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In defence of “blasphemy”. Bloody Inquisition stalks Salman Rushdie

Article paru dans Workers Hammer, No 106, April 1989, p. 1-3

Manifestation anti Rushdie in London, United Kingdom on May 27, 1989. (Photo by Marc DEVILLE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Salman Rushdie wrote The Satanic Verses for the Asian population of Britain. It is a scathing indictment of that experience in Mrs Torture’s nasty, racist society. It does not alibi, either, the hideous oppression in those societies from which the Asian immigrants came – products of British colonial rule and the Zias, Gandhis and the rest who then took over. A work of secular humanism, The Satanic Verses is not only anti-racist but also anti-sexist, unsparing in its criticism of the barbaric treatment of women under orthodox Hinduism and fundamentalist Islam. Rushdie is irreligious in a profound way, and thus has earned denunciation from all the forces of bourgeois/clerical reaction – not only the imams, but the Archbishop of Canterbury, the pope, the French cardinal Decourtray have denounced this “blasphemy”. Meanwhile, the race-hating fascistic scum moved in on the backlash afforded by the Muslim fundamentalist book burners to step up attacks on Asians: National Front graffiti daubed on shops and homes now add an obscenely incongruous slogan for these race-hate terrorists: “Leave Rushdie in peace”.

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presse

Khomeini’s blood terror targets Salman Rushdie

Article paru dans Workers Hammer, No 105, March 1989, p. 12-9

Tehran, Iran: Young students march in the streets of Tehran chanting, ‘Death to Salman Rushdie and America’ while holding posters of Ayatollah Khomeini and Salman Rushdie, condemning him to death. Thousands of people demonstrated in Tehran after a religious decree or “Fatwa” was issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, calling Salman Rushdie a blasphemer and his book the Satanic Verses an insult to Islam and Prophet Mohammad, and therefore condemned to death. (Photo by Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images)

CENSORSHIP BY ASSASSINATION

When Ayatollah Khomeini issued his decree of death against novelist Salman Rushdie and the Viking/Penguin publishers of his Satanic Verses, a shudder spread around the world. Here was the ultimate statement of theocratic totalitarianism: not only must the book be banned, but its author executed for the “crime” of having written it. It was a throwback to the days when heretics were burned at the stake and witches boiled in oil. Suddenly the dark past of the Inquisition was no further than the local shopping centre. There it was, the benighted superstition of the Middle Ages in the middle of the Computer Age.

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revues

Adolph Reed, Jr. : Marx, Race and Neoliberalism

Article d’Adolph Reed, Jr. paru dans New Labor Forum, Volume 22, Issue 1, Winter 2013, p. 49-57

UNITED STATES – CIRCA 1959: people holding signs and American flags protesting the admission of the “Little Rock Nine” to Central High School. (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

A Marxist perspective can be most helpful for understanding race and racism insofar as it perceives capitalism dialectically, as a social totality that includes modes of production, relations of production, and the pragmatically evolving ensemble of institutions and ideologies that lubricate and propel its reproduction. From this perspective, Marxism’s most important contribution to making sense of race and racism in the United States may be demystification. A historical materialist perspective should stress that “race”— which includes “racism,” as one is unthinkable without the other — is a historically specific ideology that emerged, took shape, and has evolved as a constitutive element within a definite set of social relations anchored to a particular system of production.

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Adolph L. Reed Jr. : Black Particularity Reconsidered

Article d’Adolph L. Reed Jr. paru dans Telos, March 1979 (39), p. 71-93

These young African Americans signal black power as they enjoy having their photographs made while members of the Ku Klux Klan get ready to march from Selma to Montgomery retracing the 50 mile march in 1965 lead by the late Dr. Martin Luther King. (Photo by Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Over forty years ago Benjamin pointed out that “mass reproduction is aided especially by the reproduction of masses.” (l) This statement captures the central cultural dynamic of a “late” capitalism. The triumph of the commodity form over every sphere of social existence has been made possible by a profound homogenization of work, play, aspirations and self-definition among subject populations — a condition Marcuse has characterized as one-dimensionality. (2) Ironically, while U.S. radicals in the late 1960s fantasized about a “new man” in the abstract, capital was in the process of concretely putting the finishing touches on its new individual. Beneath the current black-female-student-chicano-homosexual-old-young-handicapped, etc., etc., ad nauseum, “struggles” lies a simple truth: there is no coherent opposition to the present administrative apparatus.

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revues

Paul Gilroy : Black Fascism

Article de Paul Gilroy paru dans Transition, No. 81/82 (2000), p. 70-91

Minister Louis Farrakan of the Nation of Islam addresses a crowd at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Jacques M. Chenet/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

In 1938 C. L. R. James wrote that “all the things that Hitler was to do so well later, Marcus Garvey was doing in 1920 and 1921. He organized storm troopers, who marched, uniformed, in his parades, and kept order and gave colour to his meetings.” James later abandoned this prewar analysis, but his words evoke controversial questions about Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Did Garvey’s ideology of race consciousness incline him toward fascism ? Or was his sympathy for European dictators grounded in their practical achievements, as with his enthusiasm for Napoleon ? More important, was Garvey’s militaristic leadership kindred to the techniques of rule fascists developed in Italy and Germany ?