The ideological battle in the West over the most useful response to worldwide Islamist terrorism has been the big political issue since September 2001.
It seems unlikely that any other topic is likely to replace it in the near future so it’s a shame that large sections of the Left still pick up worn-out ideological prisms when attempting to understand the motivations of putative theocrats who throw acid in women’s faces for daring not to wear the veil. It takes a special sort of myopia to focus your eye and see the people who carry out such acts as ‘the oppressed’.
The Right is historically much better at calling a spade a spade than the Left a fair number of whom have turned a blind-eye to anti-Semitism, institutional male supremacy and callous political violence if it comes as part of a package with brown-skinned people.
There are encouraging signs that the debate is beginning to move on though. Take these two statements:
He said the London suicide bombings were “totally explicable” because of the deep sense of anger over the Iraq war, a wider despair about the Islamic world and what Muslims saw as a “decadent” western society.
Typical placard-waving Stopperspeak you might think. If you did, you’d be wrong. The bizarre statement was actually made by the shadow Attorney General yesterday, proving, pleasingly, that logical incompetence is not confined to the usual suspects on the Left and has now spread to infect the higher ranks of the Tories.
And what should we make of this letter published recently in Socialist Worker?
Will the SWP and the anti-war movement also stand up to this far right, fascist Islamist movement in the same way we have against white fascists?
We know what the answer from a party which has gambled it’s last political and monetary assets on an alliance with Islamists is likely to be but at least they’re acknowledging that there are readers who are starting to make the links.