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News

California mass shooting: man shoots himself in van linked to Lunar Near Year massacre - sources

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sun, 01/22/2023 - 23:26

California mass shooting: man shoots himself in van linked to Lunar Near Year massacre - sources --10 people killed and another 10 injured during rampage Saturday evening | 22 Jan 2023 | A man found inside a white van linked to a Lunar New Year massacre that left 10 people dead and 10 others injured in Southern California was found dead Sunday afternoon after what authorities believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Law enforcement sources told Fox News that the man shot himself and died following a standoff with a "barricaded suspect" in a van in Torrance, located roughly 30 miles southwest of Monterey Park, where Saturday's shooting unfolded. "I want to address also that there is a tactical incident that's occurring in the city of Torrance," Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said during an earlier press briefing. "People have asked is that your suspect? We don't know." "It's a barricaded suspect situation. We are working with one of our partner agencies, the Torrance Police Department, to resolve that. We believe there is a person inside of that vehicle."

Categories: News

Elon Musk Reveals 'Major Side Effects' After 2nd COVID-19 Booster

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sun, 01/22/2023 - 21:38

Elon Musk Reveals 'Major Side Effects' After 2nd COVID-19 Booster | 22 Jan 2023 | Elon Musk said he felt like he "was dying" after his second COVID-19 booster shot. "I had major side effects from my second booster shot," the new Twitter boss wrote in a social media post. "Felt like I was dying for several days. Hopefully, no permanent damage, but I don't know." ...Musk posted a string of Twitter posts in response to a post by Rasmussen Reports which is criticizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s narrative that major side effects after COVID vaccination are "rare." A new Rasmussen Reports poll, released on Jan. 2 and based on a representative sample of 1,000 American adults, shows that nearly half of Americans believe that the COVID-19 vaccines probably caused a "significant number of unexplained deaths," while over a quarter said they personally know someone whose death may have been caused by vaccination side effects.

Categories: News

AOC heckled over Ukraine weapons

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sun, 01/22/2023 - 21:19

AOC heckled over Ukraine weapons --Protesters interrupted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's town hall event to demand an end to the arms shipments | 22 Jan 2023 | U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Soros-installed Great Reset pea-brain-NY) had an event in New York on Saturday disrupted by a group of demonstrators who rose to their feet and began singing a Latin hymn for peace. The protestors were voicing their objection to the self-professed progressive's [sic] vote to send billions of dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine. Holding signs reading "negotiation not annihilation" and "stop sending weapons to Ukraine," the group sang "Dona Nobis Pacem," a Latin hymn used in the Catholic mass that translates as "Give Us Peace." We always support everyone's First Amendment rights here and everyone has the complete right to political expression,” Ocasio-Cortez responded, but only after the protesters had been removed from the premises by security. A member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Ocasio-Cortez...voted in May to provide Ukraine with $40 billion in military and economic aid, a decision that led a left-wing activist to accuse her of "voting to start a nuclear war" during a similar town hall in October.

Categories: News

Border agents confirm 1.2 million 'gotaway' migrants under Biden administration

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sun, 01/22/2023 - 20:59

Border agents confirm 1.2 million 'gotaway' migrants under Biden administration --Illegal immigration continues to skyrocket under Biden | 22 Jan 2023 | U.S. border agents have confirmed that 1.2 million illegal migrants "got away" from authorities while crossing the border under Joe Biden's administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources told Fox News on Sunday. CBP tracks hundreds of thousands of migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico Border every month, but that stat does not include the number of known "gotaways," or migrants who were detected by authorities but not apprehended. Since Biden entered office in January 2021, border crossings have exploded, and at least 1.2 million migrants successfully evaded authorities. The first half of Biden's four-year term saw monthly border encounters rise from 101,000 in February 2021 to 251,000 in December 2022, according to CBP stats.

Categories: News

Federal agencies withholding data behind pilot heart condition change, COVID vax stroke reversal

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sun, 01/22/2023 - 20:54

Federal agencies withholding data behind pilot heart condition change, COVID vax stroke reversal | 20 Jan 2023 | Federal agencies are withholding the data behind recent decisions that relate or may relate to COVID-19 vaccines and severe adverse events, fueling speculation that they are putting both vaccinated and unvaccinated lives at risk. The Federal Aviation Administration told Just the News it widened the acceptable range of heart rhythms for commercial pilots, who were initially subject to industry-wide vaccine mandates, in light of "[n]ew scientific evidence" that it has yet to specify. The Oct. 26 update to the heart arrhythmias section of the FAA Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners made two key changes. The agency raised the maximum so-called PR interval for first-degree atrioventricular block to 300 milliseconds, with no regard to age, on the list of "normal variants" that don't require deferment in the absence of "symptoms or AME concerns." FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor provided a modified version of the statement the agency released last spring after American Airlines pilot Robert Snow blamed his in-flight cardiac arrest on coerced vaccination.

Categories: News

TOTW: For Those Who Gave All

Anarchist News - Sun, 01/22/2023 - 20:48
For those who gave Ⓐ all

Is there anything you’re willing to die for?

For many, it’s their family & friends, their loved ones.

Few are willing to risk their life to save a stranger.
Like diving into a river to save someone from drowning.

Fewer still would extend such altruism to other species.
Like forest defense, or running into traffic to save an animal.

Others defend forests as a place where they find belonging.
Likewise, some defend land occupations, squats, parks, gardens, homes.

Some even die for resources, objects, ideas, projects, fame, notoriety, or art.
One may not only die in defense of things, one may also die while attacking.

Is the willingness to die for something a make or break for anarchists?

Image source

Tags: totwtopic of the weekdeathmutual aidcommunity defenseland defenseforest defenseattack!
Categories: News

'Bombshell' Emails Reveal Fauci Was Part of NIH and Who Conspiracy to Silence Wuhan Lab Leak Theory

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sun, 01/22/2023 - 20:28

'Bombshell' Emails Reveal Fauci Was Part of NIH and Who Conspiracy to Silence Wuhan Lab Leak Theory | 21 Jan 2023 | Dr. Anthony Fauci, once considered America's top Covid doctor, conspired with influential scientists around the world, including at the World Health Organization, to quell concerns that SARS-CoV-2 may have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, newly un-redacted emails show. The newly released emails raise questions about Dr. Fauci's motives in dispelling public scrutiny over the potential the novel coronavirus had escaped from the Wuhan laboratory. Fauci had misled Congress over the extent that the National Institutes of Health had funded the Wuhan lab as a subcontractor of EcoHealth Alliance. The Wuhan laboratory was also funded by the Pentagon, contract awards show. The un-redacted NIH emails show how public questioning that SARS-CoV-2 may have escaped from a laboratory was a concern for the group's scientists lest it become a "conspiracy theory."

Categories: News

Ghislaine Maxwell claims Prince Andrew, Virginia Giuffre photo is 'fake,' has 'no memory' of the pair meeting

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sun, 01/22/2023 - 19:28

Ghislaine Maxwell claims Prince Andrew, Virginia Giuffre photo is 'fake,' has 'no memory' of the pair meeting | 22 Jan 2023 | Ghislaine Maxwell alleged in her first jailhouse interview that the notorious photograph of Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre at her London home in 2000 is likely a "fake," claiming she has "no memory" of introducing the pair more than two decades ago. The Oxford-educated Maxwell, who is serving a 20-year sentence in a Florida federal prison for her role in a scheme to sexually exploit and abuse multiple minor girls with Jeffrey Epstein over the course of a decade, was recently interviewed by British broadcaster Jeremy Kyle from behind bars... "I have no memory of them [Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre] meeting and I don't think that picture is real," Maxwell added of the photograph. "There is no original of that photo, [only] copies of it that have been produced, copies of copies. Parts of it, according to some experts, looks like it has been photoshopped." ..."Well, it’s a fake," Maxwell said. "I don't believe it's real for a second. In fact, I'm sure it's not." "Well, there's never been an original," she added. "And further, there’s no photograph. I've only ever seen a photocopy of it."

