local neighbourhood or forest. While fundamentalists venerate the authority and wisdom of the past. it is a past already lost under the assaults of the modern world. Their program is to regain this lost past. The present state of affairs must be entirely overturned to achieve their aims. They use the vocabulary of revolution but hark back to a mythical golden age that must be recovered in order to set things right”.
Temanummer om fundamentalister hos islam, kristendommen, kvindebevægelsen, økologer og markedstilhængere (market mullahs).

New Left Review
I forbindelse med Tariq Alis bog: The clash of fundamentalisms: crusades, jihads and modernity (Verso, 2002) har sitet samlet uddrag fra bogen, anmeldelser, interviews og andre artikler af Tariq Ali.

Riddles of the book (nr.86, marts-april 2014). Interview with Suleiman Mourad.
“A scholar of Islamic history discusses the formation and trajectory of the last great Abrahamic religion. Tensions between ecumenicism and jihad, pan-Islamism and division of the umma, and a bleak present of recrudescent sectarianism.”


Fred Halliday: The Left and the Jihad: a ‘liberal’ riposte (12. jan. 2007).
“Is the modern left collusive with radical Islamism? Fred Halliday defends his argument against Fouzi Slisli & Jacqueline Kaye’s critique.”

Jacqueline Kaye and Fouzi Slisli : A liberal logic: reply to Fred Halliday (8. dec. 2006).
“Fred Halliday’s portrait of an affinity between the left and Islamism is a new version of the old story of western liberalism’s distorted treatment of anti-colonial struggles.”

Fred Halliday: The Left and the Jihad (8. sept. 2006)
“The left was once the principal enemy of radical Islamism. So how did old enemies become new friends?”

Permanent Revolution

Political Islam (nr.3, vinter 2006).
“Keith Harvey reviews two recent books on radical Islam – Lawrence Wright’s The Looming Tower and Jason Burke’s Al-Qaeda – which trace the ideology and goals of this reactionary force.”

Jacobin: Reason in Revolt

Jonathan Neale: Remembering the Saur Revolution (15 May 2018)
“Forty years ago, communists took over Afghanistan hoping to bring modernization and social progress to the country. Were their sweeping reforms doomed to fail?”

Socialist Register

Aijaz Ahmad: Islam, Islamisms and the West (2008, s.1-37).
“We live at a time when governments of key capitalist countries, the mass media and much of the academic world, including some on the left, would have us believe in precisely that Islamic exceptionalism, that hyper-religiosity among the Muslims, that civilizational difference of Islam which the Islamic revivalists, fundamentalists and would-be martyrs would have us believe in.”

Asef Bayat: Islamism and empire: The incongruous nature of islamist anti-imperialism (2008, s.38-54)
“I suggest that the fundamental question is not whether Islamists pose resistance to empire, nor whether they are anti-imperialist or fascist. The relevant question rather is what does Islamist anti-imperialism entail vis-à-vis the mass of Muslim humanity.”

Gilbert Achcar: Religion and politics today from a a Marxian perspective (2008, p.55-76; online at
“Two of these have received a lot of attention in recent years: Christian theology of liberation and Islamic fundamentalism. A comparative assessment of these two phenomena from the standpoint of Marxist theory, enriched by further inputs from the sociology of religions, is a particularly challenging and politically enlightening endeavour, as I hope to establish.”

Socialist Review

Neil Davidson: Islam and the Enlightment (nr.304, marts 2006).
“The intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th century that became known as the Enlightenment helped a new class to come to power in Europe. Neil Davidson asks why the more advanced civilisations of the Islamic world did not develop a similar movement of their own.”

Phil Marfleet: Islam: force for change? (nr.257, nov. 2001, s.16-17).
“… a look at the appeal and limits of Islamic activism”.

Alex Callinicos: An imperialist peace? (nr.112, sept. 1988, s.15-20).
“On 18 July the Iranian government announced its unconditional acceptance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 598. This amounted to a decision by the Islamic Republican regime in Tehran to sue for peace. Alex Callinicos looks at the background to and the consequences of this decision”.

Peter Taffe: Afghanistan, Islam and the revolutionary left (feb. 2002).
“The following is a lengthy article written in February 2002. We are publishing it now because the issues it analyses, of war, Islam and the approach of Marxists, are relevant to the new world situation of increased imperialist intervention in the neo-colonial world and the continued threat of a US invasion of Iraq”.


