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“Freedom of press — only for the anti-Islamic witch hunt”

20. February 2006

On the double standard of the West of the caricatures against the Islamic prophet

It is long ago that Europe was worrying so much about freedom of press. Apparently this freedom is only valid for the worriers in the war against the Arab-Islamic world.

Let us recall what few will know: when thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Munich, Germany, on February 4 for against the NATO conference the police hunted every person carrying a poster which called Bush a war criminal. Eventually several dozens were arrested for having insisted on their freedom of expression. But the regime media did not join into the chorus of defence of basic liberties. These facts were not even worth a column.

This is not a single case. In the course of the terror war democratic rights are being systematically curbed. Criticism against the regime of war is labelled as aid to terror while political support to the Arab-Islamic resistance is even criminalized.

The EU’s black list of “terrorist organisations” defames for example all Palestinian fractions as terrorists thus negating the UN charter which stipulates armed resistance against foreign occupation to be legitimate.

Especially Muslims are victims of the witch hunt. Guantanamo and other US torture camps where Muslims are being detained like animals without the right to a due process are only the tip of the iceberg. Europe is not only co-operating with the US in the creation of a new category of sub humans what it Nazi jargon used to be “Untermenschen”. Within the institutions, in the corporate media, in the civil society Islamophobia is spreading. Europe is fully involved in the clash of civilisations against Islam. While in the US this new crusade is being waged under the banner of Protestant fundamentalism here in Europe is assumes the form of fundamentalist secularism which claims to defend enlightenment. The strength of the consensus is being displayed by the conflict over the veil. Suddenly the entire political system ranging from the far right to the far left is poised to defend women’s right. Just take the exclusion of the predominately lower class girls from public school in France while the elite’s children enjoy private Catholic or Jewish schools co-financed by the state.

The caricatures mocking the Islamic prophet are not only a lapse of a far right journal. Jyllands-Posten is the unofficial mouthpiece of the government. The government, which is firmly on the side of the US war and has deployed occupation soldiers to Iraq, did also arrogantly back the news paper’s provocation. Furthermore both liberal and conservative newspaper all over Europe reprinted the caricatures out of “solidarity”.

The Islamic world is right in and has the right to protest against the desecration of its religion — we support the struggle of the popular masses against imperialism’s anti-Islamic campaign. In order to make our solidarity understandable also within Europe we must expose the context. The mocking of the prophet is a symbol for the submission of several hundred million of Muslims by imperialism and especially the US and Israel.

The West happens to talk about the defence of her values including the freedom of opinion but these very same rights are neither being granted to the Palestinians nor to the Iraqis. Whoever holds on to his human rights – and first of all the right to national self-determination – turns into a terrorists to be hunted down as an “enemy combatant”, a subhuman without any rights. Thus the inescapable circle is perfect.

The West likes to claim tolerance. But they say that this tolerance must have limits set by the “rules of democracy”. Those who do not accept these rules must be crushed by force. These rules include the global inequality, the political and military dominance by the West, her cultural imperialism etc. In this way the occupation of Iraq is being painted as an export of democracy. As its antique Greek predecessor democracy is reserved exclusively for the elites namely that the capitalist oligarchy and the Western middle classes linked to them. The wretched of the world must stay outside watching the revelry. It is a democracy of slaveholders where the latter praise themselves to treat their slaves well – as long as they stick to the “democratic rules”, namely to shut up and subdue without resistance as uncle Tom did.

Not only the wrath of the Muslims is legitimate, but also their resistance. The revolt of the oppressed is not only knocking the doors of the fortress Europe but is also rising from inside as we could recently experience in the French suburbs.

The fact that the uprising of the wretched assumes religious and cultural forms makes it, however, more difficult for its potential allies in the West, namely the victims of liberalist capitalism, to coalesce with. And on the other side some elements of the pro-imperialist elites of the Islamic countries try to make use of that gap deliberately de-politicising the protests and deflecting them away from imperialism. They use it as a security valve in order not to tackle their intimate structural relation with the desecrators.

Therefore it is our task to translate the message of the Muslim masses which might appear encrypted for European ears.

It is not about censure and limiting the freedom of press but the Islamic masses demand the restoration of their dignity which continues to be systematically violated and trampled upon. Eventually they demand to get the rights granted the West claims to defend but keeps denying – the freedom of speech and expression for the Arab-Islamic world. Peace will only be possible on the base of justice. Therefore we demand with the popular movement:

End the crusade against Islam!
Self-determination for the Arab-Islamic world!
Stop the occupation of Iraq and Palestine!
No to the complicity of Europe with the US terror war!
Down with the American Empire!

Anti-imperialist Camp