Islam and America... Friends or Foes?

To justify their war in Iraq the imperialists have found so-called erudite and intelligent professors to come up with the idea of the  "The Clash of Civilizations". One of these is Francis Fukuyama and the other is Samuel P. Huntington. They have both worked in the US Foreign Office. Lal Khan's looks into their arguments and presents a class-based critique, a Marxist response.

The ferocity with which the imperialist aggression has been unleashed since the 9/11, 2001 events is neither new nor is it the last of its kind. So long as the crisis of the capitalist system exists, this atrocious onslaught will continue in different forms and in different parts of the world. This is accompanied by ideological decline and regression in human values.  The colour and analysis under which this imperialist aggression is presented, are not only misleading but also utterly false, and completely deceptive. Two important imperialist "intellectuals " have attempted to provide an "ideological" basis for this renewed imperialist aggression. One of them is Francis Fukuyama and the other is Samuel P. Huntington. They both have worked in the US Foreign Office. After the withdrawal of the Soviet Army from Afghanistan in 1989, Francis Fukuyama came out his infamous thesis "The End of History" in the form of a book.

In the summer of 1993, Huntington, who had been an advisor on America's Vietnam policy in president Johnson's era and later on became the Director of the Institute of Strategic Studies at Harvard University, brought out his essay "The Clash of Civilizations" in the Foreign Affairs Magazine. Apparently, this essay has been written in the form of a polemic with Fukuyama's thesis, "The End of History". But if we have a closer look at Huntington's thesis, we realize that the objectives of this thesis are the same as those of Fukuyama's - to justify the aggressive domination of American Imperialism.

But in the events that came to the fore after 2001, Huntington's thesis, The Clash of Civilization, became more renowned. Not only American Imperialism used it but also the Islamic Fundamentalists fully benefited from it. Presenting his argument against Fukuyama's thesis, Huntington says, "though the defeat of communism" has made an end to the ideological disputes, it does not signify the end of history. Now instead of politics and economics, culture will dominate the globe and it will continue to divide it."

The cultures, Huntington mentions in his thesis, The Clash Of Civilizations are: Western civilization, Confucianism (the Chinese, the Japanese), Islamic, Hindu, Slav Orthodox (Russians, etc), Latin American civilizations and probably African civilization. He has used "probably" with African civilization because he does not believe them to be civilized human beings! He declares that religion is the symbol of the social value of these civilizations. Huntington argues "religion is the central force which keeps the people agile and active". According to him the basic divide is "The West versus The Rest". From this he concludes that the West,  "in reality, America", must be ready to crush the encountering civilizations through military oppression. He also says that the most dangerous civilizations are Islam and Confucianism (that is, Oil and Chinese exports). He concludes his thesis by saying, "The world is not one. Civilizations unite and disunite the people. Blood and belief are the basis through which people get recognized and for these things they will fight and die."

These ideas and analysis are not only a source of strength for the aggressive policy of the American rulers, but are also a source of pleasure for the fundamentalists and the reactionary politicians and generals. Both the "fighting" factions want to use it to the full. But the destruction and mayhem, which results from this, victimizes billions of working and downtrodden people.

On the other hand Francis Fukuyama was furious at his critics that they had concluded from his thesis that he had excluded the possibility of clashes forever. He said that his critics were not even able to understand his philosophy that he had borrowed from Hegel. But he published his real objectives in the form of a letter. On September 12, 2001, along with other intellectuals like William Crystal, Jean Kirkpatrick, Richard Pearl, Martin Prayers, Norman Podorize and some others who are the defenders of the imperialist culture, he wrote an  "open letter" to Bush.

In the letter "it was stressed that Osama Bin Laden must be arrested or killed."The letter warned president Bush that he must invade Iraq, overthrow Saddam Hussein and not doing so would mean "a quick and decisive defeat and a surrender to the global terrorism". It was necessary to do so even if no proof of any Iraqi connection with the 9/11 attack was to be found. This open letter by the professor who had presented the thesis of "The End of History" speaks of the utter intellectual degeneration of the bourgeois thinkers and intellectuals along with the economic and social degeneration of imperialism.