Martin Thomas: Political Islam as clerical fascism (3/138, 11. sept. 2008).
Examining Gilles Kepel’s comprehensive history, Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam (2008)

State of Nature
Theme: Religion in the modern world (nr.1, efterår 2005):

Elaheh Rostami Povey: Women and work in Iran, Part 1 + Part 2.
“This article provides an analysis of women’s work (paid, unpaid and voluntary) and their contribution to the economy in Iran since the 1979 revolution and the Islamisation of the state and other institutions.”

Weekly Worker

Hypocrisy abounds (nr.1043, 29. januar 2015)
“Yassamine Mather can hardly believe the sickening tributes being paid to the Saudi tyrant.”

A blunder of historic proportions (nr.919, 21. juni 2012).
“Voting for the Muslim Brotherhood was a vote for a party of counterrevolution, not the revolution. Jack Conrad examines MB`s origins, ideas and evolution.”

‘Islamic feminism’ and women’s emancipation (nr.856, marts 2011).
“Yassamine Mather examines the reality of the continuing struggle against the regime’s oppression.”

Origins of political islam (1) (nr.720, 8. maj 2008).
“Yassamine Mather begins a series of articles on the islamic republic of Iran.”

Donkey economics and islamic martyrdom (2) (nr.722, 22. maj 2008).
“Continuing her examination of Iran and the islamic regime, Yassamine Mather looks at the theocracy’s political economy.”

Communists for the imam’s line (3) (nr.726, 19. juni 2008).
“Yassamine Mather continues her discussion of political islam. In this article she describes how the left’s illusions in Tehran’s ‘anti-imperialist’ foreign policies played into the hands of enemies of the working class.”

No friends of women (4) (nr.727, 26. juni 2008).
“Yassamine Mather continues her discussion of political islam by examining the women’s movement in Iran, its achievements and contradictions.”

Sanctions hit workers, not theocratic regime (5) (nr.729, 10. juli 2008).
“Yassamine Mather reviews the effect of US and UN moves against Tehran.”

Eddie Ford: History of Hamas (nr.610, 2. feb. 2006).
“An examination of Hamas’s roots, both historical and political-theological, reveals beyond doubt that its anti-Zionism and anti-imperialism is programmatically counterrevolutionary. Or, to put it more starkly, in Hamas we encounter a reactionary ideology of the oppressed.”

Ian Donovan: Al Quéda: imperialism’s Frankenstein (nr.481, 22. maj 2003).
“Bin Laden’s al Qa’eda is a Frankenstein’s monster created by US imperialism: unemployed ultra-right terrorists, having run out of ‘communist’ targets, are finding new fields of battle in a new jihad against the ‘infidel’ west itself.”

Liz Hoskings: Our own bin Ladens (nr.443, 1. aug. 2002).
“While Al Qaeda and Hamas have featured prominently in the western media, not much is written about western fundamentalists”.

James Mallory: Imperialism, oil and the House of Saud (nr.439, 4. juli 2002).
“Though George Bush and Tony Blair claim to be crusaders for democracy, their ally in Saudi Arabia is run as a family concern. No political parties are allowed, let alone free elections to a sovereign parliament. Women are, of course, second class subjects and suffer all manners of humiliating restrictions and punishment”.

Eddie Ford: Reactionary anti-zionism (nr.412, 13. dec. 2001).
“… an examination of the roots of Hamas and its programatic charter”.

What Next!: Marxist discussion journal

Tan Malaka: Communism and Pan-Islamism (nr.21, 2002).
“An extract from a speech made by the Indonesian Marxist Tan Malaka at the Fourth Congress of the Communist International in 1922. Taking issue with the theses drafted by Lenin and adopted at the second congress, which had emphasised the need for a ‘struggle against Pan-Islamism’, Tan Malaka argued for a more postive approach”.
Se også:

Lenin: Udkast til teser om det nationale og koloniale sprørgsmål (1920) (Marxisme Online) og Marxists Internet Archive ovenfor.

Workers’ Liberty

Challenging fundamentalism (25. april 2015).
“A continuing discussion with with Marieme Helie-Lucason about religious fundamentalism, feminism, secularism, and socialism.”

Understanding the Muslim far-right in Algeria, and beyond (11. marts 2015).
“Algerian sociologist and socialist-feminist activist and writer Marieme Helie Lucas argues that the Muslim fundamentalism must be understood as a populist, far-right political movement.”

