“Islamic Fundamentalism”: A Tool in Imperialism’s Hands

The Iranian People’s Fadaee Guerrillas

In the last two decades, we have witnessed the daily rise of a phenomenon known as “Political Islam” or “Islamic Fundamentalism”, especially in countries where Moslems make the majority. Unfortunately, the growth of this fundamentalism, which mostly hides behind and justifies itself through anti-Imperialist slogans, has resulted in some wrong viewpoints and illusions among revolutionary and communist forces. As a result, when analyzing the class nature of this fundamentalism, these communist forces are being diverted, and while repeating bourgeois propaganda, they incorrectly consider these groups as “anti-Imperialist” and “Revolutionary”. It is due to this very fact that as an Iranian communist organization, which has witnessed up-close the relentless strangulation of the anti-Imperialist Democratic movement of the Iranian people by the Islamic Republic regime in Iran for the past 27 years, must share our organization’s observations with you, and explain the misleading analysis of the above way of thinking.

In most analyses common today, there is an effort to wrap “Islamic Fundamentalism” in “anti Imperialist” clothing. According to these analyses, Khomeini’s clique and the Islamic regime in Iran were seemingly a manifestation and symbol of anti-Imperialism. But in fact, while verbally opposing American and other Imperialist forces, the very same Islamic regime under Khomeini’s leadership has indeed viciously crushed the genuine anti Imperialism-Democratic movement of the Iranian people; a movement that had started with “Down with the Shah” and “Down with American Imperialism” slogans. This regime has repressed and executed masses of people, freedom fighters and communists for their true and just anti-Imperialist, Democratic demands. Therefore, those who consider this regime to be anti-imperialist must explain why it has put forth this blood drenching suppression of the people’s anti Imperialist movement and revolution!

The truth is that in the 70’s, workers and the toiling masses of Iran, inspired by the struggles of our organization; The Iranian People’s Fadaee Guerillas (IPFG), formed an anti-Imperialism, Democratic movement with the goal of overthrowing the dependent regime of the Shah and abolishing Imperialist domination in Iran. But when the revolutionary struggle in its process intensified and saving the Shah’s regime by his Imperialist masters was no longer feasible, in order to counter the masses’ movement, the Imperialist forces in Guadeloupe Summit decided to replace the Shah’s regime with an Islamic current, which was in line with a policy of installing a green belt around the ex-Soviet Union.  In those days, this Islamic current under Khomeini’s authority did not even have an organization, but with Imperialists’ political and material supports, this clique was rapidly boosted up, and under the circumstances of a lack of a revolutionary leadership (keeping in mind the very hard blows our organization had received at the time), an Islamic Republic regime filled the “alternative vacuum” for the Imperialists.

From the very first days of coming to power, the Islamic Republic regime under the name of Islam, yet in fact serving the Imperialists, committed atrocities against the oppressed people of Iran that had not even been committed by the mercenary regime of the Shah.

In the following years, tens of thousands of communists and anti-Imperialist combatants were massacred by the Islamic regime. This regime even executed kids and teenaged girls as young as 14 or 15 years of age. One of the most heinous crimes this regime perpetrated in prisons after 1981 was the raping of virgin girls by revolutionary guards before executing them.  The high ranking Islamic Republic leaders justified these rapes by reasoning that these atheist virgin girls deserved to die, but according to Islam since virgins are without sins, they enter heaven after death. It was therefore necessary for the revolutionary guards to deflower the girls to prevent them from going to heaven!

This regime has crushed the just struggles of the oppressed Kurds, Turks, Arabs, Baluchs, Lors, and Turkmans for wanting self-determination.  After a while, in order to repress the revolution even further and to benefit the Imperialists, the Islamic regime kept Iran in an 8 year reactionary war with Iraq; a war that for the oppressed masses of the two countries brought nothing but misery, hunger, death and destruction, while making the region a profitable market for the Imperialists, and put billions of dollars into their pockets by the selling of military weapons of their arsenals.

It was the same regime that in 1988 right after the end of the war, fearful of the spread of the people’s struggle, slaughtered tens of thousands of political prisoners; a political genocide never recorded in history before. The regime executed several thousand political prisoners and massacred them all at once. A few years later, again around the same time when resistance and the masses’ movement were on the rise, the regime started the horrifying murder of intellectuals and writers; murders which later the regime was forced to admit to when its crimes were exposed. These crimes are now known as the government “serial killings”.

In spite of all the “anti American” and “anti Imperialist” rhetoric, the Islamic regime through out all these years has given away our oppressed people’s national wealth and resources to the Imperialists’ oil and military companies and Trusts.  Iran has turned into a more profitable marketplace for giant corporations and Imperialist governments.  Under the Islamic regime, the imperialist-dependent capitalist system in Iran has grown and expanded.  The anti-people’s army which was established by US Imperialism in support of the Shah’s regime after the 1953 coup d’etat, and which had received some blows from masses movement in 1979, was re-constructed shortly thereafter by the Islamic regime and has now intensely expanded.  While reciting empty slogans against “America” and “East and West Imperialism”, the Islamic regime holds the most comprehensive monetary, economic and political relationships with the very same Imperialists. We are positive that the readers remember the counter-revolutionary incidents, which was partially exposed in the “Iran Contra” affair.

At an international level we are witnessing an incorrect supposition that based on the empty anti-Imperialist slogans these Islamic currents put on display, tries to relate the struggle of the “petty bourgeoisie” with “Imperialist capital” or big capital in the dominated countries. This analysis is not based on reality. On the contrary, in Iran where we have experienced almost 3 decades of the rule of the “Islamists”, reality shows that from day one in addition to the savage and bloody suppression of the workers, the Islamic regime has also oppressed the peasants, farmers, the toiling masses and the petty bourgeoisie which are under Imperialism’s extreme plunder and exploitation.  It prevents the breaking up of any private property for the benefit of large property owners and bureaucratic capital.  Islamist experience in Iran clearly shows that this “Political Islam” in action is an outright defendant and servant to Imperialism, big business, and the multi-nationals in Iran and throughout the region. At the international level, in spite of some incorrect and diverting analysis concerning “Islamic Fundamentalism”; (a fundamentalism which the direct or indirect role of intelligence services such as the CIA in its growth has been exposed numerous times) this is not a “rebellion” and “defiance” of a “dying petty bourgeoisie” against Imperialism (as these analyses suggest). But in fact, it is a manifestation of economic depression and the bloody battles of Imperialist big capital which in defending their profits and expanding their markets, exercise more force and violence day by day. This reality best portrayed itself in the September 11thtragedy; a tragedy which could not have been organized and taken place without the knowledge and support of Imperialist powerful circles.

The experience of “Islamic Fundamentalism” in Iran is the manifestation of the reality that “Political Islam” is but a cover for the expansion of the hellish domination of Imperialism over and against workers and oppressed peoples; not an opposition to it. The great and bloody experiences of the workers and oppressed peoples in Middle East have shown that communists are the only unwavering anti-Imperialist combatants. And only under their leadership, will the anti-Imperialist struggles of the oppressed peoples have a chance of progress and the possibility of becoming victorious and successful.

To strengthen our struggle to realize this revolutionary desire, we must try to expand our unity and solidarity. In this time of crisis, we must try to write the following slogans in permanent and dominant colours on our flags: “No To Imperialism!”, “No to Islamic Fundamentalism – the tool for advancing Imperialistic politics!”, and “Long Live the Anti-Imperialist, Democratic Revolution under the Leadership of The Working Class!”

The Iranian People’s Fadaee Guerrillas

May 2006

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