National Sections of the L5I:

Religion

Hezbollah's doomed compromise

On one side stood Hezbollah, the Shia based resistance movement that ejected the Israeli occupation in 2000 and defeated Israel's invasion in 2006. On the other side in Lebanon's near-civil war stood Sunni Muslim and Druze militias backing leading pro-government billionaire Sa'ad Hariri, son of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, whose assassination forced the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon in 2005. Read more...

The Army or the Mosque?

The mass demonstrations in Turkey and the political manoeuvrings by the military and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have exposed the contradiction that exists at the heart of Turkish politics. The battle lines are drawn around the fight for secularism against an encroaching Islamisation of society by the AKP, yet this is not the full story. Read more...

Iran: Islam, repression and rebellion

While the West plots “regime change” in Iran, Simon Hardy reviews a new book on the class struggle inside the country, a timely reminder that regimes can also be changed from below Read more...

Grand inquisitor elected Pope

German-born Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected head of the Roman Catholic church on Tuesday 19 April after one of the shortest conclaves in recent history. He will be crowned as the 265th Pope on Sunday, in the usual Byzantine ceremony, replete with the triple tiara, the ostrich plume fans, the gilded litter-throne that mark him out as supreme pontiff - hardly ‘a humble worker in the Lord’s vineyard’ as he described himself. Read more...

Pope of reaction – communion of suffering

As millions watch the funeral of John Paul II, the working class should remember why the capitalist politicians have praised this Pope so highly – from Bush and Blair the warmongers right through to the reformist leaders of the labour movement, including even ‘Communists’ like Italy’s Fausto Bertinotti.

Within the church he led (or, rather, ruled) for 26 years, Karol Józef Wojtyla’s papacy will be remembered principally for reversal of the liberalising trends of the 1960s and reestablishing a more autocratic leadership. In reality, this meant the rule of the Curia, whose candidate he was after the unexpectedly early death of his predecessor, and it is the same upper echelons of this Vatican bureaucracy who are now orchestrating the drive to make his conservative policy irreversible. Read more...

Who are the Taliban?

The Taliban – which literally means “students” or “seekers” of Islamic knowledge – grew from nothing in 1994 to become rulers of 90 per cent of Afghanistan by 1996.

It is an extremely young movement. The average age of its partisans is 14 to 24, and its leader Mullah Omar is 40 years old. It is an exclusively male Muslim brotherhood. Read more...

Religion and the tasks of the revolutionary party

Religious movements are on the rise across the world. What is religion and how do Marxists fight it? Mike Evans reviews the revolutionary approach from Marx to Trotsky Read more...