Categories: News

Bank Backing ‘Cop City’ Targeted as Hundreds Take to Streets of Atlanta Following Police Killing

It's Goin Down - Sun, 01/22/2023 - 10:32

photo: Unicorn Riot

On January 21st, about 400 people gathered in Underground Atlanta, where people shared their love and memories of Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, also known as Tortuguita, and called for justice in the wake of their death at the hands of the police.

Video: On Jan. 21, 100s of protestors gathered in downtown Atlanta to remember Manuel "Tortuguita" Teran, who was killed by police on Jan. 18.

Teran died in a tree-sit to stop 'Cop City', a proposed police training center project slated to demolish Atlanta's largest forest. pic.twitter.com/5gi0vzXE8n

— UNICORN RIOT 🦄 mastodon.social/@UnicornRiot 👈 (@UR_Ninja) January 22, 2023

After 30 minutes, the crowd took off. About 3/4 of the crowd were in black bloc. Activists from the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) attempted to lead the group south, perhaps towards the atate Capitol building or the CNN center, but bloc members turned the crowd around and led them north. The sun was just starting to set as the bloc, about 300 strong, turned north up Peachtree street. The commercial downtown district, gutted out by years of neoliberal policy, is populated almost exclusively by business people, university students, and unhoused people.

The bloc traveled north, as road flares and fireworks marked their progress. Umbrellas blocked local news video cameras as graffiti sprung up on walls, with phrases like “RIP Little Turtle” and “Stop Cop City.” The crowd chanted, “No justice! No Peace!,” and “Be Like Water,” as they moved along at a brisk pace, flanked by reporters. Bank windows were smashed and umbrellas blocked cameras, with a Wells Fargo branch, a funder of Cop City, receiving special attention.

Soon, the raucous crowed arrived at 191 Peachtree Street, the building housing the Atlanta Police Foundation. Rocks flew, smashing into the front of the building, as marchers smashed out even more windows. Fireworks lit the scene up. A cop car left unattended in the area was smashed, while another caught fire.

As the police pulled up, the crowd dispersed. Some individuals were tackled and violently arrested by the police, with Unicorn Riot later reporting that one person may have been run over by a police car. As the crowd dissipated, more police flooded the mile-long stretch of Peachtree Street the group had marched up.

In a later press conference, police, who have been violently attacking Cop City opponents for months in an effort to destroy an entire forest, claimed that property destruction was “terrorism.”

Feels like we're heading to another breaking point. https://t.co/uUJcAecGSz

— Dean (@NoCowardShit) January 22, 2023

Local activists are encouraging people to donate to the Atlanta Solidarity Fund to help support those arrested by law enforcement.

BREAKING: At least 5 protesters arrested, Atlanta cop car set on fire at Cop City protests. Protests occurring after police shot and killed beloved protester Manuel Teran—aka “Tortuguita." Protests have gone on in the woods for over a year against proposed $90 mill police center. pic.twitter.com/8aVsnOG4Az

— Status Coup News (@StatusCoup) January 22, 2023

Categories: News

[Berlin] Fire to green capitalism - Solidarity with A. Cospito

Anarchist News - Sun, 01/22/2023 - 09:10

Translation of article from Kontrapolis

In the night from Thursday (the 19.01.) to Friday an electric car charging station at the Engelbecken in Berlin Kreuzberg was set on fire. It happened in a night full of international actions to show solidarity with our comrade Alfredo Cospito. It is reported that he will soon be force-fed, against which he clearly and forcefully opposes. In a letter to his lawyer he writes:
"[...] Life is meaningless in this grave for the living."

This act is also an act against green capitalism, which is sold as a holy solution to today's capitalism. This is, of course, nonsense and continues to reinforce mechanisms of oppression that are already inherent in the system today. Among these can be named colonialism, from which many countries in the global South suffer because capitalist companies from the global North plunder the resources there. Because, in order to satiate the rush for an electric mobility, tons of rare earth, minerals and raw materials have to be extracted and thus countless human lives are stolen, families torn apart, communities ruined, ecosystems destroyed. We would like to share with you a detailed article about the connection between capitalism and colonialism with the following link:
https://kontrapolis.info/7953/

Furthermore, consequences of destructive capitalism, to a lesser extent, are also felt near us. We think of, the people who have defended Lützerath to the end and welcome those who have resisted with all means. But after the eviction is unfortunately still before the eviction, so we send out a lot of strength to all other (forest) occupations (Heibo, Fecher, etc.).

These charging stations are often used to charge electric SUVs or car sharing cars, for those who can afford something other than public transport. This sends electricity into inefficient individual transportation options and money into the pockets of private companies. Even more money is wasted in this, as the Berlin Senate is supporting the "implementation of the electrification of commercial motor vehicle fleets in the capital" through the WELMO funding program. At a time when more and more people are having trouble paying their (electricity) bills... we don't need to explain further.

This one action remains symbolic in itself. One column among hundreds that exist in Berlin is not much. But this night we have seen that these stations are relatively easy targets for direct actions and are difficult to delete. Thereby you need once good strength and a DNA-free tool to crack the door, and a flammable package that can be placed inside.

We also want to call for the days of action in solidarity with Alfredo Cospito! https://de.indymedia.org/node/253254

Tags: attack!solidarityAlfredo Cospitoberlin
Categories: News

DOJ seizes more classified docs from Biden's Wilmington home after 12-hour FBI search

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sun, 01/22/2023 - 03:52

DOJ seizes more classified docs from Biden's Wilmington home after 12-hour FBI search | 21 Jan 2023 | The Justice Department seized additional classified records from Joe Biden's Wilmington, Delaware, home after an FBI search on Friday, Fox News has learned. "On Jan. 20, 2023, the FBI executed a planned, consensual search of the President's residence in Wilmington, Delaware," Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, an assistant U.S. attorney to U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch, told Fox News Saturday. Lausch was the DOJ official running the investigation into Biden's improper retention of classified records ahead of the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Hur... The FBI search began Friday morning at 9:45 a.m. and concluded Friday night around 10:30 p.m.

Categories: News

Spain: Interview with the comrade Gabriel Pombo Da Silva

Anarchist News - Sun, 01/22/2023 - 01:35

Via Anarquía, English translation by Anarchist News

A NOTE FROM ANARQUÍA: The following interview of our comrade Gabriel Pombo da Silva was carried out on the past December 12. This conversation was granted to a media outlet with which we have no affinity, yet it's necessary to give visibility to the situation our comrades are living in prison. All the strength and solidarity to our comrade Gabriel. Health and Anarchy!

