The following is a piece by MXM coordinator Sukant Chandan, followed by a short commentary from MXM coordinator Saqib Deshmukh, and finally by a few comments from our comrade in Lahore, Taimur Rahman. - MXM Coordinators Team
Easter's Supremacist Massacres:
Asim Shah in Glasgow, Lahore, Daesh and more, reflections on the spread of sectarianism and supremacism
"It has been a mixed Easter, on the one hand Palmyra has been liberated from the Nato's supremacist forces, also we are celebrating 100 years since the uprising of the anti-colonial Irish Easter Uprising revolt that inspired all colonially oppressed peoples across the British empire, but also we have seen on-going massacres of these supremacist forces in Libya, Iraq, Pakistan and its ugly manifestation in Glasgow. How many more innocents and children have to be devastated and killed before there is an almighty fight back by our peoples?"
By all accounts Asim Shah was a very friendly and respectful member of his community in Glasgow. He died for the 'crime' of respecting Christians and their celebration of Easter. It seems he was killed in a sectarian attack by someone who claimed his perversion of Islam allowed him to take the life of another Muslim. In Lahore we have another sectarian attack against Christians, while in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and in many other countries we see violent sectarianism and supremacism spread in communities across the globe.
While the Western media promotes a narrative whereby it seems that only Muslims are conducting this supremacism and sectarianism, a closer more accurate look into this phenomenon shows a much bigger picture whereby this supremacism's conceptual roots are to be found in modern colonialism in the genesis of what has become known by the more deceitful code names and concepts of colonial and imperialist institutions as the 'West', 'Europe', 'Whiteness', 'Democracy' etc.
'Coloniality' is conceptual framework to justify the physical and actual exploitation and oppression of colonialism against everything: women, girls, nature, colonially racialised peoples, 'Black' people, other colonial peoples, oppression and mental genocides against the ways people see themselves, their histories and the world and universe, nature and its animals and plants. This coloniality is constantly adapting itself and sophisticating itself as the main ideological framework of the capitalist-imperialist system, or otherwise known through their code names as 'Europe', 'West' and even 'human rights', 'Arab spring' and other tag names.
The first thing colonialism did in the lands and people they conquered and continue to is to enforce the colonised people to see themselves through a colonial framework, to essentialise or generalise themselves as the colonialists see themselves: as God's chosen people, or going even further (lower?) than that, the way colonial and imperialist culture secularised God and turned God into himself, the rich white western man who likes us to believe he IS God on earth, as Gill Scott Heron said, 'the white man has a God complex'. Anyone outside this category of human supremacy is outside or below Humanity, and as such can be treated that way and mental genocides, actual genocides and crimes of massive levels such as the destruction of Iraq, Libya, Congo and other places can be justified, and there will be no revolt amongst the supremacists, rather the supremacists will put the onus of blame on the victims of their coloniality and imperialism.
This internalisation of coloniality is evident in nearly every oppressed community in the world, it springs from the poisoned fountain of colonialism and modern imperialism's mass culture, media and institutions projected all over the world. The most profound example of a community hitherto oppressed by colonialism and imperialism is found amongst Jewish people. Some Jews internalised colonial supremacism to such an extent that it adopted that framework, allied and leaned on colonialism and imperialism to steal the land of another colonised people - Palestine and the Palestinians - such was the basis of the founding of a white colonial settler state of 'Israel'.
The same framework of supremacism has been promoted by the colonialists and imperialists amongst Muslim peoples, resulting in an asymmetric mirror image of white supremacism which this time wraps itself in false shrouds of not of Judaism in this regard, but of false shrouds of Islam. It was and remains the Brits and Yanks who are the main global promoters of this supremacism, the Brits instituted the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which is the godfather of Daesh in the Muslim world (whereas the UK and USA are the global godfathers of Daesh and similar militias and organisations), and the Brits and Yanks have always relied on viciously supremacist forces to pursue their strategic interests across the world. They rely on the same sectarian governments, Daesh states of Qatar, Saudi, UAE etc in their wars of divide and ruin against Libya, Afghanistan, Syria and others.
Like the colonial supremacism adopted by pro Israeli Jews, some Muslims are internalising and projecting this supremacism that has led to many hundreds of young Muslims leaving England to go and fight alongside Daesh in Libya, Somalia, Syria and Iraq, but at the same time like Jews but more so in some cases they are also victims of colonial and imperialist oppression.
Muslims are imperialism’s global focus and target of racism: Muslims are racialised by imperialism, which seeks to put into the minds of the masses that Muslim = Middle Eastern, Asian, and African = barbaric rapists and beheaders = refugees and immigrants in Europe/West. 'Muslim' is the tag by which imperialism has primarily targeted all Black and Asian people with this racism in the media, and in the real physical world, it is through the racist and imperialist 'war on terror' (rather should read: war of global imperialist terrorism) that has seen whole countries destroyed by imperialism's proxy forces who are guided by the West's covert military intelligence and forces.
