Editorial

You Gotta Have Faith

Resolving the Unholy Alliance Between the Left and Religion

On February 4, 2017, a national day of action was called across Canada. Entitled Against Islamophobia and White Supremacy, the action was originally called after the election of Donald Trump to address growing racism and Islamophobia in Canada. However, days before the rally, Alexandre Bissonnette walked into La Grande Mosquée of Québec City, shot and killed six men, and injured 19 others. The February 4th day of action organized in Toronto soon became a rally and memorial to emphasize how the rise of racism and Islamophobia was a matter of life and death for many people, especially Muslims. The memorial saw close to 1,000 attendees with speakers from the Toronto contingents of Black Lives Matter, No One Is Illegal, Jews for a Just Peace, and a number of religious leaders. For some of us in attendance, a strange moment occurred. A speaker took the stage and asked for all people of Muslim faith to come forward in order to perform a funeral rite. As the Muslim attendees gathered to the front, another instruction was given: “Please, could all sisters be at the back and all brothers to the front?”

The separation of men and women is not uncommon in some religions, but what was bizarre at a gathering against racism and Islamophobia is that the separation was called for when the prayer wasn’t even performed correctly or formally. In many Islamic traditions, there are particular roles for women during funerals and mourning: standing at the back is to remove “temptation” for the men who should be concentrating on mourning. In some interpretations, women are completely forbidden from participating in the funeral procession or attending the burial of a loved one.

The rally was predominantly a Left gathering where speakers addressed the need to end colonization, capitalism, and white supremacy. Some Muslim attendees, or those who do not identify as Muslim but come from Muslim majority countries, were incredibly offended that such a patriarchal, sexist, and transphobic practice was allowed to happen in this otherwise progressive context. Some left in disgust. And other non-Muslim organizers and attendees did not seem to react, as if this practice was just “natural” in another culture they could not speak against. For some of us in the Editorial Collective––including some who used to be active in mosques––we remembered how we fought to end the gendered segregation of mosques and also fought sexist laws in our communities. We recalled how we refused to stand in the back or insisted on being present when we buried our loved ones. Yet in a space where basic standards of gender equality were to be expected, we experienced sexism yet again.

Since September 11, the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the changing immigration policies in response to the “war on terror,” Muslim activists have taken leadership roles in protesting these wars and the growing Islamophobia in the Global North. Many on the Left have made concerted efforts to make alliances with Islamic organizations and leaders. This entailed not only basic relationship-building with community mosques, but also integrating Islamic leadership in broad-based anti-war coalitions. Fighting Islamophobia has been central to fighting security certificates, deportations, racial profiling, hate crimes, and challenging Islamophobic domestic and international policies.

Yet, very little has recently been written by activists addressing the specific role religion plays in radical, revolutionary movements. There is a lack of clarity and an abundance of confusion when including organized religion in activism. In most cases, when faced with a convention or practice that does not agree with our leftist principles, many remain silent or tolerate the practice as something that is not up to outsiders to challenge or question. Instead, a more liberal approach is taken which merely asserts that people can individually choose their faith, and it is up to them to change their religious communities. When it comes to Islam specifically, we have found that the Left needs to respond to the growing rise of Islamophobia, but what often happens is a particular orientalism or romanticism (we could call it Islamophilia) where many oppressive practices are ignored or accepted because of the identity of Muslims practicing it. A challenge for the Left is therefore figuring out how to harmonize radical politics with organized religion without sacrificing revolutionary principles. This is an especially thorny challenge given the predominance of conservative values within the world’s major religions.

We write about this to open a difficult conversation about the role of religion in current radical movements. Or perhaps to shift the approach: how can we strategically include religious communities when building revolutionary, anti-capitalist movements without falling into practices that infantilize particular communities? We want to differentiate this contribution from the debates between atheism and religious belief, and from the debates about the utility of religion. While there remain some on the Left who hope for the eventual demise of organized religion, others in activist and revolutionary communities reject this premise altogether. Participation in organized religion remains a part of our society, making it a part of our community as well. Thus, we must contend and engage with practices, spaces, and discourses with which we disagree.

This editorial will explore how radical movements have been working with religious communities in coalition, base-building, and organizing. What do liberation and religion look like today? Further, how can the Left start making gains by using the traditions of liberation theology to have a moral status in religious interpretation? Exploring past examples and examining the role of religion in colonization and imperialism, we investigate whether we can support leftist interpretations of religion as they emerge. We explore this by reading a sample of writers, looking at a few historical contexts, and then examining how some secular leftist revolutionaries have answered these questions. Although the discussion here is relevant to the contexts of many religions, due to the limitations of this editorial we will only be focusing on Christianity and Islam, which is not to deny or minimize the role of other religions in organizing.