If we analyse history, we realize that there is not complete harmony among the civilizations that grew up in the cradle of three main monotheistic religions. Despite the differences that existed among them, they exercised a dominant influence upon the world of that particular time. Time and ages went on changing. And these civilizations continued to change their patterns of development. The characteristic and tragedy of the present epoch is that no major political party even poses to bring about a radical change or a social transformation.

The result is a superficial lull in which there is hopelessness, despair, disillusionment and a tendency to avoid realities. In such an atmosphere the germs of bigotry and irrationalism grow and multiply. During the last 50 years we find trends of religious revivalism with economic and political objectives. Its main causes of this resurgence are as follows:

There has been a degeneration of the so-called left wing parties and leaders as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the betrayal of traditional mass parties and the trade union leadership. The widening social and economic gap in societies, and the increasing economic crisis as well as the lack of a clear way out on the political horizon to get rid of this crisis, has led to an increase in the political crisis that inevitably gives birth to extremism and terror. It is a reactionary attempt to search for light in the tombs of the past because of the fright and disillusionment of the future.

A large-scale migration of people from villages to the cities has aggravated this crisis. The insecurity, misery and bitterness of life in the slums and shantytowns give rise to frustration and despair. The mental corruption and the resultant wave of crimes which arise because of the deprivation and comparison between the miserable life of the youth of the lower and middle classes and that of the privileged classes. The religious parties involve the youth in these crimes because of the political protection. Because of the lack of any way out of this misery and having guilty consciences over their crimes, so many young people get lost in religious mysticism as an escape into oblivion.

Another important factor, because of which these religious parties carry the backward layers of the youth and common people away, was their extreme hatred against the colossal corruption, vanity, pride and an insulting attitude of the traditional bourgeois liberal politicians. Whereas, the religious politicians hypocritically continue preaching social justice, end to corruption, cultural purity and piety. The propaganda of the end of communism and the historical decline of nationalism also made bigotry and Islamism quite attractive.

The parents of those tens of thousands of children, who got strangled in the religious schools in different Islamic countries, could not afford to raise their children. These children had only two futures: on the one hand they could become the raw fodder of the child labour market; or they could be thrust into the imprisonment of these religious schools (madrassas) where, at least they could get some crumbs and shelter. In these schools there is a regime of incessant repression, torture, intimidation, sexual assault and theocratic indoctrination.

The education is monotonous and based on the metaphysical sermons. This gives birth to fanaticism, communal hatreds, bigotry and terrorist tendencies. For example, in these schools the Urdu alphabets that are taught are symbolic of their reactionary thought. For example,"Jeem"(J) for Jihad; "Tay"(T) for "Tope"("Cannon"), "Kaf" (Q) for "Kalashinkov"; and  "Khay"(K) for "Khoon"("Blood").

At later stages, by teaching them the history of the remote past, their minds are sunk into the darkness of wars, myths, habits and values of pre-medieval ages. These minds immersed in the past in this modern age can end up doing what we have witnessed in the last couple of decades in the form of this virulent Islamic fundamentalism, the hysteria of which has destroyed a vast generation of youth from Muslim backgrounds. The terrorism, barbarity and bloodshed that have come out of this fanaticism are the product of a stagnated society and a rotting system.

Another important element, which became a source of financial and social support of religious fundamentalism is globalisation and a crushing dominance of the imperialistic monopolies, which put at stake the interests of the local industrialists, traders, businessmen and drug barons.

In Iran both the factions of mullahs believe in capitalism. The stronghold of the Iranian mullahs was and is based on "bazaris" (traders and businessmen). Even today, the temporary contradictions that have emerged between the so-called liberal faction of Khatami and the conservative faction of Khamenai reflect the clash of these interests. The Khamenai faction is dominated by the local Iranian capitalists and the "bazaris' who do not want to open up Iranian economy for the monopolies. But the Iranian economy, based on this "national capitalism" is in crisis. And because of its growing social, political and international pressure, Khatami wants to open up to let monopoly capitalism enter into Iran. Since, Khatami represents the so-called liberal faction of the Iranian capitalists, he wants to test this recipe. But from Russia to Chile, whosoever has tried to solve the economic crisis through the investment of monopoly vulture capitalists has brought devastation and misery. Both the methods to sustain capitalism have failed to play any positive role in alleviating poverty or in social development.

