Archive | August, 2019

Interview: What does our party stand for?

Responses to a Turkish journalist about Britain, Brexit, Boris, the workers’ movement and the wider world.

Proletarian writers

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Mayday 2018 Trade Unions and Anti Imperialist Mayday March from Clerkenwell to Trafalgar Square

This interview with the party by Turkish news agency Ileri Haber was recentlyprinted in Turkish on the agency’s website.

1. What is the CPGB-ML? How do you view the politics of Great Britain? Are you Stalinists?

The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) is a political party operating within the British state.

The party defends the achievements of the once mighty USSR and the accomplishments of the socialist countries. We defend the work and legacy of Josef Stalin, whom we consider a great Marxist-Leninist, and the finest student of VI Lenin.

2. Why and how did Boris Johnson get power? What did Brexit have to do with it?

Boris Johnson has assumed the leadership of the Conservative (Tory) party, and in assuming that position becomes our new prime minister. He was the most popular of the contenders for the leadership of the Tory party because he has long been associated with the campaign for the British state to exit the European Union.

Boris is viewed by many in our country as at best a bungling gaffe-prone buffoon and at worst a toxic figure and borderline racist. He has defended himself from such accusations as being ‘the grandson of a muslim migrant’, although he is also a descendant of German royalty, and it is from this tradition that he has previously spoken of Africans’ “watermelon smiles” and compared muslim women to “letterboxes” (the Niqab).

Those in our country baulking at the idea of such a man becoming PM are hypocrites. The British state is a racistimperialist state, and all its leaders behave with inhuman cruelty towards oppressed peoples and our own working class.

The vast majority of people in Britain had absolutely no choice about who would be their next prime minister. Instead, in our much-celebrated (by our own bourgeoisie) democratic system, our prime minister was chosen by around 160,000 Conservative party members – that is to say, around 0.3 percent of the total population.

Yet we are told it is the socialist system of the dictatorship of the proletariat that is undemocratic. We are told it is Venezuela, the DPRK and Syria, with their vibrant mass political participation and popular leaderships, that are undemocratic.

Britain is a sham democracy, where the people have literally no choice in the most significant political matters affecting them.

The point was not missed by astute Russian president Vladimir Putin:

“They seem to poke a finger at us all the time over the democratic processes in Russia, the electoral law and so on and so forth,”

“But let’s look at the method of bringing actually the country’s top person, the top person of the executive branch to the supreme power in Great Britain.

“Is this done through general elections? No. This is done with the help of the party’s gathering.

“This is, of course, strange for me, honestly speaking. But such is the British system.” (Putin derides ‘strange’ Tory leadership race to choose new PM by Zamira Rahim, The Independent, 23 June 2019)

3. How do you view Johnson and Corbyn?

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are leaders of the two tried-and-tested political parties of the bourgeoisie.

The Conservative party was traditionally the party of our ruling class, and came to prominence in the century following the English civil war.

The British Labour party, originally founded to represent the interests of the labour aristocracy, to win some measure of political power within the existing capitalist state machinery, has held parliamentary ‘power’ on numerous occasions, and in every instance proven itself a capable ally of the British bourgeois class; attacking the conditions of workers here at home, and launching predatory wars of imperialist aggression abroad (in recent years alone in IraqAfghanistan and Yugoslavia).

A full history of the Labour party can be read in our book Social Democracy – the Enemy Within.

4. Does the national issue still exist in Britain? And if yes, what is your party’s attitude towards it?

The north of Ireland remains occupied by Britain. Our party supports the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process undertaken by the leadership of the national-liberation movement in Ireland, Sinn Fein.

There are no other ‘oppressed nations’ in Britain. The Scottish and Welsh bourgeoisie participated willingly with the English in the bringing into existence of the British empire, and enjoyed the booty that was looted from the oppressed and colonised people.

Attempts to divide our working class along chauvinist grounds are harmful and not progressive. We advocate the building up of a mighty, united British working-class movement, led by a party of the proletarians of all Britain.

5. What, in your view, are the fundamental problems of the world left movement? Because all around the world, the radical right is getting power and the left is declining.

Ideological confusion in the ranks of the communist movement remains the fundamental problem of the ‘left’ internationally.

Concessions to bourgeois ideology have polluted the communist movement, and no serious advance will be made by any party that fails to grapple with the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The nature of the state, the national question, defence of materialist science and Marxist philosophy are all in need of serious attention and study by communist forces.

The grip of reformism in the imperialist countries and the bribing of large sections of the working class remains a barrier to building a revolutionary movement here.

Concessions to identity politics, bourgeois ‘public opinion’, bourgeois ‘morals’ and political correctness, have in recent years undermined promising work begun by some communists.

6. What do you think about the refugee crisis?

Our party operates in an imperialist country, responsible for the destruction of the homes and livelihoods of many millions of people, who subsequently are forced to leave their homelands to find those things that imperialism has destroyed.

Under capitalist conditions, the ability of capital to move freely around the world, from market to market, will inevitably mean that labour is forced to do the same, and the sad plight of refugees is to be witnessed as a consequence.

Only proletarian revolution can solve these problems.

7. Do you have a message for workers in Turkey?

Our party salutes the heroic Turkish people, who have time and again demonstrated their fidelity to republicanism, secularism, socialism and independence.

We follow closely developments in your country, which is an ancient land with influence far beyond its borders. Your labour movement, though politically divided, has many common features; not least the revolutionary spirit of the Turkish people, an indomitable fighting courage and ardent desire for liberty.

We sincerely hope, and genuinely believe that the Turkish people have a mighty and profound role to play in the international proletarian revolution, and wish the workers and progressive forces well in their struggles.

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British Steel sold for ‘blood money’? A reply to the Morning Star

Where should workers look for their salvation from the crises that destroy industry and jobs?

