Tag: blogs

Islamic Terrorism

Before 9-11, I can remember a time when the term “Islamic terrorism” had no meaning for me. I didn’t really know about the wars happening in the Middle East, I wasn’t paying attention to the Gulf War (I was young, ok) and the US was supposedly at peace. (Not really true, as America is always bombing someone). But that world changed suddenly on that fateful day, when I saw as a young man, those planes drive into that tower in New York on live TV. Many innocent people lost their lives that day, and a few bankers too. Suddenly, the next few years were nothing but ISLAMIC TERRORISM AHHHHHH as the US turned up the heat on the Middle East, invading Iraq, and Afghanistan. Political scientists like Samuel Huntington and Francis Fukuyama got their day in the sun as they shouted about the coming clash of liberal democratic Western values with that of the evil Islamic hordes. Twenty years ago, most people in the US had no opinion on Islam. Now, racist reactionaries across America love to hate them. But, what is the reality of Islam? And what is the history of the West in the Islamic world? Let’s take a deeper look.

What is Islam

Islam is the most recent of the three branches of Abrahamic monotheistic religion. Judaism, and Christianity being the other two. They share the same god, a lot of the same mythology and history. Much of their theology is related. There is a common misconception that Allah is a name. It’s not. Allah is the Arabic word for God, related to the Hebrew El (like in Elohim). Here, you can see the history of the word at this wikipedia link! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_(deity)
The main belief in Islam is that there is one Allah (meaning god) and that Mohammad is his prophet. There are five pillars of Islam: Faith, prayer, charity, fasting and the Haji, or pilgrimage to Mecca. Islam especially puts a lot of weight on charity and social justice. Read more about it here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Pillars_of_Islam
Islam is a religion that even outlaws usury, banning the use of interest in banking. Pretty progressive for a religion founded in the 7th Century CE.
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding Islam, and you can educate yourself so you don’t fall victim to bigoted ignorance. In reality, Muslims are just like any other people. They follow their religion to be good people, and to live happy and fulfilling lives as much as they can. Read more here: http://www.worde.org/publications/commentary/empowering_asj__sufi_muslim_networks/5-myths-about-islam-and-muslims/

Imperialism in the Islamic World

Muslims have felt attacked by the west for centuries. While there was political conflict with Europe and the Ottoman Empire, the West’s intrusions into the Muslim world in the modern era have been imperialistic, and quite devastating across the board. France, Italy, the Netherlands, and especially Britain wreaked havoc across the Muslim world, colonizing, murdering and subjugating Muslims under their Christian capitalist empires. Iraq was formed arbitrarily out of the subjugation of different religious and ethnic groups, shoving together the Kurds, Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims. The British also set up the Palestinian Mandate and gave it to European Jews for them to set up their racist colony, Israel from 1948. The US attacked and cajoled the Middle East as well, giving support to the Wahabbist Saudi royal family that has ruled the Holy City of Mecca since the 17th century, as they use the country sacred to Muslims to enrich themselves at the cost of other Muslims. Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, all occupied and enslaved under Western imperialism. Iraq was invaded many times. Afghanistan set up a democratic, socialist system that gave full rights to women in the 1970s. The US response was to arm extremist cultists to overthrow the legitimate government of Afghanistan and even went so far as to arm and train the Saudis doing it, such as the young Osama Bin Laden. This plunged Afghanistan into decades of war and violence, claiming the lives of millions. This continues even now.
Libya was the country in Africa with the highest Human Development Index (HDI) with women’s rights, a secular government, free health care and education. Now it lies in smoking ruins from Western bombs. Destroyed. Again. Are you starting to undestand why the Muslims of the world, from formerly Dutch occupied Indonesia to Syria might have some ill will towards the West? The global “War on Terror” is really a war on Islam, and Islamic countries. Some have even called it a genocide. It’s hard to argue with that. Read the argument here:


Brian Becker of the Party for Socialism and Liberation has a lot of experience writing on this topic. Here’s one example: https://www.liberationnews.org/imperialism-islamic-state-policy-endless-war/

I encourage you to read, study and get to know the rich and diverse history of Islam and the many hundreds of millions of people around the world that practice this ancient religion. Knowledge is power, and with the internet and so much access to information, the onus is on you to empower yourself, as much as you can. Fear is the enemy of humanity, the enemy of hope and ignorance is its fuel. End Islamophobic hatred. I am a Buddhist, and I support wrapping Muslims in love and care, like every other religion. The real threat to the world is capitalist imperialism, and the center of that is the illegal and illegitimate government called the United States of America. That imperial entity is the enemy of all humankind. Overthrow capitalist oppression, and then we will have true religious and spiritual freedom.

