Re: [OPE-L] Letter from France: In Europe, Islam fills Marxism's old shoes

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Fri Dec 31 2004 - 11:26:41 EST

I am not attempting to appear as an applolgist for the
Islamists, but one has to recognise them as a serious social
movement. Their elements of anti-capitalism and anti-imperialism
stem from a pre-capitalist ideology, reminiscent of what
the Communist Manifesto refered to as feudal socialism.

It is perfectly possible to combine some element of anti-capitalist
propaganda with support for patriarchy. Indeed support for
patriarchy is one more reason to be anti-capitalist given the 
dissolution of familial relations and sexual equality towards
which capitalism tends. After all under capitalism - all that
is sacred becomes profane.

The outrageous prescriptions of sharia are outrageous to us 
precisely from our standpoint of capitalist liberalism.

-----Original Message-----
From: OPE-L on behalf of Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Sent: Fri 12/31/2004 1:32 PM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Letter from France: In Europe, Islam fills Marxism's old shoes
> I think you confuse christian with Islamic radicals. The latter
> offer a social and economic program based on sharia. This
> involves redistribution through obligatory charitable donations
> and the abolition of interest payments. As such it contains
> an anti-capitalist element.

Paul C,

I don't think you replied to my comments about the appeal
of Islamic radicalism to women.  Sharia, which you claim has
an anti-capitalist element, has been used to subordinate and
brutally repress women -- e.g. using the "right of retaliation",
women have been murdered by male family members for
'crimes' like sex outside of marriage. Do you know what Sharia
call for as punishment for adultery and pre-marital sex?
Women don't have the same rights as men to public speech,
education, occupation and appearance, etc.  There are also
varying rights of inheritance based on gender, etc.  So I
think that your claim that Islamic radicals represent the
"voice of the dispossessed" needs to be qualified.

You mention charity and interest but make no mention of
property rights or crimes against the owners of private
property.  E.g. Sharia mandates that theft (1st offense) be
punished by cutting-off the person's right hand (if the
thief commits another offense then the left foot is cut off).
For highway robbery, punishment can take the form of
execution, crucifixion, exile, imprisonment or the afore-
mentioned body parts being cut off.  This doesn't sound that
"anti-capitalist" to me. Indeed,  Sharia is a code that capital
has *shown* that it can (as in Iran) coexist with comfortably.
Even the rhetoric of the Islamic radicals is not anti-capitalist.

> That may be true enough, but look at Iraq where the CP appears
> essentially to side with the US occupation, whereas it is the
> Islamists and Bathists who are actively fighting imperialism. Under
> those circumstances one has to ask who will appear to be a more
> plausible voice for the dispossed?

There is a _small_ Left in Iraq to the Left of the CP, let's remember.
But, I agree that any political party which collaborates with the
forces of invasion and occupation has no (long-term) future in Iraq.

In solidarity, Jerry

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