The Prophet and the Proletariat

Islamic Fundamentalism, Class and Revolution

By Chris Harman

Islamic fundamentalism has emerged as the ideology that Western politicians and media pundits most like to hate. The kind of abuse once reserved for ‘Communism’ is now diredcted at the Islamic movements which threaten to destabilise key areas of Western influence in the Middle East and beyond. But the campaign against Islamism has found allies on the left among those fearful that it threatens an irrationalist, even fascist, backlash.

Chris Harman charts a careful course through the contradictions of Islamism, revealing its class roots and arguing that when the Islamists are in opposition the socialist attitude should be ‘with the state never, with the Islamists sometimes’. He goes on to show in which circumstances Islamism plays a reactionary role and in which circumstances the Islamic challenge the establishment.

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