The Islamic Struggle and Ours 

The Islamic Struggle and Ours 


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In the Islamic world, according to Baeck, liberal and progressive intellectuals have been searching

in their own cultural and religious traditions for a way of thinking that would guide them

towards a more democratic and humane modernity.



Books by James Boggs and Grace Lee Boggs


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Living for Change: An Autobiography Conversations in Maine: Exploring Our Nation’s Future 


Manifesto for a Black Revolutionary Party   / Racism and the Class Struggle 


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The Islamic Struggle and Ours By Grace Lee Boggs 


In my mind’s eye throughout the holidays has been the image of three million white-robed Muslims peacefully praying and picnicking on their pilgrimage to Mecca in December. At the same time I have been reflecting on “Islamic Views On Globalization” by Louis Baeck, Professor of International Economics and Development at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. PlanetAgora   Prior to reading Baeck’s article, like most Americans, I had not paid sufficient attention to the fact that during the last few decades people all over the Third World have been engaged in a search for alternate roads to modernity because the modernity forced upon them by  western colonization and corporate globalization has been so traumatic and also because the unrestrained economic development of western societies has had such catastrophic consequences for our planet and for our relationships with one another.    In the Islamic world, according to Baeck, liberal and progressive intellectuals have been searching in their own cultural and religious traditions for a way of thinking that would guide them towards a more democratic and humane modernity. They hope and believe that Islam, unlike western secularism, can provide them with a philosophy that puts morals and ethics, or right conduct, in command of economics and thus a way of thinking that will safeguard their societies from the consumerism and commercialization of all our human relationships which has become the norm in the West, and especially in the United States.    In the Islamic world the 1979 revolution in Iran, which overthrew the U.S-sponsored Shah and empowered the Ayatollahs, is viewed as an expression of this cultural revival.    Since the U. S. military incursions into oil rich- Saudi Arabia and Iraq and the increasingly blatant support by the U.S. of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, this search by Islamic progressives for a non-western road to modernity has been overshadowed by the fundamentalists led by Osama bin Laden. But the search continues and we have a responsibility to explore the possibilities it offers for building relationships of solidarity that can replace the immobilizing fears and suspicions created by 911 and perpetuated since then by the Bush administration and the media.    The Islamic search reminds me of MLKs’s call for a radical revolution in values against the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism as he grappled in the last three years of his life with the crises of the urban rebellions and the violence of American culture at home and abroad.    “The war in Vietnam,” King said, “is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit. We have come to value things more than people. Our technological development has outrun our spiritual development. We have lost our sense of community, of interconnection and participation.”    “Our society has made material growth and technological advance an end in itself, robbing people of participation, so that human beings become smaller while their works become bigger.”    “Instead of pursuing economic productivity,” King urged, “we need to expand our uniquely human powers, especially our capacity for Agape which is the Love that is ready to go to any length to restore community.”    I also see similarities between the Islamic struggle for more democratic and humane roads to modernity and our Detroit City of Hope campaign. Because we have suffered and are suffering the devastation which is the result of putting economics in command, we are making community-building rather than economics the key to the reconstruction of all our institutions from the ground up. 

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Baeck’s article was brought to my attention by Hatto Fischer, an old friend who lives in Athens and keeps abreast of our struggles in Detroit. After reading this article, I discovered “The Mediterranean trajectory of Aristotle’s economic canon,” an article in which Baeck explains the connection between Aristotle’s views on citizenship and his insistence that economics be subordinate to ethics and politics and also reminds us that Islamic philosophers like Ibn Rushd (Averroes) 1126-1198 continued in the Aristotelian tradition. 

Source: Michigan Citizen, January 6-12. 2008 

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Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

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Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what’s in your heart than what’s in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America’s shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, “Happy can make you money, but money can’t make you happy.”

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The New Jim Crow

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 16 December 2011




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