[Marxism] Secularism, Women's Right, Dictatorship

Yoshie Furuhashi critical.montages at gmail.com
Sat Jul 22 08:34:17 MDT 2006

On 7/21/06, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
> Maybe I am a bit closer to these issues being married to a Turkish woman
> who worked in a shelter in Istanbul for battered women, in most cases the
> victims of patriarchical Islamic backwardness from eastern Anatolia. It is
> revolutionary to confront this shit, not to adapt to it.

BTW, if secularism and women's rights are the issues that trump all
others, why not support dictatorship in the Middle East?  Where
populations have been still largely conservative, such as in the
Middle East, women who enjoyed more rights than their Muslim sisters
elsewhere mainly lived under dictatorship, e.g., Saddam Hussein's Iraq
and Turkey.

Algeria has been a compromise formation: on one hand, it annulled the
results of the elections that the Islamic Salvation Front won and
killed Islamist terrorists and guerrillas ruthlessly; on the other
hand, it enacted a new Family Code on 9 June 1984, incorporating
strong elements of sharia.  It's a kind of triangulation, what Bill
Clinton would have done had he been an Algerian leader.  A case can be
made, however, that the Islamic Salvation Front would have done even
worse for women.

In Lebanon, those who resist Tel Aviv and Washington the most fiercely
are Hizbullah, a religious outfit; and those who would accommodate
Western imperialism and neoliberal capitalism are like the
assassinated former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, supported by more
socially liberal and secular-minded upper crusts of Lebanon.

Democracy, women's rights, and resistance to imperialism sometimes go
together in some parts of the world, but they don't always, and they
seldom have in the Middle East.  That's the hard reality that Western
leftists have failed to confront head-on so as to come up with a
practical principle on the conundrum.

More information about the Marxism mailing list