Clive Bradley: Why isn’t Hamas the same as the Algerian FLN? (nr.3, dec. 2002, s.57-64).
“Islamism represents despair. It is not an alternative economic and political programme, but a retreat from having one, trusting instead in God. Old-style nationalism was for something positive and concrete in the real world. The Islamists of course have their ideology (or ideologies, plural, ranging from that of Sayyid Qutb to that of Khomeini) – but what it represents is essentially negative.”

Clive Bradley: The rise of political Islam (nr.2, marts 2002, s.88-106).
“The central axis of world politics in the future is likely to be… the conflict between ‘the West and the Rest’ and the responses of non-Western civilisations to Western power and values’. So wrote prominent American intellectual Samuel P Huntington, in a much-hyped article in 1993, later a book, entitled The Clash of Civilisations. Influential though the theory was, as the United States and its allies have bombed Afghanistan they have been at pains to distance themselves from it, for fear of alienating allies in the region, mainly Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, which they fear to be vulnerable to Islamist revolt. Rather, Bush and Blair have defined the war as ‘civilisation’ against terrorism. ‘Civilisation’ (not just ‘western civilisation’) now includes the rulers of Saudi Arabia, the military dictatorship in Pakistan, the Russian butchers of Chechnya, etc.; ‘terrorism’ is a concept to be widened or narrowed as the need arises”.

Mehdi Kia: Islamism and the left in the Iranian revolution (nr.2, marts 2002, s.107-114).
“In 1979 Iran saw millions on the streets, and a general strike, in the overthrow of the huge, despotic military and police apparatus of the Shah (king), the USA’s strongest ally in the region. It was a great anti-imperialist revolution. Or… was it a counter-revolution? Pretty much immediately after the Shah’s downfall, the new regime, headed by Islamic clerics, started a drive which soon destroyed the Iranian left by mass executions and jailings; crushed all independent workers’ organisations; put the country in the grip of a totalitarian terror worse than the Shah’s tyranny; and enmeshed it in an eight-year-long, enormously bloody, war with Iraq. Here a member of Workers’ Left Unity Iran and of the Organisation of Revolutionary Workers of Iran, opens a discussion on the lessons”.

Workers-Communist Party of Iran

The rise and fall of political Islam. A discussion with Mansoor Hekmat.
(WPI Briefing, vinter 2001; online at Marxists Internet Archive).
“In the article, Mansoor Hekmat of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran explains why ‘political Islam’ (a term he considers more accurate than ‘Islamic fundamentalism’) in Iran “has become the prelude to an anti-Islamic and anti-religious cultural revolution in people’s minds, particularly amongst the young generation, which will stun the world with an immense explosion and will proclaim the practical end of political Islam in the whole of the Middle East”.

World Socialist Web Site

Peter Symonds: The political origins and outlook of Jemaah Islamiyah (12. + 13. + 14. nov. 2003).
“If asked the question: ‘What is Jemaah Islamiyah?’ just 18 months ago, most people would have been unable to reply. But since the Bali bombings in October 2002, ‘JI’ has become a virtual household word, synonymous with Islamic extremism and terrorist violence throughout South East Asia. Despite its notoriety, however, almost nothing of any genuine substance has been written on the organisation”.

Jean Shaoul: The political failure of the PLO and the origins of Hamas, part 1-3 (5. juli + 6. juli + 8. juli 2002).
“To date Hamas has been the main political beneficiary of the failure of Arafat’s efforts to secure a political accommodation with Israeli and US imperialism ”¦ But Hamas’ reactionary ideology, combining as it does religious obscurantism with crude anti-Semitism, offers no way out of the present impasse … That such a movement has risen to prominence and presently commands the support of an estimated 25 percent of Palestinians can only be understood and politically combated through an historical examination of the failure of secular Arab bourgeois nationalism and the stifling by Stalinism and its ideological offshoots of a genuinely socialist political alternative for the working class”.


Pervez Hoodbhoy: Imperialism and Islamism: a view from the Left (13. juli 2009).
“Islamic radicalism may be bad news for Washington. But it is much worse for Muslims because it pits Muslims against Muslims, as well as against the world at large. Only peripherally directed against the excesses of corrupt Muslim ruling establishments, and taking purely opportunistic advantage of existing injustices and inequities, the primary targets of extremists today are other Muslims living within Muslim countries.”

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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