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Submitted by davidosler on Sun, 18/01/2009 - 14:13

(1) The article consistently characterises the main Muslim organisations in Britain as 'clerical-fascist', a term that Marxists shouldn't use lightly. It seems to me that there is no 'one size fits all' classification for political Islam; it varies in coloration, from certain 'left Islamist' currents seen in the Iranian revolution, through the Turkish government, which is functionally equivalent to a rightist christian democratic administration in Europe, right through to those movements who undoubtedly would slaughter the left and trade unionists if they ever came to power, and thus properly merit the tag.

I am aware that Cliff described the Muslim Brotherhood, for instance, as 'clerical fascist'. I am also aware that the current SWP maintains that it has changed in nature, and that the Egyptian MB mothership collaborates with the secular left. I don't know enough to judge. But can I just ask you to point me to where the AWL has theorised its stance? Please expand the point; why *concretely* do you feel the MAB are 'fascists'? And if they really are fascists, shouldn't you be arguing for physical confrontation with them?

(2)I still don't get why any socialist group opposes the demand for a democratic secular state. I have just been re-reading Nathan Weinstock's 'Zionism: False Messiah', in which he - correctly, I think - characterises Zionism as a 'colonisatory project'. What then makes the Israeli state fundamentally different to Algerie Francaise or Afrikaanerdom? When the 1980s left demanded democracy in South Africa, this was not tantamount to a call for the massacre of whites of Dutch descent. Aren't you being a bit hyperbolic in equating an insistance on democracy with the physical elimnation of Jews?

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