Proletarian writers

The following letter was sent to the Morning Star in response to an article about the proposed sale of British Steel to the Turkish army’s pension fund (Oyak).

Dear sirs

I am writing in reply to your article, British Steel sold for blood money by Steve Sweeney, which was published last Friday, 16 August.

Several important omissions struck me while reading what was a very emotively-written piece about the fact that a buyer has been found for what remains of British Steel – a small, privately-owned company bearing little relation to the nationalised industry that formerly operated under the same name.

1. The sweat of British workers routinely goes to line the pockets of murderers; we live in an imperialist country.

2. The ‘peaceful’ Kurdish militias in Syria have been ethnically cleansing Arab inhabitants in the areas they occupy.

3. The Kurdish forces in Syria (who by no means represent every Kurd) have been acting as a proxy army for the USA.

4. At this moment in time, Turkey’s role and position in relation to Syria are not entirely clear, but the government in Ankara would appear to be moving away from its long and bloody alliance with the imperialist Nato alliance and toward a rapprochement with Russia and Iran – a development that workers everywhere should welcome.

An article that ignores these facts and simply quotes ‘Kurdish solidarity organisations’ is unenlightening at best and misleading at worst. The whole point of Marxist analysis is to examine things in their context and in motion.

Fundamentally, the problem for steelworkers is not that the Turkish government is horrible, but that capitalist production leads to overproductioncrisisunemploymentpoverty and inequality. The Morning Star, allegedly the paper of a communist party, misses all these points and ends up encouraging workers to feel that a British imperialist would be a purer and more acceptable boss than the Turkish military, which ‘has blood on its hands’.

Yours
JB, Bristol

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Inexorable Solidarity With the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil

For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: Indigenous Environmental Network

WASHINGTON – As the fires rage on in Brazil, the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) stands in solidarity with the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon as they fight back against the war being waged on them by Brazilian President Bolsonaro. His racist and unapologetically illogical positions are a dangerous mix for all peoples of the world and Mother Earth. Now is the time to respect and honor our planet and the Indigenous peoples of her land, rather than destroy them.
 
We stand together with our brothers and sisters who continue to fight to protect their land, their traditional knowledge and practices, and struggle for a better world. Returning to local and place based solutions, like agroecological farming, to combat the climate emergency is the only pathway forward. Opening up the Amazon to capitalists and developers for increased plunder, as Bolsonaro desires, will only cause more fires, more mayhem and push us to the brink of climate catastrophe. 
 
The fact that, just yesterday, President Bolsonaro announced that accepting global assistance to fight the fires would require an apology to stroke his ego, is further proof that he’s putting profits above people and above the planet.  It’s a pernicious irony that at a time when Bolsonaro has signaled that the Amazon is “open for business,” that he accused nations who have signaled their willingness to assist with the fires as having a “colonist mindset.” 
 
That’s why CJA stands behind the Indigenous peoples of Brazil who are valiantly fighting back against racist attacks while trying to protect their land and peoples from false climate “solutions”, including market-based schemes such as carbon offsets and REDD and REDD +. These do nothing more than commodify forests and enable big industry to keep on polluting through a colonization process that encroaches on sovereign Indigenous territory. 
 
We must stop placing the burden of global white supremacy, disaster capitalism and environmental injustice disproportionately on poor communities and nations. CJA demands that our lawmakers take responsibility through just policies, just recovery and Just Transition in lieu of bigoted greed and violence.
 
CJA will continue to stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples as expressed in our recently passed resolution during CJA’s National Member Convening held in Albuquerque, NM in March 2019.  For more information read the recent joint statement by CJA member, Indigenous Environmental Network, and the Rainforest Action Network.
 
To directly support leaders of the Amazon fighting these attacks, we suggest you support Chief Ninawa, President of the Huni Kui Federation of the Brazilian Amazon in the State of Acre. He is a long time leader in protecting the forests and land of Brazil, and all of Mother Earth. More information is available here.###

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Humanity Denied: What Is Missing From the Omar, Tlaib Story

This is the story of Palestinian isolation by Israel that we must not allow to die out.

by: Ramzy Baroud

While some are denied the right to visit their families, others are dying in isolation in besieged areas, in “closed military zones”, while separated from one another by massive walls and numerous military checkpoints. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Israel’s decision to bar two United States Democratic Representatives, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, from entering Israel and visiting Palestine has further exposed the belligerent, racist nature of the Israeli government.

But our understanding of the Israeli decision, and the massive controversy and discussion it generated, should not stop there. Palestinians, who have been at the receiving end of racist Israeli laws, will continue to endure separation, isolation and travel restrictions long after the two Congresswomen’s story dies down.

A news feature published by the British Guardian newspaper last June told the story of Palestinian children from Gaza who die alone in Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem.

Ever since Israel imposed near-complete isolation on the Gaza Strip in 2007, thousands of Palestinian patients requiring urgent medical care which is available in Palestinian East Jerusalem or elsewhere in the West Bank faced options, all of them painful. As a result, many died at home, while others waited for months, if not years, to be granted permission to leave the besieged Strip.

The Guardian reported on 56 Gaza babies who were brought to the Makassed Hospital, alas without any family accompanying them. Six of these babies died alone.

The Israeli rights group, Gisha, puts this sad reality in numbers. When the Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing between Gaza and Israel is not completely shut down, only 100 Gazans are allowed to cross into Israel (mostly on their way to the West Bank) per day. Before the breakout of the Second Palestinian Intifada, the Uprising of 2000, “the monthly average number of entries to Israel from Gaza by Palestinians was more than half a million.”

One can only imagine the impact of such a massive reduction on the Palestinian community in the Strip in terms of work, health, education and social life.

If there is one consistent policy that has governed Israel’s relationship with Palestinians since the establishment of Israel on the ruins of Palestinian towns and villages in 1948, it is that of separation, siege and physical restrictions.

