Naima Omar

Angela Davis: America's Most Wanted

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In the second of three columns looking at the life, politics and activism of Angela Davis, we hear how her arrest made her an international symbol of resistance

It’s 1969, and Angela Davis is now an assistant professor at the University of California in Los Angeles. Unfortunately for Davis, the Governor of California at the time was Ronald Reagan who, alongside the university’s senior management, embark on a witch hunt against her.

They first tried to to fire her on the grounds of being a member of the communist party, but a judge dismisses the case; but not before more than 1,500 students attend her lectures out of solidarity.

From segregation to black liberation

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This is the first of three columns looking at the life, politics and activism of Angela Davis, a living icon for revolutionaries

Angela Davis is an icon for many, a fighter for black and women’s liberation and a revolutionary to the core. But some seem to forget the revolutionary bit.

Davis’s childhood was defined by racism, violence, fear and resistance, shaping who she went on to become.

Marxism and religion

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I would like to thank Peter Keighron for his letter (April SR) responding to my article on the Bolsheviks and Islam.

To answer your first question regarding the socialist political theory of religion and whether it has been maintained, I believe that in Britain it has — this can be seen in the fight against Islamophobia. However, in some places, such as France, it has not, and that is very much reflected in the rise of Islamophobia. The left in France has sided with the oppressor against the oppressed in the name of secularism.

The Bolsheviks, Islam and the women of the east

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Many believe that religion and socialism cannot coexist — that in order to be a socialist you have to be an atheist — yet, as Naima Omar shows, the magnificent example of the Bolsheviks’ relationship with Russia’s Muslim population following the 1917 revolutions is rooted in a different tradition.

Growing up I always held socialist views, but believed you could not be a socialist and a Muslim, nor could you advocate women’s liberation and wear the hijab. This belief is common among Muslims, based on the assumption that in order to be a socialist you must be an atheist, as all socialists hate religion.

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