Tag Archives: Charlie Hebdo

In Wake of “Charlie Hebdo” Murders – Capitalist Media, Nationalists, Fascists, Liberals Spread Twin Lies of “Christianity Under Attack” and “Imminent Islamicisation”

The enemy of the working classes of Europe and the US are not our working-class sisters and brothers of the “Muslim world”: the mortal enemies of the working class are the bloodthirsty capitalist classes of Europe, the US and the Middle East who are committing mass murder against our working-class Muslim and Arab sisters and brothers every day! US/UN/NATO: Out of the Middle East, Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria! Keep your bloody hands off the world! Workers of the world: let’s unite and overthrow our capitalist masters; for international workers socialist revolution! Oppose anti-immigrant attacks scapegoating immigrant workers for the many failures of the capitalists and their crumbling greed-based economic system! For full citizenship rights for all immigrants! Unions: Create antifascist workers defense guards to crush the fascist vermin in the egg! Build a revolutionary internationalist workers party to fight for a global socialist workers republic!

– IWPCHI

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11 January 2015

This past week, a pair of self-proclaimed “defenders of the Prophet Muhammad” stormed into the editorial offices of vulgar, anticlerical French “satire” magazine “Charlie Hebdo” and murdered a dozen members of the editorial, creative and security staffs. Absurdly driven to commit multiple murders by Hebdo‘s childishly insulting satirical portraits of the Prophet Muhammad and His followers, two lunatic religious fanatics who happened to be Muslim, utterly opposed to any concept of “freedom of expression” when it comes to their own religion, sought to “redeem” what they believed to be the sullied name of Islam by butchering a handful of cartoonists! Even Hollywood couldn’t invent such an outlandish tale – such are the sad realities of life on our Planet Earth in the 21st century under the auspices of a global police state “led” by the financially and morally bankrupt “civilized, Christian” United States of America and the EU!

The way these Islamic fundamentalist wackos act, one might think that Islam was a religious sect so frail and poised on the brink of extinction that creating and broadcasting a popular satirical sketch of the faith on Saturday Night Live might be all it would take to consign it to the long list of once-popular religious faiths that have vanished from the face of the Earth. In fact, Islam needs no repulsive mock-hero heretic-killers to “defend” it: with over 1.8 billion women and men counting themselves among the followers of the Prophet Muhammad, the religion is today the second-largest in the world, only slightly behind Christianity – and growing rapidly.  But of course, rational thought is now and always has been alien to the fanatics of every religion that ever existed; these are not the kind of people who allow objective reality to intrude upon their infinitesimally narrow world-views.

The bourgeois press and the capitalist-financed nationalist and fascist political parties of Europe and the Christian “West” wasted no time in latching on to the Hebdo murders as “proof” that Islam is not, as its adherents claim, “a religion of peace” – like what, Christianity? – but is in fact a religion whose believers, secretly or openly, espouse the doctrine that all who do not accept Muhammad as being a prophet of God are heretics who should be put to the sword. If all Muslims actually did believe this to be true, the world’s 1.8 billion followers of Muhammad would have finished off the world’s 2.2 billion Christians long ago. Of course none of the claims of fascists that the “Hebdo” killers represent “Islam” are based in reality; nor do the resulting frantic and opportunistic cries of the fascists in opposition to the imaginary threat of imminent “Islamicization” have any basis in reality outside of their own appetite to acquire state power for themselves, after which their supposedly much less murderous “Christian” nation-states would presumably embrace the entire world in their egalitarian, peace-loving arms.  Which is what would happen if these “civilized, Christian” fascists came to power, right?

