ISIS, Imperialism, and the Roots of Islamophobia

This episode is a contribution from the new Marxist podcast, “Propaganda”. For more information, go to

In this episode we turn to socialist activist, Wael Elasady, who has spoken widely on the question of Syria and led struggles for Palestinian rights and against US interventions in the Middle East. We follow Elasady as he lays out an expansive analysis of the economic, social and political conditions that have historically laid the groundwork for the emergence of Islamic terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al Qaeda. His analysis aims to clarify the reasons behind inter-imperialist meddling in the Middle East, how interventions have historically contributed to the rise of political Islam and its extremist elements, and why the US military is incapable of ending terrorist violence. It also draws concrete connections between accelerating growth of right-wing extremism across the West which promulgates Islamophobia, and the growth of global capitalism. Finally, Elasady offers a critical examination of the current weakness of the anti-war movement in the US and how the politics of international solidarity can help rebuild a mass struggle against both US military interventions and imperialism as a whole.

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