This goes well beyond Gaza. Indeed, if there is one consistent policy that has governed Israel’s relationship with Palestinians since the establishment of Israel on the ruins of Palestinian towns and villages in 1948, it is that of separation, siege and physical restrictions.

While the establishment of Israel resulted in the massive influx of Palestinian refugees who are nownumbered in the millions and are still denied the right to even visit their own homeland, those who remained in Palestine were detained in small, cut off spaces, governed by an inhumane matrix of control that only grows more sophisticated with time.

Immediately after the establishment of Israel, Palestinian Christian and Muslim communities that were not ethnically cleansed by Zionist militias during the warendured years of isolation under the so-called Defense (Emergency) Regulations. The movement of Palestinians in these areas were governed by military law and the permit system.

Following the 1967 occupation of the remaining 22 percent of historic Palestine, the emergency law was also applied to East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. In fact, in the period between 1967 and 1972, all of the occupied territories were declared a “closed military area” by the Israeli army.

In the period between 1972 and 1991, Palestinian laborers were allowed entry to Israeli only to serve as Israel’s cheap workforce. Hundreds of thousands of impoverished, desperate, though often well-educated Palestinians, faced the inevitable option of enduring humiliating work conditions in Israel in order to sustain their families. But even that route was closed following the First Intifada of 1987 particularly after the Iraq war in 1991. Total closure was once more imposed on all Palestinians throughout the country.

The Oslo Agreement, which was put into effect in 1994 formalized the military permit system. Oslo also divided the West Bank into three Zones, A, B, C and with the latter two (comprising nearly 83 percent of the total size of the West Bank) falling largely under total Israeli control. This ushered in yet another horrific reality as it isolated Palestinians within the West Bank from one another.

Occupied East Jerusalem also fell into the same matrix of Israeli control. After 1967, Palestinian Jerusalemites were classified into those living in area J1 – Palestinians with blue cards living in areas annexed by Israel after the war and incorporated into the boundaries of the Israeli Jerusalem municipality; and J2- Palestinians residing outside the municipality area. Regardless, both communities were denied “fundamental residency rights to adequate housing and freedom of movement and their rights to health, work, (and) education,” wrote Fadwa Allabadi and Tareq Hardan in the Institute for Palestinian Studies.

The so-called ‘Separation Wall’, which Israel began building in June 2002, did not separate between Palestinians and Israel, for that has already been realized through numerous laws and restrictions that are as old as the Israeli state itself. Instead, the wall created yet more restrictions for Palestinians, who are now left isolated in Apartheid South Africa-style ‘Bantustans’. With hundreds of permanent and “flying” military checkpoints dotting the West Bank, Israel’s separation strategy was transformed from isolating all Palestinians at once, into individualized confinement that is aimed at destroying any sense of Palestinian socio-economic cohesion and continuity.

Moreover, the Israeli military “installed iron gates at the entrances to the vast majority of West Bank villages, allowing it to isolate them within minutes and with minimal personnel,” according to Israeli rights group, B’Tselem research.

It does not end here, of course. In March 2017, the Israeli parliament (Knesset) approved an amendment to the law that would deny entry to foreign nationals who “knowingly issued a public call to boycott the state of Israel.” The “Boycott law” was rooted in a 2011 bill and an Israeli Supreme Court decision (upholding the legal argument in the bill) in 2015.

According to the Israeli website, Globes, in 2018, almost 19,000 visitors to Israel were turned away at the country’s various entry points, compared to only 1,870 in 2011. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib will now be added to that dismal statistic.

Every Palestinian, anywhere, is subjected to these restrictions. While some are denied the right to visit their families, others are dying in isolation in besieged areas, in “closed military zones”, while separated from one another by massive walls and numerous military checkpoints.

This is the story of Palestinian isolation by Israel that we must not allow to die out, long after the news cycle covering the two Congresswomen’s story move on beyond Omar, Tlaib and Israeli transgressions.

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Violence Against Indigenous Hondurans Shows Us What Fuels Migration

The United States government bears direct responsibility for the violence—militarizing the region and ensuring U.S. corporations can extract profit and resources.

by: Jovanna Garcia Soto

People carry the coffin of indigenous leader and environmental activist Berta Caceres, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, March 3, 2016. (Photo: CNS/EPA/Stringer)

A little more than a week ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a three-dayCongressional delegation to Central America. They visited Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Texas to “promote regional stability” and explore the causes of and possible solutions to migration from Central America to the United States. Frankly, it’s long overdue. But it’s also all the more important to finally look at the root causes of migration, instead of just blaming and criminalizing the migrants.

Why do migrants and refugees keep coming north? To find the answer, let me describe an incident that happened last week in Honduras. As Congressional leaders were boarding their plane to Texas, I was receiving frantic voice and text messages from Grassroots International’s partner the Black Fraternal Organization in Honduras (OFRANEH): “Please help us. In this moment, two cars with armed people are entering Vallecito. The people of Vallecito are terrified. Please help us.” The Afro-Indigenous Garifuna are in a fight for their lives and land — offering a concrete, chilling example of what exactly fuels migration.

On August 2nd, six to eight armed men fired upon three Garifuna community members forcing them to flee their homes along the Honduran coast. Since then, their community at Vallecito, which includes dozens of children, has sheltered in terror as bands of thugs carrying assault weapons have cut through fences, rolled up in cars, and fired indiscriminately at them. The situation is critical. In the words of one Garifuna activist, “at any moment there could be a massacre.”

As Grassroots International’s Solidarity Program Officer for Latin America, I have accompanied and supported the Garifuna and OFRANEH in their struggles for years. Vallecito is sacred for the Garifuna. Although a chronic target for attack, it is also a symbol for reclamation and resistance among the ancestral territory that has been stolen from them. This most recent assault has come after a resurgence of narco-traffickers in the area. For years, narcos had used the Garifuna’s tree cover and easy access to the coast to run drugs — including at one point through a clandestine airstrip. Members of OFRANEH believe drug-runners are now trying to steal back the land Garifuna have been able to reclaim.