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The propagandists of the endless “War on Terror” led by the United States capitalist class and their allies in NATO are portraying the conflict as one in which a “civilized” Christian world “dedicated” to the defense of freedom of religion and freedom of speech is being wantonly attacked by those in the Muslim world, who all – openly or secretly – seek to impose their world-view and religious beliefs upon the Christian world by force.  Anyone who can take even a cursory glance at the centuries-long history of conflict between Islam and Christianity can see what a farce it is for the “Christian West” to pose in the robes of the “messenger of peace” Jesus Christ. “Christian Europe” fired the first shots in this war during the Crusades long ago, and engaged at that time in brutal, unprovoked attacks on the then relatively far more “civilized” and tolerant Muslim world in which the Christians gave no quarter to the “heretic” Muslim masses, man, woman or child. European Crusaders – (very much like today’s US/NATO crusaders) – bragged in letters they sent back home of heroic “battles” in which they slaughtered unarmed civilians seeking shelter inside Mosques until the blood ran ankle-deep. This was back when their primary weapons were hand-held; swords, spears and clubs; their heavy weaponry consisted of wooden siege engines and catapults.  The only difference between the “civilizing forces” of the “Christian world” of then and now is to be found in their modern capacity to kill far more people in far less time without necessarily having to even personally be on the same continent as their victims!

The Crusader-fanatics of the “civilized, Christian” world of the Middle Ages, who all believed that by forcing their own religious belief system upon the Muslim world through their own Medieval version of NATO-style terrorism they were doing “God’s Work”, find their spiritual descendants in mirror image in the Muslim “terrorists” of today; they can find their predecessors among the religions fanatics of every major religion going all the way back before the dawn of written history.  Killing in the name of religion wasn’t invented by the Muslims on September 11, 2001, nor was it invented by the Christians in the Middle-Ages. And in recent years it hasn’t been the “terrorists” of the “Muslim World” that have been responsible for the vast majority of the indiscriminate slaughtering of non-combatant men, women and children with impunity – as those keeping body counts for both “teams” know all too well.  It is the so-called “civilized, Christian World” that has been at work torturing and butchering Muslims from Egypt to Indonesia for most of the 20th and all of the 21st centuries. It’s only in the last 40 years or so that the “Muslim World” has begun to organize to fight back effectively. In this as well, we see a parallel with the Crusades: after initially being taken by surprise by the unprovoked and furious assaults that came out of Europe over the most flimsy pretexts, the Muslim world organized itself and counterattacked, eventually driving the Christians not just back to the borders of their own countries but driving Christian Europe almost to the brink of its own extinction. It wasn’t until the 1600’s that the wave of Muslim conquest in Europe fell back, receding eventually to its present-day borders in Eastern Europe, Turkey, to the Levant and the shores of North Africa.

When the “civilized” Christian world reconquered its territory in places like Spain and Italy, the “civilized” Christians didn’t create new polities where religionists of all kinds were welcome to worship as they pleased; the Christians either forced Jews and Muslims to convert to Christianity, drove them out of the country – or burned them at the stake! “Christian civilization” only allowed the freedom of worship to those who were Catholic – everyone else was a heretic who could be set upon, beaten or lynched at any time. When these same “civilized Christians” first journeyed to the New World, they brought their “one, true faith” with them; and their God, in their rather convenient interpretation of His will as revealed through the  events that were to follow, seemed to smile indulgently upon their mindless butchery of the “heathen” native populations – a butchery that was carried out largely with the consent and acquiescence of the Catholic – and later, the Protestant – clergy. Millions were slaughtered or enslaved by these “civilized” Christians over the next 400 years. When the native populations proved to be unwilling to be used as forced labor on the slave plantations of the “civilized Christians”, these followers of Jesus Christ started kidnapping African “heathen” and selling them into slavery. The number of Africans who died on the slave ships taking them into captivity is unknown but believed to be at least 2 million.

We’ll skip a bit of the long, bloody history of “civilized Christianity” to take a look at how the “civilized Christians” of Europe and the Americas have treated the Muslim and Arab populations of the world since at least the late 1400s. Colonizing the whole of Africa and the Middle East, as well as large parts of Asia and India, these “civilized Christians” enslaved, tortured and murdered their way to the seizure of the most valuable lands, raw materials and human labor of two and a half entire continents. Tribal communities were summarily driven off lands they had occupied for millennia; nation-states that had existed for as long or longer were cut up like so much cloth and distributed to the “civilized, Christian” European plunderers, out to stuff their pockets with gold – by any means necessary.

