I taught Tariq Ali's The Clash ofFundamentalisms: Crusades. Jihads and Modernity recently in an undergraduate course on. -Asian American Literature. The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity by Tariq Ali; 2 editions; First published in ; Subjects: Imperialisme, In library, Intégrisme. The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity Paperback – April 17, Tariq Ali (Author) The aerial attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, a global spectacle of unprecedented dimensions, generated an enormous volume of commentary.
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The myth of the clash of fundamentalisms TAKIS FOTOPOULOS therefore, surprising that analysts of the reformist Left like Tariq Ali and Chomsky end up. TARIQ ALI'S Clash of Fundamentalisms, recently re-published in paperback, is a welcome contribution to the post 9/11 debates taking place on left. Tariq Ali has. Tariq Ali's "The Clash of Fundamentalisms". posted to preserbelleodo.ml on February 17, When Tariq Ali spoke at the Brecht Forum in NYC in to.
But I did not shed any tears for the Taliban as they shaved their beards and ran back home. This does not mean that those who have been captured should be treated like animals or denied their elementary rights according to the Geneva convention, but as I've argued elsewhere, the fundamentalism of the American Empire has no equal today.
They can disregard all conventions and laws at will. The reason they are openly mistreating prisoners they captured after waging an illegal war in Afghanistan is to assert their power before the world - hence they humiliate Cuba by doing their dirty work on its soil - and warn others who attempt to twist the lion's tail that the punishment will be severe. I remember how, during the cold war, the CIA and its indigenous recruits tortured political prisoners and raped them in many parts of Latin America.
During the Vietnam war the US violated most of the Geneva conventions. They tortured and executed prisoners, raped women, threw prisoners out of helicopters to die on the ground or drown in the sea, and all this, of course, in the name of freedom. Because many people in the west believe the nonsense about "humanitarian interventions", they are shocked by these acts, but this is relatively mild compared with the crimes committed in the last century by the Empire.
I've met many of our people in different parts of the world since September One question is always repeated: "Do you think we Muslims are clever enough to have done this? Then I ask who they think is responsible, and the answer is invariably "Israel".
Why are so many Muslims sunk in this torpor? Why do they wallow in so much self-pity? Why is their sky always overcast? Why is it always someone else who is to blame? Sometimes when we talk I get the impression that there is not a single Muslim country of which they can feel really proud. It is here that something has to happen. The Arab world is desperate for a change. Over the years, in every discussion with Iraqis, Syrians, Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians and Palestinians, the same questions are raised, the same problems recur.
We are suffocating. Why can't we breathe? Everything seems static: our economy, our politics, our intellectuals and, most of all, our religion. Palestine suffers every day. The west does nothing. Our governments are dead. Our politicians are corrupt. Our people are ignored. Is it surprising that some are responsive to the Islamists?
Who else offers anything these days? The US? It doesn't even want democracy, not even in little Qatar, and for a very simple reason. If we elected our own governments they might demand that the US close down its bases. Would it? They already resent al-Jazeera television because it has different priorities from them.
It was fine when al-Jazeera attacked corruption within the Arab elite. He saw it as a sign of democracy coming to the Arab world.
No longer. Because democracy means the right to think differently, and al-Jazeera showed pictures of the Afghan war that were not shown on the US networks, so Bush and Blair put pressure on Qatar to stop unfriendly broadcasts. For the west, democracy means believing in exactly the same things that they believe. Is that really democracy?
If we elected our own government, in one or two countries people might elect Islamists. Would the west leave us alone? Did the French government leave the Algerian military alone? They insisted that the elections of and be declared null and void.
Had they been allowed to become the government, divisions already present within them would have come to the surface. The army could have warned that any attempt to tamper with the rights guaranteed to citizens under the constitution would not be tolerated.
It was only when the original leaders of the FIS had been eliminated that the more lumpen elements came to the fore and created mayhem. Should we blame them for the civil war, or those in Algiers and Paris who robbed them of their victory? The massacres in Algeria are horrendous. Is it only the Islamists who are responsible? What happened in Bentalha, 10 miles south of Algiers, on the night of September 22, ?
Who slaughtered the men, women and children of that township? Then why did the army deny the local population arms to defend itself?
Why did it tell the local militia to go away that night? Why did the security forces not intervene when they could see what was going on? We know what we have to do, say the Arabs, but every time the west intervenes it sets our cause back many years. So if they want to help, they should stay out.
That's what my Arab friends say, and I agree with this approach. Look at Iran. The western gaze turned benevolent during the assault on Afghanistan. Iran was needed for the war, but let the west watch from afar. The imperial fundamentalists are talking about the "axis of evil", which includes Iran. An intervention there would be fatal. A new generation has experienced clerical oppression. It has known nothing else. Stories about the shah are part of its prehistory.
