Confusing 'Islamophobia' with racism
By Maryam Namazie
February 10, 2004
for all things Islamic' - which frankly
reads very much like an Islamic Republic of Iran's Ministry
of Intelligence statement - badly, or should I say, sadly, misses
the point of my article entitled 'Unveiling
the Debate on Women's Rights and Secularism'.
While my article was
aimed at defending the principles of secularism, the separation
of religion from the state and educational system and women's
rights vis-à-vis political Islam, Khorsandi seems to think
it was primarily about 'Islamophobia' and the war on
Iraq [I will come to Iraq further below].
While interestingly remaining
silent on his own position, if any, regarding secularism, veiling,
women's rights, sexual apartheid, Islam and political Islam,
his only discernible response is to cry racism.
confuses critical thought in the form of opposition to a religion,
its political movement and the sexual apartheid it imposes
as racism. Moreover, he confuses a critique of the veil as an attack
or women wearing the veil.
If it were so, a critique of child
labour would be deemed an attack on the child, a critique of
Mutilation (FGM), an attack on women and girls who are mutilated,
a critique of poverty, an attack on the poor, a critique
of Zionism, anti-Semitism and so on and so forth.
This is no where
Also, he confuses 'Islamophobia' with racism. Again,
this is factually inaccurate. Islamophobia is not racism
in anyway, shape or form no matter how many powers that be
say it is. Only
phobias against people because of their race are racism
Opposition to or critiques of or even 'phobias'
religions, cultures or political movements are not racism.
It is only in the bizarro-world of the New World Order's cultural
relativism that Islamophobia has been increasingly and
given legitimacy as a form of racism.
This is an important
and one I have stressed on numerous occasions because
I believe the use of the term 'Islamophobia' is in itself an
attempt to silence a critique of Islam, political Islam and its
of women by deeming all those who do as racist.
it to say
that Khorsandi's argument is one often used by Western
governments, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Saudi Arabian
the British Muslim Association (BMA) and so on to
do just that. Just
as the Israeli government similarly labels opponents
policies and occupation of Palestine as anti-Semitism.
Again, this is
no where the case.
Now a few words on the other 'issues' that he raises
in his piece: Khorsandi is irate that we at the Worker-communist
Party of Iran waste any of our time exposing political
Islam when we could all be good old anti-imperialist
nationalists that support
any reaction, including Khomeini in Iran and the
Taliban in Afghanistan (go look at their literature)
when we could instead not care a whit about what
these reactionaries do to real live human beings.
there are two poles of terrorism in the world today
- the USA-led state
terrorism on the one hand and Islamic terrorism
on the other (see Mansoor Hekmat's 'The World After
September 11 on marxists.org).
Ignoring Islamic terrorism is at best irresponsible
and at worst reprehensible given the carnage
it always leaves
is not difficult to grasp if you begin with the
human being as your
basis as we do -- then you will easily see why
we oppose sanctions in Iraq, the war on Iraq,
Order as well
as the Islamic regime of Iran, September 11,
the imposition of Sharia law in Iraq, the death threat
an Islamic group and so on. Khorsandi, however,
fails to do so. I guess hanging around the Socialist
Workers Party and the British Muslim Association
can do that
Maryam Namazie is the Executive Director of
the International Federation of Iranian Refugees and Director
of the International Relations Committee of the Worker-communist
Party of Iran.
goodbye to spam!
this page to your friends