After World War I, these emissaries from “civilized, Christian” Europe sat down in drawing-rooms and pored over maps of the Middle East and North Africa, chopping up the regions into gerrymandered nation-states ruled over by colonial governments or satraps who plundered these new nation-states wantonly. Anyone who tried to oppose them faced beatings, torture, long-term imprisonment, assassination or execution. These policies continued throughout the 20th century and continue to the present day, in which the massive war machines of “Christian, civilized” USA, UK, France, Germany, the rest of the NATO states and their local proxies have tortured, murdered and bombed civilian populations from Gaza to Iraq to Iran to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over a million and a half Iraqis alone have been murdered in TWO major wars in the past 20 years – wars inflicted upon the people of Iraq by the “Christian, civilized” United States of America. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the “Christian, civilized” US President Bush authorized mass bombings of civilian areas in Iraq and Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children as well as the mass torturing of thousands more; “Christian, civilized” President Obama has authorized remote-controlled drone attacks that have killed thousands of women and children as well as the assassinations of hundreds of men whose only “crime” was simple association with “suspected terrorists”.

In spite of all of this well-known and massive human carnage committed by “civilized, Christian” Europe and the USA against the Muslim world, we are supposed to believe that it is not the Muslims that are being subjected to mass murder at the hands of the “Christian world” but vice versa! What could be more absurd? The US and its NATO allies have mass-murdered well over – WELL over! – 1.5 MILLION Arab and Muslim people in the past 20 years alone!  The “civilized, Christian” world hails the soldiers who committed these monstrous crimes as “heroes”; the churches of the US and Europe sing hosannas to their memories every Sunday and sports stadiums full of brainwashed “civilized, Christian” citizens salute the military organizations that plan and carry out these mass-murders every day; but when a handful of religious fanatics claiming to represent Islam kill a dozen “civilized, Christian” satirists, it’s the crime of the century – and “proof” that Islam, not Christianity is the religion of fanatical murderers!

This monstrous falsification of the historical record is presented to us 24/7 via the “civilized Christian” bourgeois press, which simply ignores the entire history of the “civilized, Christian” world and its many many crimes committed against Muslims all over the globe, and spreads the lie that these obviously retaliatory strikes were “unprovoked attacks”! They tell us with straight faces that the very existence of “civilized, Christian” Europe is at stake unless… more massive military assaults are unleashed against the “uncivilized Muslim world”!  As if we, the “swinish multitude” of “dumb workers” are unable to remember the history of the past 50 years, and the war crimes we and our children were forced to commit as conscript soldiers in the imperialist armies!

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Do not misunderstand us: the senseless and cowardly murders of the “Charlie Hebdo” staff are repulsive to us and to every decent human being on this planet of every religious stripe – or lack thereof. The “Hebdo” killers represent the very real threat that exists, incredibly, here in the 21st century from the religious fanatics of EVERY organized religion, whose most deranged and fanatical followers think nothing of butchering men, women and children – without regard to the religions of their victims – in the name of their completely imaginary “gods”!  The threat to human civilization is not just coming from Muslim religious nuts; Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist religious zealots – to name but a few – have all committed mass murders in the past 20 years – with the forces of the supposedly “civilized, Christian” West responsible for the vast majority of murders of civilians by far.  The religious zealots of the world can be expected to continue to keep on killing “heretics” until the working class creates a real 21st-century civilization in which the basic human needs of food, clothing, shelter, education and health care – including mental health care – are guaranteed to all; and until the workers of the world overthrow the warmongering capitalist class and put an end to their phony “War on Terror”!  Only once all human needs are being met in an egalitarian socialist future will the futile practice of begging “God” for food, water, shelter and everything else no longer be necessary for the long-suffering workers of this tragic human race.   Only then will we see religious extremism “wither away” – finally – after thousands of years in which organized religion and its most fanatical adherents have caused at least as much human suffering as they have managed, with their meagre superstitious methods – to relieve.  The inauguration of that glorious religious-zealot-free future will definitely require the overthrow of the greed-based capitalist system, in which religion is a necessary prop keeping the system from toppling over.  The capitalist classes of the US and EU are right now seeking to destabilize the “Muslim world” in order to facilitate massive profit-stealing via their seizure of the easy pickings of the Middle Eastern oil fields.  They plan to lock down the entire planet in a global police state run by the USA and their (for the time being) junior partners in the EU.  It’s in the best interests of the workers of the world to stop the capitalists before they kill again.  No one else can do it.