In Pakistan, too, the greatest support of the religious parties comes from the drug barons, capitalists, businessmen and middle class traders. The support, which the Jamat-e-Islami and other religious parties get from these classes, is the protection of their vested interests from other sections of national and international capital.

To get rid of this fear, "the national thinking and emotions", which develop in them, get an Islamic tinge. Similarly, the Islamic fundamentalists have been using different criminal methods including drugs smuggling to heap up their loot for the last three decades. During the 1980s, America also sponsored and encouraged this trade to finance the "Afghan Jihad". Through this trade these drug barons have earned billions. Rather the budgets of most of the leaders of these Islamic parties, expenses of their rank and file workers and of their institutions, including these religious schools, are met through this black capital.

In the clandestine videos of Osama Bin Laden, which are widely circulated in the Islamic countries, he stresses that oil is the common property of the Muslim Ummah (Nation). He demands that oil should be privatised and handed over to small capitalists of the religion. The deeply entrenched psychological concept and conviction in private property is evident and crystal clear in the writings and preaching of these fundamentalist ideologues and zealots like Abul-ala- Moudoodi and Osama Bin Laden.

The reality is that the economic and financial basis of all the religious states, whether they be Israel, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia or the ex-Taliban Afghanistan, is capitalist in character. Therefore, the difference between the Western and Eastern civilizations is superficial and secondary. Mostly they are the social, cultural and traditional differences, which arise due to different levels and stages of historical evolution in which, these societies are embedded.

These rulers and their agents are forced to comply and accept this system in this or that form because the Islamic economic system that they rhetorically preach is incompatible with the present day economy and is more primitive than capitalism. In reality they are the most ardent supporters of capitalism. There own political and social existence is reliant on finance capital.

That is why their differences and agreements, their friendship and enmity, are also superficial, temporary and hypocritical. Hence the imperialists and the fundamentalists continually change their loyalties and relations with along with their changing interests and preferences. That is why at one time they are friends and at the other they are foes.
The Black economy is a cancer in the so-called formal economy yet it is very much the part of the capitalist system as a tumour is a part of the human body. The rise of the black economy and religious fundamentalism are the malignant expressions of the intense economic, social and political crisis of this obsolete system. But historically rejected economic systems, in their most developed shapes fall victim to social suffocation, social crisis and retrogression. If there is fundamentalism in Islamic countries, there is no dearth of Christian fundamentalism in America. Ninety percent of the population in America regularly revives their religious faith and belief in God. 60% believe in angels. In America believers are more than in the whole of Europe. The Christian fundamentalists in America had declared the 9/11 events as the wrath of God because in America there was, increased promiscuity, a moral decline and social corruption were at their peak. The newly born Christian groups in America are not satisfied even with presence of their representative (Bush) in the White House. Whereas, according to Bush and Blair they get hints and dreams from heaven as revelation for their monstrosities. The Christian fundamentalists blast bombs at abortion centres and are continuously getting the doctors murdered who work there.

Similarly, the Jewish religious fundamentalists are not ready to accept Israel as a true model of their fundamentalism. They are indoctrinated with the bigoted wish of spreading the domination of Zionism throughout the world. They consider the murder of Palestinians as the murder of infidels. Under this cover of fundamentalism, Israeli rulers are committing the worst forms of repression and barbarism. And then they justify these barbaric acts on the basis of religion. The result is religious bigotry; terrorism, barbarism and hatred feed on each other. Yet the shedding of innocent human blood goes on unabated.