Gabriel Pombo da Silva (Vigo, 1967) is one of the prisoners who has spent the longest time in Spanish prisons. When he came in he was just 17 years old, now he recently turned 55. Various robberies with his band, one of them with a homicide, lead him to spend many years in Iberian prisons, as well as some time in German prisons. It's been more than 30 long years behind bars. Now, his defense demands that the Court of Ourense, which condemned him, apply the current Penal Code, a stance also defended by the Prosecution of the Supreme Court. This would imply his immediate release, ten years later than what corresponded.

—Some months have passed since the Prosecution of the Supreme Court requested that they apply the current Penal Code to your sentence, which would imply your immediate release…

—It's now in the hands of the Supreme Court, but the important thing is we've discovered that the court that sentenced me, the Provincial Court of Ourense, is the one that was originally responsible for not applying the latest Penal Code like the law states, which would have benefited me the most. They had sentenced me 28 years and change for the felony of robbery with homicide, which was once the maximum penalty. With the latest Penal Code, which was in force at the time, it's twelve years and six months.

—How many years have you spent in prison?

—More than 30. I've made the rounds through almost every prison in Spain.

—Are you the prisoner that has spent the most years imprisoned in Spain?

—I don't know. It's likely. I think there must be some that have spent more time, but they've been forgotten because they are poor.

—If they had applied the most beneficial Penal Code, you would be free, and you would have enjoyed ten years of life without being behind bars.

—Yes. I am kidnapped. The Court of Ourense should have revised my conviction to apply the most favorable Penal Code. But I'm still here.

—And how could ten years of life be returned?

—It can't be done. I take the good part with me, the fact that I've had time to delve deeply into myself, into human nature, into the world.

—In what context did your run-ins with the Law begin?

—In the eighties. I remember the neighborhood of El Calvario, in Vigo, poor, miserable, red; on one side the town, and on the other the police. I was raised by my grandparents, who instilled in me class solidarity. So I started to do what I shouldn't: shoot, expropriate (rob), and hanging out with the rebels. There was a lot of unemployment, a lot of despair, and a lot of emigration.

—And didn't you consider back then that you could continue your struggle in the political or syndicalist arena, instead of using violence?

—The political and the syndicalist paths were useless. It didn't work. We used to hand out food and money to poor families. They were hard times. We are also talking about a period of time where the far-right killed, where there were groups of ultras, and we, in the working class, had to defend ourselves.

—And suddenly, drugs arrived…

—It was very strange. Pure heroin began to appear around Vigo. I noticed that, overnight, in all of the neighborhoods in which we were organized and working on a political and social level, drugs suddenly appeared and destroyed the young people, the workers, affecting everyone.

—You spent 8 years of your sentence under the harsh regime of the FIES (Ficheros Internos de Especial Seguimiento). You don't seem psychologically, nor physically affected.

—I've pushed onward by force of inertia.To be able to resist, I concentrated on myself, on reading, on sports, and basically on resisting the day-to-day.

—You've always refused to collaborate with the penitentiary center. You didn't agree to teaching courses to the other prisoners. Did you have to pay consequences for that stance?

—I'm still paying dearly for it. I've made the worst enemies in every place: drug traffickers, bankers, judges, and even among those who work inside here.

—Has prison changed much in these thirty long years?

—Most of those who come in are mentally ill or are doped. Today, prison is no longer the surveillance and punishment of Foucault, but instead what Orwell reflected on, the thought police. Rehabilitation is not the goal. This is basically just a business. Those who have money get out of jail. Those who have political godparents, have privileges…

—What will you do when you're out?

—I will create an infoshop in my farm that will be named after Agustín Rueda, in the county of Mos. I will foster collectives, publishers… based on mutual aid and holistic education and training. We have to return to the land.

—Nothing to do with your previous trajectory

—Yes, it's a matter of being a realist, of pragmatism. I see myself helping with the formation and education of other comrades, rather than robbing banks. Translating interesting books that are not in Spanish, creating cooperatives…


FUENTE: LA VOZ DE GALICIA

Tags: Gabriel Pombo Da Silvainterviewanarchist prisonersSpain
Categories: News

More New Yorkers moved to Florida in 2022 than any year in history in staggering exodus

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sat, 01/21/2023 - 21:49

More New Yorkers moved to Florida in 2022 than any year in history in staggering exodus | 19 Jan 2023 | Dazed and abused by high taxes and rising crime, more New Yorkers fled to Florida in 2022 than any year in history, according to new data. A staggering 64,577 Empire Staters exchanged their driver's licenses for the Sunshine State version last year, according to figures from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. "They come in every day," a staffer at a Jacksonville DMV office told The Post this week with a weary laugh. "I hear all the complaints. I feel like a therapist sometimes." The worker said the venting refugees harbor a long list of grievances -- with taxes and eroding quality of life at the top of the list.

Categories: News

Border Patrol nabbed 17 people on FBI terror watch list at southern border in December

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sat, 01/21/2023 - 21:38

Border Patrol nabbed 17 people on FBI terror watch list at southern border in December | 21 Jan 2023 | Border Patrol agents stopped 17 people on the FBI's terror watch list at the southern border in December, bringing the total of individuals arrested at the southern border to 38 already for the current fiscal year. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) latest numbers for December, released on Friday, revealed Border Patrol has arrested 17 people at the southern border whose names match on the FBI's Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) -- which contains information about the identities of those who are known or "reasonably suspected" of being involved in terrorist activities. December's numbers bring the total number of terror watch list arrests between the ports of entry to 38 since FY 2023 began on Oct 1. There were 98 terror watch list arrests in FY22, 15 in FY21 and just three in FY 20 at the southern border caught between ports of entry.

Categories: News

Where Did All the Workers Go?

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sat, 01/21/2023 - 20:23

Where Did All the Workers Go? | 20 Jan 2023 | In a November 30, 2022, speech on "Inflation and the Labor Market," Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell blamed most of the 3.5 million estimated shortfall in the US labor force on premature retirements. He also blamed a large portion -- between 280,000 and 680,000 – on "long Covid." In a footnote, however, Powell acknowledged a far more somber factor: an estimated 400,000 unexpected deaths among working age people... In 2020, Covid did not take very many lives of healthy young and middle-age people -- for example, the types of people who are employed at large and mid-size companies and who have group life insurance. ...[G]roup life insurance benefit payments in 2020 were barely higher than in 2018... In 2021, however, group life payments exploded by 20.7 percent over the five year average and by 15 percent over the acute pandemic year of 2020. Why would healthy young and middle-age people suddenly begin dying in large numbers in 2021 when they'd navigated 2020 with relative success? Especially when we consider that in 2021, the US administered 520 million Covid-19 vaccine doses. Shouldn't healthy people employed in good jobs with good benefits, now protected with vaccines, have fared better in 2021 than in 2020?

Categories: News

Uganda: Kropotkin Community Garden

Anarchist News - Sat, 01/21/2023 - 18:52

From Mutual Aid Institute

Kropotkin Community Garden is located in Mpigi district, in central Uganda, on 6 acres. It is organic, free from pesticides and fertilizers, with 3 inter-cropping planting seasons. Crops grown are sweet potatoes, kale, maize, soya beans, cabbage, passion fruits and beans.

The food feeds victims of gender-based violence and orphans at the nearby ShelterMi Safehouse & Orphanage, with surplus sold to pay tuition fees and buy school supplies for the orphans.

Oloo Livingstone - director of the garden - says

"I find the works of Peter Kropotkin most interesting especially his Mutual Aid: A factor of Evolution. His model if adopted in Africa would propel development and improve the quality of life in our societies. We are excited to put into action his ideas to help our communities."