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The men and women committing the terrorist attacks against civilians “in the name of Islam” no more represent “Islam” than the Christian fundamentalists who bomb abortion clinics and torture and murder as soldiers in the US imperialist military represent “Christianity”, the Hindu fanatics who kill Muslims represent all Hindus or the fascistic, murderous Zionist lunatics represent all Jews.   All religious zealots who murder in the name of their religions are, first of all, INSANE; secondly, they are mere criminals. To elevate the murderers of the  Hebdo staff to the level of “terrorists” who represent the will of millions of Muslims all over the world is to give them far more credit than they deserve. Killing these religious fanatics only turns them into instant martyrs; they should be captured, arrested and tried as common criminals, because that’s what they are. They are criminally insane, with delusions of being “messengers from God” who they truly believe sanctions the murder of non-believers in “His” name.   The fact that people like this still exist in the 21st century is stark testament to the failure of the capitalist system to bring real “civilization” to the world.  It is also a tragic reminder of what happens when the efforts of more than a century and a half by the working classes of the whole world – including our sisters and brothers in the Middle East – to overthrow the capitalist system have been driven back by capitalist classes all too willing to commit any crime against the workers. In order to maintain their class rule and to defend an economic system that has robbed the workers of the world and transferred that stolen wealth into the hands of a tiny number of human beings – who now  possess more than half of the world’s wealth, the capitalists have murdered revolutionary worker-leaders all over the Middle East and Asia, from Afghanistan to Iran, from Sri Lanka to Egypt.   It is capitalism and its endless insane quest for more and more profits that financed Islamic fundamentalism as a force with which to batter the workers movements of the Middle East into submission;  it is the capitalist classes of the US and UK that financed, trained and unleashed these religious fanatics on the world in order to crush the USSR in Afghanistan.

The Soviet Union successfully fought Islamist fundamentalism starting in the 1920s, freeing women throughout Central Asia from the bondage of the chador, the bride price and complete social isolation.  We are proud to have been part of the Trotskyist Spartacist movement that proudly declared “Hail Red Army in Afghanistan!” in 1980.  That intervention had the potential to spike resurgent Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan which – had it not been for the CIA’s terrorist training camps that sponsored Osama Bin Laden’s anti-Soviet efforts that eventually drove the USSR out of Afghanistan – might have prevented the rise of fundamentalist Islam throughout the Middle East in the 1980s and ’90s, and the shit-train of human suffering that was ushered in by it.

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In the wake of the “Charlie Hebdo” murders, the long, disgusting history of the brutalities the “civilized, Christian” world has heaped upon the Muslim world have been simply erased from the memory banks of the bourgeois press by the fascist and nationalist apologists for bloodthirsty “Christian civilized capitalism”; the capitalist-owned politicians and media hacks are also spreading the ridiculous fraud of the imminent “Islamicization of Europe” which allegedly threatens to destroy “civilized, Christian European” “principles” of “tolerance” and “love for one another” so close to the bloodless hearts of the warmongering “Christian, civilized” capitalist classes of Europe and the USA! Josef Goebbels would enjoy this spectacle of hypocrisy, wouldn’t he, if he was alive today? Stalin, whose “historians” were so adept at erasing national heroes like Leon Trotsky from the pages and photographs of Soviet newspapers and history books – and whose regime was roundly condemned by the “civilized, Christian” west for doing so! – would enjoy this charade as well!