But in Pakistan and in many others countries, states make use of religion in specific periods when they suffer from crisis and social revolts. In Pakistan, general Zia-ul- Haq used Islam for the colossal repression of workers. But, on the other hand even the so-called secular rulers like Benazir and now Musharraf again and again revert to the use religion when confronted with socio-economic crises, political turmoil and mass resentment. When the rotten policies of rulers and their out dated system fail to develop the society, they utilize religion to use the backward layers of society to divide and sabotage the movements of the workers. To perform pilgrimages, visit shrines and issue messages at different religious ceremonies and to telecast religious performances are the inevitable part of this process.

But in the recent upsurge of the Islamic fundamentalism the rhetoric of anti-imperialism has proved very useful. Not only the MMA (Alliance of the Islamic Parties) has got relatively more votes than in the past, by using this slogan they have been able to form governments in the NWFP and Balochistan. The mutual alliance of the mullahs and some sections of the army are also based on the sense of betrayal because of the cutting of the American aid and deprivation of these religious and military allies of the wealth, which the imperialists doled upon them during the Jihad. Recently, a retired Pakistani general expressed his grief in the following words:   "Pakistan was the condom which the Americans needed to enter into Afghanistan. We have been used and now they think that we can be flushed down the toilet."

This is the thinking of the lower and middle rank officers of the Pakistan army who could not, financially, benefit from the loot to the extent as did the higher command of the army and the bureaucracy. This also gives rise to their rising frustration and anger. In the Pakistan army, there are only a few hard-line and committed fundamentalists. But at present, the internal conflicts between the liberal and conservative religious officers are greater because of the financial gains and material interests rather than any ideological confrontation.

We find this example in Zia's personality. He was an officer of the armoured corps who had been trained in the highest American military training centre - Fort Bragg. He used to say his prayers to god, but practically, his actions, in the last analysis, were subordinate to his real master - America. For example, in 1970 he headed a military operation in Amman in which 18 thousand Palestinians were massacred. Never were so many Palestinians martyred at a time anywhere. This operation was undertaken to save the American and Israeli agent, the Jordanian King Hussein, from the Palestinian revolutionary uprising in Amman. The bloodthirsty American and Israeli experts planned the operation. But it was then Brigadier Zia who executed this bloodshed. He did not hesitate to massacre the Muslims over there. Neither did it run counter to his Islamic ideals. In that period the Islamic movements were deeply connected with American imperialism. Today, many have illusions in the various Islamic parties - the memories of people are short lived.

But their failure to get a mass base and become a countrywide force in their hypocritical movement against U.S. aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq, is proof that with the change of generations human memory does not come to an end. And even in this period of stagnation, people know and realize their real character and their relationship with finance capital and imperialists.

If we analyse Islamic history we find, on the one hand, so many military victories during the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries, and on the other hand we witness a colossal extension and development in the fields of science, culture, politics and many other fields. The centres of knowledge and learning like Cordoba, Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus and many others did open up new vistas in the development of human knowledge and intellect.

What is nowadays called Islamic "civilization" went into decline because the conquerors had refused to learn and adapt to the conquered areas and regions. It had been the synthesis of the rich and ancient civilizations such as Syria and Iran together with Spain and others, which had rendered vastness and grandeur to this Islamic advancement in the first place. The relations between different religions were also not the same as are propagated today. In 1099, when after the siege of 40 days, the Christian militias as part of the Crusades occupied Jerusalem, the larger part of the population, including men, women and children, were killed. For two days blood flowed through the streets, but the Muslims and the Jews had fought side by side against the crusaders.

Similarly the right of open discussion and the right to dissent on all matters, including religion, were an important factor in the development of this civilization, which pealed and flourished during the last century of the last millennium. If we analyse the writings of the religious scholars (that were taught across the old world) of the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries AD, they are far more modern, mature and on a much higher level than most of the trash coming out of the present day Islamic scholars. The irony is that if those scholars of those times were alive today, they would have been sentenced to death under the draconian Islamic laws prevalent in different countries today. One or the other religious sect would have declared their murder a religious obligation. History stands witness to the fact that from Al- Mamoon to the three caliphs that succeeded him had not only followed their thoughts but also tried to allow them to blossom by encouraging discussion on such questions. One of the major reasons of the decline of the Islamic Empire was the rise of reaction, inflexibility, and the lust of wealth and power with which today's fundamentalism is also heavily infested. This decline has caused not only the collapse of a whole civilization but has also strangled minds in religious shackles, narrowed thoughts, and turned societies into stagnant pools.

