Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali (Arabic: طارق علی) (born October 21, 1943) is a British-Pakistani historian, novelist, filmmaker, political campaigner, and commentator. [ [http://www.contemporarywriters.com/authors/?p=auth164#bibliography Tariq Ali Biography] , Contemporary Writers, accessed October 31 2006 ] [" [http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/10/1414233 As 250 Killed in Clashes Near Afghan Border, British-Pakistani Author Tariq Ali on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Ongoing U.S. Role in Regional Turmoil] ". Democracy Now!. 2007-10-10. Retrieved on 2007-10-11.] He is a member of the editorial committee of the "New Left Review" and "Sin Permiso", and regularly contributes to "The Guardian", "Counterpunch", and the "London Review of Books".

He is the author of "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Axis Of Hope" (2006), "Conversations with Edward Said" (2005), "Bush in Babylon" (2003), and "Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity" (2002).


Ali was born and raised in Lahore. The city was part of British India at the time of his birth in 1943, but became part of the newly-independent nation of Pakistan four years later. He is the son of journalist Mazhar Ali Khan and activist mother Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan (daughter of Sir Sikandar Hyat Khan who led the Unionist Muslim League and later Prime Minister of the Punjab in 1937).

Ali's parents "both came from a very old, crusty, feudal family". [http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/Elberg/Ali/ali-con1.html Conversation with Tariq Ali] , 8 May 2003.] His father had broken with the family's conventions in politics when he was a student, adopting Communism, nationalism and atheism. Ali's mother also belonged to the same family, and became radicalized upon meeting his father. Ali was though taught the fundamentals of Islam in order to be able to argue against it.

While studying at the Punjab University, he organized demonstrations against Pakistan's military dictatorship. Ali's uncle was chief of Pakistan's Military Intelligence. His parents sent him to England to study at Exeter College, Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. [cite web |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/features/feature_tariqali.shtml |title=Tariq Ali profile |accessdate=2007-04-26 |format= |work=BBC Four Documentary article] He was elected President of the Oxford Union.

His public profile began to grow during the Vietnam War, when he engaged in debates against the war with such figures as Henry Kissinger and Michael Stewart. As time passed, Ali became increasingly critical of American and Israeli foreign policies, and emerged as a figurehead for critics of American foreign policy across the globe. He was also a vigorous opponent of American relations with Pakistan that tended to back military dictatorships over democracy.

Active in the New Left of the 1960s, he has long been associated with the "New Left Review". Drawn into revolutionary socialist politics through his involvement with "The Black Dwarf" newspaper, he joined a Trotskyist party, the International Marxist Group (IMG) in 1968. He was recruited to the leadership of the IMG and became a member of the International Executive Committee of the (reunified) Fourth International.

During this period he was an IMG candidate in Sheffield Attercliffe at the February 1974 UK general election and was co-author of "Trotsky for Beginners", a cartoon book. In 1981, the IMG dissolved when its members entered the Labour Party: the IMG was promptly proscribed. Ali then abandoned activism in the revolutionary left and supported Tony Benn in his bid to become deputy leader of the Labour Party that year.

In 1990, he published the satire "Redemption", on the inability of the Trotskyists to handle the downfall of the Eastern bloc. The book contains parodies of many well-known figures in the Trotskyist movement.

His book "Bush in Babylon" criticizes the 2003 invasion of Iraq by American president George W. Bush. This book has a unique style, using poetry and critical essays in portraying the war in Iraq as a failure. An atheist who grew up around Muslims, Ali believes that the new Iraqi government will fail.

His previous book, "Clash of Fundamentalisms", puts the events of the September 11 attacks in historical perspective, covering the history of Islam from its foundations.

Ali has been a critic of modern neoliberal economics and was present at the 2005 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil where he was one of nineteen to sign the Porto Alegre Manifesto.

He has been described as "the alleged inspiration" for the Rolling Stones' song "Street Fighting Man", recorded in 1968 [CHRISTOPHER HAZOU [http://www.montrealmirror.com/2007/092707/news2.html Journalism and jingoism: Ownership and gullibility are two recurring problems for the Western press, says author and activist Tariq Ali] "Montreal Mirror"] .

He currently lives in Highgate, London with his partner Susan Watkins, editor of the "New Left Review". He has three children: Natasha, Chengiz, and Aisha.