The Honduran government, in bed with narcos and corporate raiders, has a deep apathy and antipathy towards the Garifuna. “Repeatedly the police have told us that they know these people and they are ‘friends with them,’” Miriam Miranda, a leader in OFRANEH, said of the response to the recent assaults. “Unfortunately, what we see is that there is no political will on the part of the State to protect our projects and our lives. The truth is that they want us to leave.”

After a 2009 coup against the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya government, the new right-wing President Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH) handed out up to a third of the country’s land for mining, and gave out hundreds more land concessions for hydroelectric dams.

Besides the narcos’ illicit trade, the Garifuna’s coastal lands have also been targeted for tourism, a naval base, palm oil plantations and oil and gas extraction — all with government approval. Miriam herself has been detained twice in the last six months by the Honduran National Police, treated like a criminal merely for traveling around her own community’s land. This harassment clearly violates Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ orders for the government to protect Miriam and allow her to continue her work.

Violent land grabs like these drive migration: cause and effect, push and pull. Back in 2014, Humberto Castillo estimated half the Garifuna population between 12 and 30 years old had left Honduras. As Miriam said, Garifuna “are going to the United States, leaving our land, because they are attacking us here.”

The Garifuna aren’t alone. After a 2009 coup against the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya government, the new right-wing President Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH) handed out up to a third of the country’s land for mining, and gave out hundreds more land concessions for hydroelectric dams. These resource grabs and the ensuing violence, especially against Indigenous People, turned Honduras into the most dangerous country in the world for environmental activism. The 2016 murder of Berta Cáceres, the Indigenous Lenca activist who fought the Agua Zarca dam, and the dozens of other murders since, were one sordid result. The mass migration of Hondurans to the U.S. was the other.

The United States government bears direct responsibility for the violence — militarizing the region and ensuring U.S. corporations can extract profit and resources. The Obama administration backed the military coup, lobbying international bodies to recognize the new, illegitimate government. Since then, Hernández has received our bipartisan support, even as Honduras’ murder rate skyrocketed. Most recently in late 2017, the Trump administration again backed JOH while Honduran streets filled with huge protests against election irregularities and the government responded with violence.

Honduras is just one example. The U.S. is aiding governments across the region that abet land-grabbing corporations and criminal elements, or that perpetrate violence themselves. It is rank hypocrisy for the U.S. to foster this bloodshed and instability, and then shut the gates on the very people we forced to flee.

Ms. Pelosi raised the plight of Indigenous Peoples and the fight against corruption and impunity during her remarks in Honduras last week. She is right to say, “You cannot have prosperity unless you promote justice,” and it was good that she mentioned the murder of Berta Cáceres. But as Berta’s family and our partner, the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), told her, Honduras is “a country that expels hundreds of people every day by denying them a dignified future… with the regrettable support of the U.S. government.”

If we’re serious about finding solutions to the migrant crisis, we must address the violence driving it. This starts with solidarity with communities like the Garifuna currently under attack. But it also must acknowledge and end the violence our own government perpetuates — both by immigration officials and by proxy support for despotic allies. That’s why Grassroots International and our allies not only support an end to deportations and detainment. We also support the Berta Cáceres Act, which would suspend U.S. military and police aid to Honduras until “human rights violations committed by Honduran security forces cease and their perpetrators are brought to justice.”

“Passing the Berta Cáceres Act is the first step toward doing the right thing in seeking justice for our societies and preventing more deaths and displacements in Honduras,” COPINH wrote in their statement to the delegation. “It is the right way to ensure that children and young people should not leave their country to seek the future of prosperity and dignity that they should have in their own land.”

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More than 130 scholars issue statement against pro-LGBT lessons in schools

By 5Pillars 

More than 130 Muslim scholars and imams from the UK have issued a joint statement criticising pro-LGBT lessons that are being taught in primary schools. 

The open letter which was published on the Islam21c website this morning, has been signed by 139 Muslim faith leaders from various schools and institutions.

The Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) Bill will come into force in September 2020, when every state school in England will be have to teach pro-LGBT lessons to children as young as five.

Parents will not have the right to withdraw their children from these classes in primary schools, and will have to submit a “withdrawal request” which the school is not obliged to grant.

Hundreds of Muslim parents in Birmingham have been peacefully protesting against the pro-LGBT curriculum being taught in primary schools, stating that it goes against Islam and is not age appropriate.

However, after reviewing the pro-LGBT ‘No Outsiders’ programme which was taught in Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, Ofsted concluded that the curriculum was “age appropriate”.

It was also revealed by the founder of ‘No Outsiders’, Andrew Moffat, that the programme was also driven to “counter-extremism”.

The statement read:

“Beliefs about “sexuality” and LGBT in particular have been the subject of news coverage recently, due to hundreds of Muslim parents in Birmingham protesting at the actions of their children’s school senior leadership.

“The United Kingdom is a multicultural society. The Muslim community is by no means the only community here, and while we encourage constructive, respectful debate of ideas, we condemn one community’s opinions and beliefs being forced upon others, no matter how big or small.

“We, the undersigned, are inheritors of a scholarly tradition which from its inception enshrined a methodology for ensuring peaceful coexistence of different peoples, customs, beliefs and even legal systems. Whether it was different religious minorities having judicial and civic autonomy, or different schools of thought among Muslims having overlapping jurisdictions, tolerating differing opinions to relative degrees is in the DNA of Muslim scholars, and something our wider society today would do well to learn from.

