Nikoo Sarkhosh


Dr. Nikoo Sarkhush: In your presentation (, you surprisingly contend that “Marxism as well as Islam are “ideology”. But everyone acknowledges Marx as a philosopher and Marxism as a philosophy — Marxist philosophy.

Of course, Marxism can be read as an ideology — in negative sense of it — if it is used and manipulated narrow-mindedly as you see in Stalinism or Leninism. The same is true to Islam. Islam as the fundamentalist Islam is definitely an austere and one-sided ideology. But at the same time there is a significant discipline as Islamic philosophy which greatly influenced over the other branches of philosophy, and this type of Islam does not give you any way or any answer, rather it problematizes some self evident assumptions, even God. In this respect, there are great Islamic Philosophers as Ebn-e Roshd, Farabi , Ebn-e Sina … who are mostly referred by Western thinkers as well.

It is not easy to conclude that Islam or Marxism are “ideology” per se. We can say that some interpretation or interpretations of Islam or Marxism make them into an ideology — in negative or positive senses — rather than philosophy. On the other hand, with considering your assumption that “we need ideology because we live with it and we die with it”, we can conclude that as far as every philosopher lives with ideology … has inevitably some ideological glasses to look the world. And accordingly the philosophy he produces cannot have “its own glasses of looking” and therefore is not free from ideology.

At the end, I like to ask you that if someone claims that he/she was born in a totalitarian regime lives with it and may die with it whether it is true that he “needs” it…! It is the same question that I like to ask you about “ideology” or any so called self-evident phenomenon.

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Ahmad Reza Taheri: Any ideology is based on its own philosophy. But, it also depends upon our matter of debate. Here, our matter of debate is ideology and not philosophy. This does not mean, since both Islam and Marxism are regarded as philosophy, one cannot consider them ‘ideology.’

With reference to ‘ideology’ if you look at the concept and definition of it, you can find the following main characteristic about any ideology i.e. “An ideology is a mobilizational force that pushes people into social, as well as, political units. “ This particular characteristic is universally accepted and that it is a major characteristic which differentiates Ideology from Philosophy. Philosophy might not have this capability. In this particular respect, Islam has this capability of mobilizing the Muslims, so does Marxism.

Your own above sentence clearly shows that Marxism as an ideology is a negative ideology. It means, after all, you also hold that Marxism is an ideology, but a negative one.

Any ideology claims that it gives us the final solution. Muslims believe that Quran can answer all the questions. Marxism, as claimed by Marxists, finally would lead us to communism.

Any ideology looks at the world through its own filter. Islam views the world different from Marxism.

Any ideology gives its followers spirit, light, and life. Can one take Islam away from the Muslims? Impossible, they live with it and they die with it.

But, when I say that people live with ideology and die with it, I do not mean this can be true with any ideology. Rather, it can be applied to some of them like Nationalism, and any other religion in the world — Islam, Christianity, etc.

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