[Marxism] Tariq Ali on Islam and the Left
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Apr 3 08:32:00 MDT 2006
IV Online magazine : IV376 - March 2006
The Anti-Imperialist Left Confronted with Islam
The following interview with Tariq Ali was conducted by Alex De Jong and
Paul Mepschen of the SAP (Dutch section of the Fourth International) at the
Ernest Mandel symposium held in Brussels in November 2005. It was published
in the March-April 2006 issue of the SAP's journal, Grenzeloos.
Grenzeloos: It is of course the assassination of the film-maker Theo van
Gogh and the threats made against the liberal member of parliament Ayaan
Hirsi Ali which have particularly drawn attention to Islam in the
Netherlands. Like her, you are an unbeliever who comes from the Muslim
world. Have you already felt threatened?
Tariq Ali: No, never. I travel a lot both in the Muslim world and in the
rest of the world, but I have never yet felt threatened. Why is that? It is
no doubt because people who don't agree with me about religion know that I
am an enemy of imperialism. I unceasingly criticize imperialism and all its
works, more than the believers do. Whereas Hirsi Ali and people like her in
the United States and in Europe make a profession out of attacking Islam.
There are other important questions in the world.
Why do these people concentrate endlessly on Islam? In the way that they
attack Islam, they go along with existing prejudices. And for that they are
hated. There is no excuse or justification for acts of violence against
these people. It is necessary to discuss with them. But these acts are a
sign of despair: people are so much at the end of their tether that they
have recourse to violence.
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