“One such thing we urge policy makers and executors to pay close attention to is the important distinction between facts and values. It is a fact to say that some people regard same-sex relationships as appropriate, due to their philosophical and moral views; and some people do not—just like it is a fact that some people regard eating meat to be appropriate and some do not. But to go beyond the facts into saying “It is OK and normal to…” is in the realm of values, which should not be imposed on people who disagree.

“The types of relationships a person or community regards as good or bad, appropriate or inappropriate, normal or abnormal, are not the result of hard facts, but a product of many interacting beliefs and cultural norms about, for example, the purpose of life, desires and impulses, and conceptions of love, among other things.

“Passionately believing in a cause or moral standpoint is one thing, but then enforcing it on others is unacceptable.

“There is a clear and unambiguous acceptance in law that the primary givers of philosophical, moral and ethical values to children are their parents. Schools—or anyone else for that matter—may only educate in these areas on behalf of the parents.

“When there is a conflict between the philosophical, moral or ethical positions of parents and teachers, schools must respect this and ensure teachers do not transgress the fact/value boundary mentioned above. This includes ideologically or socially-constructed norms which some may passionately believe to be universal facts whilst others do not—such as concerning “sexuality” or “gender”.

“It goes without saying that we likewise affirm the rights of those who disagree with our opinions to do so without fear of insult, bullying or any type of oppression whatsoever. However, we also expect the same in return—particularly not being subjected to state enforcement of values and philosophical convictions.

“We should respect and tolerate our differences, without the enforcing of some people’s positions on others, especially children.”

Scholars and imams who want to add their name to this statement can do so by visiting Islam21c.