The Lonely Interpretative Dance Between Religion and the Left

Some would argue that one of the failures of the Left is our inability to engage with or provide a similar sense of social cohesion and purpose as organized religion. This failure has allowed right-wing forces to gain footholds in most religious communities. As we reflected on the rise of a right-wing base and the role of religion back in our 12th editorial, we stated:

Mega-churches are just one part of the Right’s overarching effort to build infrastructure––universities, think tanks, grassroots networks––to take over spaces neglected by the Left. Despite our insistence on “building community,” activists on the radical Left have had difficulty envisioning how to configure our affective appeals so that they resonate with those on the outskirts of our own important but far-too-marginal spaces.1

The typical response to the growing alliance between religion and the Right has been to reinforce the notion that religion is a private matter and should be kept away from the public sphere. However, revolutionaries cannot rely on the false liberal private/public dichotomy, especially as more nation-states are cementing conservative religious dogma within nationalism and fascism. The power of interpretation needs to be taken seriously as we see Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General of the United States, using the Bible to justify separating migrant families at the border. We also need to contend with the role of religion as a colonizing and oppressive force, as we see the export of us-style conservative Baptism into countries like Uganda, where American churches are heavily funding the rise of religious conservatism. However, we have also seen Kurdish revolutionary forces fight the presence and influence of isis in Syria, making direct links to revolutionary change and fighting Islamic fundamentalism. The rise of caste-based oppression is also significant as the Bharatiya Janata Party incorporated Hindiusm into its xenophobic nationalism. These situations show that we must engage not only in political struggle, but also a hegemonic struggle over the role of religion in oppression.

When considering strategies around how to mobilize working class people or growing the base, it is naïve to reject religion. Yet, given the role many institutionalized forms of religion have in maintaining systems of oppression and actively fighting against movements of liberation, it is also understandable that many activists will be suspicious of and even opposed to religion. When looking at some revolutionary coalitions with institutionalized religion, we can see historical examples of religion betraying the revolutionary Left (as is still felt after the Iranian Revolution). At the same time, while many expressions of religious ideology attract more conservative followers, there continues to be a presence of revolutionary leftist expressions of religion that provide a great deal of conflict within institutional religion and which have played a role in revolutionary struggle. For many leftists who are religious, part of building a stronger movement is providing entry points into different forms of interpretation. Building off this strategy would not only possibly attract more religious activists but also challenge the hegemonic hold that conservative ideology has over interpretation.

Terry Eagleton has written about the struggle over interpretation with his argument that revolutionaries cannot replace god or religion but must rather use the revolutionary ideas within religion. He has pointed out that the atheism offered by Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens shows a crude or simplified interpretation of religion. Instead, Eagleton asserts that religion (speaking specifically of Christianity) can offer radical politics.2 When Marx writes of the opiate of the masses, a quote that is often misunderstood, he does not wholly condemn religion, but rather how religion can be a dangerous yet understandable form of escapism for everyday life. While people may put their hope in religious beliefs, which is often then used to perpetuate oppression and misery, Marx is questioning how people can struggle and change their material lives and how religion prevents that form of self-determination. If religion could be used for revolutionary change, it could be a powerful weapon in the hands of the exploited masses.3

It is true that many Marxists and anarchists reject religion and god, with Bakunin famously stating, “If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.”4 A cynical reading of socialist history also conjures images of authoritarian bans on religion, where, in a post-revolutionary context Christians sneak into basement churches to pray. However, it is vital to understand these sentiments in light of the role of organized religion which, for many fighting for liberation, has consistently come down on the side of the oppressor. Moreover, by looking at socialist struggles around the world, we can see that religion has played many different roles depending on the context. In El Salvador and Guatemala, there was a complete integration of faith in revolutionary struggles. Even Lenin did not want to ban Christians from the Party, despite revolutionary demands for the construction of a secular society. While Lenin insisted on separation of state and Church, he also maintained that having a class analysis of religion was vital. Rather than debate the liberation of heaven that many Church leaders put forward, the real debate was how to create heaven on earth:

But under no circumstances ought we to fall into the error of posing the religious question in an abstract, idealistic fashion, as an “intellectual” question unconnected with the class struggle, as is not infrequently done by the radical-democrats from among the bourgeoisie. It would be stupid to think that, in a society based on the endless oppression and coarsening of the worker masses, religious prejudices could be dispelled by purely propaganda methods. It would be bourgeois narrow-mindedness to forget that the yoke of religion that weighs upon mankind [sic] is merely a product and reflection of the economic yoke within society. No number of pamphlets and no amount of preaching can enlighten the proletariat, if it is not enlightened by its own struggle against the dark forces of capitalism. Unity in this really revolutionary struggle of the oppressed class for the creation of a paradise on earth is more important to us than unity of proletarian opinion on paradise in heaven.5

It is thus an oversimplification to say that Marxists and anarchists want the end of all religion based on a main tenet of revolutionary socialism: historical materialism. For any revolutionary, being able to contend with where people are at, attending to the context of ideology (including faith), needs to be central when thinking of programs of change. Obviously, running into a mosque shouting “You’re all on opiates!” won’t have them joining the struggle any time soon.

While there are several examples of religion being used for liberation and decolonization, the most promising examples (which are discussed in the following section) have used spaces of faith to reach people, create spaces of organizing, and inject spiritual values with revolutionary theory. It is vital to note that these examples arose during particular moments when revolutionary thinkers had to confront the reality that a great deal of institutional religions upheld hierarchical and oppressive structures. This meant that a balance had to be achieved between the revolutionary commitment to liberation and the values of liberation that people with faith may have. For revolutionaries, this involved selectively incorporating key religious values and precepts that were amenable to revolutionary struggles and excluding those that were not.

Many readers might be familiar with these examples of leftist organizing from religious spaces, but we wanted to revisit them to explore how faith-based spaces were used to mobilize oppressed peoples. While we summarize these examples, we acknowledge there are many limitations to these movements that supported sexist and homophobic beliefs. However, we believe these examples are compelling when analyzing how religion has been a starting point for many revolutionary ideas, even if some were incomplete.

Religion and Revolution

The Role of Churches in the Civil Rights Movement

During the us civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X used religion to not only build political cohesion, but also to provide a liberatory form of faith around which many Black Americans mobilized. Although the role of faith in the civil rights movement cannot be reduced to just a few religious leaders making great speeches, it is nevertheless critical to grasp how the leadership acted upon opportunity with religious spaces as they presented themselves.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the us saw a large movement of African-Americans to the cities which resulted in favourable conditions for urban organizing. It was the build-up of Black institutions that led to more militant organizing, such as the 1955 plan for Rosa Parks to refuse to give up her bus seat, which helped launch the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott. In order to reach 45,000 African-Americans in a city of 120,000, organizers depended on the church network. The success of the Montgomery Boycott and the emergent leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr. helped bring national attention to the Southern civil rights movement, and led King to form a new faith-based organization called the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (sclc).

The sclc brought together Black preachers and expanded the networks for activists to meet and organize, fundraise for resources, and help spread actions and tactics. Organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (naacp), the Congress of Racial Equality (core), and militant student groups such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (sncc) would later participate in sclc activities (albeit with a great deal of tension due to the hierarchical nature of the sclc), leading to massive protests and civil disobedience, enabled in part because of their close community ties to the Black church base.6

Many Black churches supported the famous lunch counter sit-ins by providing space in the churches for meetings:

The church supplied those organizations with not only an established communication network but also leaders and organized masses, finances, and a safe environment in which to hold political meetings. Direct action organizations clung to the church because their survival depended on it.7

While King famously led the 1963 March on Washington, attended by a quarter million people, the less appreciated story is King’s attention to fighting capitalism and his call for a “radical revolution of values.” King said:

You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars ... You are messing with captains of industry. Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong with capitalism. There must be a better distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.8

King also supported housing activism in Chicago and openly opposed the Vietnam War, specifically highlighting the redirection of resources towards militarization rather than towards lifting people out of poverty. It was in 1967 when King began the “Poor People’s Campaign” focusing on employment and politically supported working class movements such as the Memphis Sanitation Strike where he gave his famous “I’ve Seen the Mountaintop” speech one day before his assassination.

