If you do not support Islamists, or Muslims generally, you must be supporting the State instead.
That is because the state is against Muslims and Islamists. Full stop. What incredible ‘binary logic’. What an illogical and absolutist use of the either/or. Yet this is how Trots think - in black and white terms. In ‘us and them’ terms and all the rest. This makes their politics and positions easy and therefore 'practical' and effective.
So this binary choice is something that the SWP simply takes for granted. But why not this? –
A position against BOTH Muslims/Islamists and the state.
The SWP/UAF is specific about its support for Muslims and Islamists and the reasons why some Leftists (and others) may be against them. Take the example of ‘secular values’. Leftists may be in favour of secular values. Muslims and Islamists, by definition, are not. Thus it follows that such Leftists must be or should be against Muslims and Islamists - they are against secular values.
THE SWP/UAF says that Leftists must not take this position against Islamists and Muslims because if they do, they will be siding with the State. Muslims are the Oppressed. Muslims are (usually) brown – or at least non-white. That is a good enough reason to support them.
Also, being for Muslims and Islam means being against the platonic State. And you must always be ‘against the state’ if you are a Marxist revolutionary:
‘With the Islamists sometimes, with the state never.’
As in the previous far-leftist dogma:
‘With the IRA sometimes. With the State never.’
The SWP defence of Islamism and the Islamists is even deeper than that. The SWP does not want the Islamists to be against the Leftists, just as it doesn’t want Leftists to be against the Islamists. Thus a lot of toe-sucking, Trot-to-Muslim, must and needs to take place. Such as. If Leftists attack Islamists, or even simply champion secular values, then that will
‘merely make it easier for the Islamists to portray the left as part of an “infidel”, “secularist” conspiracy of the “oppressors” against the most impoverished sections of society.’
Thus Trots have to pretend not to be atheists and secularists when in the company of the Bearded Ones. (What other stratagems of deceit do they indulge in? Join the EDL forum to stir things up by saying that 'Muslims must be exterminated'?)
Thus the very defence of secular values is taken by the SWP to be some kind of attack on Muslims – ‘the most impoverished section of society’. And the platonic Oppressed can never be - or do - wrong – even when they are not actually oppressed but only Brown and Exotic.
So SWP members must not speak about secular values or atheism or Marxist materialism in front of their potential Islamist or Muslim ‘comrades’ or collaborators. They must hide their Marxist atheism. However, you either support secular values/materialist-Marxist atheism or you do not, regardless of how others (in this case, Islamists) interpret or see your position. Surely you cannot deny your belief in secular values or Marxist materialism simply because it will alienate your potential Muslim comrades or collaborators? Again, this is just a case of Trotskyists keeping quiet when Muslims are around.
However, the SWP itself can be seen to be against secular values. Does it also see secular values as being ‘bourgeois inventions’?
If you do not support secular values, mustn’t you support religious or theocratic values instead? Surely the SWP does not support the latter. Unless the SWP believes that this is not a simple choice between binary opposites – secular values versus theocratic/religious values. It may well be the case that if secular values are seen as bourgeois or capitalistic by the SWP, then there may well be other options. What about Marxist values? Or even a valueless system or ideology? After all, Marx himself said that moral philosophy, or morality/ethics itself, is a bourgeois/capitalist ‘invention’. He certainly believed such things to be class-based and class-determined. How could a Marxist not think that?
The SWP itself has given examples of Leftists supporting the state against Muslims or Islamists. The Left in Algeria and Egypt ‘praised regimes that were… [seen by them] as “progressive”’. This praise from Leftists was in response to the Algerian and Egyptian regimes attempts to secularise the state. However, according to the SWP, the Left should never have done such a thing. They should be against ‘the state at all times’, even when it is secularising itself. (This explains its mad pro-Islamist position here in the UK.) According to the SWP, this secularising behaviour of Egypt and Algeria did ‘nothing for the mass of people’. Not only that, it ‘enabled the Islamists to grow’. (Thus anti-Islamism or anti-Jihadist policies or beliefs 'do nothing for the people' in the UK.)
So be careful about who or what you support. This is a position of complete rejection of the state:
i) Even if the state is offering the working people higher wages and shorter hours, the SWP must still be against the state.
ii) If the State does ANYTHING against Islamism or Muslim militancy it should never be supported.
Such is the absolutist position of the SWP. This helps explain some of the nasty causes, groups and individuals they have supported over the years - from the introduction of halal meat, the support of Muslim bigots and women-haters, the support of (Muslim) single-sex schools, etc:
i) The SWP must never support the state even if it is against ritual slaughter.
ii) Contrawise, the SWP must always support minorities or oppressed groups, no matter what they believe or what they do.
You wonder, then, about the nature of this SWP support of Islamists and Muslims generally. Specifically when you note that the SWP says that socialists must ‘combine complete political independence from all forms of Islamism’. What form would this independence actually take (especially bearing in mind the care and attention Leftists must show when dealing with Islamists and Muslims)? For example, surely if Marxists stressed and even argued for atheism, and other positions at odds with Islam, this would be bound to alienate Muslims from Leftists. This is something that the SWP itself seems to argue. Again, what kind of independence is the SWP talking about? It is a silent independence. An independence which does not speak its name – at least not in front of Islamists or Muslims generally.
SWP members must catch Islamists or Muslims when they are off guard rather than pontificate about Marxism in front of them. For example, despite SWP members keeping quiet about their beliefs in front of Islamists and Muslims, it is still the case that they should show a
‘willingness to seize opportunities to draw individual Islamists into genuinely radical forms of struggle alongside them’.
This is a case of SWP members keeping an eye out for Islamists or Muslims having doubts about Islam - and then jumping in for the kill. But the SWP should only do so when a genuine opportunity to draw individual Islamists into the fold shows itself.
All this is very ambivalent and cynical on the SWP’s part. Indeed it is classic Trotskyism – the doing and saying of anything to further the cause of Trotskyism or Revolution or Radicalisation. In this case it means collaborating with Islamists but at the same time being observant of the ‘opportunities to draw individual Islamists’ towards the true path of Trotskyism or Marxism. This is also pure realpolitik.