Another important characteristic of this reactionary fundamentalism is its trend of extreme opportunism. On the one hand, they spread terror while displaying bigotry, inflexibility and repression; on the other there is much opportunism, weakness, greed and cowardice in their character. Time and again they have proved to be sell-outs when given the first opportunity.

That is why the chief characteristic of religious fundamentalism, regardless of what religion it belongs, is hypocrisy. In the societies where fundamentalism has a certain social base, hypocrisy becomes a norm. This factor comes to the fore in their relationship with capitalism and imperialism.

The process of the use religion by imperialism to increase its exploitation is not new. In the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, after the bourgeois revolutions were in progress, the means of production developed rapidly. To increase their profits these western imperialists turned towards backward regions to plunder them. In this regard, the church and Christian fundamentalism provided them full religious justification, protection and support for their profit making sojourns.

Basically, the Christian priests and the missionaries, who were sent to Latin America, Africa and Asia, were the advance missions of imperialist occupation. Similarly, for Vascoday Gamma, Christopher Columbus and other naval experts, who had gone out in search for new lands, their fundamental purpose was also to find new markets and minerals and other resources for loot and plunder.

Their relationship with Islamic fundamentalism is also quite long standing. Islamic fundamentalism was used for imperialist domination, especially over the Arab world. The newly emerging movements for religious revivalism almost as a rule are reactionary and vicious. One of the earliest movements for the revival of Islam was the Wahabi Movement in Saudi Arabia. The founder of the movement was Muhammad Ibn-e-Wahab (1703-92). In 1744, Ibn-e-Wahab reached the city of Darya in the Najad province. There along with a dacoit of the time, Mir Muhammad Ibn-e- Saud he laid the foundation of a hard-line puritan Islamic Kingdom. After revolting against the Ottoman Caliphate, this Saudi state, which was based on continuous Jihad and internal repression, started to grow on booty and plunder. To strengthen this relationship Ibn-e-Saud included Wahab's daughter into his harem and turned this marital relation into a political bond. The Kingdom of a family, which was established through religious bigotry, military repression, political manoeuvring and the strengthening of relations through women, is still ruling over Saudi Arabia. In 1792, the Saudi Wahabi forces defeated the neighbouring rulers and occupied the cities of Riyadh, Khurj and Qasim. In 1801, they occupied Karbala and killed its population.  They ransacked houses and shrines because Wahbi-ism rejected pilgrimages to shrines. In 1802, they occupied Taif and in 1803, they occupied Makkah.

After the First World War, when in 1919, as a result of the Versailles treaty, the occupied forces started dividing different areas. Palestine, Iraq and Egypt went to Britain, whereas, Syria and Lebanon went to France. Britain started to establish her rule over the "East" and France plundered the "West". The British agent, St. John Philby, started to establish links with the crown prince Amir Abdul Aziz Ibn-e-Saud who also belonged to Najad.  Now Ibn-e-Saud did not need any missionary for his rule. Rather, in the changed situation he needed the imperialist support. Philby presented a plan to Ibn-e-Saud in which he suggested that he should conquer different tribes through deceitful tactics and expand his kingdom across the whole of the Arabian Peninsula. The plan was put into practice under imperialist domination and support. In these way two imperialist agents, Philby and Bellfore heralded a reactionary era in the Middle East. Philby had founded the fundamentalist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Bellfore, the reactionary Zionist Israeli state. Like his forefathers, while conquering Saudi Arabia, Ibn-e-Saud started to fill his harem by marrying the wives of his defeated enemies.

