Solidarity 113, 7 June 2007

Defend Malalai Joya!

By Sacha Ismail

The warlords, medievalist religious fanatics and drug traffickers who dominate Afghanistan’s “parliament” don’t like Malalai Joya, of the country’s very few women MPs, one bit. Her exposure of their war crimes, her promotion of women and children’s rights and her advocacy of universal education have made her the victim of four assassination attempts, and she has to pay for her own 24-hour protection. Now they are trying to expel her from their midst.

An open letter to Attila the Stockbroker (and Attila's reply)

Stop the War, punk and sexism (and Attila's reply)

On 27 May, a group of young AWL members went to a Stop the War benefit gig in Balham and caused a bit of a stir by objecting to some lyrics in one of Attila the Stockbroker’s songs. Here one of them shares her thoughts with him.

Dear Attila the Stockbroker,

US Iraq plan in chaos, but Islamists offer no answer

by Colin Foster

Is a new nationalist political alliance emerging in Iraq, non-sectarian or at least cross-sectarian? Some reporters in the USA claim it is. The balance of evidence, I think, indicates not.

The claim for the existence of a new alliance rests on a “legislative petition” submitted in the Iraqi parliament on 8 May calling for the USA to set a timetable for withdrawal.

Why the cardinal went political

By Maria Exall

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of Scotland’s Catholic church, has made an unprecedented threat to Catholic politicians: support the church’s position on abortion or face excommunication. While Catholic intervention on the issue of abortion is par for the course, such a direct intervention is a new departure. What has caused this outbreak of “political Catholicism”?

Anti-gay backlash in Eastern Europe

By Tom Unterrainer

The past few weeks have seen courageous actions by gay communities in Russia, Latvia and Poland. For the second year running their efforts to celebrate gay identity and organise a movement that will fight for gay rights have been met with violent opposition from the state, religious and far-right groups — more often a combination of all three.

Will SSP see through Galloway?

by Stan Crooke

“Over the past three years, the SSP has been supportive of George Galloway in his battles with Blair and the New Labour hierarchy over the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq… Despite our disagreements, the SSP supported George’s moves to form a broad, leftwing, anti-war party in England after his expulsion from New Labour in 2003,” explained an article in Scottish Socialist Voice (paper of the SSP – Scottish Socialist Party) in December 2004.

Israel-Palestine: two nations, two states - End the Occupation!


Sacha Ismail

40 years ago this week, Israel fought the Six Day War against an alliance of Arab states seeking to destroy it, and won a crushing victory. The armed forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, with troops and arms from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Algeria, were comprehensively defeated, and Israeli forces occupied Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Curb the cardinals!

The march of organised religion into the centre of political life continues, as does the growth of religious sectarianism as a force in British politics. The latest sign is the outrageous speech of Cardinal Keith O’Brien against abortion in Edinburgh on 31 May.

O’Brien’s speech followed on Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s recent speech on lesbian and gay rights.

O’Brien called on Catholic politicians of all parties to act as religious sectarians — that is, to use their political power and influence to change the law and impose their views on people who do not agree with them.

Sinn Fein setback in south

By Paddy Dollard

The most important thing in the recent Republic of Ireland general election is what happened to Sinn Fein. Its leaders had boasted that they would at the very least, double their six seats in the Dail (parliament). In fact, though there was a slight increase in their total vote, they lost a seat. They now have only five.

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