Zero Squared #72: Radical Islam?

Jun 23rd, 2016 | By | Category: Articles, Zero Squared

zeropod72Nadim Bakhshov is the guest this week as we continue a conversation about Islam that we started in episode forty-nine entitled Against Capitalist Education. Nadim is the author of a book from Zero with that same title, he is an apostate of a sort, and he was very patient as he discussed the fractured nature of the Muslim faith. This is a conversation that attempts to put the mass shooting in Orlando into a partial context, one that specifically tries to take on the question of Radical Islam from a left perspective, and I want to encourage listeners to respond either with comments on the blog or on Facebook or Twitter.

In this episode you’ll hear a clip describing the philosophy of Emile Durkheim, a clip from the BBC about Nadim’s student who joined ISIS despite Nadim’s best efforts to guide him away from the worst interpretations of the Koran and Islam, as well as some music from the Bezmara Ensemble.

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One Comment to “Zero Squared #72: Radical Islam?”

  1. Mike says:

    Hey Doug. Great episode. I think this discussion is a much needed one especially at our present time where extremist Islam has become so ascendant. As I was listening to Nadim talk about the stagnation of Islam and how it has become a political force in our modern world, two things came to mind.

    The first was that old quite by Marx; “All that is solid melts into air.” This hit me when Nadim began talking about how many of these young men who become Muslim radicals experience feelings alienation and isolation in their respected communities. This seems to be a general phenomenon and one you and your partner in crime C. Derrick Varne have gone over in considerable detail in episode 56: Trolls and Tumblrites. As capitalism develops and dissolves whatever community remains in our society it seems to me everyone starts to feel a sense of alienation; a sense that the ground underneath you has given and that you have nothing to fall back on for communal and social support. When this happens people seem to gravitate to this extremist ideology or that extremist ideology. In the case of the Muslim community, these young men who feel disillusioned dummy down on Islam. I think we’re going to see more of this come about at our present and I don’t think radical Islam is the only problem that’ll come out of this. I saw a similar kind of radicalization in people like the Charleston Shooter, Dylann Roof. In fact his background resembles many of these young guys who turn to Islam. I was shocked when I found out this guy also had drug problems which is a recurrent feature in many of these Islamic radicals (supposedly I’ve heard there is a massive problem with drug abuse amongst many members within ISIS.)

    And this brings me to the second thought I had while listening to the episode and that’s that other famous Marxist quote, this time by the German Marxist Walter Bejamin; “behind every fascism there is a failed revolution.” One of the things that concerns me when it comes to radical Islam isn’t radical Islam itself but how more reactionary ideologies and movements might begin to take hold and proliferate in these communities as they become undone by capitalism. It seems to me so long as there isn’t some progressive program proposed by the left, these foul reactionary beliefs will continue to spread in these communities. I feel we’re going to get more Dylann Roofs and Omar Mateens so long as there isn’t some left wing movement that can help provide these people with an alternative to their present. I think more and more people around the world will start to get seduced into these reactionary movements. For some it’ll be radical Islam, for others it might Christian fundamentalism or some horrific modern variant on white supremacy. This is one of the big issues in feel the left faces. It’s something we desperately need to think about and we can’t afford to just roll with the old politically correct line of thought. Reactionary movements like radical Islam will continue to spread so long as the left doesn’t have a competing program that can organize people and help them construct an alternative society or at least improve the society we already got in a substantial way.

    Anyway thanks for letting me ramble and I would love to hear more of your thoughts on this subject and hopefully have a bigger discussion on this issue. I’m glad you and Nadim decided to tackle this issue on this episode. We need more of this on the left.

    Much thanks,
    Mike

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