The fact is that in today’s modern world, human beings can easily move across the face of the planet and are – or should be – free to settle anywhere their hearts desire without any obstacles being placed in their way.  We, as revolutionary Trotskyists, consider all workers to be our brothers and sisters; we repudiate the capitalists’ assertions that foreign-born workers are “aliens” and we fight for full citizenship rights for all immigrants!   (Anti-immigrant legislation and propaganda serve to cloak the inherent inability of the capitalist system to provide jobs for all able-bodied workers with the lie that there would be work for everyone if it wasn’t for the immigrants “stealing” “our” jobs!  In fact, the capitalist system, in order to function profitably, maintains a reserve army of the unemployed so as to keep ALL workers’ wages down; the capitalists use the immigrants as scapegoats).

Those who yearn for “the good old days” of national isolation, where natural boundaries like mountain ranges and oceans fostered unique cultural identities – as well as hideous economic, political, cultural and intellectual backwardness –  are yearning for a world that is gone and which – happily for the working classes – isn’t coming back.  The population of the United States represents only 4.5% of the world’s population; “White” Europeans are a tiny minority of the global population as well.  The world is moving rapidly in the direction BACK to the status of a much more homogeneous “racial” makeup that ended maybe 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, when the entire human race was just emerging from Africa.  To revolutionary socialists – THIS IS A GOOD THING!  The increased “racial” mixing via intermarriage should eventually destroy every vestige of racist ideology, bringing all the world’s people much closer together again.  Globally, today, believers in Islam make up approximately 25% of the world’s population.  If all our Muslim brothers and sisters were evenly distributed in every nation, 25% of the population of, say, France, would be Muslim.  But that is not the case; French Muslims make up just 7.5% of the entire population of France!  The French nationalists and fascists screaming that France is being “Islamicised” are crying wolf, desperately attempting to hold back an evolutionary trend that can only be brought to a halt through vicious racist immigration quotas that will not stop the natural global migration of our fellow human beings all over the world.  In other nations where the fascists and nationalists are trying to stoke irrational fears of impending “Islamicization”, the Muslim populations as a percentage of the total populations of those countries are as follows:

Germany: 5.0%

UK: 4.6%

US: 0.8%

Sweden: 4.9%

Netherlands: 5.5%

Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_by_country

Obviously, the Muslim immigration to Europe is going to have to increase exponentially in order to simply reach global parity in our lifetimes.  The massive exodus of people from traditionally Muslim countries to Europe has been driven in the first place by the “Global War on Terror”, which has deliberately destabilized majority-Muslim countries merely in order to facilitate the plundering of those nation-states by the US and EU multinational corporations that dictate US/NATO foreign policy and which seek to make profitable investments in the region – without regional strongmen taking their “cut” of the plunder – or threatening to kick the imperialists out on their asses.  The overthrow of capitalism in the US and EU states would lead to the overthrow of the brutal dictatorships in North Africa and the Middle East, which would result in a cessation of immigration to Europe and quite probably the return of many immigrant workers now living in EU countries to the lands of their birth.  To believe that the rapid influx of immigrants from North Africa into Europe due to the “Global War on Terror” is permanent and irreversible is to believe that the highly unstable political and economic status quo in Europe is also “permanent and irreversible”, which is inherently contradictory.  Workers socialist revolution is both possible and desirable – and necessary! – in Europe and everywhere else; and if the working class can make that happen, the likelihood of a long period of peaceful and rational development of the entire human race becomes a probability instead of highly unlikely under a more and more xenophobic and nationalistic capitalism.

