Islamism

Women's Fightback: Taliban ban women actors

The Taliban have banned dramas and soap operas which include women actors. This comes as part of newly announced directive from the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. The Taliban also called on women television journalists to wear the hijab when presenting. The Ministry called for banning films or programmes that were against Islamic and Afghan values, a vague formulation. “These are not rules but a religious guideline”, ministry spokesman Hakif Mohajir told AFP. Afghan television channels have offered a wide range of programmes — outside of news the most popular have...

Afghanistan, the Taliban and the British left: lessons from 2001

Everyone on the left is saying that the current disaster in Afghanistan shows that no-one should rely on US militarism to deal with the danger of Islamist militarism like the Taliban's. And that's true. No-one on the left is claiming that the Taliban taking Kabul is a victory for liberation, anti-imperialism, or self-determination. Right again: it isn't. It's a result which threatens to crush all women's rights and almost all personal liberties, let along collective civil rights, for the people of Afghanistan's cities especially. But then why did a large chunk of the left implicitly or...

Women's Fightback: Support Afghan women against the Taliban

The Taliban continues to make rapid territorial gains in Afghanistan following the announcement that almost all foreign troops will leave by September. The Taliban has captured half of the territory of Afghanistan, particularly the rural areas, and several provincial capitals. Fighting has increased around the major cities of Herat, Lashkar Gah and Kandahar. Tens of thousands of Afghans have applied for visas to leave the country, fearing Taliban reprisals. The US and Afghan government have responded by airstrikes and bombing of Taliban positions. Workers’ Liberty has never supported the US...

Against the Taliban surge: and no confidence in "interventions"

As US, British, and other troops quit Afghanistan, predictably the Taliban is surging forward. The Taliban had been stalling in negotiations for a post-withdrawal settlement, and there had been an increase in sectarian-Islamist attacks on civilians in the cities (some disavowed by the Taliban, but with not much credibility). Our answer is not to plead with the USA to put its troops back in Afghanistan. US troops had been there for 20 years, and left the Taliban stronger than they were when Northern Alliance forces (with fairly light US support at the time) routed the Taliban in 2001. Nor is it...

Protests in the West Bank

Protests are continuing in the Palestinian Authority (PA) area of the West Bank after PA police killed Nizar Banat. The PA is able to govern in a limited way — in practice, mostly to administer international aid money and pay police forces — in an area comprising some 165 separate patches of the West Bank, surrounded by Israeli control. Banat, an ex-member of Fatah, the party dominant in the PA, had criticised the PA for corruption and its cancellation yet again of Palestinian elections. PA police invaded the house in Hebron where Banat was staying and seized him. He died soon after. The PA...

Socialist Worker choose its "resistance"

Socialist Worker has detailed and decried deaths and casualties in Gaza. And rightly so! But Socialist Worker has not found the space or the inclination to report on protests by movements like Standing Together. Instead, it refers to Hamas, persistently and euphemistically, as a “resistance organisation”, and compares it in favourable terms to other Palestinian forces for its “militancy”. Hamas is a far-right political-Islamist party and militia with its origins in the Muslim Brotherhood. It favours the military conquest of Israel and the setting up of an Islamic state in historic Palestine...

Punishment without trial

The UK Supreme Court has upheld the government’s removal of citizenship from East London woman Shamima Begum, who went to Syria six years ago to support Daesh / ISIS. The court said that Begum has a right to contest the decision, but the government has a right to bar her from re-entering the UK, which means she cannot exercise the right to contest it. Begum devoted herself to supporting a monstrous, blood-soaked ideology and movement (though she was only 15 when she went). But the removal of her citizenship is a setback, not a victory, for human rights. Since 2003 the UK government’s legal...

Afghanistan: expect anything except peace

Joe Biden will take over as president from Donald Trump on 20 January with the USA in the midst of its second or maybe third attempt to extricate itself from Afghanistan. After the 11 September 2001 Al Qaeda attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, the USA sent troops and support to help Northern Alliance warlords in Afghanistan to drive out the Taliban, which then controlled most of the country and provided a reserve base for Al Qaeda. The Northern Alliance won quickly. The Taliban abandoned the capital city, Kabul, which they had ruled since 1996, before Northern Alliance troops even...

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