The only way we can assess if Malcolm X became an Islamist or his political trajectory was heading towards that direction is to unpack what he said or did not say after his split with Elijah Muhammad’s ‘Nation of Islam’ (NOI). It goes without saying that for as long as he was a member of the NOI he was the leading advocate of its distinctive cultural, social, economic and political theology and/or ideology.
First of all what do we mean by Islamism and/or radical political Islam? According to the scholar Oliver Roy in a study for the United Nations, Islamism “is the brand of modern political Islamic fundamentalism which claims to recreate a true Islamic society, not simply by imposing sharia, or Islamic law, but by first establishing an Islamic state through political action.” Earlier in the study he had unpacked and defined ‘fundamentalism’ as “a call for the return of all Muslims to the true tenets of Islam (or what is perceived as such): this trend is usually called “salafism” (“the path of the ancestors”).” Individuals who uphold this ideology are referred to as Islamists of one variety or another.
Split with NOI
Malcolm X’s split with the NOI began with a suspension for ninety days following his now famous comment, “chickens coming home to roost” with regard to the assassination of President Kennedy on the 2nd December 1963. The NOI hierarchy had previously sent out instructions Continue reading
During the first week of General Khalifa Hiftar’s so-called “Operation Dignity” in Libya ostensibly launched with the modus operandi to military rid the country of armed Islamist militias and to establish stability, it wasn’t too difficult to find some in the British media highlighting the General’s supposed proximity to American intelligence and specifically to the CIA.
‘Operation Dignity’ was launched on Friday 16th May, by the following Monday the Financial Times (FT) was informing its readers that after the General’s defection from the Libyan army a couple of decades ago, he moved to a Washington D.C suburb where “he is said to have cultivated contacts with Western agencies seeking to undermine” Colonel Muammar Ghadhaffi, the former leader of Libya.
On Tuesday 20th May, the FT once again reminded its readers that Hiftar “is believed to have links to the U.S.” On the same day the Guardian’s Middle East editor, Ian Black referred to him as a “US-linked figure”, while Continue reading
Stop the War Coalition (StW), Britain’s main anti-war movement held an anniversary commemoration on the 9th February 2013. It’s been more or less 10 years since over a million people marched in the UK’s capital to demonstrate against the UnitedStates-UnitedKingdom build up to the war and invasion on Iraq.
One must commend and congratulate the organisers for possessing the foresight to hold this event. They began promoting it in late October/early November 2012. Their foresight was rewarded with a fantastic attendance of many hundreds and I presume this turnout inspired everyone who attended. The number of attendees solidly confirmed that there continues to be a strong impulse in the UK against mindless adventurism, imperialist war and international brigandry.
However, the main problem with the event was the Continue reading
Inevitably and tragically the United States has once again experienced a blowback of a policy not of its sole provenance.
On the evening of 11th September 2012 the American ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was killed in Benghazi alongside three other Americans apparently during demonstrations against an internet video clip defaming the Prophet Muhammad, the Islamic religion’s last prophet. His killing was also on the heels of the announcement that al-Qaeda’s second in command, Abu Yahya al-Libi had been taken out by an American drone.
The ambassador is officially said to have died of asphyxiation after an armed group stormed the compound of the American mission. Currently the finger of blame points to an Islamist-Salafi militia, Ansar al-Shari’ah, as the culprits behind the fatal deed.
Members of the militia had originally and quickly taken up arms during the uprising against Gadhaffi’s rule. Gadhaffi had made wild threats on television against the demonstrators and western media erroneously and falsely reported that his troops were committing rape crimes and employing foreign “African” mercenaries to do his violent bidding. Yet the only known foreigners in the early period of the uprising were the captured British MI6 agents.
Overlooked during this period was not only the racist lynching of black Libyans and Sub-Sahara African migrant workers Continue reading
The current war on Libya largely led by Britain and France once again highlights the shortcomings of the British anti-war movement.
In the run up to the war on Iraqin 2003 and many years afterwards, many of the leading individuals within this movement circumvented the fact that Britainwas invading Iraqfor its own interests. Instead they mischievously popularised the notion that Tony Blair was beholden to George W. Bush. The latter, they strongly claimed, was dragging the former along into this illegal venture.
Blair, they inveterately argued, was not a co-partner, co-conspirator and co-leader in this military enterprise but a mere “poodle”. The poor soul had his innate and natural sincerity taken advantage of by big bad George W. Bush; he was seduced by the power of a photo-op on the Oval office’s green lawn and at times he was even “stabbed in the back” for Continue reading