Monday, July 10, 2006

Turkish words of wisdom

Interesting American debate about events in Iran sparked by an article in Monthly Review that many saw as apologetic for attack by police on an Iranian women's demonstration. I agree with Doug Ireland's views on this and with the sentiments in an open letter of protest to Monthly Review:
We can assure you that left-wing activists inside Iran will not rest until they have exposed the sham reactionary anti-western slogans of this president, dished out by your web site as anti-imperialism. After all, many of us remember the consequences of earlier shallow anti-American sloganising, culminating in disasters such as 'Irangate' -- when the 'anti Imperialist' ayatollah Khomeiny ended up supporting Nicaraguan Contras through payment for Israeli arms, via none other than Oliver North!!
One of the signatories of the open letter, Yassamine Mather of the Center for the Study of Socialist Theory and Movements at Glasgow University gave a noteworthy address to Turkish Communists recently on political Islam:
I think that the way for the left to expose the dangers of political Islam despite the differences that exist between the Sharia law in Sunni Islam and Sharia law in Shia Islam is to point out the realities of 27 years of political Islam in power in Iran. Not as political propaganda not as what George Bush says about Iran. The real issue is not whether Iran has nuclear plants. We should look at the realities or what has happened to Iranian society where women have no rights, where workers have no rights where poverty has reached this level that I am talking about. A country where the mentality of getting rich at all cost would use violence. This populist demagogy of being anti west is still fed but it has almost become like Tony Blair saying I am in favour of democracy. People just listen to it and it is part of background noise. The reality of drug addiction, the reality of exporting prostitution into the states near us, are the realities of political Islam in power. And unlike 26 years ago we now have an example of sharia Islam in power.


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