UK Politics

Socialism and Islam

Chris Harman, SWP, 1994

“But even then we continue to disagree with the Islamists on basic issues. We are for the right to criticise religion as well as the right to practise it. We are for the right not to wear the veil as well as the right of young women in racist countries like France to wear it if they so wish. … Above all, we are against any action which sets one section of the exploited and oppressed against another section on the grounds of religion or ethnic origin. And that means that as well as defending Islamists against the state we will also be involved in defending women, gays, Berbers or Copts against some Islamists….When we do find ourselves on the same side as the Islamists, part of our job is to argue strongly with them, to challenge them–and not just on their organisations’ attitude to women and minorities, but also on the fundamental question of whether what is needed is charity from the rich or an overthrow of existing class relations.”

George Galloway, Respect, 2005:

“[S]ocialism and Islam are very close, other than on the issue of the existence of God. We are synthesising the socialist idea with religious ideas in Britain in a way no-one else in the world is doing. It’s one of the reasons for the success of the Stop The War Coalition. It’s one of the reasons for the success of Respect.””

What are those similarities then George?

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