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The lies we are having heaped upon us in desperate defense of the tottering capitalist status quo in the EU from the mouths of the bourgeois journalists and the press attaches of the “civilized, Christian” governments of the west require the most strenuous efforts of those of us in the revolutionary socialist workers movement to oppose them and to provide the working classes of the world with the truth about the hideous crimes that the ruling classes of the “civilized, Christian” world have committed against our brother and sister workers in the Muslim world.  The reactionary, anti-immigrant and cynical “Je Suis Charlie” campaigns – orchestrated by the racist and fascist apologists for US/NATO war crimes carried out throughout the Muslim world – must be avoided like the plague by workers all over the world. The capitalist classes of Europe and the Americas are seeking to terrify the working class into giving their approval for more vicious military attacks on our fellow workers in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan – and throughout Europe and the whole world – in order to crush any opposition to the capitalists’ plans to destabilize and re-colonize the Middle East.  The only resource the “civilized, Christian” capitalists care about is the oil under the lands now occupied by our working class brothers and sisters who, in the majority, “happen to be” Muslim. The capitalists know that they will never obtain a green light from the workers to butcher our own Muslim sisters and brothers with impunity until they can turn them in our eyes into cartoonish, hate-filled religious wackos hell-bent on mass murder of civilians in Europe and the Americas. In other words, the capitalist classes that run the US/NATO military murder machine want us to believe that the people of the Middle East are about to do to US what the US and NATO have been doing to THEM all these years, and are using the “Hebdo” murders to justify more war against our sisters and brothers throughout the Muslim world! The enemy of the working classes of Europe and the US are clearly NOT our fellow workers in the Muslim-majority nations; our enemies are the capitalist classes of the entire world who make their billions through the endless mass-murder of their “War on Terror”!

Don’t fall for the lies of the capitalists: our enemies aren’t our sisters and brothers in the “Muslim World” but our capitalist masters here in “civilized, Christian, capitalist” USA and Europe!  Workers of the World, Unite!  For workers socialist revolution in the US, Europe, the Middle East and throughout the capitalist world!

IWPCHI

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Defend “Charlie Hebdo”! For the Complete Separation of Church/Temple/Mosque and State!

The world was treated to a wave of religious fanaticism this week as right-wing fundamentalist Islamic preachers ordered their slavish followers to take to the streets in an orgy of anger over – some right-wing Jewish guy’s stupid anti-Islam movie!  From Indonesia to France Islamic extremists surged into the streets to express their outrage over an incident that, in fact, will do absolutely no harm at all to any believer in their religion.  The mullahs, the woman-hating, money-grubbing preachers of Islam, who spread their creed as if it was the answer to all the world’s needs – which it is decidedly not – and who demand that their followers follow them so blindly as to be willing to do anything to anyone who opposes these clerical misfits – including murder – must be opposed by all class conscious workers everywhere – including in majority-Muslim countries.  The power of these reactionary scum over the minds of the working class must be shattered.

Islam is a hugely popular religion, with hundreds of millions of followers worldwide.  Any Islamic preacher who tells his followers that the existence of a lousy movie is a threat to the existence of their religion is nothing but a liar and a charlatan.  These Islamic “leaders” must have very little faith in the power of their ideas if they think for a minute that someone could destroy Islam simply by making a video that insults it.  These cretinous Islamic fundamentalists obviously have ulterior motives: to force their followers to commit outrages against anyone who dares to oppose these mullahs.  These protests aren’t about religion per se: they are about the mullahs’ ability to control the minds of human beings and to get them to commit any criminal act – including murder – on demand of the religious leaders.  This is a mind-control experiment that seeks to turn decent human beings into killers for Islam.  These criminals who call themselves “religious leaders” and who then demand that those who they deem to be a threat to Islam be murdered should be thrown in jail like the dangerous criminal they are.  A movie is not – and cannot be – a threat to Islam any more than a cartoon can make devout Muslims turn into apostates.  Anyone who believes the opposite is a fool who shows how little they really believe in their own religion.

As if getting your turban in a twist every time some asshole makes a movie insulting your religion isn’t enough, these same ignorant religious bigots are going crazy because the French satirical magazine  “Charlie Hebdo” is this week publishing some cartoons that allegedly make fun of Mohammad.  Big deal!  Let them make fun – it is their right to do so.  A cartoon – no matter how funny or insulting, or even racist it is – does not possess some magical power to bring the Islamic world to its doom.  However, this ignorant bigoted attack on the freedom of speech and freedom of the press does.