Kropotkin Community Garden needs organic fertilizers, seeds for soybeans, cow peas, maize, and passion fruit, and it wants to expand an additional 4 acres. To help, DONATE HERE: https://humanistglobal.charity/kropotkin-community-garden-uganda/kropotk...

Tags: Ugandamutual aidKropotkinfarmingwomencommunityfundraiser
Categories: News

Carlos Pimpão has Died

Anarchist News - Sat, 01/21/2023 - 16:35

January 14, 2023
From Memória Libertária

On Wednesday, January 11, the anarchist Carlos Pimpão died, with the funeral taking place the following day in Amiais de Baixo (Santarém), where he was born 73 years ago.

A well-known figure in libertarian circles, Carlos Pimpão was an agronomist. He worked at the Ministry of Agriculture, having recently graduated from Évora at the Regional Center for Agrarian Reform. He was part of the group that edited the newspaper Apoyo Mútuo in those years, in Évora, with Júlio Carrapato, then professor at the University of Évora.

It fell on Carlos Pimpão to give the funeral eulogy for Júlio Carrapato during the funeral for the anarchist from the Algarve.

The photo we publish of Carlos Pimpão is from July 19, 2017, when a group of companions held a meeting in Faro in honor of Júlio Carrapato, a year after his death.

Tags: obituaryPortugal
Categories: News

Seattle, WA: Mourners Arrested at Vigil for Tort

It's Goin Down - Sat, 01/21/2023 - 11:57

Report on Seattle vigil in solidarity with Tortuguita and the struggle against Cop City in Atlanta. 

Around 50 folks showed up for a somber and angry candlelight vigil at Cal Anderson park in so-called Seattle. We gathered to remember Tort, murdered by Atlanta PD for defending the forest against Cop City.

People expressed their rage and sadness over this and countless other police murders. We danced, cried, spoke out and held space together. A flag was burned and some of the park tagged with ACAB messaging. Some folks brought materials to make banners. After the vigil these were dropped around the city.

As things were winding down, some people were spreading art around the park. Around five or six people were still at the vigil site hanging out, packing up, and enjoying ACAB tunes. Suddenly 15-20 cops rushed in and arrested a couple comrades.

The rest of the folks around the park returned to yell at the cops and watch where their friends were taken for jail support, but were unfortunately unable to stop the pigs from kidnapping folks for memorializing pig murders in another city.

All Cops Are Bastards
From SEA to ATL
Stop Cop City

Categories: News

This Is America #180: An Antifascist Got 20 Years in Prison For Defending Counter-Protesters on J20; Report from Rural PNW

It's Goin Down - Sat, 01/21/2023 - 11:02

Welcome, to This Is America, January 20th, 2023.

On today’s episode, first we speak with autonomous organizers in the rural Pacific Northwest town of Aberdeen, WA.

We then talk to a supporter of antifascist political prisoner Alex Stokes, who has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for standing up to protect his friends from a group of violent Proud Boys who were attacking counter-protesters at the state capitol of New York on January 6th, 2021. We speak on how Alex’s politics were put on trial, how the far-Right was treated as victims, and how people can support Alex while on the inside.

We then switch to our discussion, where we look at a recent story about social media companies in the lead up to J6 and what it means now that the GOP has established control over the House of Representatives.

All this and more, but first, let’s get to the news!

Living and Fighting

In Texas, prisoners remain on hunger-strike in protest of solitary confinement. As the Guardian reported:

Scores of Texas prisoners have entered the second week of a hunger strike in protest at being kept indefinitely in solitary confinement, a form of incarceration in the US that human rights groups have denounced as torture.

Inmates across the Texas prison system have been refusing food since 10 January in an organized outcry against being held in isolation in some cases for decades. Estimates of the numbers of prisoners involved differ. The Texas department of criminal justice (TDCJ) puts it at 72, but outside advocates liaising with the strikers say it is at least 138.

Across the US, antifascists continued to rally in defense of LGBTQ+ and drag events, as far-Right rallies have only continued into the new year. In recent weeks, antifascists have held large rallies in Dallas, Texas, Vancouver, British Columbia, Fall River, Massachusetts, and New York City. Check out our roundup of recent actions at This Week In Fascism.

Lastly, across the US and beyond, people are organizing rallies and vigils in solidarity with the ongoing struggle in Atlanta to resist the construction of ‘Cop City,’ which threatens to destroy the Weelaunee forest. On Wednesday, January 18th, police carried out a violent raid on the forest, killing one forest defender, a 26 year old anarchist who went by the name Tortuguita. Currently not much is known about the raid and local activists are demanding an independent investigation into the shooting.

On the ground, people are encourage folks to sign on to a solidarity statement, donate to the local bail-fund as many face trumped up “terrorism” charges, put pressure on companies helping to build cop city, and also organize a solidarity vigil and event.

Upcoming Events
  • January 22nd – 26th: East Coast Book-tour with Shane Burley and Daryle Lamont Jenkins. More info here.
  • January 28th: Solidarity Share Fair: Eugene, OR. More info here.
  • January 28th: Film Showing: “The Wobblies.” Silverdale, WA. Silverdale, Library. More info here.
  • February 12th: Online Discussion. 6:00 PM / EST. “We Go Where They Go: The Story of Anti-Racist Action,” a book discussion hosted by IWW GDC with former ARA members. Use link to register.
  • March 10th – 13th: Weelaunee Food Autonomy Conference. Atlanta, GA. More info here.
  • May 2023: Healthcare Autonomy Conference. Durham, NC. More info here.
It’s Going Down

If you value IGD as a revolutionary autonomous media resource in times of crisis, please help us grow the platform!

Categories: News

Against Orthodoxy and Despotic Rule: A Review of Islam and Anarchism

Anarchist News - Sat, 01/21/2023 - 06:06
colorful mosque

From The Commoner

The first part in a series on Islam, humanism, and anarchism. Originally written by Javier Sethness, this review includes an alternate perspective by Jihad al-Haqq.

The project of advancing anarchist reinterpretations of history and religion is an intriguing and important one. Due to its emphasis on spontaneity, non-cooperation, simplicity, and harmony, Daoism is a religion with anarchist elements, while the Dharma taught by Buddhism is an egalitarian critique of caste, class, and hierarchy, according to the anarcho-communist Élisée Reclus. B. R. Ambedkar, architect of India's constitution, similarly viewed Buddhism as seeking the annihilation of Brahminism, as crystallized in the Hindu caste system. Xinru Liu, author of Early Buddhist Society (2022), adds that a key part of Buddhism’s appeal has been its emphasis on care and well-being over statecraft and power.

Likewise, Guru Nanak, the visionary founder of Sikhism, proclaimed human equality through his advocacy of langar, a practice that simultaneously rejects caste while building community through shared meals. In parallel, many notable anarchists have been Jewish: for instance, Ida Mett, Aaron and Fanya Baron, Martin Buber, and Avraham Yehuda Heyn. The Judaic concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world) is activist to the core. Plus, in The Foundations of Christianity (1908), Karl Kautsky highlights the radicalism of Jesus' message, the communism of early Christianity, and the ongoing struggles of prophets, apostles, and teachers against clerical hierarchies and bureaucracies. Lev Tolstoy, Dorothy Day, and Simone Weil preached Christian anarchism.

What, then, of Islam?

