For militant atheism. For class struggle not postmodernist relativism. Against religious interference in the political sphere. For promotion of the class struggle left that supports secularism.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The WPIran on the glbal fight against Islamic Fundamentalism

A political challenge on a global scale
Islamic courts in Canada
Mohsen EbrahimiJune 2004
The struggle to establish Islamic tribunals in Canada, like similar efforts to enforce the hijab in public institutions and schools in France, is not merely a cultural effort to pursue cultural rights. Both the aims of and the forces behind these efforts are political. These attempts are part and parcel of one of the most reactionary global phenomena in recent history, i.e. the movement of political Islam.
Islamist circles in Paris, London and Toronto are the extensions of the Islamic Republic in Iran, the Taliban and Mojahedin in Afghanistan, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and plenty of other Islamic groups in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya and other parts of the world. This monster has plenty of heads and tails. The Islamic Republic of Iran at its head has savagely ruled for 25 years and is now being challenged by a huge secular movement of the people of Iran. Ironically, while the head is being smashed in its stronghold by a secular movement, the tails are challenging the secular values in the west. The head is being attacked in Iran by a secular movement; the tails are attacking secularism in Paris, London and Toronto.
What is going on here? How is this possible? It may look a bit complicated but some answers are rooted in the horror of September 11 and its political aftermath.
Immediately after the massacre of more than 3000 people by Islamic terrorists on September 11, the USA and the Islamic movement, formerly old friends, became new foes. A bloody duel began between two long-time friends, the state terrorism of the USA and Islamic terrorism. The state terrorism of the USA needed a fresh 'great Satan' to replace the recently collapsed Soviet Union which served as a long-lasting 'Satan' during the cold war. With the horror of September 11, Islamic terrorism became the most fitting alternative to play this role.
But, the strategists of the New World Order were wise enough not to put all their eggs in one basket. They consciously divided political Islam into Islamic fundamentalists, Islamic terrorists, and moderate Islam. They smashed Islamic terrorism while cosy-ing up to 'moderate' Islam. Islamic terrorism was used to justify US militarism and 'moderate' Islam was still kept as a potential force against the Left movement in other parts of the world. No wonder George Bush, Jack Straw, and Schroeder began to compete with the grand Ayatollahs of Islam in the interpretation of the Koran and Islamic teachings.
In the eyes of western states, and in fact with the help of them, the Islamic movement can now operate in a new, moderate and modern disguise: moderate Islam! And they did. Plenty of clerics in the west suddenly became the vigilant advocates of moderate Islam! They are not terrorists; they are 'moderate' fighters against secular values in the west. They are not terrorists; they are 'moderate' advocates for the institutionalisation of the hijab - the symbol of women's inferiority in Islamic culture and Islamic politics - in France! They are not terrorists; they are 'moderate' advocates of establishing Islamic courts in Canada! They are 'moderate' forces of religious values against secular values.
In the aftermath of September 11, racist groups intensified racism against citizens categorised as Muslims. They failed because the people in the west rightly did not want to be labelled as the supporters of this organised racist reaction. They rightly defended the rights of every citizen, regardless of religion, race, colour, gender and nationality. While this attitude attracted the respect of ordinary people, Islamic groups were ready to hypocritically take advantage of this progressive atmosphere. They used it to promote their politico-religious causes. They began to present themselves as 'oppressed' representatives of an oppressed 'minority'. People in the west were for the rights of citizens to live in a secure environment; Islamic groups used it to promote Islamic values to undermine the rights of the same citizens.
While in their stronghold in the Middle East, the Islamic movement is being challenged by secular movements, in the west, the Islamic movement is attempting to erode long established secular values. It is struggling to win in the west, what it is already losing in Islam-stricken countries.
Both the strong movement against the Islamic Republic in Iran and the strong turnout in France in favour of banning the hijab in public places and schools are indicative of the strength of the secular movement against political Islam.
The atrocities of political Islam are global. The stoning to death in Iran and Afghanistan, the struggle to enforce the hijab in public places in France, the attempt to set up Islamic courts in Canada are all various parts of one and the same phenomena: political Islam. The threat is global. The fight against it must therefore be waged on a global scale. We must stand up, defend our secular values, and defeat them.
The above is a part of a longer article written in English under the same title.

