When I was growing up in Lahore the last thing that interested me was the history of Islam. No. That was for dullards, for wooden headed patriots, for boys in the grip of religious parents or mullahs. One of my young uncles had begun to sport a beard. He sought refuge in religion to atone for some sin he had committed. Imagined or real? I didn’t care. He would arrive at our house. My parents who found him a complete bore would disappear to play tennis. I had to walk with him in the garden for long hours or so it seemed at the time. With a glow in his eyes, he used to tell tales of early Islam and the greatness of the first Caliphs. Not a word about the assassinations and why they happened or the …
Tariq Ali’s obituary for Ralph Miliband, first published in the Independent, May 1994.
Ralph Miliband was a socialist intellectual of great integrity.
He belonged to a generation of socialists formed by the Russian Revolution and the Second World War. His father, a leather craftsman in Warsaw, was a member of the Jewish Bund, an organisation of socialist workers. Poland, after the First World War, was beset by chaos, disorder and, ultimately, a military dictatorship. There were large-scale migrations. One of Ralph’s uncles had gone eastwards and joined the Red Army, then under Trotsky’s command. His parents had left Warsaw separately in 1922. They met in Brussels where they had both settled and were married a year later. Ralph was born in 1924.
Al-Awda San Francisco, The Palestine Right of Return Coalition, and the Midle east Children’s Alliance Present:
The Arab World, People Power, and the Future of Palestine
with internationally renowned author, filmmaker, and intellectual Tariq Ali.
Tariq Ali, writer and filmmaker, has written more than two dozen books on world history and politics, seven novels (translated into over a dozen languages) as well as scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of New Left Review and lives in London.
Tariq Ali will be signing his latest book, On History, after the event.
Saturday, October 29, 2011 First Congregational Church 2501 Harrison Street Oakland, CA 94611