30 December 2017   Leave a comment

The Guardian is a reliably lefty British newspaper and it has published an article on the apparent collapse of the left and center-left in European politics since the Great Recession of 2008-09.  In most elections since that time, right-wing nationalist parties have done quite well and we have tended to explain their popularity in terms of fears of immigration, globalization, and the stagnation of wages.  What is equally important, and so far unexamined, is why left-wing parties have been unable to respond to these challenges as effectively.  The issue is critically important for the US as the left-wing needs to figure out a way to revive the Democratic Party rather than allowing dissatisfaction with the status quo to default to the Trump wing of the Republican Party.

 

The Haas Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, has been monitoring the growth of anti-Islamic sentiment in the US since the attacks of US territory in September 2001.   Specifically, the Institute has followed the introduction of anti-sharia legislation in the the US and it has issued a report, “Legalizing Otherhood” which documents this movement in the US.  The report finds that “Of 194 anti-Muslim bills proposed in state legislatures across the country from 2010 to 2016, 18 have passed and been enacted into law”.  Twenty of those bills have passed the Mississippi legislature, a state that has a minuscule Muslim population.  Such legislation is totally unnecessary since Federal Law is the supreme law of the land and forbids the introduction of religious law into account in all judicial proceedings.  The laws, however, are designed to engender fear of Muslims, a political, rather than a legal, objective.

 

Protests in Iran have continued into the third day, and they are beginning to take on a common theme: opposition to the religiously-based character of the regime.  According to Western reports, and such reports are not to be considered as authoritative, the protests do not seem to be aimed at President Rouhani, but rather at the authority of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  That dissatisfaction may be real, but it is more likely that the rising prices of necessary commodities is the most immediate reason for the protests.   But the burning of banners bearing the likeness of Khamenei must be a worrying sign for the regime.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

 

Posted December 30, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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