Marxism, the Arab Spring, and Islamic fundamentalism

Daher, Joseph

Publisher:  Europe Solidaire Sans Frontieres
Date Written:  01/09/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21403

While Islamic fundamentalists are united by a reactionary worldview, the movements are not the same and must be approached differently. The Left must stake out an independent view based on democracy, social justice, equality, and liberation and freedom from oppression.


Excerpt: Islamic fundamentalist groups use different strategies and tactics to achieve their objectives. As Achcar argues, "Some have a gradualist strategy of achieving their program within society first, and in the state thereafter, while others resort to terrorism or state implementation by force as is the case with the so-called Islamic State." The gradualists like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, or Iraq’s Dawa participate in elections and in existing state institutions. By contrast, jihadists like al-Qaeda and ISIS consider these to be un-Islamic, and turn instead to guerilla or terrorist tactics in the hope of eventual seizure of the state. Among the jihadists, there are debates and divisions on the tactics and strategies to achieve their goal of an Islamic State. In various contexts and historical periods, the different currents have sometimes collaborated and at other times competed and even clashed with one another.

Despite their strategic differences, they all share a reactionary and authoritarian political program and vision of society. This can be seen quite starkly in their attitude toward women. All trends of Islamic fundamentalism promote a sexist vision that endorses male domination and restricts women to subordinate roles in society.
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