Tariq Ali's "The Leopard and The Fox", first written as a BBC screenplay in 1985, is about the last days of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Never previously produced because of a censorship controversy, it was finally premiered in New York in October 2007, the day before former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto returned to her home country after 8 years in exile. [ [http://www.alteregoproductions.org/blog/2007/07/the_leopard_and_the_fox_our_ne.htm The Leopard and the Fox: Our new season begins] ]

Bibliography (partial)

* "Pakistan: Military Rule or People's Power" (1970)
* "The Coming British Revolution" (1971)
* "1968 and After: Inside the Revolution" (1978)
* "Chile, Lessons of the Coup: Which Way to Workers Power" (1978)
* "Trotsky for Beginners" (1980)
* "Who's Afraid of Margaret Thatcher? In Praise of Socialism" (1984)
* "The Stalinist Legacy: Its Impact on 20th-Century World Politics" (1984)
* "The Nehrus and the Gandhis: An Indian Dynasty" (1985)
* "Street Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties" (1987)
* "Revolution from Above: Soviet Union Now" (1988)
* "Iranian Nights" (1989)
* "Moscow Gold" (1990)
* "Redemption" (1990)
* "Can Pakistan Survive? The Death of a State" (1991)
* "Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree" (1992)
* "Necklaces" (1992)
* "Ugly Rumours" (1998)
* "1968: Marching in the Streets" (1998)
* "Fear of Mirrors" (1998)
* "The Book of Saladin" (1998)
* "The Stone Woman" (2000)
* "Masters of the Universe: NATO's Balkan Crusade" (2000)
* "Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity" (2002)
* "Bush in Babylon" (2003)
* "Street-Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties" (2005)
* "Speaking of Empire and Resistance: Conversations with Tariq Ali" (2005)
* "Rough Music" (2005)
* "Conversations with Edward Said" (2005)
* "A Sultan in Palermo" (2005)
* "The Leopard and the Fox" (2006)
* "Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope" (2006)
* "A Banker for All Seasons: Bank of Crooks and Cheats Incorporated" (2007)
* "The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power" (2008)


External links

*contemporary writers|id=164
* [http://www.tariqali.org Tariq Ali Official webpage]
* [http://www.logosjournal.com/issue_1.2.pdf A Clash of Civilizations of Fundamentalisms? A Conversation with Tariq Ali on pg. 115]
* [http://zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/16560 Global Balkans Interviews Tariq Ali: Neoliberalism and Protectorate States in the post-Yugoslav Balkans (ZNet)] , February 2008
* [http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/Elberg/Ali/ Institute of International Studies, U.C. Berkeley - '03 Sanford S. Elberg Lecturer: Tariq Ali transcript & video of "Conversations with History - Islam, Empire, and the Left"]
* [http://will.uiuc.edu/am/mediamatters/default.htm "Media Matters" interview with Robert McChesney] , November 14, 2004
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1445964,00.html#article_continue "We live, after all, in a world where illusions are sacred and truth profane" (essay) - Tariq Ali]
* [http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php4?article_id=6943 "Socialist Worker" speech - Tariq Ali]
* [http://www.chomsky.info/debates/20021219.htm 12-19-02 "On the Verge of War" talk - Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, Gilbert Achcar and Isin Elicin]
* [http://www.sevenoaksmag.com/features/61_feat1.html "Seven Oaks Magazine" interview] with Charles Demers
* [http://nakedpunch.com/nakedpunch6.html "Naked Punch Review" interview]
* [http://www.archive.org/details/Tariq_Ali_8Sep2005 09-08-05 Internet Archive video]
* [http://www.radio4all.net/index.php?op=program-info&program_id=20360&nav=type& 10-26-06 "The Latin American Challenge: Chavez, Morales, Castro"] (audio recording)
* [http://www.againstthegrain.org/audio2.05.07.mp3 10-28-06 "The Axis of Hope"] (audio recording)
* [http://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/Radio.html#061102 10-01-06 W.B.A.I. "Behind The News" interview] with Doug Henwood
* [http://progressivepodcast.info/archives/13 "Tariq Ali - Latin America and the Arab World: Resistance and Occupation"] (audio recording)
* [http://chiasmos.uchicago.edu/events/tariqali.shtml Audio recording] of Tariq Ali speaking on his book "Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope" as part of the University of Chicago's [http://internationalstudies.uchicago.edu/wbh.shtml World Beyond the Headlines] series.
* [http://www.literaturfestival.com/bios1_3_6_314.html Biography from the international literature festival berlin]
* [http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/features/tariq_ali/index.html "The Ideas of Tariq Ali"] on CBC Radio One’s "Ideas"
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/desertislanddiscs_20080316.shtml Desert Island Discs] Tariq Ali's choices for "Desert Island Discs"

NAME=Ali, Tariq
SHORT DESCRIPTION=author, filmmaker, and historian
DATE OF BIRTH=October 21, 1943
PLACE OF BIRTH=Lahore, British India (now Pakistan)

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