ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ideology of Pan-Islamism

Taking off from Sumanta Banerjee's book review in the EPW ("The Left and Political Islam", 30 March 2013) on the left's understanding of political Islam, a comment on the ideology, politics, and the internal dynamic of the Islamic community.

Sumanta Banerjee, in his review of Meredith Tax’s book Double Bind: The Muslim Right, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights (“The Left and Political Islam”, EPW, 30 March 2013), has underlined the mistakes of sections of the left in their understanding of political Islam both in India and abroad.

These mistakes, he claimed in the introduction to his review of the book, are the legacy of Vladimir Lenin’s idea of accommodating political Islam in the anti-imperialist programme in the early 1920s. While judging Lenin’s strategy, it seems that he has taken an ahistorical position, and has viewed the role of the Islamic movement only from the ideological premise, without considering the transformative character of any archaic ideology prevailing within the masses and being advocated by their proponents under circumstantial pressure built within diverse time-space continuums, and under the pressure of the class-interest and aspiration of the people whom the movement intends to grasp.

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