Signatories

  1. Imam Suliman Gani, Purley Masjid
  2. Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad
  3. Mufti Amjad Mohammed, Bradford
  4. Shaykh Zahir Mahmood, As-Suffa Institute
  5. Imam Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf, Zamzam Academy
  6. Shaikh Tauqir Ishaq, Nuneaton
  7. Imam Abdullah Patel, Head teacher, Al-Ashraf Secondary School for Girls, Gloucester
  8. Imam Shakeel Begg, Lewisham Islamic Centre
  9. Imam Fakhrul Islam, Hockwell Ring Masjid, Luton
  10. Molana Sauban, Masjid Heera, Dewsbury
  11. Imam Dr Louay Al-Alousi (Abu Salam), Masjid-us-Sunnah Leicester
  12. Imam Abid Khan, Cheadle Mosque, Manchester
  13. Shaykh Salim Astewani, CMA, Manchester
  14. Shaykh Abu Umar, Didsbury Mosque, Manchester
  15. Imam Shah Talha Ahmed, Forest Gate Masjid
  16. Moulana Hayaat R. Khan, Bradford
  17. Shaykh Asif Mansoor Khan Al-Azhari, PGCE QTS BA BSc
  18. Abdul Wahhab – Darul Atfaal and Beacontree Masjid Headteacher
  19. Imam Abdul Mateen, London
  20. Maulana Shah Muaz Ahmed, Quwwatul Islam, London
  21. Imam Ahmed Desai, Masjid Quba Bradford
  22. M Younus Khan, Madina tul Ilm Academy
  23. Imam Abdul Hakim, Masjid Noor and Education Centre, Dewsbury
  24. Imam Mohammed Waseem, Masjid At Taqwa, Bradford
  25. Maulana Mohammed Farook Kazi, Al-Ansaar Welfare & Education, Preston
  26. Molana Sulayman Khan, Frizinghall, Bradford
  27. Hafiz Aziz Khan, Principal of Masjid Ibraheem & Education Centre, Bradford
  28. Imam Zahed Fettah, Wisdom Cultural and Islamic Centre, Birmingham
  29. Mufti Sufyan, myislaam.com
  30. Muhammad Mustaqeem Shah, Abu Bakr Trust, Walsall
  31. Shaykh Mahmud Mezhar, City Mosque, Preston
  32. Imam Ismail Bulbulia, Masjid Noor & Education Centre, Dewsbury
  33. Molana S. Munshi, Masjid Heera/Islamic Research Institute of GB, Dewsbury
  34. Shaykh Bilal Brown, Chaplain of Oldham Police Station, Member of Oldham SACRE, and teacher at Darul Hadis Latifiah NW
  35. Shaykh Ousman Annsary, Masjid Al Jannah
  36. Shaykh Shahrul Hussain, Ibn Rushd Centre of Excellence for Islamic Research
  37. Imam Khabbaab Ahmad, Al Hashim Academy, Batley
  38. Moulana Farook Raja, Al Hashim Academy, Batley
  39. Mufti Sajid Patel, Chadwell Heath
  40. Maulana Dawood Khan, London
  41. Imam Ilyaas H Limbada, Yeovil Islamic Centre
  42. Imam Kassim Essak, CJM Southall
  43. Imaam Arif Polli, Eldon St. Masjid, Preston
  44. Moulana Afrooz Ali, Al Hikmah Masjid & Learning Centre, Bradford
  45. Imam Ibrahim Suleman Badat, Purley Masjid, London
  46. Zaid Mohammed, Imam Central Masjid Rochdale
  47. Imam Abdullah Kola, Madina Masjid, Newcastle Upon Tyne
  48. Imam Shah Muhammed Anas, Zakariya Academy, London
  49. Molana imtiyaz, Masjid e Saliheen, Preston
  50. Imam Khubaeb Raja, Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre
  51. Imam Hamza Patel, Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre
  52. Maulana Naweed Sardar, Scunthorpe Central Mosque
  53. Imam Bilal Toorawa, MASJID-E-ANWAAR, Blackburn
  54. Imam Tehsin Abo Barirah, Bait-Ut-Tauheed, Dewsbury
  55. Imam Salmaan Patel, Kettering Muslim Association (KMA)
  56. Imam Ashfaq Rafiq Patel, Central Mosque Blackpool
  57. Imam Zakaullah Saleem, Green Lane Masjid, Birmingham
  58. Ustadha Marzuqa Karima, Ebrahim College
  59. Imam Umair Vohra, Purley Masjid
  60. Imam Safwaan Hussein, Battersea Mosque
  61. Molana Sauban, Masjid Heera, Dewsbury
  62. Shaykh Muhammad Yasir al-Ḥanafī, Aylesbury
  63. Imam Muhammed Anas, Forest Gate Masjid, London
  64. Maulana Muhammad Hasan, Al-Haqq Academy
  65. Yacoob Hafejee , Head Teacher Madrasah Taleemul Islam Manchester
  66. Mufti Shah Hamza The Fountain London E15
  67. Mufti Shuaib Mutala Academy London E13
  68. Maulana Moin Choudhury Iqra Academy Plaistow
  69. Maulana Hussain Ahmed Darus Sunnah E7
  70. Maulana Yousaf Baig, Dewsbury
  71. Moulana Khairul Huda Khan, Shahjalal Mosque, Manchester
  72. Maulana Abdul Kabir, London, Head Teacher: CJM Madrassah & R.E School Teacher
  73. Imam Mustapha Azhar, Jamiah masjid and head teacher at Darut Taqwa, Accrington
  74. Imam Mohammad Karolia, Al Medinah Mosque, Brighton
  75. Imam Zaid Mohammed, Central Masjid Rochdale
  76. Maulana Muhammed Akib Hassan, Bradford
  77. Maulana Yusuf Mayat, Bradford
  78. Mufti Bilal Issak, Leicester
  79. Maulana Haroon Butt, Nottingham
  80. Maulana Mohammed Shoiab Patel, Dewsbury
  81. Maulana Ibrahim Patel, Dewsbury
  82. Maulana Ebrahim Diwan, Manchester
  83. Maulana Amin Sadiq, Imam Chingford, London.
  84. Maulana Mohammed Moreea – Imam – Walthamstow, London
  85. Maulana Adil Patel, Leytonstone, London
  86. Maulana Ammar Dana, Leicester
  87. Maulana Huzaifa Kolia, Imam, Walthamstow, London
  88. Maulana Zayd Mehtar, Imam, Walthamstow London
  89. Maulana Mohsin Ali, London
  90. Abbas Afzal, teacher Darul Uloom Muhammadiyyah, Wednesbury
  91. Imam Salim Ismail, Islamic Centre Upton Park
  92. Maulana Abdul Rehman Ghani, Birmingham
  93. Imam Muhammad Sadak, Chingford
  94. Maulana Abdullah Bhula, Bradford
  95. Maulana Suleman Collector, Headteacher, Cambridge Street School
  96. Moulana Abdullah Bham, Islamic Tutor Batley
  97. Moulana Muhammad Raees, Bradford
  98. Moulana Abdul Hafeez, Teacher of Quran
  99. Moulana Ahmed Bismillah, Imam Masjid Hidaya Keighley
  100. Moulana Ayyaz Iqbal, Teacher of Hadith and Tafseer Leeds
  101. Moulana Hafeezur Rahman, Bradford
  102. Maulana Suhail Patel, Bolton
  103. Maulana Mohammed Patel, Batley, Islamic teacher
  104. Moulana Mohammed Atiq, Leicester
  105. Imam Abdul Wahhab, Darul Atfaal, London
  106. Imam Ruhulamin Bapu, Preston, Madina Masjid
  107. Maulana Ata Muhammad, Imam Madina Masjid, Wolverhampton
  108. Hafiz Mehmood Ahmed, Quran Teacher, Wolverhampton
  109. Sheikh Wasim Kempson, London, org
  110. Imam Mohammed Amin, Bradford
  111. Ustadh Ramiz Ibrahim, London
  112. Moulana Said Ahmed, Preston
  113. Sheikh Abu Nusaybah Mohamed, Taiba Mosque Complex – London
  114. Ustadh Abu Haneefah Sohail
  115. Imam Omar Hajaj
  116. Moulana Obaidur Rahman
  117. Maulana Abdul Gaffar, Director, Al-Rushd Academy, London
  118. Hafiz Mehmood Ahmed
  119. Imam Amjad Ahmed, Howard Street
  120. Imam Muhammad Hafiz
  121. Imam Muhammad Hafiz
  122. Shaykh Muhammad Ameen Gani
  123. Maulana Shafiq Ur Rehman Shaheen. Oldham
  124. Sheikh Abdulbasid Haji Masjid Alfurqan, St.Matthew, Leicester.
  125. Imam Mohammad Teladia, Masjid Abu Bakr, Reading
  126. Mufti Quresh Ali
  127. Molana Suleman Pandor
  128. Maulana Rashid Ghani Qadiri
  129. Ustadh Mohammad Quraishi, Quantum Ruqya Education Trust
  130. Maulana Habibur Rahman
  131. Shaykh Muhammad Idris Watts, Founder of Quranic Circle
  132. Sheikh Muhammad Sabahul Haque
  133. Imam Khidir Hussain, Masjid Ayesha, Tottenham, London
  134. Maulana Muzakkir Ali, Masjid-e-Hamza, Ashton-under-Lyne
  135. Moulana Saad Khandelvi
  136. Mufti Ghulam Sarwar (Hanfia Masjid, Huddersfield)
  137. Maulana Waseem Patel
  138. Sheikh Shaqur Rehman
  139. Shaykh Abu Muhammad Saleh

Posted in UKComments Off on More than 130 scholars issue statement against pro-LGBT lessons in schools

‘Protests turn violent’ with ‘gunfire’ — PBS lies about its own report on Israeli attacks in Gaza

By: Philip Weiss 

Jane Ferguson

Last week PBS ran a brilliant piece from Gaza by Jane Ferguson that highlighted Israel’s maiming of hundreds or thousands of young protesters with leg-shattering rifle-shots.

