Islamic Left, The Last French Cultural War

2021-02-20   |   by CusiGO

It was a new word in France at the time: the Islamic left, or an alliance between Islamists and the extreme left. In fact, no one agrees with its exact meaning, and no one agrees with the extent to which it is a real or imaginary phenomenon.

On the one hand, there are concerns that radical and undemocratic ideas are conquering French universities. On the other hand, those who believe that political power interferes with university autonomy.

The French government believes that the Islamic left is infiltrating higher education with the help of new racial theories. Others refer to gender and class theories, which are integrated with racial theories in so-called cross studies. They argue, for example, that last summer’s demonstrations against French police violence or racist behavior were aimed at transferring a social problem characterized by racism from the United States to a country such as France, where its citizens are not officially recognized as racial.

Academic authorities believe that the University minister Frederick Vidal’s announcement of an investigation into the alleged infiltration of the University by Islamic leftists is an unacceptable violation of academic freedom. They question the validity of the term: it is used to refer to those on the left who denounce the existence of systematic Islamophobia in France, or to criticize those who restrict the use of the Islamic veil in the name of minority rights.

Historian Pierre Andr é Taguieff said by telephone: “the Islamic left cannot be quantified, so it needs to be investigated fairly.”. Tajiev believes that “the infiltration of political radicalism in Universities” and “the self destruction of universities as a place for free debate in an extremist environment”.

On the contrary, in an interview with Liberation Daily, star economist Thomas piketty said that he “does not know any researcher, far or near, and can not doubt any of his complacency towards jihadists.”. “This logic of universal skepticism only leads to polarization and nickname dialogue,” says picketti, who discusses the history of colonialism in a recent book, capital and ideology. “Frederick Vidal has to leave,” he added.

The political storm at the university came as the national assembly just passed a law aimed at better controlling Islamist ideological demagogues. He arrived a few months after the beheading of the mujahider Samuel patty, a high school teacher who showed in his class a cartoon of the muslim prophet Muhammad published by Charlie Hebdo a few years ago. “I think Islamic leftism will destroy the whole society, and the university is not an impermeable society, it is a part of society,” Vidal said on CNews on Sunday. “What we see in universities is that people do use the aura of degrees, or the aura they have, to defend radical or radical ideas.”

Last Tuesday, at the control session of the national assembly, the minister announced that she would ask the National Council for scientific research (CNRS), the Spanish equivalent of CSIC, “to assess all the research being done in the country.”. Its purpose is to distinguish between “scientific research” and “belligerence”. The next day, government spokesman Gabriel attar distanced himself from the initiative. He also said that French President Emmanuel Malone was “absolutely committed to the independence of teachers and researchers.”.

The rectification of the spokesman is not enough for the academic community. “Islamic leftism is a political slogan used in public debate and is not consistent with any scientific fact,” a CNRS statement said. “The National Human Rights Commission specifically condemns attempts to delegitimize work in different areas of research, such as postcolonial research, cross sectoral research or work on race or any other area of knowledge.” The French Council of principals also protested.

The most enthusiastic support for minister Vidal’s initiative came from the conservative camp. For the far right, the Islamic left is a term that is often used, as opposed to Islamophobia, which is another controversial term. The debate also divided the left into two groups: a left that can be called universalism, which insists on the idea of building a Republic of independent citizens and universal values (such as human rights) compared with another left that is dominated by racial or gender identity, In order to protect the marginalized, he sometimes comes into contact with Islamic figures and groups.

All this happened against the background of France’s long-standing distrust of the United States. Some people think that this phenomenon is an import of American culture war and American campus and left-wing fashion to France. Race or social class originated from French thinkers in the 1970s, such as Michel Foucault or Jacques Derrida.

Some of them have been accused of McCarthyism and advocating political persecution, such as the political persecution of so-called Communist infiltrators by US Senator Joe McCarthy in the mid-20th century. They see a thought police controlling the University in adversity, rejecting those who have different ideas.

“I think we are facing the same intellectual terrorism that Stalinist communism imposed on universities and research in the 1950s and 1960s,” tajiev said. “There’s also McCarthyism: the blacklists of reactionaries, islamophobias and racists are listed. They are forbidden to speak, their books are boycotted and condemned. ” However, unlike the minister, tajiev does not believe that these trends “will destroy the whole society.”. “It’s a minority, but full of energy and appeal,” he said. “There is the temptation of radicalism and extremism, and there is hatred for moderation,” he added