Tatchell outed for being Islamophobic
(The witchhunt against Peter Tatchell continues. First in Bermondesley now as a leading gay activist- his sin - exposing anti-gay violence in Palestine)

“Freedom for all Palestinians”, urges OutRage!
Gay Palestinians tortured and murdered by PLO and Hamas
"Stop Killing Women & Gays in Palestine" - Free Palestine rally, Trafalgar Square, London - 21 May 2005

By OutRage! News Service“Gay Palestinians are being beaten, tortured and murdered by factions of the PLO, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Authority,” according to Peter Tatchell of the queer rights group OutRage!“The Palestinian administration tolerates the so-called ‘honour’ killing of women who refuse to submit to the strict rules of orthodox Islam,” he added.OutRage! activists took their message of “Freedom for all Palestinians – straight and gay, men and women” to the “Free Palestine” rally in Trafalgar Square, London, today, Saturday 21 May.“OutRage! supports the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice. The Israeli occupation must end. But so must the violent sexism and homophobia of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and of the Palestinian political movements like Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO),” said Mr Tatchell.Under the slogan of “Freedom For All Palestinians” the OutRage! placards urged:”No more killing of lesbians & gays by PLO and PA””Hamas & PLO torture and murder gays. Shame!””Stop "honour" killing of gays & women in Palestine”“Israel: Stop persecuting Palestine! Palestine: Stop persecuting queers!”“Last year, we were shoved, abused, shouted down and threatened by other protesters, and by stewards and rally organisers from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). They also blocked out our placards with their banners,” recalls OutRage! campaign coordinator, Brett Lock.“This year we received a much more sympathetic reception. Most people took our leaflets (copy below). We seem to be winning over the pro-Palestinian movement, despite the efforts of the rally organisers – the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) – to encourage their supporters to reject our concerns.“As we mingled in the crowd distributing leaflets, PSC stewards urged people not to take our hand-outs and told them, falsely, that we were lying and trying to split the Palestine solidarity movement. These dirty, underhand tactics dishonour the Palestinian cause.“PSC stewards refused to take our leaflets or to discuss the issues we were raising. A small number of protestors half-heartedly tried to block our placards with their placards. Apart from a couple of jeers of ‘faggots’, most other protestors eagerly took our leaflets and several expressed overt support for the rights of Palestinian women and gay people. In contrast to last year, the sympathies of those attending the rally seem to have shifted in our favour.“Some protesters said raising gay and women’s rights at a Free Palestine protest was ‘inappropriate’. For these people there is never an appropriate time to press for the rights of women and gays. Our rights are never a priority. We are always expendable for the sake of the bigger, wider cause.“OutRage! is disappointed by Amnesty International’s inaction on this issue.Amnesty has declined our requests to report on the torture and murder of gay Palestinians, stating that it lacks the resources. The OutRage! website, however, documents evidence that Amnesty could easily corroborate and publish. We are very disappointed by Amnesty’s reluctance to defend the human rights of lesbian and gay Palestinians.“Examples of violent homophobic persecution by the Palestinian factions and the Palestinian Authority can be found on the OutRage! website (go to Briefings and then to Palestinian Gays).”Since last year, when we protested at the Free Palestine rally, we tried to have a dialogue with the PSC but they refuse to meet us. They have also ignored our dossier on the abuse of gay Palestinians and our requests for them to raise the torture and murder of queers with the Palestinian authorities. In effect, the PSC colludes with the torturers and killers of queers. That is why we had to protest.”Our presence made many supporters of the Palestinian struggle aware of the violent homophobic persecution inflicted on Palestinian lesbians and gays. We hope they will now support the just struggle of gay Palestinians and pressure the Palestinian movements and government to halt their homophobic victimization,” concluded Mr Lock.OutRage! is urging everyone who wants justice and freedom for the women and gay people of Palestine to protest to the Palestinian representative in the UK, Afif Safieh. Email him:
Full text of the OutRage! leaflet handed out at the Free Palestine protest on 21 May 2005
Freedom for all PalestiniansStop killing women and gaysOutRage! is here today to support the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice. The Israeli occupation must end.But we are also here to protest against the so-called “honour” killing of Palestinian women, and the arrest, jailing, torture and murder of lesbian and gay Palestinians by factions of the PLO, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Authority.Freedom for Palestine doesn’t mean freedom for straight men to abuse the human rights of Palestinian women and gays. Israeli occupation is no excuse for violent sexism and homophobia.Examples of Palestinian homophobic persecution can be found on the OutRage! website (go to Briefings and then to Palestinian Gays).At the request of Palestinian women and gay people, for nearly 10 years OutRage! has attempted to raise these issues with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and with the PLO and the Palestinian Authority. All our letters, faxes and emails are ignored. All our requests for meetings have been rejected. All our dossiers on these human rights abuses are dismissed.That is why we are here today: the PSC and PLO/PA refuse to even discuss the oppression of women and gays. By their silence and inaction, they collude with it.The only liberation worth fighting for is liberation for all Palestinians – men and women, straight and gay.Misogyny and homophobia weaken and undermine the Palestinian struggle by setting men against women and straights and gays. Now, more than ever, the Palestinian nation needs to be united to fight Israeli oppression. There can be no unity, and no victory, while the Palestinian leadership tolerates the oppression of women and gays.Please join us in protesting to the Palestinian representative in the UK, Afif Safieh. Email him: