We must stop the Islamists' assault on secularism
Hossein Moradbeigi
21 January 2004

The counter-demonstrations organised by the Organisation of Women's Liberation - Iran and Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq confronted the recent Islamist-organised protests against the banning of religious symbols in schools and workplaces in France in several European cities. These two organisations, supported by the Worker-communist Parties of Iran and Iraq called for several protests in opposition to the Islamists and in defence of humanity and secularism. As expected, this focused the main battleground between worker-communism and the reactionary Islamists. We were calling for an end to Sharia law and 'long live secularism' while the Islamists called for the death of secularism. One could say with certainty that this confrontation will continue, as there is a deep rift between worker-communism on the one hand and religion and political Islam on the other. It was apparent that in the battle between Islam, religion and superstition on the one hand and secularism on the other, worker-communism would be the bastion of civilised humanity.

In a coordinated offensive, the Islamists - using religious ignorance, the assistance of 'cultural relativism' and the 'anti-imperialist left' in European countries, and backed by the meaningful and supportive silence of European governments - are attempting to assault secularism and human achievement. We must oppose them.

Sadly, some women, children and even some secular organisations in European countries are treating this with indifference. However, the role of the 'anti-imperialist left' in European countries and in particular the role of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in England as a political organisation, which defines itself as left, has been very destructive in this affair. This 'left's' activities have in practice bolstered Islamic groups, provided services and support to political Islam, organised on their behalf and provided them with publicity. This 'Islamic left' that from an 'anti-Imperialist' petite-bourgeoisie standpoint in the west feels guilty because of Europe's colonial past and thinks it owes the 'third world', believes they are actually paying their dues like this. This 'Islamic left' has neither the interests of the people of the 'third world' at heart nor any real interest in this issue. From an 'anti-imperialist' standpoint with an inverted colonial mentality which imagines a very inhumane picture of the people who live in these 'societies', this 'left' lends its support to the most reactionary sections of these societies - the Islamic groups and currents. From the point of view of this 'left' all the people of Islam-ridden countries are Moslems, they welcome impoverishment, love rotten religious laws and Sharia, want Hejab and Islamic veil and despise freedom of thought and expression. This 'left' is not ashamed of its role in rubbing shoulders with the Islamic beasts and has become their lower rank infantry. While we were supporting secularism at the counter-demonstrations, they comfortably found their place amongst the reactionary Islamists and shouted for the death of secularism. We are not surprised of such behaviour. We are very well familiar and conversant with this trend. Their 'third world anti-imperialist' replicas in the Islamic-nationalist movement in Iran and the Middle East have the parasite mullahs as their heroes. They are not bothered if millions of women and children have no rights.

Today, getting rid of and removing the threat of religion from the daily lives of people as well as defending secularism are the tasks of worker-communism. Civilised and progressive humanity must oppose political Islam's assault and safeguard society from reactionary Islamic groups and their supporters.

First published in English in WPI Briefing 129.