The issue here is not one of sorting the “good leftists” from the “bad leftists.” I do not think that such a categorization is possible, anyway. However, I am haunted by a question: What makes a sincere leftist discourse slip into becoming a retouched version of the Islamophobic right? It seems that there is an elephant in the room. Is it the ghost of the Soviet Union? Eurocentrism? Priorities of geostrategy?
I do not know what the elephant is. But I know the ant. I know that the Arab revolutions, since their beginnings, were revolutions without specific promises and claims. They were revolutions against oppression and injustice more than they were revolutions aimed at implementing premeditated programs and ideas. To borrow from Walter Benjamin, these are “revolutions nourished by the image of enslaved ancestors rather than that of liberated grandchildren.”*