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Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali is a writer and filmmaker. He has written more than a dozen books on world history and politics—including Pirates of the Caribbean, Bush in Babylon, The Clash of Fundamentalisms and The Obama Syndrome—as well as five novels in his Islam Quintet series and scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of the New Left Review and lives in London.

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  • Tariq Ali: Notes on Anti-Semitism, Zionism and Palestine

    The past few months have seen voices raised from within the media and Westminster establishment concerning the supposed culture of anti-semitism nurtured under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. This has reached a peak today with the suspension of former Labour Mayor of London Ken Livingston, from the party. But, what is anti-semitism and how does that relate to Zionism and the state of Israel? In this article, originally written for Italian newspaper Il Manifesto in 2004, Tariq Ali analyses the history of anti-semitism in light of the similar allegations of anti-semitism thrown towards critics of Israeli state policy in continental Europe twelve years ago. The same type of argument has now reached Britain.

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  • Ten Questions for Tariq Ali

    The interview below was conducted via email by Selim Nadi as part of his research on theoretical and political exchanges between the French and German radical left during the era of decolonization, between 1945 and 1975.

    How did you politicize yourself? In particular, what was the process that made you such a leading figure in the anti-imperialist camp (especially during the Vietnam war)?

    It wasn’t exactly a self-politicization. I was born in Lahore, grew up in that city, went to school and university, and didn’t move to Britain until October 1963. My class locations were contradictory: the larger family were feudal, but my parents had broken loose on many levels and become members of the Indian Communist Party and later, after Partition, its weak Pakistani offshoot. In other words, I grew up in a communist milieu, and mixed, from a very young age, with the intellectuals, poets and journalists of the left, as well as peasant and trade union leaders who were always welcome in our house. My first recorded attendance of a meeting is when I was almost 6 years old. There was a large May Day meeting in Lahore in 1949, as the Eighth Route Army and other guerrilla detachments, triumphant against the Japanese occupiers and the corrupted and brutal nationalists of the KMT, were converging on Beijing. The main chant in Lahore was “Friends, we will take the Chinese Road.”

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  • Tariq Ali Against Trident—CND Rally, 27th February 2016

    Tariq Ali spoke at Britain's biggest anti-nuclear march in a generation yesterday alongside Jeremy Corbyn, Giles Fraser and party leaders at a rally organised by the CND. Thousands of protesters gathered in London, some travelling from as afar as Australia to protest against the renewal of Trident.

    "There is no practical, utilitarian or financial justification for Trident but we need it because it upgrades Britain's position in the world. I think it downgrades Britain's position in the world [...] If it really wants to upgrade its moral position in the world it needs to get rid of Trident," he said. 

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