But in the economic field, America did not want to have the plunder of oil restricted to Britain only. American oil multinationals had started to increase their links with Ibn-e-Saud even in the 1930s. In 1933, an American company, Standard Oil, got big oil contracts by paying gold worth $50,000 to Ibn-e-Saud. To compete with Britain, America enacted a merger of Standard Oil with ESSO, Texaco, and Mobil and formed an
American-Arab oil company, ARMCO. In 1938, oil production began and to this day, this company manipulates the oil industry in Saudi Arabia. Keeping in view its imperialistic and economic interests, America has ignored all the crimes, violations of human rights, its autocratic rule, and all the other forms of repression of the Saudi Monarchy.

Similarly during the last century, the Western imperialists used different fundamentalist parties to crush the progressive leaders and working class movements. In 1928, Ikhwan-ul-Muslemeen was founded in Egypt. The basis of this organization was not much different from that of Wahabi-ism. Its founding manifesto is very much like the manifestoes of the local parties:"God is our objective! The prophet is our leader! The Quran is our constitution! Jihad is our motto!" On this very slogan and manifesto the Jammat-e-Islami was founded in 1941 in the Indian Sub-Continent. Its founder, Maulana Abul Ala Moudoodi had opposed the Pakistan Resolution and Muhammad Ali Jinnah.  He had said that the secular nationalists were using the name of Islam to establish a secular state.

Earlier Moudoodi had closely observed the communist movement in Hyderabad Deccan. He had observed intensely their organizational activities and methods. Therefore he wanted to form a party on the ideology of Islamic Fundamentalism but he wanted to lay its organizational structure and methods on the pattern of the communist movement.

On August 26, 1941, the Jamaat-e-Islami was founded in a meeting of 75 people, held at a private house. Among the differences that came to the fore later on was an important issue, that is, the property relations in Islamic ideology.

Here Moudoodi defended the right of private property in a harsh and emotional tone. The later leading lights of the Jamaat-e-Islami and of the other religious parties wholeheartedly defended the market system and vowed to adopt its principles. On the political front this organisation has been an ardent ally of imperialism and a bulwark of reaction, especially in Pakistan.

Even in 1940, Moudoodi had borrowed the services of an Arab translator and circulated his writings in the Arab world. Thus in most of the Muslim majority countries, the CIA coordinated the links between the various trends, which wanted to revive Islam on this aggressive pattern. Later on, after the 1950s, American imperialism used it in different countries and at different places for its own interests. In Egypt, the greatest ally of Moudoodi-ism was Syed Qutab who had emerged as the leader of Ikhwan-ul-Muslemeen after Hasan-al- Bana. Similarly, American imperialism formed and sponsored more Islamic fundamentalist parties in other countries. In this regard it used the Saudi Arabian and Pakistani states. From the formation of Laskar-e-Taiba, Harkat-ul-Ansar and even the Hizb-e-Islami of Gulbadin Hikmatyar in Afghanistan to the formation of the Taliban, the CIA was involved directly or indirectly.

During the Afghan Jihad, when the Pakistani generals requested that Arab countries send an eminent person from the Royal Family to enhance recruitment and persuasion for Jihad, the man they sent was Osama Bin Laden.

When Osama Bin Laden reached Pakistan, the American National Security Adviser, Zbignew Brzezinski, was on an official visit to Pakistan to promote and encourage Jihad. When at the Khyber Pass, Brzezinski was delivering a speech; Osama was in the audiences. In this speech, Brzezinski had openly said, "God is with you". One of Osama's first actions as a pro-Western freedom fighter was an attack on a mixed school, which was burnt to the ground and its headmaster was killed and disembowelled.

It is now an open secret that Israel was also involved in this Islamic Jihad in Afghanistan. In 1985, a young Pakistani journalist, Ahmed Mansoor, who worked for an Islamabad based English daily, The Muslim, accidentally came across Israeli advisors in the bar of the Pearl Continental Hotel, Peshawar.

Knowing that this news could prove a great setback for Zia's Islamic dictatorship, he discussed the news with his editor, some friends, and the WTN correspondent. After a few days, on an alert from the security agencies, the Islamic mujahideen captured and killed him.