The focus of the piece was Dr. Adnan al Borsh, a surgeon, who described in precise English the explosive nature of the wounds and his efforts to save young Palestinians, captured by a photograph of him falling asleep in an operating room chair at 1 a.m. on May 14, 2018, the day that Israel killed over 60 protesters.

Dr. Adnan al Borsh on May 14, 2018.

The sympathy of the piece was entirely with young men who had once loved to play soccer in their open-air prison. Ferguson:

Most of these kids have never seen the outside world, trapped in a tiny strip of land under blockade by the Israeli government and ruled over by the militant group Hamas.

I watched this report last week as a rapt amateur, with my heart in my throat. Another excerpt:

Ferguson: Waleed and his friends say they were unarmed, protesting near the border fence, when he was shot by a sniper.

Waleed Al Ramlawi (through translator): The Israelis were dealing with us as though we were an army. They were not dealing with us as peaceful protesters. We had no weapons, just our bodies.

John Yang

I was planning to celebrate the PBS New Hour, then I saw the packaging of the report. The title on the PBS site is: “Gazans suffer life-shattering injuries when border protests turn violent.” And host John Yang — I missed this when I was sitting at dinner — put the blame on the Palestinians in his intro:

For many months now, Palestinians in Gaza have regularly protested their conditions along the border fence with Israel. Those protests have often turned violent, resulting in deaths and permanent injuries.

Militant Palestinians have lobbed rockets and gunfire at Israel, especially targeting the soldiers at the border. But some international observers say the response of late has taken a disturbing turn.

These are… lies. There was nothing in the report to justify such a misrepresentation. Ferguson never mentioned gunfire. She did say that Palestinians sometimes send flaming kites over the border that can burn farmland, and that “the most cynical here encourage the smallest to approach the fence, goading Israeli guards.” There has been no “disturbing turn” lately.

Ferguson never mentioned rockets, never mentioned gunfire– except from Israel.

The repeated judgment in the piece was: Israel shooting these protesters is a war crime.

Ferguson: Human rights groups say this is a war crime…

Saleh Hijazi [of Amnesty International]: The willful cause of injury and the willful cause of death is a war crime…

Ferguson: in a damning report released in March, the United Nations’ independent commission of inquiry disputed [the Israeli justification], saying the Israeli military sniping at protesters was unlawful and unjustified, and should be referred to the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

The U.N. noted that some protesters threw stones and lit kites on fire to send across the fence, but the majority were peaceful civilians. Israeli soldiers, the commission said, shot and killed children, paramedics, journalists and the disabled, fully aware of who they were.

So Ferguson all but dismissed Israeli denials of the charge, and her piece took the p-o-v of a protester, Amin Asleep:

“I come every Friday, and I would come every day if the protest was every day. We in Gaza have nothing to do, no work. All of these people around don’t have a single shekel, because we are living under the siege. And the siege is constant.”

It’s hard to convey how disgraceful John Yang’s setup was and the New Hour’s packaging. It shows that the truth is simply too negative to Israel to be handed over to an American audience unspun. And yes I am completely cynical about PBS’s motivation. It is afraid of the Israel lobby, it is afraid of donor mutiny. So it lies about its own reporter’s story.

And here’s the proof, an Israel lobby group attacked the report last week for “humanizing” Palestinians, and said PBS “cripples the truth.” PBS anticipates that sort of attack. It is accountable to racists.

Thanks to James North. 

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on ‘Protests turn violent’ with ‘gunfire’ — PBS lies about its own report on Israeli attacks in Gaza

“STAY QUIET ABOUT WHAT YOU SAW” ‘Video’

FIREMEN TOLD NOT TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT ‘KATRINA’

IT WAS THE FEDERAL LEVEES THAT FAILED – NOT THE STORM

On this day in 2005, over 50 badly constructed levees designed, built and maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers killing over 1,000 and causing over $100 billion in property damage.

New Orleans firemen riding out the storm high up in an office building saw levees collapse dooming the city.

They were ordered not to tell what they saw when they appeared before a Congressional committee hearing about the devastation.

Why not?

The epically corrupt US Army Corps of Engineers was trying, unsuccessfully it eventually turned out, to hide the basic fact: Their design, construction and maintenance was responsible for the deaths of thousands of people (it you count the people who died after the storm from the shock and trauma) and the near obliteration of a great American city.

Posted in USAComments Off on “STAY QUIET ABOUT WHAT YOU SAW” ‘Video’

Violent White Supremacists Threaten Basic Civil Rights—and Our Lives

The federal government can largely stamp out domestic terrorism—or fan the flames.

by: Jesse Jackson

Karina Cardoso and Linda Nevarez hold their cellphone flashlights up during an Aug. 4 vigil in El Paso for the victims of the Walmart shooting. (Photo: Lola Gomez/American-Statesman)

Every right we have fought for and won since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his monumental “I Have a Dream” speech 56 years ago this Wednesday is under unrelenting attack and in grave peril — from the right to drink fresh water and breathe clear air, to the right of workers to organize for better wages and safer conditions to the right to vote without interference from “enemies foreign and domestic” to the rights of women, children, the LGBTQ community and immigrants.

But it’s not just our rights that are in danger.

It is our very lives.

After the horrendous mass shooting in El Paso, Texas by a white supremacist — who drove more than 600 miles to the city with the explicit purpose of slaughtering Latinos in response to the mythical “invasion” President Donald Trump and the right ranted about — new attention has been paid to the growing violence of white supremacists.

In the few weeks since El Paso, six white supremacists have been arrested for plotting violent attacks. The Anti-Defamation League reports that white extremists killed 50 people last year — people of all races.

Some compare the threat posed by white supremacists here at home to the terrorist threat posed by ISIS or al-Qaida. What too often is overlooked, as MSNBC commentator Chris Hayes noted in his show last Friday, is that white terrorist violence has been part of the American experience from the beginning.