One way of answering this question would be to consider Mohamed Abdou's Islam and Anarchism (2022). This long-anticipated study is based on the intriguing premises that Islam is not necessarily authoritarian or capitalist, and that anarchism is not necessarily anti-religious or anti-spiritual. To his credit, Abdou does well in highlighting the transhistorical importance of the Prophet Muhammad's anti-racist ‘Farewell Address’ (632), and in citing humanistic verses from the Quran. These include ‘Let there be no compulsion in religion,’ and the idea that Allah made us ‘into peoples and tribes so that [we] may get to know one another,’ not abuse and oppress each other [1]. The author constructs an ‘anarcha-Islām’ that integrates orthodox Sunni Muslim thought with Indigenous and decolonial critiques of globalisation. He laments and criticizes the supportive role often played by diasporic Muslims in settler-colonial societies like the USA and Canada, through their putative affirmation of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism. Although he is a strong proponent of political Islam, Abdou also recognizes that trans-Atlantic slavery had its origin in Muslim-occupied Iberia, known as al-Andalus [2].

That being said, for better or worse, the overall trajectory of Abdou's argument reflects the author's orthodox Sunni bias. Even if Sunnis do comprise the vast majority of the world's Muslim population—and thus, perhaps, a considerable part of Abdou's intended audience—there is nonetheless a stunning lack of discussion in this book of Shi'ism (the second-largest branch of Islam) or Sufism (an Islamic form of mysticism practiced by both Sunni and Shi'ites). In a new review in Organise Magazine, Jay Fraser likewise highlights the author’s ‘odd choice,’ whereby ‘the Sufi tradition [...] receives no mention whatsoever.’ Besides being intellectually misleading for a volume with such an expansive title as Islam and Anarchism, such omissions are alarming, as they convey an exclusionary message to the supercharged atmosphere of the Muslim world.

Islam and Anti-Authoritarianism

At the outset of his book, Abdou proposes that a properly Muslim anarchism should be constructed on the basis of the Quran, the ahadith (the Prophet Muhammad's sayings), and the sunnah (Muhammad's way of life) [3]. This is a paradoxically neo-orthodox Sunni approach that overlooks the contributions of both 1) Shi’ites, who place less stress on the sunnah, and 2) several anti-authoritarian and anarchistic Muslim thinkers, individual and collective, who emerged during and after Islam’s so-called ‘Golden Age’ (c. 700-1300). In this sense, although Abdou would follow the ‘venerable ancestors’ (al-salaf al-salih) from Islam’s earliest period, he does not discuss Abu Dharr al-Ghifari (?-652), one of the very first converts to Islam. Al-Ghifari was known for his socialist views, and revered by Shia as one of the ‘Four Companions’ of the fourth ‘Rightly Guided’ (Rashidun) caliph, Ali ibn Abi Talib (559-661) [4].

Neither does the author examine the utopian radicalism of the sociologist Ali Shariati (1933-1977), who inspired the Iranian Revolution of 1979 against the U.S.-installed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. In writings and lectures, Shariati espoused a ‘red’ Shi'ism that celebrates insurgency and martyrdom, by contrasting this with the ‘black Shi'ism’ instituted by the Safavid dynasty (1501-1734), one of early modernity's infamous ‘gunpowder empires,’ which forcibly converted most Iranians to Shi'ism while persecuting Sunnis and Sufis [5]. Despite their separation by sect, this is an unfortunate missed connection between Abdou and Shariati, in light of the similarity of their analysis of tawhid, or the allegiance to God as the sole authority (Malik al-mulk) mandated by Islam [6]. (Likewise, monotheistic loyalty is demanded by the Judeo-Christian First Commandment.)

Through his elucidation of ‘Anarcha-Islām,’ which ‘adopts and builds on traditional [Sunni] orthodox non-conformist Islamist thinkers,’ Abdou does consider the revolutionary potential of Shi'i eschatology—crystallized in the prophesized return of the twelfth imam (or Madhi), who is expected to herald world peace—as evidence of an ‘internalized messiah and savior complex’ [7]. It is in the first place paradoxical for an ostensible anarchist to so overlook messianism, and especially troubling when such a Shi’i tradition is ignored by a Sunni Muslim developing an anarcha-Islām. Still, while Abdou pays lip service to the criticism of Muslim clerics, he hardly mentions the theocracy imposed by the Shi'i ulema (religious scholars) who appropriated the mass-revolutionary movement against the Shah for themselves over four decades ago, having spearheaded the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) since 1981.

Even more, in a November 2022 podcast interview on ‘Coffee with Comrades,’ Abdou complains in passing about the ‘mobilization of gendered Islamophobia’ in Iran following the murder by the ‘Morality Police’ of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year old Kurdish woman, two months prior for rejecting imposed veiling. Presumably, this is in response to criticism of Islamic hijab by Westerners and Iranians alike, but he does not make clear his opinion of the ongoing youth- and women-led mass-protests that have rocked the country since then. By contrast, members of Asr Anarshism (‘The Age of Anarchism’), based in Iran and Afghanistan, stress in an upcoming interview on The Commoner that the ‘struggle with the clerical class […] constitutes a basic part of our class struggles’ [8].

Likewise, the late Indian Marxist Aijaz Ahmad (1941-2022) openly viewed the IRI's ulema as ‘clerical-fascist[s],’ while Shariati would have likely considered these opportunistic, obscurantist lynchers as part and parcel of the legacy of ‘black Shi'ism’ [9]. In parallel, the Sri Lankan trade unionist Rohini Hensman takes the IRI to task for its abuse of women, workers, the LGBT community, and religious and ethnic minorities, just as she denounces Iran and Russia's ghastly interventions in Syria since 2011 to rescue Bashar al-Assad's regime from being overthrown [10]. Abdou's lack of commentary on Iran and Shi'ism in Islam and Anarchism is thus glaring.

Furthermore, in the conclusion to his book, Abdou questionably echoes the Kremlin's propaganda by blaming the mass-displacement of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) into Europe a decade ago exclusively on President Barack Obama's use of force, presumably against Libya and the Islamic State (IS, or Da’esh)—with no mention of the substantial ‘push factors’ represented by the atrocious crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Syrian, Iranian, and Russian states [11]. Worse, in his interview on ‘Coffee with Comrades,’ the author finds himself in alignment with the neo-Nazi Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke on Syria. Let us quote him at length:

‘It's so easy for David Duke to come out and say, 'Well, I'm against the war in Syria!' Well, how about that: an anti-imperialist stance coming from a white supremacist? Right? Well, of course I don't agree with him on much of anything else. […].

And again, this is where we have to be very intelligent and very smart. Of course, I feel for my Syrian kin. They are my own blood. But, if you ask me now with regards to Bashar al-Assad, I will say: keep him in power. Why? I’m able to distinguish between tactics and strategy. Unless you have an alternative to what would happen if Bashar was removed, let alone, what would you do with the State: please, please stay at home. Because what you will create is precisely a vacuum for Da’esh [the Islamic State]. You will create a vacuum for imperialism, for colonialism to seep in.’