The European nations went through a long period of religious bigotry and ignorance just like this one back when the Catholic Church ruled over Europe with an iron fist, ordering “heretics” to be burnt at the stake for such hideous “crimes” as denying the existence of the Trinity.  Millions of peasants and workers who were deemed to be too irreligious or not sufficiently intellectually subjugated to the whims and crazy imaginings of the Pope in Rome were summarily arrested, subjected to hideous tortures and murdered for their “impiety”.  It took a struggle of hundreds of years against the all-powerful hierarchy of the Catholic Church to bring the priesthood to heel.  Revolutionary struggles to topple monarchies allied with the Pope took place throughout Europe which finally brought the Church down to Earth.  The Enlightenment philosophers, often using barely-hidden satires of leading Catholic Popes and Bishops and their followers, exposed the Church to intense criticism and led the advanced, enlightened workers and intellectuals to organize political movements dedicated to the creation of more liberal governments that broke the stranglehold of the Catholic Church over the people and forced a strict separation of church and state to be put into place.  This finally put an end to the hideous excesses of the Catholic Church and its most fanatical advocates, who had gone so far as to create the monstrosity known as the “Holy Inquisition”, whose pious, criminal leaders tortured and executed millions of unfortunates who refused to kiss the Pope’s ass.

This hard-won victory of reason over religious superstition and intolerance – which we call the “Separation of Church and State” – which came at the cost of the lives of so many human beings must never be surrendered by the working class!  Never again will we suffer at the hands of an ignorant priesthood that seeks to amass hundreds of millions of dollars of wealth through the indoctrination of workers into the belief that human beings here on Earth are having daily conversations with some sky god, who is telling these idiot priests that if the working people don’t get together and mass-murder unbelievers, then this sky-god will come down and kill us all.  That trick will never again work against us!  The mullahs who think that they can force those of us who live in countries where the power of the priesthood has been irreversibly shattered by revolutions in the 17th and 18th centuries will allow them to reverse that verdict of history against their once unlimited power are sadly mistaken!  The defense of the right of freedom of speech and freedom to criticize and satirize religions of all kinds is something that must be taken up by all bona fide working-class organizations.  Never again will an ignorant priesthood run roughshod over the minds and bodies of our working class brothers and sisters on this planet!

Islam has made tremendous contributions to human society and has given the world such wonderful gifts as: algebra; tremendous discoveries and observations in astronomy; the very Arabic numerals we use every day!; beautiful poetry; marvelous literature and historical writings; magnificent architectural achievements, to name a few.  If it wasn’t for Islam, whose scholars hundreds of years ago carefully collected and preserved many ancient manuscripts that were at the time being collected – and burnt! – by the Roman Catholic Church – much of what little we know of the literature of the ancient, pre-Christian world.  The debt the workers of the world owe to the Islamic world for all these marvelous contributions to world civilization is incalculable.

The Independent Workers Party welcomes immigrant workers from all nations and from all religions into our organization, on one condition – that they fully accept the principle that there must be a complete separation of Church/Mosque/Temple and State!  This is not negotiable.  We will not stand for religious bigots going around demanding that if artists and comedians -and even disgusting bigots like the guy who made this movie – don’t obey the commands of the mullahs, they will be attacked, beaten up and/or killed.  Never again will we allow a gang of religious freaks to rampage through our cities threatening “unbelievers” with summary execution.  The days of the Inquisition, the Witch Trials and religious persecution must end.  We welcome those followers of the Prophet Muhammad to our shores who understand these concepts, and we will defend even to the death your right to worship in any way you choose.  But do not imagine for a moment that the working class of the United States will ever allow Islamic fundamentalists to cause us to sit down and shut up and refuse to use our hard-earned freedoms to ridicule any and all religions in any way we choose.

There is much that is ridiculous in ALL religions.  In the United States, parodies of Catholicism have long existed and are enormously popular – the great movie “Life of Brian” by Monty Python comes to mind, as well as Mel Brooks’ wonderful “History of the World” films.  Islam is way overdue for such a treatment; and if these right-wing Muslim zealots continue to rampage across the face of the planet physically assaulting everyone who thinks that, say, the fact that Muhammad had sex with a 9-year old girl he had taken as a wife, for example, is absurd and monstrous – then we in the IWP have a major problem with that.

