[Marxism] Malcolm X and Islam (was The "anti-semitism" of theoppressed, etc.??)

Yoshie Furuhashi critical.montages at gmail.com
Sat Aug 5 00:47:00 MDT 2006

On 8/4/06, cleon42 at yahoo.com <cleon42 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Why not recognize the truth -- secular leftist organizations
> > (including this listserv, PEN-l, and LBO-talk) have few women members
> > and are not racially well integrated in the United States -- when you
> > see it rather than deny it by dismissing it as a "bait"?
> Yoshie, I sincerely doubt that Louis--or anyone reading this list who's
> moderately connected with reality--has trouble seeing that.

Well, then, we ought to be able to have rational discussion about what
is to be done about it, without getting defensive.  Is the secular
left that is less racially integrated than Muslim organizations, the
US military, multinational corporations, etc. viable?  I doubt that it
is.  Don't you?

It seems to me that if we are to offer Marxism as a better ideology
than Islam, Black nationalism, liberal feminism, color-blind
liberalism of the US military, corporate multiculturalism, etc. to
others, we have to prove in practice that experiences that Muslims,
Blacks, women, etc. have in secular leftist organizations are in fact
better than ideologically rival organizations would give them.

> > Besides, you may not realize it, but Iran and Palestine are at the
> > center of US foreign policy, and Islam is the least understood
> > religion in the West, the religion that happens to be the major part
> > of cultures of the populations of the region that the multinational
> > empire is bent on remaking.
> All this is true. However, the centrality of the struggles in the
> Middle East is *not* Islam. Imperialism's reasons for constantly
> fighting over the Middle East has nothing to do with Islam, any more
> than US support for Israel is because of its supposedly Jewish
> character.

I'm not saying that the multinational empire's reasons for being
interested in the Middle East have anything to do with Islam per se.
After all, if anything, the empire made a temporary alliance with the
Bosnian Muslim leaders in the process of dismantling Yugoslavia, to
take just one example.  Many secular liberals and leftists' antipathy
toward Muslims -- except toward a tiny minority of the most liberal
Muslims and those who have Muslim family backgrounds but no longer
practice Islam as a faith -- weakens their resistance to the empire at
home, however.  It seems to me that we have to first understand Islam
and Muslims in all their complexity, so we can explain them to others.

Also, foreign policy is connected to domestic policy, via immigrant
communities.  To the extent that the public are anxious about Islam
and Muslims, all immigrants, not just Muslim immigrants, suffer.  So,
again, our ability to understand them, socialize with them, and
explain them to the rest of the public is crucial.

For similar reasons, it is also very important to combat
anti-Semitism, disseminate facts about rank-and-file Jewish opinions
about Palestine, Iraq, and other Middle-East issues (which are much to
the left of the other whites'), publicize the existence of refusers
and anti- or post-Zionist leftists in Israel, etc.  The public's
misunderstanding of where most Jews actually stand, due to the Zionist
hegemony of major Jewish organizations, weakens their resistance to
the empire's adventures as much as their fear of Islam and Muslims
does.  Once we get to the point of making a majority of Americans
realize that a majority of Zionists in America are not Jews but
right-wing Christians and that only a minority of Jews support
"Israel, Right or Wrong," we will be getting somewhere.

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