Abdou here affirms a cold, dehumanizing, and statist illogic that is entirely in keeping with the phenomenon of the pseudo-anti-imperialist defense of ‘anti-Western’ autocracies like Syria, Russia, China, and Iran [12]. In reality, in the first place, both openly anti-Assad rebels and TEV-DEM in Rojava have presented alternatives to the Ba’athist jackboots, and the Free Syrian Army and YPG/SDF forces have fought Da’esh. The YPG/SDF continue to do so, despite facing a new threat of destruction at the hands of the Turkish State and the regime axis. Beyond this, does Abdou believe Russia’s military intervention in Syria since 2015 somehow not to have been imperialist? Millions of displaced Syrians would likely disagree with the idea. We can recommend For Sama, about the fall of Aleppo in 2016, as documentary evidence of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war crimes.

According to Leila al-Shami and Shon Meckfessel, ‘[m]any fascists take Russia’s backing of Assad as reason enough to support him,’ and the global far right is even heartened and inspired by the regime-axis’s ultraviolence and unmitigated cruelty [13]. Indeed, in this vein, for over a decade, Russian State media and their fascist and ‘tankie’ (neo-Stalinist) enthusiasts have blamed the West for problems perpetrated by the Kremlin and its allies themselves—from mass-refugee flows from Syria to genocide in Ukraine. It is therefore disturbing to see Abdou betray anarchism and internationalism by not only reiterating deadly disinformation, but also by openly endorsing Assad’s tyranny.

Sufism and the Ulema-State Alliance

The cover of this book is a sketch of Al-Ghazali, sitting with a book in his left arm.Cover illustration of The Confessions of Al-Ghazali (1909)

Although Sunni orthodoxy, jihadist revivalism, institutionalized Shi'ism, and secular autocracies are undoubtedly oppressive, Sufism has been misrepresented by many Orientalists as negating these stifling forces. In reality, while some Sufis have ‘preached antiauthoritarian ideas,’ Sufism is not necessarily progressive [14]. Although the Persian thinker Ghazali (1058-1111, above) resigned from teaching at an orthodox madrasa in 1095 to preach Sufism and condemn political authority—only to return to teaching at a similar madrasa late in life—he played a key role in legitimizing the toxic alliance between ulema (religious scholars) and State. Moreover, by affirming mysticism, asceticism, and irrationalism, Sufi sheikhs have often re-entrenched spiritual and sociopolitical hierarchies [15].

Actually, the Janissary shock-troops of the Ottoman Empire belonged to the Bektashi Sufi Order, and the autocratic Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is reported to be part of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order. Furthermore, Shah Waliullah Dehlawi (1703-1762), who inspired the founders of the Deobandi school of Islam—a variant of which the Taliban has imposed on Afghanistan twice through terror—was a Sufi master. On the other hand, so were Nizamuddin Auliya (1238-1325), who advocated a Sufism critical of class divisions and despotism; Muhammad Ahmad bin Abdallah (1844-1885), a Nubian warrior and self-proclaimed Mahdi who spearheaded a jihad against the Ottomans, Egyptians, and British in Sudan; and Imam Shamil (1797-1871), an Avar chieftain who led anti-colonial resistance to Russian conquest of the Caucasus for decades.

In his compelling study of comparative politics, Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment (2019), Ahmet Kuru provides important insights into the historical trajectory of the Muslim world, vis-à-vis Western Europe. He shows how an alliance between the State and ulema was adopted by the Seljuk Empire in the eleventh century, and then inherited and upheld by the Mamluk, Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires, prior to European colonization. Its noxious legacy undoubtedly persists to this day, not only in theocratic autocracies like Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, and the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), but also in ostensibly secular military dictatorships, such as Syria and Egypt, and electoral autocracies like Turkey. This is despite past top-down efforts to secularize and modernize Islamic society by breaking up the power of the ulema, as Sultan Mahmud II, the Young Ottomans, the Young Turks, and Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) sought to do during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries [16]—notwithstanding the chauvinism and genocidal violence of these Turkish leaders, echoes of which resonate in Azerbaijani attacks on Armenia in September 2022.

In the remainder of the first part of this article, I will review Abdou’s account of anarcha-Islām. The second part will focus on Kuru's arguments about Islam, history, and politics, tracing the anti-authoritarianism of early Islam, and contemplating the origins and ongoing despotism of the ulema-State alliance.

Abdou's Islam and Anarchism

 Relationships and Resonances

In his book, Abdou mixes post-anarchism (an ideology combining post-modernism, post-structuralism, and nihilism) with Islamic revivalism to yield “anarcha-Islām,” a framework which rejects liberalism, secularism, human rights, and democracy almost as forms of taqut, or idolatry [17]. His study thus bears the distinct imprints of the thought of Egyptian jihadist Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), whom he regards as a ‘non-conformist militant conservativ[e]’ [18] (Notably, Qutb has inspired al-Qaeda and the Islamic State). In keeping with the Qutbist view that all existing societies are jahili, or equivalent to the ostensible ‘state of ignorance’ in Arabia before the rise of Islam, Abdou laments and denounces the Saudi ruling family's commercialization of Mecca and Medina, and makes comments that are not unsympathetic toward the egoist Max Stirner, plus Muhammad Atta and other terrorists [19]. He describes the U.S. as a ‘Crusading society.’

Abdou endorses researcher Milad Dokhanchi’s view of decolonization as ‘detaqutization’ (the iconoclastic destruction of idolatry, or taqut) and condemns the ‘homonationalist and colonial/imperial enforcement of queer rights (marriage, pride) […]’ [20]. Even the mere concept that ‘queer rights are human rights’ is irretrievably imperialist for him [21]. Moreover, he focuses more on violence than social transformation through working-class self-organization—in keeping with an insurrectionist orientation [22]. In sum, the author himself confesses to being an ‘anti-militaristic militant jihādi[23].

Ibn Rushd (Averroes), depicted by Italian painter Andrea Bonaiuto (1343-1377)

Through his conventional reliance on the Quran and ahadith and his parallel avowal of anarchic ijtihad (‘independent reasoning’), Abdou mixes the rationalism of Abu Hanifa (699-767) and the Hanafi school of jurisprudence with the orthodox literalism of Shafii (767-820) and Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780-855), the ‘patron saint’ of traditionalists who, together with Ghazali and Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328), pushed for the ulema-State alliance [24]. (By comparison, the Taliban has implemented a combination of the Deobandi school, a branch of the Hanafi tradition founded in British-occupied India in the nineteenth century, and Hanbalism, due to heavy influence from Gulf petro-tyrants.)

Considering the apparent risks involved in legitimizing religious fundamentalism, it is unfortunate that Abdou omits discussion of Muslim philosophers like the proto-feminist Ibn Rushd (Averroes, 1126-1198) and only mentions the Mutazilites—the first Islamic theologians, who espoused liberal-humanist views—and the anarchistic Kharijites in passing [25]. The Kharijites, who arose in the First Islamic Civil War (656-661), rejected the authority of the early Umayyad dynasty (661-750 CE), and even assassinated Ali ibn Abi Talib, the last Rashidun caliph. Some Kharijites rejected the need for an imam altogether [26]. In turn, the Mutazilites advocated reason and moral objectivism, while questioning the theological reliance on ahadith and divine commands. This is despite the mihna, or inquisition, imposed by the caliph Mamun from 833-851 to propagate Mutazila doctrine.

