Maryam Namazie
Published in WPI Briefing
September 24, 2001

The terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 on the people in America was a crime against humanity and an act of genocide. News of people saying their last goodbyes on airplanes used as missiles and from offices in the World Trade Center as well as images of people burning, screaming for help, throwing themselves out of windows, and finally being crushed under the collapsed buildings will haunt us forever. Our most heartfelt sympathy goes out to the victims, their families and friends. Our strongest condemnation is reserved for those responsible. We know who they are.

The reactionary political Islamic movement is responsible for the death and destruction in New York City, Pennsylvania and Washington, just as it has been responsible for death and destruction and countless acts of genocide and inhumanity in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, the Sudan, Algeria… Islamic states and movements have made the lives of generations of human beings in the Middle East and North Africa intolerable. In Afghanistan, the Taliban have banned women from school and work. In Iran, youth are flogged in public for listening to music and women and girls are forcibly veiled. In Iraq, women prostitutes are beheaded. In the 21st century, women and men are still buried in ditches and stoned to death for entering voluntary sexual relations; there are public hangings on a regular basis. Labour activists and political opponents are imprisoned, tortured and killed. We know who these vile terrorists are because we have also lost countless of our friends, families, comrades and lovers to them.

But they are not the only ones who are to be condemned and who are terrorists. After all, political Islam was promoted and maintained by Western governments as a bulwark against the Eastern Block during the Cold War and against Left and working class movements. In Iran, Khomeini was put forward in order to prevent the rise to power of the Left after the 1979 revolution. Since then over 100,000 people have been executed. In Afghanistan, the Taliban was armed and supported by the West vis-à-vis the Soviet-backed government of the time. The West has supported Saddam Hussein’s government in the past as well as the Israeli government in its indiscriminate killing of Palestinians, mainly youth and children. And the list goes on and on. Still today, the West continues to support political Islam’s terrorist movements and states. Though corpses hang from cranes in city centers and public amputations and floggings continue unabated, today, Jack Straw, the UK Foreign Minister, will be meeting with officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran, one of the founding pillars of political Islam and terrorism in the world, to obtain their support for the upcoming ‘war against terrorism!’

Yes, we do know who the terrorists are – both sides kill and murder with impunity. Both sides are in a power struggle to assert themselves – the US to once again assert its diminishing superpower status and Political Islam, to prevent its fall. Their war has nothing to do with ending terrorism, but in fact escalates and intensifies it.

It is up to us then to independently come to the fore and demand its end. Much needs to be done, including resolving the Palestinian question and supporting secular movements in the region. One important step in eradicating terrorism though is an end to the Islamic Republic of Iran. We must support the people’s movement for its overthrow and demand that all assistance to and collaboration with that regime cease, its embassies be shut down and its leaders arrested and tried as criminals against humanity. We must demand open borders and the protection of all the victims of terrorism – asylum seekers and refugees fleeing political Islam in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, etc. We must put an end to racist violence against people who have fled the region. It is up to us.

Clearly, terrorists themselves cannot end terrorism, only we can.

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