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TV International: Political Islam is the problem!

TV International

In this issue:

* Political Islam is the problem! Stop appeasing it! On the 7/7 Islamic terrorist attack on the people of London, Maryam Namazie

* Islamic Terrorism, Mansoor Hekmat

* Visit TV International English site to see programme of week of July 10, 2005 to see Maryam Namazie interview Bahram Soroush on London terror attack; Homa Arjomand on July 9 youth uprising anniversary and the Campaign against the Sharia Court in Canada and Bahram Soroush on secular-extremism?!

* Political Islam is the problem!

Stop appeasing it!

On the 7/7 Islamic terrorist attack on the people of London

Maryam Namazie

The Islamic terrorist attack in London has left more than fifty dead, hundreds wounded, innumerable grieving and a shocked and outraged humanity. The smiling faces of the dead along with desperate appeals on the whereabouts of those still missing will haunt us for many years to come.

Yet much of the coverage and commentary on this attack fail to address the issues at hand. It fails to actually name the attackers. According to the BBC, those who committed this outrage are not terrorists but bombers. The police have warned us not to mention 'Islamic terrorism' when speaking of the attack; as one senior officer put it: 'the two words don't go together.' But they do.

This is Islamic terrorism and nothing but.

This is the bare and naked face of political Islam pure and simple.

How can one be expected to separate the inseparable especially when the terrorist attack on London is not an isolated incident? We know Islamic terrorism too well for that. For those of us who live in the west, it has become a familiar reality mainly since 9/11, but for those of us who have fled Iran it has been our living nightmares for the past several decades. We have lost too many loved ones; and watched this movement slaughter, maim and murder one too many times to be told to call it by any other name.

We all know this right-wing reactionary political Islamic movement causes maximum death and destruction wherever and whenever it can. Terrorism is intrinsic to its being. And no amount of political manoeuvring and whitewashing by apologists like Ken Livingstone and George Galloway or appeasement of the Islamic movement by Tony Blair and European governments can conceal this reality.

Political Islam's track record speaks for itself.

It is political Islam that hung sweet 16 year old Atefeh Rajabi in a city square for 'acts incompatible with chastity' in Iran on 15 August 2004, stoned Amina to death for adultery in Afghanistan in April this year, and beats and threatens women who are improperly veiled in Basra as we speak.

Yet we are constantly told this terrorist attack has nothing to do with Islam by 'mainstream' Islamic groups in Britain such as the Muslim Council of Britain and the Islamic Human Rights Commission. The political Islamic movement is so vile that even some of its brethren - at least in public and in Europe - aim to disassociate themselves from it - but no matter how hard they try, they cannot succeed. Britain's 'top Muslim scholars', for example, are to issue a fatwa effectively ex-communicating the 'bombers' - something they are not really allowed to do but good PR nonetheless.

And they say they are not part of the same movement and that this has nothing to do with Islam...

In fact, terrorism is justified and encouraged in Islam.

In an interview with BBC's Newsnight last year, Yusef al-Qaradawi, Ken Livingstone's 'moderate Islamic scholar', said Islam justified suicide bombings.

He said: 'This is not suicide. It is martyrdom in the name of God.'

The Koran is full of verses supporting terrorism, including: When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them [Koran 8:12]; The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement [Koran 5:33]; Reckon not those who are killed in Allah's way as dead; nay, they are alive (and) are provided sustenance from their Lord (Koran 3:169) (MH Shakir translation).

Nonetheless, we are told that the attack has nothing to do with Islam and political Islam and everything to do with Iraq and Afghanistan. George Galloway says only a fool would think the attack was for any other reason but retaliation; they've said it themselves so 'that's exactly why they carried out the act'.

If we are to take them by their word, then why not take Messrs. Bush and Blair by their words too? Because everybody knows you cannot take political movements and states by their words alone; you have to look at their actions, their track record, the facts, and judge them objectively. The political Islamic movement's claim to have murdered Londoners for some ideal is similar to the USA and UK governments' claim to have slaughtered Iraqis via state terrorism for human rights and freedoms. This is nothing short of an abhorrent offence to their innumerable victims.

George Galloway and company need to be reminded that the Islamic movement - from the Taliban to Al Qaeda to the Islamic regime in Iran - do not represent the population of the Middle East just as the myriad of 'Muslim organisations' in Britain do not represent the population here. They are instead a reactionary force which imposes their brutal rule by terror and murder when they can. If the Islamic movement actually cared a whit for human beings, it wouldn't always plant its bombs at rush hours and on mass transportation routes. It wouldn't have killed over a hundred thousand in Iran. It would not be killing Iraqis as we speak. It wouldn't...

So excuse us if we don't buy their public relations ploy. We have already heard all their excuses - from the defence of honour to chastity to morality to Palestine to now Iraq and Afghanistan. Saying the Islamic terrorist attack on London was in retaliation for an injustice, no matter how strong a condemnation comes beforehand or afterwards, merely justifies and legitimises their terrorism. It fails to hold them fully accountable. And when this movement is reduced in such a way, it deems invisible and irrelevant their innumerable other nameless faceless victims who are slaughtered by their very hands in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Algeria, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia...