In his book, Abdou goes so far as to claim that ‘anti-authoritarianism [is] inherent to Islām’ [27]. Yet, he omits several important considerations here. For instance, he dismisses that the religion's name literally translates to ‘surrender’ or ‘submission,’ and ignores that the Quran mandates obedience to ‘those in authority’ [28]. Implicitly channeling the fatalism of the orthodox Sunni theologian Ashari (873-935) over the free will championed by the scholar Taftazani (1322-1390?), Abdou proclaims that ‘[n]othing belongs to our species, including our health, nor is what we “possess” a product of our will or our own “making”’ [29]. The ascetic, anti-humanist, and potentially authoritarian implications of this view are almost palpable: Abdou here asserts that neither our life nor our health is our own, and that we have little to no agency.

Against such mystifications, in God and the State (1882), Mikhail Bakunin describes how organised religion blesses hierarchical authority, while in The Essence of Christianity (1841), Ludwig Feuerbach contests the idea that religious directives are divine in origin, showing that they are instead human projections made for socio-political ends. According to the Persian iconoclast and atheist Ibn al-Rawandi (872-911), in this vein, prophets are akin to sorcerers, God is a human creation, and neither the Quran nor the idea of an afterlife in Paradise is anything special. Therefore, although Abdou claims to disavow authoritarian methods throughout his book, it is unclear how a fundamentalist belief in the divine authority of the Quran can be reasonably maintained without mandating a particularly orthodox approach to religion and politics.

Furthermore, Abdou presents his puzzling view that Islam is anti-capitalist, just as he affirms the faith's emphasis on property, banking, charity, and market competition—most of which are fundamentally bourgeois institutions [30]. The French historian Fernand Braudel is more blunt: ‘anything in western capitalism of imported origin undoubtedly came from Islam’ [31]. Indeed, Kuru observes that ‘the Prophet Muhammad and many of his close companions themselves were merchants,’ and that the name of the Prophet's tribe, Quraysh, is itself ‘derived from trade (taqrish)’ [32]. Economic historian Jared Rubin adds that ‘[t]he Arab conquests of the seventh and eighth centuries […] provided security and a unifying language and religion under which trade blossomed.’ Baghdad during the Abbasid dynasty (750-1258) was a riverine commercial hub, with each of its four gates ‘leading outward to the major trading routes’ [33]. In this sense, Islam may have influenced Protestantism, not only due to certain Muslims' critiques of political authority resonating in the Protestant Reformation, but also due to the two faiths mandating similar work ethics and fixations on profit [34]. That being said, ‘unlike Jesus, Muhammad commanded armies and administered public money’ [35].

Abdou avoids all of this in his presentation of anarcha-Islam. While such lacunae may be convenient, to consider them is to complicate the idea of coherently mixing orthodox Islam with the revolutionary anti-capitalist philosophy of anarchism [36].

As further evidence of Abdou's confused approach, the author engages early on in outright historical denialism regarding Muslim conquests during the seventh and eighth centuries, which involved widespread erasure of Indigenous peoples, but later block-quotes the poet Tamim al-Barghouti, who contradicts him by referring to these as ‘expansionary wars’ [37]. In one breath, Abdou praises the pedophile apologist Hakim Bey as an ‘influential anarchist theorist,’ and in the next, he asserts that truth regimes are different in ‘the East and Islām,’ compared to the West [38]. Such claims are consistent with the post-modern denial of reality. In Foucault and the Iranian Revolution (2005), Janet Afary and Kevin Anderson convincingly show the risks of this very approach, considering how Michel Foucault's belief that Iranian Shi'ites had a different ‘regime of truth’ from Westerners led this philosopher not only to uncritically support Khomeinism, but also to legitimize its newfound ulema-State alliance in the eyes of the world [39]. Unfortunately, Abdou’s perspective on the Syrian regime is not dissimilar.

A painting of two Arabic men sitting astride one another on camels and embracing.“Farewells of Abu-Zayd and Al-Harith” from the Maqamat of al-Hariri, c. 1240

Meanwhile, the author avows Muslim queerness with reference to bathhouse (hammam) cultures and the Maqamat of al-Hariri (see above). He could also have incorporated the hadith al-shabb, which conveys the Prophet's encounter with God in the beauty of a young man; quoted some of the homoerotic ghazals written by Persian poets like Rumi (1207-1273), Sa'adi (c. 1213-1292), and Hafez (c. 1325-1390); or considered the complaints of Crusaders about the normalization of same-sex bonds in Muslim society [40]. Indeed, the bisexual German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe viewed the meditative recitation of the ‘99 Names’ of God (al-asma al-husna) as a ‘litany of praise and glory’ [41]. Even so, Abdou does not acknowledge or critique the existence of homophobic and lesbophobic ahadith, much less contemplate how the Quranic tale of the Prophet Lut associates gay desire with male rape, thus closing off the possibility of same-sex mawaddah (or love and compassion) [42]. Instead, he cites an article from 2013 on the role of Islam in the treatment of mental illness, which explicitly perpetuates the reactionary view of homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder, without comment or condemnation [43]!

In contrast, researcher Aisya Aymanee Zaharin deftly elaborates a progressive revisionist account of queerness in Islam that is critical of social conservatism and heteronationalism among Muslims, particularly in the wake of European colonialism and the Wahhabist reaction, led by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Zaharin builds her case from the vantage point of an essentialist belief in the naturalness of same-sex attraction, the importance of human dignity and affection within Islam, and supportive Quranic verses mentioning how Allah has ‘created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may find comfort in them. And He has placed between you compassion and mercy’ [44].

Overall, Abdou endorses the classic shortcomings of post-colonialism and post-left anarchism in his conclusion. Here, he simultaneously provides an overwhelmingly exogenous explanation for the rise in Islamic-fundamentalist movements, denounces the ‘destructive legacy of liberalism,’ condemns Democrats' ‘obsession’ with Donald Trump, and provides discursive cover for Assad and Putin's crimes [45]. His downplaying of the dangers posed by Trump is clearly outdated and ill-advised. Although Abdou is right to criticize certain factors external to MENA, such as Western militarism and imperialism, he does not convincingly explain how anarcha-Islam can overcome existing authoritarianism and prevent its future resurgence, whilst simultaneously committing itself to the authority of a particular theology. Indeed, Abdou at times prioritises fundamentalism over progressivism and libertarian socialism—thus proving anarchist scholar Maia Ramnath’s point that the ‘same matrix [...] of neoliberal global capitalism [...] provides the stimulus for both left and right reactions’ [46].

Conclusion

In closing, I would not recommend Abdou's Islam and Anarchism very highly, principally because the author’s vision of ‘anarcha-Islām’ is exclusive rather than cosmopolitan, in keeping with post-modern, anti-humanist, and sectarian trends emanating from MENA and the West. In his own words, as we have seen, Abdou is a ‘militant jihādi[47]. Besides preaching revivalist, neo-orthodox Sunni Islam, he uses a primarily post-colonial perspective to critique settler-colonialism, white supremacy, and Western imperialism. There is no question that these are real ills that must be contested, but the post-colonial framing espoused by Abdou crucially overlooks internal authoritarian social dynamics while facilitating the avowal of the orthodoxies he affirms. This problem also extends to South Asia and its diaspora, as Hindu-nationalist sanghis have taken advantage of the naïveté of many Western progressives to normalize Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fascist rule [48]. Still, authoritarian rule does not appear to be Abdou’s goal, and his efforts to produce a non-authoritarian vision of Islam are at times noteworthy. A question this review poses is how, in mental and material terms, can adherence to an exclusive doctrine produce an anti-authoritarian world?

