[Marxism] Re: Ali Shariati and Liberation Theology
suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Thu Jul 13 17:28:29 MDT 2006
When I said “I don't accept that Islam and socialism can be synthesized”
I considered qualifying the statement slightly. Indonesian comrades
typically tell me they have found socialist sentiments in the Quran. What
they mean is a hostility to usury, a pre-capitalist ethic of sharing, and so
on. I don’t just dismiss this, because really you could call it socialism
if you want. What I say is that Islam is incompatible with *scientific*
socialism, i.e. Marxism, because the latter is based on materialism.
I then get the question: is Marxism anti-religious? This is a very loaded
question in such a deeply pious country as Indonesia, where the religious
right wing hammers just this accusation against the left and leftist are
very sensitive to it.
My answer is first, that religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, and
we stand in solidarity with the oppressed creature. Moreover our socialist
organisation does not exclude people who believe in God, and our “what we
stand for” statement in the magazine doesn’t deal with religion at all.
It’s a private matter, and will remain so after the revolution.
It would be tempting, but cowardly to leave it there. I have to add that the
cadre of our organisation are militant Marxists, and they campaign for
Marxism and therefore against religion. Can an individual be a religious
Marxist? Why yes – human beings often live with contradictions. But a
contradiction it is.
I think the above comments are consistent with your remark that “A
revolutionary movement must, I believe, be responsive to working
class consciousness as it actually exists and engage it, if only to launch a
I’ve gone into some of these issues in more detail here:
See particularly Part Three on Marx and Religion
More information about the Marxism