When the movie “Life of Brian” came out, it was immediately subjected to verbal attack and its creators were even subjected to death threats by Christian bigots who tried mightily to censor the film and keep it from being seen – all to no avail!  Because their power to rule over the minds of the citizens of our nations was irreversibly shattered back in the 1700s!  They marched, they wrote sermons attacking the movie and they went on TV to denounce it and all they got for their efforts was a massive outpouring of support for the film.

We remember with great fondness going to see “Life of Brian” back when it came out in Boston, Massachusetts in the 1980s.  The lines waiting to see the film were going all the way down the street, while would-be Christian censors stood impotently outside the theatre, vainly imploring us not to go see the film. We gleefully made fun of them!  We laughed at them, pathetic as they were! Probably at least half the people there might never have bothered to go and see the movie if it were not for the ridiculous hue-and-cry raised by the religious bigots of the Christian right wing who absurdly attempted to impose their religious beliefs on the citizens of the United States 300 years after their power to do so had been irretrievably shattered!  This is exactly what should happen all over the world if ever some intelligent satirists finally get around to making a parody of the Koran that isn’t racist.  We would quite happily attend such a movie, and should anyone try to stop us, they would face the wrath of the working class, who would treat them in precisely the same way that we treat Nazis when they try to march in our working-class cities and towns!

The analogy between the right-wing religious bigots of the Islamic world and Nazis is quite apt.  Though there are major differences between the two, their methods are very similar: “what we say goes, and if you don’t get down on your knees and obey us, we will kill you!”  This isn’t Iran or Saudi Arabia.  What Islamic bigots say; or Christian or Jewish or any other religious zealot says DOES NOT “GO” here today; and we will do everything in our power to make certain that it never does in the future!

The capitalist governments of Europe and the US are all falling over themselves to placate these hideous woman-hating, ignorant fundamentalist Mullahs and their insolent demands that we workers in the West should obey them and their religion.  These scum – who were only a marginal force in the Middle East, even in Iran, until the United States armed and trained them to attack the USSR during the Cold War – are now powerful forces in many countries, able to force whole nations to get on their knees at their command.  The capitalists’ hypocritical mewlings in fake “defense” of the supposed “right” of Islamic bigots to “not be offended” is really only an expression of the capitalists’ fear that all the anti-Western protests will interfere with their ability to continue to rob the workers of the Islamic world blind.  We do not support the disgusting attacks on Muslims and the right of women to wear the veil that have been promulgated by the political servants of the French capitalist class.  Women have the right to wear whatever they want in public – including the chador – so long as they choose to do so of their own free will.  We do not support the racist anti-immigrant policies of the French government that seeks to drive Muslim workers into ghettos and out of France.  These workers are our sisters and brothers and they should be welcome in France as we welcome them here in the United States.  We stand for full citizenship rights for all immigrants, of all nationalities and religions – even Islamic fundamentalists.  But the working class will not stand for religious bigots of any religion going around physically attacking people who they disagree with.

We salute “Charlie Hebdo” and their courageous defense of the right to free speech and the separation of church and state in France – where the Great French Revolution destroyed the stranglehold of religious bigotry and superstition once and for all. We call on the revolutionary French working class to rise to the defense of freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom of the press by defending the offices and workers at “Charlie Hebdo” against any and all attacks by Islamic fundamentalist bigots the same as we would here in the US if the “National Lampoon” grew some balls and decided to take on such a worthy target of ridicule as the Islamic fundamentalist Mullahs and was then attacked for it – or if either was being attacked by a gang of Nazis.  When these Islamic bigots attempt to silence those who merely criticize or hold them to ridicule, we say: “Acquaint these Islamic fundamentalist lunatics’ heads with the pavement!”  We will do the same here.

IWPCHI