Kevin B. Anderson

Professor of Sociology, Political Science, and Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

[Los Angeles] The Charlie Hebdo Assassinations in Global Context: From France to the Middle East and Beyond

Date: Sunday, Febraury 22, 2015
Time: 7:00 - 9:30 PM
Venue: Westside Peace Center, 3916 Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 101-102, press #22 to get into room, Culver City (LA area)

Sunday, February 22, 2015
7:00-9:30 PM

Westside Peace Center
3916 Sepulveda Blvd., near Venice Blvd. (free parking in rear)
Suite 101-102, press #22 at door to get into building
Culver City (LA area)

Speakers:

  • Ali Kiani, Iranian Marxist activist and translator
  • Mansoor M., Iranian cultural worker
  • Kevin Anderson, author of “Marx at the Margins”

On the one hand, the assassination of the editors of French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” needs to be viewed in terms of the danger of ISIS and other radical Islamist groups bent on the destruction of the left and of secular democratic culture. These movements took the world stage with their hijacking of the Iranian revolution of 1979, followed a decade later by Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against Anglo-Indian writer Salman Rushdie, himself from a Muslim background, for allegedly insulting Islam. On the other hand, the recent French events show the results of decades of segregation, discrimination, and police harassment/imprisonment of immigrants of Muslim background from the Middle East and North Africa, and of their descendants. These racist policies have been abetted by Islamophobic, anti-immigrant movements and ideologies. If radical Islamism is a new form of reactionary ideology that can undergird oppressive regimes in the Muslim world, the same is also true of Islamophobia in Europe and other regions, with both of these ideologies feeding on each other. As part of the Left, how can we break this vicious cycle? How can we build upon the victory of the Kurds of Kobane, Syria against ISIS and that of the leftist Syriza Party in Greece in the face of efforts by a well-funded neofascist party that sought to blame immigrants for the crisis of capitalism?

Suggested background reading, available in English, Persian, and Spanish: Kevin Anderson, “The Paris Assassinations in Global Context,” International Marxist-Humanist, Jan. 12, 2015.