The Bolsheviks and Islam

“Faced with a possible disaster in Iraq, the political establishment has closed ranks to scapegoat Islam. On the day of the London bombings in July 2005, Blair’s foreign secretary Jack Straw set the tone for a renewed onslaught, crudely dismissing any connection with Iraq. Solidarity with Muslims in the anti-war movement has been pilloried by the right’s most effective allies – critics with left-liberal credentials. The response to the racist cartoons published in European newspapers has highlighted the extent of Islamophobia in so called liberal circles – and confusion on the left.”

Dave Crouch in International Socialism No.110, Spring 2006

Regarding the Bolsheviks’ practice in government, Crouch writes:

“Sharia law had been a central demand of Muslims during the February Revolution of 1917 and, as the civil war drew to a close in 1920-1921, a parallel court system was created in Central Asia and the Caucasus, with Islamic courts administering justice in accordance with sharia law side by side with Soviet legal institutions. The aim was for people to have a choice between religious and revolutionary justice.

“A Sharia Commission was established in the Soviet Commissariat of Justice to oversee the system. In 1921 a series of commissions were attached to regional units of the Soviet administration with the purpose of adapting the Russian legal code to the conditions of Central Asia, allowing for compromise between the two systems on questions such as under-age marriage and polygamy.”

A million miles away from the Islamophobic absurdities of Maryam Namazie, Homa Arjomand and their fellow sectarians in the Worker Communist Party of Iran, you’d have to agree.