Whereas Abdou focuses on challenging and defeating Western hegemony, he avoids mention of the ills propagated by states other than the USA, the European Union, and their allies. Indeed, the disinformation he advances in the conclusion about Assad and Putin's lack of responsibility for atrocious crimes against humanity in Syria is one with post-colonialists' downplaying of Russian imperialism, especially in Ukraine. His outright ‘strategic’ support for Assad and lack of sympathy for the women’s protests in Iran, as revealed in the aforementioned podcast interview, typify pseudo-anti-imperialism. Beyond this, the author's post-anarchist views inform his denial about the expansionism practiced by Islam's early adherents, and his omissions about the close historical relationship between the new faith and commerce. It is apparent how far his anti-rationalist perspective is from that of the Mutazilites, al-Rawandi, and Ibn Rushd.

The Reality of a Diverse Islam and Diverse Anarchism - Jihad al-Haqq

While Abdou acknowledges the diversity of Islam, this is not reflected in the epistemology he attempts to write. Indeed, like the breadth and width of anarchist beliefs—from anarcha-feminism to egoist anarchism—any weaving together of Islamic belief and anarchism must respect that anarchist beliefs should be able to be built on the many different kinds of Islam that are practiced: Sunnism, Shi’ism, Isma’ilism, and so forth. This is something Abdou should have made clear. The mission of his work was to tie together Islam and anarchism in only one of its possible iterations, in the same way any anarchist proposing a future anarchist society in some theoretical work must concede that such a theoretical work only proposes how one anarchist society might look. This view is correct regardless of anarchist considerations: anthropologically, it is a basic truth that the religions practiced worldwide have many variations (much the same that languages have many variations over certain populations), that are themselves greatly affected by sociological factors, such as socio-economic status, existing power structures within a society, political beliefs, and so on.

Mohamed Abdou did mention this in the last chapter:

‘After all, as the Qur’ān emphasizes: “There is no Coercion in Religion,” and acknowledges: “And had thy Lord willed, all those who are on the earth would have believed all together. Wouldst thou compel people till they become believers?”20 There is no concept of favoritism in Islām. In the Creator’s sight the “best” are the tribes and nations that maintain social justice, egalitarian relations, and ethical and political conduct towards others and nonhuman life. The Qur’ān states: “Not all people are alike”…’

In other places, he reaffirmed the existing diversity of Islamic belief, but did not take it in the direction I hoped.

Ultimately, I fear that because of this precise consideration, Abdou’s project may have been doomed from the start. The synthesis of Islam and anarchism is up to the individual, and such syntheses might go on to become socially popular. Indeed, one of Abdou’s major pillars is that of “ijtihad,” that is, independent reasoning—even if one did not take ijtihad into account, Islam regardless would be diverse politically. The best a work like this can do is to point out anarchistic considerations in developing an interpretation of Islam that is anti-state, anti-capitalist, and so forth; but not establish an anarcha-Islam in its own right. The aim of this work ought to be like a commentary, not a second Qur’an. Nevertheless, it is, in the grand scheme of things, worthy of consideration for both praise and criticism.

Works Cited

Abdou, Mohamed 2022. Islam and Anarchism: Relationships and Resonances. London: Pluto.

Achcar, Gilbert 2009. The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives. New York: Metropolitan Books.

Afary, Janet and Kevin B. Anderson 2005. Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Ahmad, Aijaz 1998. “Right-Wing Politics, and the Cultures of Cruelty.” Social Scientist, vol. 26, no. 9/10. 3-25.

al-Shami, Leila and Shon Meckfessel 2022. “Why Does the US Far Right Love Bashar al-Assad?” ¡No Pasarán! Ed. Shane Burley. Chico, Calif: AK Press. 192–209.

Asr Anarshism 2022. Forthcoming interview. The Commoner (https://www.thecommoner.org.uk).

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von 2010. West-East Divan. Trans. Martin Bidney. Albany: State University of New York.

Haarman, Ulrich 1978. “Abu Dharr: Muhammad's Revolutionary Companion.” Muslim World, vol. 68, issue 4. 285–9.

Hammond, Joseph 2013. “Anarchism.” The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought. Eds. Gerhard Bowering et al. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 36–7.

Hensman, Rohini 2018. Indefensible: Democracy, Counterrevolution, and the Rhetoric of Anti-Imperialism. Chicago: Haymarket Books.

Kuru, Ahmet T. Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: A Global and Historical Analysis. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Lewinstein, Keith 2013. “Kharijis.” The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought. Eds. Gerhard Bowering et al. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 294–5.

Quran. Trans. Mustafa Khattab. Available online: https://quran.com. Accessed 13 August 2022.

Ramnath, Maia 2022. “The Other Aryan Supremacy.” ¡No Pasarán! Ed. Shane Burley. Chico, CA: AK Press. 210-69.

Rubin, Jared 2013. “Trade and commerce.” The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought. Eds. Gerhard Bowering et al. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 552–4.

Shariati, Ali 2003. Religion vs. Religion. Trans. Laleh Bakhtiar. ABC International Group.

Williams, Wesley 2002. “Aspects of the Creed of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal: A Study of Anthropomorphism in Early Islamic Discourse.” International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 34, no. 3. 441–463.

Zaharin, Aisya Aymanee M. 2022. “Reconsidering Homosexual Unification in Islam: A Revisionist Analysis of Post-Colonialism, Constructivism and Essentialism.” Religions 13:702. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13080702.

Notes

[1] Abdou 115; Quran 2:256, 49:13 (emphasis added).


[2] Abdou 138.


[3] Ibid vii, 14.


[4] Haarman.


[5] Shariati; Kuru 181.


[6] Abdou 10-11, 84; Shariati 26-7.


[7] Abdou 101, 127-46.


[8] Asr Anarshism, forthcoming interview in The Commoner.


[9] Ahmad.


[10] Hensman 119-50.


[11] Abdou 231-2; Hensman.


[12] Hensman.


[13] al-Shami and Meckfessel 198, 208.


[14] Hammond 36.


[15] Kuru 40-2, 48, 103-112, 143-5.


[16] Ibid 216-30.


[17] Abdou 5-8, 32-3, 75, 226.


[18] Ibid 23.


[19] Kuru 25-6; Abdou 168-9, 175, 181.


[20] Abdou 41, 74-5.


[21] Ibid 81.


[22] Ibid 188-220.


[23] Ibid 209 (emphasis in original).


[24] Kuru 17-18, 94-5, 202, 227; Williams 442.


[25] Abdou 17-18.


[26] Lewinstein.


[27] Abdou 207, 228.


[28] Quran 4:59.


[29] Kuru 129; Abdou 149.


[30] Abdou 147-64.


[31] Quoted at Kuru 159.


[32] Kuru 80-1.


[33] Rubin 553.


[34] Ibid 81n86, 200.


[35] Kuru 94.


[36] Abdou 13.


[37] Abdou 47, 123-4, 195.


[38] Ibid 30, 54-5.


[39] Afary and Anderson 50.


[40] Williams 443-8; Zaharin 3, 9.


[41] Goethe 201.


[42] Zaharin 4-8.


[43] Abdou 97, 271n84.


[44] Zaharin 12-17 (emphasis added); Quran 30:21-2.


[45] Abdou 230-2.


[46] Achcar 104–8; Ramnath 244.


[47] Abdou 209 (emphasis in original).


[48] Ramnath.

Cover image is Nasir al-Mulk Mosque (The Pink Mosque), Shiraz, Iran (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license), by Mohammadreza Amini.

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