Written by May Assir and Gabriel Huland
*Website Editor’s Note Below are some translated excerpts. A fully translated piece will be posted when it is ready.
Am I Charlie?
We condemn the assassination of the artists but we’re not defenders of the contents of the magazine. This is precisely because we agree with the freedom of expression to criticize comics and the Islamophobic cover-pages that were published by the magazine in France, where Muslims represent about 10% of the population. Even as satire, we believe that some of these drawings (For example: An Egyptian departure being riddled with a Koran in front, alluding to the slaughter committed by the Egyptian military junta in 2013) are offensive and promotes racism. Thus, even though we condemn the attack, “We are not Charlie”.
No to National Unity
The fight against religious fanaticism is inseparable from the struggle against racism, against colonialism, against chauvinism and patriotism, against militarism and the use of police force against the poor, the young and immigrants. It is also inseparable from the struggle against the oppression of minorities, against all reactions of conservatism that capitalism feeds.
The battle against terrorism and Islamophobia can not be carried out by performing “national unity”, as proposed by Hollande and the EU. These are governments that continue the offensive against workers, strengthens measures that exclude the immigrant population, applies cuts and weakens the labor market.
Only the mobilization of workers and youth can defend democratic freedoms and defeat terrorism. The unity of the labor movement and its organizations should, also in this issue, work on creating a separate space/movement from the government, the institutions of the V Republic and the bourgeois parties.
Given the rise of Islamophobia, we stress the following: native or foreign, we are all part of the working class!”