Behind Islamophobia, Fascism and Complicit Antifascism

by Houria Bouteldja

To exist is to exist politically

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This paper was presented by Houria Bouteldja in April 2014 at the fifth international conference on Islamophobia at Berkely. It was translated from French by Geneviève Rail.

By way of introduction, I would like to start by saying that the situation in France and in Europe is quite worrisome. The economic crisis magnifying the situation, we observe, across the continent, the problematic rise of far-right, fascist and neo-Nazi forces. These radical nationalisms are increasingly uninhibited. Some of them take part, democratically, in different elections and quietly become institutionalized. The National Front is the third political power in France, and its president is a woman with a steel grip who does not hide her ambitions for the country’s presidency. To reach this objective, she will stop at nothing to make her party appear respectable and she is admirably successful. Admittedly, her task is facilitated by a number of circumstances. For instance, Islamophobia — and more exactly a State-supported anti-Muslim type of racism — is a national sport in France. The white political field that goes from the extreme right to the extreme left is completely contaminated. However, we must be precise in our analyses. Let me unpack some of this.
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The Right to Bread and Social Justice

Chants for bread and social justice didn’t emerge out of the January 25, 2011 revolution. Long before 2011, a strong protest movement existed against the economic policies of former President Mubarak and his regime, which gained momentum in 2006 through the protests and strikes of labor workers in Mahalla al-Kubra.Continue Reading

Novorossiya’s ‘Leftist’ Friends

The frenzied world-wide front is expanding
 Mercy to no one, no one, no one!
Stanza from 1989 Russian anarchists’ song Vintovka – eto prazdnik (The Rifle is a Holiday) by the Russian punk band Grazhdanskaya Oborona (Civil Defense)

By Aleksandr Volodarsky, originally published by Chetvyortaya Vlast’ and Translated by Michal Pszyk

The annexation of Crimea, the “Novorossiya” project, and the fight against the “Kyiv junta” are not supported in Russia alone.  There are political forces around the world, both marginal and relatively respectable, which voice their support for the separatists in the Donbass.  At times, activists themselves travel to the war zone as volunteers, but they mostly hold demonstrations in support of the separatist republics and pressure their governments to renounce their support for Ukraine and “stop the aggression against Russia.”Continue Reading

Allein Machen Sie Dich Ein

Cinema Utopia

Eine Dokumentation der Zürcher Häuserszene von den frühen Anfängen bis 1994 in 10 Teilen.

Bereits in den 50er-Jahren sammelte die Zürcher Jugend an den drei Züri-Festern Geld für ein Jugendhaus — ausdrücklich für die Jugendlichen, welche sich nicht in Vereinen organisieren wollten und liessen. 1980 wartete ‚die Jugend’ immer noch.
Ein kurzer Rückblick auf die erstmalige Forderung eines AJZ in den 60ern, das erste Allmendfest und die Besetzungen an der Venedig- und Hegibachstrasse leiten über zu den bewegten 80ern.Continue Reading

Ertrunken, ohne Pass oder Visa

Der letzte Feuerbrief, eines freien Syrier’s, ertrunken im Mittelmeer

Mutter entschuldige, weil das Schiff gesunken wurde und ich dort nicht ankommen konnte und ich das Geld nicht verdienen werde, um die Schulden für diese Reise zu begleichen.

Oh Mutter sei nicht traurig falls sie meinen Körper nicht finden. Wozu wäre das auch gut? Es gäbe zu hohe Ausgaben um meine Leiche zu verschiffen, Beerdigung und Beileidsbekundungen.Continue Reading

Ahogándose sin visa ni pasaporte

El último mensaje de un Sirio Libre ahogándose en el Mediterráneo

Perdóname mamá, porque el barco ha sido hundido y no pude llegar, y no voy a poder ganar el dinero para saldar las deudas que hemos hecho para pagar este viaje.

Oh mamá, no estés triste si no encuentran mi cuerpo, ¿cuál sería el beneficio? El transporte de mi cadáver, el entierro y las condolencias significarían demasiados gastos.

Perdóname mamá, porque la guerra ha acontecido y tuve que vivir como los demás, aunque mis sueños, como sabes, no eran tan grandes como los de los demás. Mis sueños fueron del tamaño de la caja de medicamentos para el colon y del precio del cuidado de tus dientes en el dentista.

A propósito, el color de mis dientes es verde, porque se le han pegado musgos, aunque siguen siendo más bellos que los dientes del dictador.Continue Reading