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Resisting Imperialism, Understanding Class Base of Islamicism September 15, 2008

by Sartaj Khan

International Socialists (Pakistan)

Emergence of Political Islam A reaction to colonialism  Ideologically 

 Nationalism

and Political Islam

Poverty for lower classes  Humiliation 

 for

upper & middle classes

 including


Jamal u ddin Afghani (1839-1897)  Pioneer

of political Islam

Afghani Project Reform Muslim societies  Importance of 

 science,

technology, democracy

Ponder defeat of Muslim societies  Back to Quran  Subsequent movements 

 effected


in one way or the other by Afghani’s

But many ways ….      

What is the original Islam? How to interpret ? How reform society? The question of fighting imperialism Sir Syed and Co or Deobandi Landed classes, princely states 

ruined layers of middle class clerics, artisans etc

What is Islamism 

Islamism a response  to the emergence of salaried

class or civil servants  Qutab,


 to Colonialism or occupation  to Reformism  first

emerges thru Jamal uddin Afghani (1883)

Understanding Islamic Movements A new kind of movement  Violent and Non-violent 

 Political 

Muslim brotherhood, Jamat Islami

 Missionary 

Tablighi Jamat

 Jehadi 

Lashkar e taiba, Al-qaida, Taliban

Political Islam in Post-modern Era  

Rise of local capitalist class Nationalist capitalist 

 

Rise of capitalist state Rise of new classes 

but combined & uneven development

Development  

wins freedom in 1950s-60s

of large scale industries but traditional industry intact

Expanding 

state education system: class based

Islamism: What to do 

Failure  nationalist

 

projects and Stalinism Emergence of neo-liberalism Structural changes  mechanical farming  green

Mass Migration 


urbanization, slums

Islamism a

reaction to these changes

Class base of Islamism Not Homogeneous  A mistake 

 Difference 

Islamism of ruling elites, middle classes and rural poor

Support for Islamism 

Jamaat Islami  State

education system  Civil servant class 

Lashkar Taiba  Educated

professional engineers, doctors etc

Taliban  Rural


 traditional 


cobler, barber, black smith

Reform or Revolution: Crisis of Political Islamism 

Opposition  to

imperialist war and election

Compromises  with

state and imperialism

MMA govt and Niamat ullah Khan  Mistrust 

 of

rural power

Mujhahiddin or Taliban!

Return of the Empire 

Neoliberalism  IMF,

WB, WTO  “They no longer use bullets and ropes. They use the world bank and the IMF”(Jesse Jackson) 

Imperialism asserts  Guns

and butter imperialism or  Democratic progressive imperialism 

Economic and military fusion

Return of The Empire: Globalization and Resistance 

End of history 

“No grand narrative”

New imperialism  Resistance against attacks /occupation  Iraq and Afghanistan  Confusion 

 Liberation

or occupation

“No to war “or  against

the imperialist war, against the religious terrorism”

Victims 

“A government's victims are not only those that it kills and imprisons. Those who are displaced and dispossessed and sentenced to a lifetime of starvation and deprivation must count among them too. Millions of people have been dispossessed by `development' projects. They have no recourse to justice. “Arundhati Roy

Religious rhetoric and resistance 

Lower classes 

  

rural poor

Victims of economic globalization and war Latin America and Asia Contradiction of Islamism: “Islamism then, both mobilizes popular bitterness and paralyses it; both build up people’s feelings that something must be done and directs those feelings into blind alleys, both destabilies the state and limits the real struggle against the state” Chris Harman

Foe or Friends 

Against minorities  Shias,

Christians, Hindus, Aga Khanis etc

Sometimes  against


at the same time  oppresses


Fascist or anti imperialist 

Neither reactionary and fascist  nor

anti imperialist or progressive

Iran and Afghanistan

Support against the state & oppression

But are not our allies  Against minorities 

 women


The Enemy is the Same Dark Forces 

Economic Liberalization  inflation, privatization,

poverty, unemployment, corruption, unjust economic and political system, sham democracy, powerless assemblies, disappearances, etc

Bombardment at the rural poor

Critically Support the struggle  Critical 

of the leadership

the way they fight compromises, opportunism, reformism

 Address 

the masses

critical of state and imperialism

 Against  economic

agenda and war

Many Battles but one War 

People fighting state and imperialism  in

their own ways  with available means of resistance 

Collective force of masses 

can challenge the system

The lawyer movement, PTCL, Okara Kissan movement etc

Resisting Imperialism: Class base of Islam  
Resisting Imperialism: Class base of Islam  

Resisting Imperialism: Class base of Islam