These young men and women are sure about one thing if nothing else. They don't want the ayatollahs to rule them any more.
Even though Iran, in recent years, has not been as bad as Saudi Arabia or the late "Emirate of Afghanistan", it has not been good for the people. Let me tell you a story.
A couple of years ago I met a young Iranian film-maker in Los Angeles. His name was Moslem Mansouri. He had managed to escape with several hours of filmed interviews for a documentary he was making. He had won the confidence of three Tehran prostitutes and filmed them for more than two years.
He showed me some of the footage. They talked to him quite openly. They described how the best pick-ups were at religious festivals. I got a flavour of the film from the transcripts he sent me. One of the women tells him: "Today everyone is forced to sell their bodies!
Women like us have to tolerate a man for 10, toomans. Young people need to be in a bed together, even for 10 minutes. It is a primary need.
We don't even need to talk about prostitution, the government has taken away the right to speak with the opposite sex freely in public. In the parks, in the cinemas, or in the streets, you can't talk to the person sitting next to you. On the streets, if you talk to a man, the 'Islamic guard' interrogates you endlessly.
Today in our country, nobody is satisfied! Nobody has security. I went to a company to get a job. The manager of the company, a bearded guy, looked at my face and said, 'I will hire you and I'll give you 10, toomans more than the pay rate.
I went to a special family court - for divorce - and begged the judge, a clergyman, to give me my child's custody. I told him, 'Please. I beg you to give me the custody of my child. I'll be your Kaniz. This is a Persian expression which basically means 'I beg you, I am very desperate'. He said, 'I don't need a servant!
I need a woman! I went to the officer to get my divorce signed, instead he said I should not get divorced and instead get married again without divorce, illegally. Because he said without a husband it will be hard to find a job. He was right, but I didn't have money to pay him.
These things make you age faster. Perhaps there is a means to get out of this. They didn't want to destabilise Khatami's regime! Moslem himself is a child of the Revolution. Without it he would never have become a film-maker. He comes from a very poor family. His father is a muezzin and his upbringing was ultra-religious. Now he hates religion. Further, chapter 16 on his country-Pakistan-will not only illuminate an area of the world that for many decion-makers is still a blank-a blank whose mysteriousness will, and perhaps already has, lead to involvement mistakes that will haunt this new empire for many years to comme.
As one commentator said-this book is a modern political classic that should be read by all who think to captain the ship of this empire. I bought it a long time ago Great book.
I bought it a long time ago but I lost. I told my husband about it and wanted him to read. There were a number of very good historical pieces of information along with a very good bibliography. The book helps fill gaps in education that we do not always get through our current media. Tariq Ali's writing is powerfully persuasive. This book contains fascinating insights and interpretations of the Western-Middle East relations of the last century. No political opinion is ever unbiased, and the reader should take Ali's decidedly leftist views into account when perusing this book, but the author's judgments are very fair and his criticism equally distributed.
Ali attributes warfare and imperialism to economic self-interest, and I find his arguments very convincing. A great read and a fascinating perspective, but be sure to pick up other views as well. Had I read the scathing editorial review of James R.
Holmes posted on this site I would not have bought or read this extremely valuable book. Holmes must after all be a person of some standing to occupy a position of such editorial eminence. I bought the book because excerpts of it had been floating round in cyberspace. What caught my attention was the fact that this was a very well informed Muslim writing freely, courageously and lucidly about Islamic fundamentalism.
The author thus belongs to an extremely rare species of human beings and it is tragic that his significant contribution to our understanding of September 11, is dismissed so high handedly by Mr. From his remarks Mr. Holmes seems to understand terrorism simply as a thing-in-itself totally disconnected from the aspirations, fears and fantasies of the people perpetuating such acts. If we are to understand such people we need to have an understanding of their belief systems and the place they occupy in their religio-political interpretations of history.
This Tariq Ali attempts to do. To give us some sense of perspective, the author compresses an enormous amount of history into a few short pages. This is not meant to be a scholarly historical work but more a thumbnail sketch of the relevant history that most of us are at best only dimly aware of.
I don't see how he or anyone can write about these matters without such a historical sketch and the demand that such a work have an extensive bibliography is uncalled for. One may not share some of the opinions of the author, but that does not for a moment detract from his penetrating insights into the people he was raised amongst Muslim South Asian or those that educated him British-European.
This is a rare individual with a wide perspective vehemently criticizing all forms of fundamentalism. If we seek to gag him we must be careful that we do not do so because he is attacking some very fundamental sacrosanct views in ourselves. See all 34 reviews.
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