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Sukant Chandan: A Man For All Seasons

Sukant Chandan is a self-described “Third Worldist”. He is an good example of the sort of zany things that those on the far Left are up to, these days.

Sukant is an activist in Arthur Scargill’s near-defunct Socialist Labour PartyApparently, he ”was for ten years a Garage and Jungle/Drum&Bass MC with the DubNeg crew playing at clubs and on London pirate radio”. He has a variety of other interests: expressed in a whole stable of blogs. One is devoted to Chairman Mao. Another one – grandly entitled “Sons Of Malcolm” is:

Inspired by the principles of Malcolm X / Malik El-Hajj Shabazz. A ‘Third Worldist’ perspective focusing on the increasing pace of south-south co-operation which is challenging US hegemony, and the struggles of those oppressed by neo-colonialism and racism who fight for their social, political and cultural freedom ‘by any means necessary’”

Uh huh.

Chandan also is behind the memorial website for George Habash, “the founder of the Arab National Movement and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; a man who contributed more than most to the revolutionary struggles of a liberated Palestine and a free and united Arab Nation”.

Chandan is also one of those on the far Left who, disappointed by the failure of Communism, has now decided that Islamism is the great hope for the future. Here he is, explaining all about “Islam and National Liberation” to the Sinn Fein youth wing. Here he is, writing enthusiastically in the far right journal Counterpunch, about how jihadists in prison are effectively radicalising other inmates. And here is his latest project: The Organisation to Understand Radical Arab & Islamist Movements (O.U.R.A.I.M.), which is little more thank a a fansite for Hamas and Hizbollah.

You might well think that Chandran is a fringe figure, of no importance at all, and with nothing of interest to say. You’d be right.

He is, however, also a consultant with the Conflicts Forum. The Conflicts Forum does, occasionally, get taken seriously. Its Board of Advisors include the retired jihadist Moazzam Begg, Hamas’ Azzam “Kaboom” Tamimi, a selection of former SAS members and spies, including Alistair Crooke, and one Buddhist Monk. A patina of respectability is provided by the former Alliance leader, Lord Alderdice and the anti landmines campaigner, Bobby Muller. The function of the Conflicts Forum is “to open a new relationship between the West and the Muslim world”; its tag line, “Listening to Political Islam, Recognising Resistance:

Since the late 1980’s, Conflicts Forum’s directors, Alastair Crooke and Mark Perry, have been in dialogue with a wide range of leading Islamists. During this period, Islamism has emerged as the most significant indigenous political force in the region….
Our unwillingness to engage in dialogue with those who don’t share our view of the world has brought us to an impasse. Conflicts Forum is breaking through the wall of silence.

Our reach goes well beyond the Middle East; we work with Islamist groups in North Africa and Pakistan, we consult with Islamic political movements in South and East Asia. Though our focus is on forging an understanding with political Islam, Conflicts Forum engages the entire spectrum of Islamist societies – in cultural and economic realms as well as the political.

Our encounters with political Islam – with both non-violent and armed resistance groups – leads us to conclude that Islamism is above all political. The overwhelming majority of Islamists are striving to create just societies and bring about political reform in a region entrenched with inequity, that has long suffered the overbearing influence of foreign powers

Conflicts Forum likes to present itself as an urgently needed outreach programme to the “moderate” parts of the Islamist spectrum: with which self interest demands we must come to an accommodation, before it is too late.

The invovement of the likes of Chandan with this outfit gives a clearer picture of the sort of people peddling this disingenuous rubbish. A section of the far Left has become a social club for people who, to put it politely, are political psychopaths.

UPDATE

As “unseen” points out, I mistakenly omitted Chandan’s activism with the hilariously named “Che-Leila Youth Brigades” who, less amusingly, met with Islamic Jihad the day after they killed 17 people in a suicide bomb on a civilian bus.

For a taste of the other things they got up to, here’s an account of a freebee Chandan took to Vietnam.