Some argue that the civil rights movement was quickly pacified after King’s death, that internationalism was sold out for a national change in policy, and that the civil rights movement adopted the anti-communist sentiments of the Cold War. However, there have been attempts recently to revive the Poor People’s Campaign, with calls for “moral revival.” While continuing to adopt non-violent tactics, the new campaign seeks to engage religious and other social movement communities to engage with the question of morality on issues of racism and poverty. In their demands, they specifically call out the complicity of ultra-right, conservative religious forces that have distracted followers from economic inequality.9

Liberation Theology

Like Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States, Christian leaders in the Global South—Latin America in particular—challenged established interpretations of the Gospel and employed Christian teachings to critique the historical and material conditions of global inequality, poverty, and underdevelopment. Theologians like Gustavo Gutiérrez in Peru, Leonardo Boff in Brazil, and Juan Luis Segundo in Uruguay drew upon critiques of Western imperialism and Marxist analysis to liberate faith from the Church’s monopoly and to empower local communities to interpret, critique, and challenge their existing conditions. These thinkers and Christian activists supported grassroots “Christian base communities,” often led by poor lay practitioners, and emphasized praxis in the interpretation of the Bible that tied social justice to faith. Gutiérrez writes,

[Liberation theology] does not stop with reflecting the world, but rather tries to be part of the process through which the world is transformed. It is a theology which is open—in the protest against trampled human dignity, in the struggle against the plunder of the vast majority of humankind, in liberating love, and in the building of a new, just, and comradely society—to the gift of the Kingdom of God.10

In attempting to reach the Christian poor, often under conditions of great political censure, liberation theology worked to decentralize Catholic authority and empower poor communities to develop a radical class-consciousness. These base communities worked in solidarity with other social movements and trade unions to push for political reforms and to challenge dictatorial powers, including the military regimes in Brazil and El Salvador, often under extreme conditions of political violence, state-sanctioned assassinations, and disappearances. Liberation theology has, in turn, influenced other movements the world over including radical Black theology in the United States and South Africa, Palestinian liberation theology, and Indigenous feminist theology. While liberation theology is most often associated with Christianity, many religious thinkers have written about the liberatory elements of other faiths including Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism.

Despite the revolutionary elements of Third Worldist theology rooted in communities of colour, the practice of missionary work and evangelizing remains a central tenet of many forms of liberation theology. When pursued uncritically, this work can reproduce the colonizing aspects of religion that liberation theology intends to combat. For example, the Christian church played a particulr role in colonization by imposing strict gender binaries (embedded in European languages and religious traditions) on Indigneous communitites with non-binary understandings of gender. Christian missionaries used residential schools to reinforce patriarchal and heteronormative roles, which meant introducing practices like cutting men’s long hair, and women losing Indian status if they married out of their nation. If religious revolutionaries don’t attend to this contradiction when organizing with Indigenous communities against resource extraction, for instance, they risk reproducing colonization through an ethic of solidarity and care.11 Still other Indigenous theorists like Vine Deloria Jr. contend that Indigenous liberation must be rooted in Indigenous epistemologies and their deep connection to the land, not in aspatial, generalizable Western religions.12

Anti-Colonial Struggle and the Muslim International

While there are several examples of socialists who tried to create Islamic socialism, one of the more famous revolutionary examples was Malcolm X. During his final years, after breaking from the Nation of Islam, he was exploring and building a new internationalist Islam that sought to build unity against colonization.

In his book Black Star, Crescent Moon, Sohail Daulatzai details the history of Blackness, Islam, and the Muslim Third World, and the emergence of Malcolm X’s involvement in the Muslim International. While the Christian-influenced civil rights movement was co-opted and uncritcally accepted us foreign policy, Daulatzai writes that the us government sought to contain Black internationalism:

When it emerged from the Cold War and the Red Scare of communism in the aftermath of World War II, Civil Rights assumed that the United States’ moral standing in winning the hearts and minds of the decolonizing nations of Africa and Asia (which includes what is now the “middle East” [sic]) was linked to its treatment of Black peoples in the United States. In exchange for the legislation on education, interstate transportation, voting rights and other measures, the Civil Rights establishment supported an aggressive us foreign policy in the name of anticommunism, including us covert interventions and wars in Africa and Asia to prevent Soviet influence from spreading there, because communism was viewed by the United States as a bigger threat to the Third World than colonialism.13

After leaving the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X travelled to various countries, met with revolutionaries, spoke at anti-colonial gatherings, and returned to form the Muslim International. Here, he expanded his definitions of “the colonized” and Blackness to an internationalist scale. And while he did not drop his politics around anti-Black racism, he was inspired by the potential unifying force of Islam against colonization. Upon returning from a life-changing trip to Africa, where he witnessed many religious and secular forms of revolutionary struggle, he created the Organization for Afro-American Unity (oaau) as a separate entity to the Nation of Islam. The oaau sought to actively form links of solidarity between Black struggles for liberation in America and those blossoming across the African continent, while politicizing the Islamic faith in ways that espoused a resolutely anti-colonial, pan-African, and internationalist worldview.

