Pointing The Finger – by Julian Petley and Robin Richardson

LeftCentral Book Review 

Image©Nevit Dilmen

 

…It takes the form of an attack on multiculturalism for which Muslims are held responsible and which is a coded word for them. It cuts across political and ideological divides, and is shared alike, albeit in different degrees by conservatives, fascists, liberals, socialists and communists` (Bhikhu Parekh quoted in Pointing The Finger…)

In April 1964 Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X) left Detroit for Mecca, in the midst of an acrimonious split with the `Nation Of Islam`. Malcolm at this time was the USA`s foremost bogey-man, the unacceptable face of the civil rights movement. His position caricatured in the 1950s as `the hate that hate produced` – a view fitting the `orientalism` framework described by Edward Said. Whatever the merits of this documentary about the NOI, it does appear clear that Malcolm`s visit to Mecca changed him, his pilgrimage making him aware of the ethnic diversity of Islam. Recording in his diary, `it seems every nation and form of culture on earth is represented here…`. This revelation, as Manning Marble outlines encouraged Malcolm to alter his view on race. Malcolm reflecting at the time that, ‘I began to perceive that `white man`, as commonly used, means complexion only secondarily, primarily it describes attributes and actions`. Thus a metamorphosis resulted from advances in Malcolm`s `religious literacy` combined with his genius `critical literacy` (concepts outlined and explained in Pointing The Finger). Read more of this post

BBC 2012 Third Reith Lecture: The Rule of Law

John Curran

Prof Fergusson

The Aspen Institute Photostream

In Naill Ferguson`s third Reith Lecture the Professor focuses on the evolving nature of Anglo-American common law a comparative exercise allowing him to refer to alternative legal jurisdictions, most notably China where no separation of power or independent judiciary exists. In the West argues Ferguson the rule of law has degenerated into the rule of lawyer`s, especially in the USA, which was once the gold standard other legal jurisdictions measured themselves by the “United States was the rule of law” according to Professor Ferguson.The halcyon days Ferguson identifies are difficult to reconcile with America`s constitutional arrangement built on the premise that African-Americans were three-fifths human, the so called compromise of 1787. Jefferson author of the `Declaration of Independence` was also a slave owner and as Malcolm X quipped “we didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us”.  Indeed, women were also denied the vote prompting the Seneca Falls Convention 1848 to campaign for democratic rights a goal not achieved until 1920 a measure excluding African-American women living in the Deep South.   Read more of this post

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