Hayes notes that the first real terrorist cells in the U.S. arose after the Civil War as a response by white southerners to the freeing of slaves. When slaves became free men, the power of the white establishment in the South was threatened.

The reaction was violent — with community leaders joining to create terrorist cells — most of which became known as the Ku Klux Klan. To preserve white dominance, the Klan launched a wave of terror against blacks and their white allies across the South, including lynching, murder, abduction and rape.

Hayes cites the 2,000 murders in the state of Kansas in the lead-up to the 1868 election, designed to terrorize potential black voters, with the explicit aim of sustaining white power.

When Ulysses S. Grant became president, Congress passed legislation in 1870 — the Enforcement Acts — that empowered the federal government to respond to the wave of terror.

For the first time, the newly created Department of Justice began prosecuting the Klan in federal courts, backed by federal troops on the ground in the South. They made great progress against the Klan until a political compromise that led to the withdrawal of federal troops and the reassertion of “states’ rights.”

That opened the floodgates to a wave of terrorist attacks launched by the Klan and others against blacks that enforced apartheid across the south.

White terrorism goes hand in hand with slavery.

White slave owners were in constant fear of slave revolts and on constant guard against slaves running away to seek their freedom. Slave patrol militias — made up of volunteers from the leading slave-owning families of the South — were created to police the plantations, to track down runaway slaves and to put down any insurrection.

Again, violence — from whipping to murder — was employed routinely by the slave patrols.

The Second Amendment — the right of people to join militias and bear arms — was added to the Constitution in large part to protect the right of slave owners to sustain the slave patrol militias.

In 1788, when Virginia met to consider ratification of the Constitution, slave owners attacked the Constitution for giving the federal government the right to organize militias.

At the time, slaves outnumbered the white population in much of eastern Virginia.

James Madison wrote the Second Amendment largely to protect the rights of slave owners to enforce the reign of terror against slaves in the South. It had nothing to do with the right of individuals to bear arms, because blacks — free or enslaved — were prohibited from owning and bearing arms across the South.

Today when demagogues like Trump fan the fears of an “invasion” of Latinos and blacks that he believes will erode white dominance, white supremacist violence is once more on the rise.

As Hayes argues, when the federal government acts to condemn and to prosecute this domestic terrorism, it can largely stamp it out. But when it fans the flames or turns its back or leaves it to the states that terrorism can easily get out of control.

Today, America is still wrestling with how and whether it will grow out of its racial divides.

By fanning the flames of those divides, Trump is dangerously choosing to feed an increasingly violent white supremacist reaction.

Posted in USAComments Off on Violent White Supremacists Threaten Basic Civil Rights—and Our Lives

Indigenous Tribes on Front Line of Amazon Rainforest Fires

Indigenous Tribes on Front Line of Amazon Rainforest Fires Vow to Resist Bolsonaro’s “Destruction of Mother Nature”

“We’re putting our bodies and our lives on the line to try to save our territories.”

by: Jake Johnson

Aerial view of a large burned area in the city of Candeiras do Jamari in the Brazilian state of Rondônia. (Photo: Victor Moriyama/Greenpeace)

Indigenous tribes whose land and livelihoods are being directly harmed by the fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest vowed Tuesday to do everything in their power to resist Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s “destruction of Mother Nature” and called on the rest of the world to join them.

“We’re putting our bodies and our lives on the line to try to save our territories,” Brazilian indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara, who was born in a village in the Amazon rainforest, said in a statement. “We’ve been warning for decades about the violations we have suffered across Brazil.”

“If we don’t stop this destruction of Mother Nature, future generations will live in a completely different world to the one we live in today.” 
—Huni Kuin tribe

“The predatory behavior of loggers, miners, and ranchers, who have a powerful lobby in the [Brazilian] National Congress with more than 200 deputies under their influence,” said Guajajara, “has been getting much worse under the anti-indigenous government of Jair Bolsonaro, who normalizes, incites, and empowers violence against the environment and against us.”

According to satellite data analyzed by Weather Source, there are over 2,000 fires raging in the Brazilian Amazon. The blazes sparked outrage from world leaders and dire warnings from environmentalists, who say the fires could accelerate the climate crisis by irreversibly damaging the “lungs of the world.”

In a statement, a group of leaders with the indigenous tribe Huni Kuin said the fires are “Mother Nature’s cry, asking us to help her.”

“If we don’t stop this destruction of Mother Nature, future generations will live in a completely different world to the one we live in today,” the tribe said. “And we are working today so that humanity has a future. But if we don’t stop this destruction, we will be the ones that will be extinguished, burned and the sky will descend upon us, which has already begun to happen.”

The Xingu peoples echoed that message in a video posted online Monday. Speaking to the people of the world as the wealthiest nations on the planet gathered in France for the G7 summit, a Xingu representative said indigenous tribes “are going to resist for the forest, for our way of living… for the future of our children and grandchildren.”

Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein, writing in the Boston Globe Monday, said listening to indigenous peoples and respecting their rights is key to solving the global climate crisis with justice at the forefront.

“Colonialism is setting the world on fire,” wrote Klein. “Taking leadership from the people who have been resisting its violence for centuries, while protecting non-extractive ways of life, is our best hope of putting out the flames.”

Flames are not just burning in the Amazon. Bloomberg reported Monday that Weather Source has recorded 6,902 fires in Angola and 3,395 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The global Extinction Rebellion movement warned Tuesday that the fires will continue to intensify if world leaders refuse to take bold and immediate climate action.

“The longer that the inaction of the governments of the world on the climate and ecological catastrophe continues,” said Extinction Rebellion, “the worse the fires will get.”

Posted in BrazilComments Off on Indigenous Tribes on Front Line of Amazon Rainforest Fires

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