In the Arab world, not only has there never been a serious bourgeois-liberal challenge to religion and clericalism, but the left too has for the most part avoided the issue or pussyfooted round it.
In order to gain a critical understanding of the persistence of Islamic archaism and all its paraphernalia, one must approach it through the logic of its own history, as well as that of the Arabo-Muslim bourgeoisie of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Iran: Islam and the struggle for socialism ‒ Mohammad Ja’far [Kanan Makiya] and Azar Tabari [Afsaneh Najmabadi]
None of the expectations, predictions and prognoses of left circles, whether inside or outside Iran, have been confirmed by the passage of time. The speed with which a highly repressive and deeply reactionary regime has emerged, in the wake of colossal mass mobilisations involving millions, has left many in political shock and disillusionment.
The political contradiction between zionism and secularism is the basic reason for the power of religion and its influence on the minds of most Israeli Jews; it is also one reason why the Secular Movement cannot become a mass movement.
Saadawi criticises western feminists who isolate the problems of women from the political and economic situation. But Saadawi heads for another precipice, one that would cast into the abyss the very Arab women she has taught so much. It is the precipice of a nationalist defensiveness that ultimately minimises the injustices of Arab society and denies all authentic reality to the struggle the author herself strives to serve.
I don't see any contradiction between the struggle for the Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and the struggle for a Palestinian state. I also don't see a contradiction between this struggle and the struggle to build bridges to the Jewish proletariat and for the gradual erosion of the ideological hegemony exercised by the zionist leadership ‒ a struggle which is absolutely necessary and should be supported by all means.