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The cartoons against Muhammad:
an act of war against
the exploited of the Muslim world
The cartoons insulting Muhammad and Islam represent another episode in the "endless war" declared by the leaders of imperialism with the aim of enslaving the working populations of Islam and the whole of the southern world.
The oppressed Muslims understood the significance of the provocation immediately, and took to the streets in protest against it and the policy of domination being pursued by the United States and their European allies.
The Western press presented these demonstrations as obscurantist, and tried to use them to stir up the hostility of Western workers against their Islamic counterparts.
For we communists of "Che fare", such protests are sacrosanct. We see them as an integral part of the rightful resistance that the peoples and workers of the southern world are mounting in every form against the pillage and repression of Western capitalist powers. And we will do our utmost to ensure that this resistance comes into contact with the albeit still very weak opposition that Western workers are organising in order to defend themselves in the face of the antagonistic policies that the same governments of Rome, Washington and Paris are also implementing against them. We are well aware that, beyond questions of language, religion and nationality, such a fraternity of the oppressed is hindered by the feelings of indifference or hostility towards the struggles of their class brothers in the south of the world. However, although in different ways, both are being oppressed by the same Satan: international capitalism. And the only means of defending and freeing ourselves from that is to join forces in a common international fight against the great Western powers and their southern servants. We can only defend and liberate ourselves by launching a political battle aimed at destroying the walls that imperialism is trying erect (also by means of the cartoons) between Western workers and the exploited Muslim masses.
This fraternalisation cannot be aided by the policies of the official European "left" or the European perspective of Prodi-D’Alema-Bertinotti. It was this perspective that led to the war against the peoples of Yugoslavia and supports the neocolonialist mission in Afghanistan. It differs from that of Bush and Berlusconi only in terms of how to use the chains of capitalism to bind the working masses of the Islamic world and the workers of the Western. The international unification of both groups of workers therefore means denouncing the policy of the new Italian government and fighting against it.
We communists of "Che fare" will do everything in our (limited) power to encourage Italian and Western workers to adopt this approach and unconditionally support the struggles engaged, in the name of Muhammad or Bolivar, by the workers of the Muslim world, Latin America, and the southern world, and by immigrant workers in Italy and the West.
This appeal does not mean making even a provisional pact with the current national leaders of the exploited peoples in the Islamic world, in Africa or in Latin America. We do not agree with this because the policies of these leaders are incapable of taking the fight against imperialism to its logical conclusion or favouring the real international unification that such a struggle requires: for example, during the Yugoslavian tragedy, we saw how the policy of even "radical" Muslim leaders in the Balkans actually favoured the division of the Yugoslavian peoples sought by imperialism. There is a risk that something similar may occur in Iraq and the Middle East, and that the divergencies between peoples of different nationalities and different religious faiths wanted by Washington, Rome and Paris will actually be facilitated.
Any consistent and convincing struggle against the Western neocolonialist powers in the Muslim world requires the broad participation of the oppressed masses and the acquisition of a programme and organisation that has nothing to do with those of the exploiting local social classes. These requirements are interdependent because the great landowners and capitalists of Iraq, Iran and the rest of the Muslim world are terrified of the only force capable of matching that of the West’s armed forces: a mass struggle of the exploited. They are eager and willing to rant and rave against the Western powers in order to loosen the noose that imperialism is tightening also around their own necks. But they cannot and do not want to go too far because they are afraid that that will undermine the roots of imperialism and their own power: the capitalist exploitation of labour. The fight against the Satan of Washington, Rome, Paris and Berlin requires the organisation and development of a struggle that sets the needs of the exploited of the Muslim world against the interests of its own local property-owning classes.
Progress in this direction of the anti-imperialist struggle in the Muslim world depends decisively on the extent to which European and Western workers are capable of recognising that the oppressed followers of Islam are not competitors or enemies but their class brothers, and that their real enemies are here in the West: their own governments and their own capitalists, with their policies of aggression against the peoples of the southern world, racism and precarious employment. The cartoon campaign also had the aim of masking this reality from the eyes of Western workers.
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