Thanks for reading.

The Dawn of a New Era

The Dawn of a New Era

The words Dawn of a New Era seem to be ones that inspire hope, confidence, or feelings of renewal. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Take the end of the Taisho Era in Japan.This is going to take some explanation.

See, Japan counts years on two parallel calendars, one the western we all know, the one that says it’s 2017 (years since the birth of Christ) and the traditional Japanese year system, which counts it by the year of the reigning emperor. This year is Heisei 29, the 29th year of the reign of Heisei (Heisei is the name that will be the current emperor’s posthumous name), his name while alive is Akihito, although most of the time he’s referred to as “heika Tenno” meaning “his majesty the Emperor”. But I’ll just call him Akihito, because I’m a communist and not at all fond of monarchy.

The era which saw Japan open up to the west (at the point of a gun) was the Meiji era. The era after that was called Taisho. Meiji was long, and saw Japan change from feudal backwater to a modern country that could beat the Russian Empire. Taisho was short. But during the short era, Japan saw a blossoming of intellectualism the likes of which it hadn’t seen in centuries. For one, the Communist Party of Japan was born. The liberal opening of the old autocratic system heralded a new age. But that bright new age soon ended and a new era began. The age of Showa. Showa was better known in the west as Hirohito, and I don’t think I need to tell you what happened next. (lots and lots of war, two atomic bombs and occupation by the US for a long time)

It was just announced in the news that the current emperor, Akihito may step down from his mighty chair o’ Japan, and give power to his son, Prince whatsisface starting in January of 2019, which will literally dawn a new era in Japan. But I am talking about eras for another reason. We sit on the precipice.

At the end of the 1920s, things looked great. Then the stock market crashed, Hitler rose to power and the next 15 years were pretty shit. But now we see a world in flux again. Late capitalism is producing clowns, shadows of fascism and liberals unable to make sense of the world. Automation is taking jobs faster than society can deal with and poverty is rising in what was the unassailable “first world”. The US president elect, a clown of  a man, has handed power directly to the bourgeoisie, the old racist reactionary right and worse. The world, to me, seems sitting, shivering with tense anticipation for the horrors that could be unleashed on the world this year alone with madmen in office and enough weapons to kill a solar system of life.

We sit here at the dawn of a new era. I see the old system crumbling. But this can take two possible roads. The world can either tear itself apart and sit in the ashes, or it can be a creative destruction. It can be a progressive destruction. I implore the left to not be shy, don’t play politics and identity nonsense. Don’t make deals with the devil to get a crumb when you can take the whole damn loaf. The capitalist imperialist system is shuddering and creaking. It’s contradictions are killing it in exactly the way Marx said it would. A new era is dawning. But the left has to unite, and fight against racism, xenophobia and against fear. Back to science, back to materialism, back to preaching hope and working class unity.

Thank you for reading, and don’t worry! I promise the podcast is coming out this week!

Tim the Socialist Blog!

Tim the Socialist Blog!

Hello to one and all! After a failed attempt at making a Youtube channel (I just don’t have the time) I have decided instead to focus on making a podcast, and a blog to go along with it! Maybe I am not the most tech savvy person on earth, OK, not even close, but I can write and I can certainly say a lot more on a blog like this than I can in the 140 character limit on Twitter. Here on this blog I hope to update every couple of days, at least once every week. I will talk about mostly, politics. Current events, books, news, etc etc etc are also on the menu. Many posts may be short rants, but I will also post longer more in-depth articles about which I have thought heavily and which I feel need to be explored. As always I look forward to feedback, hatemail and the inevitable death threats that will come with this blog.

So buckle up and get ready, because this is only the beginning.


The podcast really is on its way y’all, I double dog promise.