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Fundamentalism, a challenge for the Left

An interview with Farooq Tariq, Labor Party Pakistan, on the importance of the fight against religious fundamentalism.

The idea of interviewing Farooq Tariq came from a lecture he gave during the Asian Global Justice School in Manila at the end of July 2012. I remember him stating firmly that Marxism is totally opposite of religion, particularly because the main basis of religion is private property, which is in line with class based society and capitalism. He also highlighted the position of LPP towards religion, that they dont discuss religion nor make jokes about it, just as they oppose using religious arguments for socialism. At the same time, Farooq also gave inspiring examples of the role of socialists to defend religious freedom in Pakistan. For my context in Indonesia, a majority Muslim country which is seeing an increase of religious intolerancy and violence, this conversation was very important, especially concerning the attitude of the left. I also took the chance to ask him on the recent left collaboration project in Pakistan.

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Occupy Nigeria: A general strike against the “Cabalocrocy”

"Prosecute the Cabal!" With millions of on strike and crowds singing Solidarity Forever, Occupy Nigeria has shut down the most populous country in Africa. Here in New York, the diaspora is rallying in support as well, and on Saturday, Jan. 14, I went to the second rally at the Nigerian Embassy and the UN this week. Though big labor actions might be more common in Nigerian than in the US, folks are saying this one feels different. Maybe it’s the wave of protest against neoliberalism around the world in 2011, maybe it’s the corruption—facilitated by neoliberal deregulation — or maybe it’s the high unemployment rates (over 40% among young workers), maybe it’s that oil is so central to the economy; or maybe it’s all of this together.

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Sri Lanka

New Farmland grab

Sri Lanka’s farmlands are being aggressively marketed as investment opportunities for agro-export agriculture by the island’s foreign missions in the Gulf, and to Gulf-based businesses, including at the recently concluded Sri Lanka Expo 2012 (28-31 March) in Colombo.

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