Similarly, to regulate the financial activities of the Afghan Jihad, a new bank was established. This was the infamous Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI). The money generated by the smuggling of drugs and arms was channelled through this bank to the fundamentalists and used for " Jihad". The objective of this bank was to launder the black money and protect criminal wealth. The founder of the bank was the infamous banker, Agha Hasan Abidi, who had full backing of the CIA. It is through this bank that the Pakistani generals and other rulers became billionaires. That is why, the families of General Zia ul Haq, Gen Akhtar Abdur Rehman (The ISI boss during the dictatorship) and others today are among the richest Pakistanis. These riches are the blessing of the same Afghan Jihad that was fought against "infidelity" on the behest of American imperialism in the name of Islam.

Even before Afghanistan, the last 50 years of the twentieth century are full of so many instances when American imperialism used Islamic fundamentalism against progressive movements and leaders who talked of socialism. The main architect of modern Islamic revivalist movements and this frantic fundamentalism was the US Secretary of State under President Eisenhower, John Foster Dulles in the 1950's. After the defeat of the imperialists in the Suez war of 1956 and rise of the populist and left movements in several Muslim countries this religious bigotry was envisaged as a tool to distract the masses and crush revolutions. There was a clear policy decision of U.S. strategists to use Islamic fundamentalism as a virulent reactionary force against left wing movements and workers revolutionary struggles.

In Egypt, the Ikhwan-ul-Muslemeen was used against Jamal Abdul Nasir, in Indonesia, Masjoomi was used for the genocide of one million workers of the Communist Party in 1965 and in Pakistan the Jammat-e-Islami was used against Bhutto, the PPP and the left wing movement.

In Bangladesh, "Al Badar" and "Al Shams", the neo-fascist frontal organisations of the Jamaat-e-Islami, were used against the mass uprising as the vigilante auxiliaries of the Pakistan Army. In 1996, when the Taliban occupied Kabul, they dragged out Najeeb Ullah of the office of the "UNO" and killed him. Afterwards, his dead body and that of his brother, Ahmed Zaie, were hanged from a pole in the central square of Kabul and were savagely mutilated. Here no western intellectual, politician or imperialist authority took notice of the violation of human rights. Even after witnessing this horrific spectacle they did not raise any protest whatsoever.

It is now an open secret that US imperialism and its oil magnates had covertly supported the Taliban. They were paid 30 million dollars by the American oil giant Unocal for the military capture of Kabul.

A rightwing American intellectual has written in an essay, "Being a superpower, America must not be fearful of undertaking activities to implement globalisation. The secret hand of the market cannot work without the secret fist. MacDonald's cannot run without MacDonald Douglas (a big arms factory of America which makes F-15s). The rotten department that makes the technology of Silicon Valley secure is the American army, Air Force and Marine Corps". (Time Magazine, 28th March, 1999.)

Marxists have explained this characteristic of imperialism long ago. Trotsky had written in one of his essay "Oil now plays a much bigger role in industry and military. 2/3 of it is extracted or used by America. In 1923, it had become 72%. They complain they are at the end of their oil reserves. After the First World War, I confess, I thought that these complaints were good excuses to capture the oil of other countries. But now geologists admit that with its present rate of consumption, the American oil supply will be sufficient only for 25 years. Some think, it will last for forty years. But within 25 or 40 years, America will get ten times more oil from others through her industry and warships". (Leon Trotsky, Izvestia, 15th August1924).

But oil is only one cause of American global aggression and terror. There are political and social causes also along with the economic and financial reasons. And it is necessary to dialectically synthesize, analyse and understand all these factors.

One of the important reasons for this imperialist terror is the deep crisis of American capitalism. This severe crisis has caused political chaos and shattered the confidence of the American rulers. Since 9/11, 2001, three million American workers have become jobless. 35% of Americans are living below the poverty line of the developed countries. Crimes are increasing rapidly. To divert the attention from this crisis, to frighten the working class and also to pour the salt of the threat of terrorism on their wounds of poverty and joblessness, the American rulers are propagating in high tones "the War against Terror".