A Counter-Hegemonic Project of Interpretation

To be clear, there is more romanticism towards the progressive or revolutionary nature of Christianity in the Global North than other religions. Many talk about the socialist character of Jesus and the rebelliousness of his role against the Roman Empire. In contrast, Islam (even before September 11) has been posited as a regressive, oppressive religion. Western national identities are often understood as the counter-image of Islamic countries, to the extent that Islam has replaced communism as the official source of fear in the West. While Islam has followers from diverse backgrounds, Islamophobia is also mixed with anti-Black and anti-Arab racism. These sentiments are a daily reality for those who identify as Muslim, and those who may represent the stereotype of “Muslim.”

If we are to move beyond solidarity work when thinking of emancipation and liberation, how do we support religious activism? Some of us at uta have worked with Pastors for Peace––a Baptist organization doing anti-imperialist work in Cuba and Chiapas––or have worked with Left Muslims in coalition. There is also vibrant and militant labour organizing in the Jewish Left, with activists currently working with pro-Palestinian Jewish organizations accross the anti-Zionist spectrum such as If Not Now, Jews for a Just Peace, and Independent Jewish Voices. What are the benefits to supporting more Left religious activism? How do we hold religious groups accountable when their work normalizes rather than challenges the roots of oppression? And what are the parameters of building a religious Left as a sort of cousin to the larger revolutionary Left?

An important text that explores revolution and religion is an interview between Fidel Castro and Frei Betto, a liberation theologist from Brazil. While Castro personally rejected religion, he admitted that the values of socialism could be linked to Christianity in terms of discipline, spirit, seriousness, integrity, the willingness to struggle, and the betterment of humanity. However, Castro was defensive when accused of not taking religion seriously in revolutionary struggle. This defensiveness he posits to all revolutionaries, stating it is not the revolutionaries’ responsibility to accommodate or make room for religion, nor should they distort religion to trick people to join a revolutionary cause. Rather, he believed it was religious revolutionaries who must work to link their faith to liberation and to other followers.

Betto challenges him, asking if he thinks religion is truly an “opiate of the masses.” Castro responds frankly that, given the history of the Church in colonization and oppression, it should not be a surprise to religious people when revolutionaries reject or fight religion. He states:

As I see it, that phrase cannot be, nor is it, a dogma or an absolute truth, it is a truth in specific historical conditions. Moreover, I believe that this conclusion is perfectly in keeping with dialectics and Marxism. From a strictly political point of view … I believe that it is possible for Christians to be Marxists as well and to work together with Marxist Communists to transform the world. The important thing is that in both cases they be honest revolutionaries who want to end human exploitation and to struggle for a fair distribution of social wealth, equality, fraternity, and the dignity of all human beings.14

It is vital for non-religious revolutionaries to maintain their political principles and support revolutionaries within religious spaces. But one cannot leave their principles at the door in order to appease certain religious faiths for the sake of inclusion or accommodation. At the beginning of this editorial, we discussed the general acceptance of women being placed at the back of the crowd. What are other choices that could have been made? Why did some choose to leave rather than intervene? Supporting and lifting up marginalized peoples in religious institutions is not only a vital form of solidarity, but has the potential of building leadership.

The growth of feminist and queer Muslim spaces is another example that reinforces the importance of supporting leadership-building and speaking out against repressive aspects of institutional Islam. While many of these expressions have been mostly individualized within a framework of multiculturalism, there is potential to build an internationalist analysis to move individual or small-scale expressions of feminism and queer identity to work in solidarity with other Muslim activists in other countries for liberation. When Muslim activists in the West proclaim their individual choice around clothing or sexuality, there is an absence of recognition that they benefit from a liberal democracy that has supported the historical oppression of Muslim-majority countries and enabled the rise of fundamentalist Islam to counter communism. It also ignores the oppression of Muslim activists who live in Islamic states.

Activists should expand contacts beyond the usual suspects––beyond holding events at religious spaces or inviting representatives into coalitions––to specifically create spaces that explore the role of religion and revolution in community in order to shift this tension into building a stronger movement.

The main sticking point for revolutionaries is how to contend with the repressive aspects of religion. Rather than pointing out to a person of faith the limitations of their doctrine (because honestly, they know more about it than you), trying to link religion to revolution is a project of interpretation. This is the counter-hegemonic challenge for the Left: to uplift the aspects of faith that speak to the immorality of poverty, capitalism, and other forms of oppression and to challenge the institutional power behind oppressive interpretations, especially when those institutions are tied to state power. Foundational Islamic concepts such as fiqh, ijtihad, and tafseer, as well as dissolving the hierarchies and authorities that determine who can exercise them, are essential starting points for building these bridges of interpretation.

