Published on: October 30, 2007
Author's note: The following article is from Issue #5 of the journal Upping the Anti. Please help support this "Journal of Theory and Action" by ordering hard copies and a subscription at http://www.uppingtheanti.org.
from the article:
At the moment, imperialism poses a much greater danger to humanity than fascism. And Islamists - not the left - are the main force resisting it in Western Asia, where it is most brazen and barbaric. This does not mean that the American left can't criticize Islamism and Islamists, but to do so by mechanically applying a "theory" derived mostly from white anti-racist work in North America to the Middle East on the basis of little knowledge of the history, politics, and social movements of the region is highly problematic. The result is a reliance on generalizations, a lack of concrete examples (historical, current, or even personal experiences) and, therefore, little context - all of which contribute to racism and Islamophobia. This is not to say that Lyons, Staudenmaier, and others who subscribe to the TWF are racist. But their lack of, to use Staudenmaier's phrase, "a sophisticated and dynamic political analysis" of issues related to Arabs and Muslims does nothing to fight racism and may even contribute to it.