To maintain their economic dominance on the world scale, they are warning other countries through this use of military terror. The workers of the whole world are also being warned that if anyone attempts to rise against capitalism, they will meet the same end as that of Afghanistan and Iraq. But as the crisis is deepening more and more, the grip of American imperialism is becoming weaker and weaker. Even without any revolutionary leadership, different contradictions burst up and force countries, whole peoples, and leaders to defy American repression.

On the other hand, because of the fear that a movement of workers on a class basis will arise out of this crisis, they give a false and reactionary colouring - The Clash of Civilizations - to this conflict. Even today, the majority of the rulers of the Islamic countries are either the agents of America or they are bowing before it because of their weakness and greed. The Mullahs and the fundamentalists are as much fearful of the class struggle as are the Americans. They have been used by imperialism earlier and they will be used in future. Recently in Pakistan, when there was a political crisis in the country after the general elections, Maulana  Fazl-ur-Rehman was also a candidate for premiership. When he was asked about the fact that the Americans might object to his appointment, he explained, "We have worked with them in the past; in the future, why not?"

Its basic reason for all of this is that the economic base of America and of the fundamentalists is the same, i.e. capitalism. Because of the severe crisis of the system, the different factions of capital are coming into conflict with one another.  Both the factions call the conflict "the Clash of Civilizations", because they want to draw the working class into it and make them its cannon fodder. If this is a war between Islam and America, then the majority of the countries attacked so for by America are non-Muslim - Chile, Grenada, Vietnam, Mexico, Honduras, and Korea etc.


After WWII, the biggest imperialist wars have been fought in Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia and Laos. At present American imperialism is at war in Venezuela, Columbia, South Korea, and many other countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. All these countries are non-Muslim.

But it is also a reality that religion is not the only characteristic of some given civilization. For the last one thousand years, the so-called Islamic world has never been similar and the same. The cultures, societies and the civilizations of the Muslims of Senegal, China, Arabia and the Sub Continent have the least in common and the difference is far and wide. The Muslims have much in common with the non-Muslims living in these regions as compared with the Muslims living in other regions. During the last 100 years, wars and revolutions have erupted in these Muslim countries as it has also happened in other counties of the world. How many Muslim countries are there in which Communist Parties were not formed and in which the struggle and movements for socialist revolution did not take place? Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Ethiopia, Somalia, and many other Muslim are countries in which revolutions took place, though in a deformed shape, but feudalism and capitalism were overthrown and these countries were at least called "socialist" countries. The biggest Communist Party formed, outside the so-called communist bloc, was in a Muslim country, Indonesia. In 1963, its cadre membership was three million. If the membership of its trade unions, peasant, students and youth organizations were counted, the total membership of the Communist Party of Indonesia amounted to 10 million. These movements will rise yet again. To stop and divert this revolution, the American imperialists and the Islamic fundamentalists present the absurd and outdated idea of " The Clash of Civilizations". The socialist revolution is the only force, which, after taking place in one country and spreading through out the world, and by smashing the shackles of private ownership and nation state now suffocating the mode of production, by demolishing all the hatred and the prejudices of the past - through modern technology and development - can give birth to a new civilization on a much higher level. Historically the composition of every human civilization is determined by the character of the specific epoch. And the historical characterization of every society depends upon the development of the means of production and technology. On this basic economic structure are raised nations, societies and civilizations. So the composition of the civilization of the past cannot reflect the future.

Therefore the theory of  "The Clash of Civilizations" is historically incorrect, rotten, reactionary, disorientating and highly deceptive. The civilization that will result from the egalitarian internationalisation of the means of production and technology will be based on universal fraternity of human beings and a genuine unity of the human race will come into existence. Only the working class can give birth to such a civilization by demolishing all the religious and other prejudices of the past through a revolutionary struggle and a socialist victory. It will be the civilization free of oppression, exploitation, barbarism, poverty and deprivation and it will mark the beginning of the real history of mankind.

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