And still we are told that if we call it Islamic terrorism, it will create a backlash. Of course the situation is sensitive; we must ensure that no one faces retaliation for this terrorist attack. But sooner or later, we must, the world must, deal with this monster. It must address and oppose this movement and its banner rationally and unequivocally and begin once again to distinguish between racism and the criticism of an ideology, religion and its political movement. By doing so it will again confirm that the vile Islamic movement does not reflect on all who come from the Middle East, or those who consider themselves or are labelled by others as Muslims - just as the IRA does not reflect on all Irish or Dr Shipman on all doctors. Just as Shehzad Tanweer's actions does not reflect on all cricket lovers and those working at fish and chip shops...

Whilst this avant-garde battle has begun in Iran where an unprecedented anti-Islamic backlash and the demand for secularism are being championed by society, it had yet to really begin here in Britain. The July 7 Islamic terrorist atrocity on London could mark the beginning of this battle but only if religion and political Islam are taken head on.

So far this does not seem to be the case. Mr Blair's futile and continued support of a non-existent 'moderate' Islam in tomorrow's summit of 'Muslim community leaders', the warnings not to call it 'Islamic terrorism', the promotion of the brisk business of 'Muslim community leaders' and the policy of minoritism and cultural relativism will only continue appeasing this movement, increase Islamic terrorism and provide other opportunities for it to gain further access to power in Europe.

'It has been proved time and time again that pushing back religiosity and religious reaction is not possible except through unequivocal defence of human values against religion. It has been proved time and time again that preventing religious barbarism does not come about through bribing it and trying to give it a human face, but through the fight against reactionary religious beliefs and practices. What price should be paid... to realise that Islam and religion do not have a progressive, supportable faction?' (Mansoor Hekmat, In Defence of the Prohibition of the Islamic Veil for Children.)

Everywhere, people are rightly appalled by this movement and are beginning to speak out and seek to change the situation. This movement must be pushed back to the Middle Ages where it belongs, just as Christianity in power was pushed back by 18th century enlightenment.

This has become a historical necessity and urgent task of 21st century humanity.

* Islamic Terrorism

Mansoor Hekmat

A wave of Islamic murders has engulfed the Middle East and North Africa. The victims of this wave are the most ordinary of ordinary people. In Egypt and Algeria, they shoot at and behead foreign nationals - be they workers, tourists or pensioners. They bomb and kill school children at school gates. They kill young girls who do not submit to forced marriages. In Tel Aviv, they murder unaware pedestrians - children, old and young - on streets and on buses. And heroically, from Israel to Algeria, they reassure a stunned humanity that this 'armed struggle' will continue.

There was a time when the traditional and 'anti-imperialist' Left would look upon the blind violence and unrestrained terrorism of Third World and anti-western currents if not with admiration then at least with toleration. In their opinion, the injustice suffered by deprived nations and oppressed people justified this terrorism as a legitimate reaction. The terrorism of Palestinian groups, Islamic organisations and the Irish Republican Army - whose victims were increasingly unprotected and unaware civilians - were prime examples of this 'permissible' terrorism in recent past. A terrorism, which seemingly responded to past and present injustices; a terrorism, which seemingly appeared as a reaction to the inhuman and brutal policies of oppressive powers and governments. Interestingly, throughout the years, the Israeli government has also used this exact abuse-excuse rationalization; that is by alluding to the indescribable genocide carried out by Nazis and anti-Semitic groups in various countries against the Jewish people, they have justified the brutal suppression of the deprived people of Palestine and the daily killings of Palestinian youth.


From a communist standpoint, this type of rationalisation and the blind terrorism erected on it in the Middle East - whether by Arab and Palestinian organisations or the state of Israel - is regarded as bankrupt and is condemned. There is not the slightest real and legitimate relationship between the appalling calamities that have befallen the Jewish people in this century and the suppression and crimes committed by the extremist right wing government in Israel against the Palestinians. There is not the slightest real and justified relationship between the sufferings of the deprived people of Palestine and the terrorism of Islamic or non-Islamic organisations attributed to these people. Bourgeois state and factions are exploiting and capitalising on the suffering of the deprived people. Condemning and eradicating this terrorism by the working class, particularly in countries of the region, is an essential condition for placing the workers in the leadership of the social struggle to end the age-old miseries of the people of the Middle East.

It seems the new wave of Islamic murders, particularly in North Africa does no longer even require such political justifications. A turban and a gun are sufficient to begin this despicable Jihad against humanity. This is Islamic gangsterism and its source is the ruling regime in Iran. And it will be in Iran where it will be smashed.

This was first published in Farsi in the International number 16, November 1994. Translators: Maryam Namazie and Fariborz Pooya.

* Visit TV International English site to see programme of week of July 10, 2005 in which Maryam Namazie interview Bahram Soroush on London terror attack; Homa Arjomand on July 9 youth uprising anniversary and the Campaign against the Sharia Court in Canada and Bahram Soroush on secular-extremism?!

TV International English is a weekly hour-long news analysis and commentary programme that focuses on the Middle East and rights and freedoms from a progressive and Left standpoint. Watch TV International English every Sunday from 11.00 - 12.00pm Tehran time (7.30-8.30pm London time). The programme is broadcast on Satellite: Telstar 12, Centre Frequency: 12608 MHz, Symbol Rate: 19279, FEC: 2/3, Polarization: Horizontal. It can also be viewed on its website: www.anternasional.tv/english. To see previous programmes, click on archives. To see a segment of a programme, first download the programme; after which you will be able to rewind and fast forward as needed.

If you are interested in helping Maryam Namazie and TV International English by transcribing interviews and suggesting issues for discussion, please contact her directly on m.namazie@ukonline.co.uk.

ENDS

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