UK

Islamic State's 'Progessive Potential' As 'Stabilising Force' Debated By New Left Unity Party

17/11/2014 15:59 GMT | Updated 17/11/2014 16:59 GMT

The "progressive potential" of Islamic State (IS) had been discussed by a British political party, which also claimed a caliphate created by the brutal Islamist terror group would be a "stabilising force" in the region.

The bizarre proposition was put to members of a new left-wing party in an amendment that said IS's territorial ambitions were a break from "framework of western-imposed nation states" in the Middle East.

The Left Unity motion added that Islamic State's call for a pan-Islamic Caliphate to replace the various states of the Muslim world was "an authentic expression of ... anti-imperialist aspirations."

The party, which was founded last year by members including renowned filmmaker Ken Loach, voted on whether to back the proposition on Saturday, hours before IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL, released its latest video showing the executions of hostage Peter Kassig and a group of Syrian soldiers.

"Unlike a continuation of the framework of western-imposed nation states, it therefore, theoretically, has progressive potential, although this is hard to see in the heat of a violent struggle and IS’s terror tactics against other strands within Islam. Even so, this, together with the West’s failure to confront Shi’a dominance in both Iraq and Syria, accounts for the mass support IS has gathered from among Sunnis in the region," the long-winded motion said.

left unity

The vote on the IS motion at the Left Unity conference

It also said (deep breath): "The Caliphate represents an alternative political vision that is gathering support amongst Muslims across the Muslim world because... it stands for replacing the brutal regimes in which they live with a political system based on Islam that sets up an accountable executive, an organised judiciary, representative consultation, the rule of law and citizenship.

"Such a state could only be a stabilising force for the region and the European Left has to acknowledge and accept the widespread call for a Caliphate among Muslims as valid and an authentic expression of their emancipatory, anti-imperialist aspirations."

The amendment also said the confusion between IS and 9/11 masterminds Al Qaeda was the result of "Western propaganda, which is set on establishing ’guilt by association’ with an infamous, established demon".

The gathered members of Left Unity voted against the motion, deciding that IS, which is "carrying out genocide on a historic scale" according to Amnesty International by murdering Shia Muslims and members of minority religious sects, does NOT have "progressive potential".

The video of the vote suggests only a handful of people voted for it.

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Before the vote was taken one of the speakers said: "Come on, seriously - the Caliphate is not a legitimate demand we can support."

He finished his speech by saying: "Fuck ISIS."

So, if this is your first introduction to Left Unity, you now know one of their policies. The party does NOT formally back IS.

Left Unity says it has garnered around 2,000 paying members since its foundation in November 2013. It says it offers "an alternative to the main parties' agenda of blaming the poorest for society's problems and destroying the welfare state".

When asked about the amendment, a Left Unity spokesperson told HuffPost UK: "We are an absolutely democratic party and any member has the right to bring a motion to our conference – including ones we vehemently disagree with.

"The motion in question was voted down near-unanimously."

He added: "Left Unity's position on Islamic State is that we condemn it unequivocally. We are committed to standing up for the rights of the women and minorities that IS murderously oppresses and we believe in fundamental equality for all.

"However, we are against a Western war that will only make the situation worse."