Given the growing power of regressive and conservative religious movements, it remains a challenge for activists to include religion and faith in various aspects of their organizing. As the Brazilian Landless Rural Workers Movement (mst) integrated the use of mística15 in their political education, new forms of interpretation could better support revolutionary Left trends in various religious institutions.

Conclusion

We explored how religion can play a paradoxical role in working class consciousness and class conflict. While Marxist and anarchist writers have pointed out how religion has been used to maintain structures of oppression and domination, religion has also been used to uplift the interests of the oppressed. While we encourage activists to unite around shared fundamentals of liberation with revolutionary expressions within some religions, it does not mean giving a pass to the ways in which religion maintains oppression and exploitation.

The revolutionary Left cannot replace the spiritual and communal aspects offered by religion. We need to contend with the social services and resources that organized religion offers to their members. Many gravitate towards religion not simply for communion and belonging, but for survival linked to the services provided by religions organizations such as assistance in housing, food, education, and child care.

Gramsci’s writing on the “relations of forces” and the role of the “organic intellectual” offers guidance on this question. Gramsci was curious about the role of religion and often discussed how workers accepting political ideology or philosophy was a form of “faith,” similar to religion. He wrote about the praxis of religion as similar to socialism: belief, commitment, distinct culture, and building power. We can trace Gramsci’s analysis of religion as a political force in the various examples explored in this editorial. But, rather than look at our movements and see the limitations that only religion can fill, Gramsci encouraged readers to consider the limitations of religion: its dependence on individual action and its lack of universality by keeping people separated. We leave you with an important conception of religion Gramsci offers that is not oppositional to religion itself, and which may be useful to revolutionaries also contending with this complex issue:

“Socialism is an integral vision of life: it has a philosophy, a mystique, a morality.”16

Notes

1 Editors, “The Right Desires: Their Base and Ours,” Upping the Anti 12 (April 2011).

2 Terry Eagleton and Nathan Schneider, “Religion for Radicals: An Interview with Terry Eagleton,” The Immanent Frame, September 17, 2009. https://tif.ssrc.org/2009/09/17/religion-for-radicals-an-interview-with-terry-eagleton/.

3 Asghar Ali Engineer, Islam and Liberation Theology: Essays on Liberative Elements in Islam (New Delhi: Sterling Publishers Private Limited, 1990), 12.

4 Mikhail Bakunin, “God and the State,” Marxist Internet Archive, https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/bakunin/works/godstate/ch02.htm.

5 Lenin, VI. “Socialism and Religion,” Marxist Internet Archive, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/dec/03.htm.

6 Aldon Morris, “Tactical Innovation in the Civil Rights Movement,” in The Social Movements Reader: Cases and Concept, 2nd Edition, eds. Jeff Goodwin and James M. Jasper (Malden, ma: Wiley-Blackwell 2009), 259.

7 Ibid. 260.

8 Elizabeth Stilwell, “The Radical Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” The Note Passer, https://www.thenotepasser.com/blog/2016/1/17/radical-martin-luther-king-jr.

9 “A Moral Agenda Based on Fundamental Rights,” Poor Peoples Campaign, https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/demands/

10 Gustavo Gutiérrez, A Theology of Liberation: History Politics and Salvation (New York: Orbis Books, 1988 [1973]), 12.

11 Baijayanta Mukhopadhyay, “Care as Colonialism: Immigrant Health Workers at Canada’s Frontiers,” Upping the Anti 19 (2017): 121-136.

12 Andrea Smith, “Native Feminist Theology” in Liberation Theologies in the United States: An Introduction, eds. Stacey Floyd-Thomas and Anthony Pinn (New York University Press, 2010).

13 Sohail Daulatzai, Black Star, Crescent Moon (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), xii.

14 Fidel Castro and Frei Betto, Fidel and Religion: Conversations with Frei Betto on Marxism and Liberation Theology, (Melbourne: Ocean Press, 2006).

15 John Hammon, “Mística, Meaning and Popular Education in the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement,” Interface: a journal for and about social movements 6, no. 1 (May 2014): 372-391.

16 Antonio Gramsci, “Politics and Culture,” in Culture: Critical Concepts in Sociology, ed. Chris Jenks (London: Routledge, 2003), 105.