a united front of a reactionary kind: the swp, islamophobia and the united front

by Joe Thorne

In 1946, Tony Cliff, who was later to found the Socialist Workers Party, described the Muslim Brotherhood – an international, ultra-conservative, Sunni political movement – as “clerical-fascist”.[1]

the racist English Defence League planned to march in Tower Hamlets on 20th June

In 2010, SWP members describe any criticism of particular Muslim figures, or Islamic political tendencies, much more conservative than the Muslim brotherhood as “Islamophobic”.  This condemnation has been routinely wheeled out in recent weeks by members of the SWP in Tower Hamlets.  It is being used, in effect, as a tactic to subdue, intimidate, and silence critical voices within the Tower Hamlets labour movement, and within local community politics, who object to the SWP’s uncritical alliance with some of the most marginal and reactionary elements amongst Muslims.

How did this come about? Continue reading “a united front of a reactionary kind: the swp, islamophobia and the united front”

obituary of chris harman

by Andy Wilson

Chris Harman, revolutionary socialist author and activist and a long-time member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers Party, died of a heart attack on Saturday night while speaking at the Socialist Days conference in Cairo.


From a working class background, Chris joined the Socialist Review Group (forerunner of the International Socialists and the SWP) in the early 60s while a student at Leeds University. He became one of the leading activists in the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign while at the London School of Economics, although he eventually abandoned his studies to become a full-time worker for the IS/SWP. Chris remained a constant among the leadership there until the day of his death. Continue reading “obituary of chris harman”