[Marxism] Fwd: A Lost History | Jacobin

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Aug 6 11:08:07 MDT 2016

(By Eric Blanc, who has written brilliantly about the national question.)

The Hummet-Muslim Social Democratic Party in Baku — the oil-town capital 
of Azerbaijan — was one of the more historically significant of these 
non-Russian parties. Founded in 1904 as  the world’s first socialist 
organization of and for a Muslim population, the Hummet’s history 
undermines widespread assumptions about socialism’s supposed irrelevance 
to non-European peoples.

Denouncing the claim that believers in Islam “are alien to the class 
struggle,” Muslim workers joined picket lines demanding universal health 
care, equal pay, paid prayer time, maternity leave, and breaks for 
breast-feeding. The Hummet focused especially on women’s equality, 
denouncing patriarchal practices, leading popular education classes for 
women, and helping establish an autonomous Muslim women’s organization.

Hummetists of both genders participated in the Baku Soviet, built armed 
self-defense squads, and organized mass rallies of Muslim workers, 
calling for resistance to the Tsar and the bourgeoisie (including local 
capitalists), equal rights for all, and global solidarity with workers 
and revolutionaries.


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