In India the BJP government has to steer the Indian state in a pro-BRICS framework, India has existed for a long time in the non-aligned political world, it is in a global alliance that seeks to end the imperialist hegemony on the planet, so the BJP have had to steer the gargantuan ship that is India along the same ocean paths that it has been traversing. At the same time the BJP have also adopted exactly this colonial supremacism in essentialising the endlessly diverse and complex India into a 'Hindu' society, a cover for a sectarianism against all other groups that are not defined as kosher Hindus etc by the BJP and similar forces. The BJP and Daesh and the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) operate in very similar frameworks, so much so when one listens to the BJP 's view on society, it is very easy to mistake it for the way Daesh and the Ikhwan see the world and society and 'others'. This results in some people who happen to be Hindu in London argue against voting for the imperialist labour candidate Sadiq Khan because of a colonially informed sectarian narrow mindedness and instead support imperialist tory candidate Zac Goldsmith.
In the heart of coloniality, in the heart of whiteness in this country of Britain we see the situation that we saw in British-ruled India: the state insitutionalised division of communities based on nationality, 'race', and religion, a colonial division promoted as somehow beneficial to the said communities under concepts such as 'multiculturalism', whereas this is just the old colonial divide and rule strategy and has nothing to do with what is actually needed as a multi-cultural/religious/national united struggle of peoples for liberation. I have heard people in the Hindu, Sikh, Christian, leftist, Muslim community all come out with forms of colonial supremacism. I have for years heard people accuse the group that Glaswegian Asim Shah was from as 'heretics, outside their definition and outline of Muslim and 'Islam', once this otherisation has been done, horrific things always follow. I have met people from the religious group that Asim Shah was from approach me at events I have spoken at and have said that their community too is under attack and should be supported; I always agreed. I have heard of Muslims who have jobs in the mainstream UK media argue that Muslim groups in Syria 'aren't really Muslims, and they are heretics', comments and views that facilitates the sexual enslavement and mutilation of whole communities. I have heard many people in religious groups and leftists come out with homophobic comments. All these prejudices and sectarian attitudes directly support supremacist wars and murders that only benefit imperialism, and traumatically impact all oppressed communities. Countless reprehensible lynchings of people who are motivated by this bigotry in our global south homelands seems to not shift this bigotry, perhaps a more closer to home sectarian murder against the martyr Asim Shah will make those who are promoting this prejudice think again? Belgium and the UK has seen an alarming rise of sectarian murders and attacks from within the Muslim community grow as a result of UK state sponsored was of supremacism, as well as a general rise in anti-white racist attacks and attitudes.
In India, due to the BJP's oppressive internal/domestic policies against anyone who is outside of their upper class, upper caste, supremacist outlook has sparked mass movements amongst communities and persons allied directly and indirectly who are lower class and castes, anti-casteism forces, socialists, progressive Indian nationalists, communists, and just anyone who wants peace and unity between our peoples. Young Dalit rights activists, Muslims and young communist leaders have taken centre stage in India and have launched a renewed struggle against these sectarian forces and the sectarian BJP government. The Indian people are doing just fine without relying on imperialism conceptually or physically, in a counter distinctive manner to example as what happened in the Arab Sting, wherey pro imperialist liberals, and supremacist forces were the ground forces for Nato in the divide and ruin of Libya and Syria. India is rocking the BJP establishment, and it is fast looking like the BJP are crumbling in the face of this peoples resistance.
Similarly in Libya and Syria, there are political forces who believe in the unity of diverse communities of faith, ethnicities who have been fighting for five years the supremacist death squads launched by leading Nato and imperialist powers and their regional allies: an alliance of which that is THE matrix of power behind these vicious forces.
However, just as the struggle against the Nazis and fascism in europe could produce an internalised colonialism amongst Jews which resulted in a supremacist state - Israel, similarly there are some people who while rightly wanting to oppose the supremacist Nato death squads are in some cases responding with fighting this fire with fire, rather than with water, they are fighting racism with racism, instead with a counter supremacist force of solidarity and unity. In Syria and Libya it is Muslims who are doing the overwhelming and greatest amount of sacrifice and fighting to liberate ALL the communities in their countries, but some are putting more emphasis on what they see as eurocentric Christian communities, and giving the impression that these are a 'white western' type of force, when that is also so wrong on so many levels. Some people within anti-Nato pro Syria/Iran/Russian communities are joining in with the European far-right and fascists in promoting the scapegoating of refugees and immigrants as 'terrorists', 'rapists', 'alien to European white culture' or that their arrival in Europe is some 'Jewish plot' to destabilise Europe. The rise of fascism on a mass and state level in the West is a direct threat to further intensified hatred against Russia, Syria, Iran and other Asian and African countries and their diaspora in the West, they are not allies, they are our enemies and trojan horses of Nato and the imperialist countries. The more the West goes into crises, the more fascism will entrench itself, those who purport to fight Nato should think again before facilitating these fascist forces.
The leading countries and struggles in the world that are giving example to the world that we can resist and live in a more unified liberated way are shown by the leaders of Bolivia (Morales), Ecuador (Correa) and Venezuela (Chavez and now Maduro) and the grassroots movements they are involved in and allied to; it is represented by the successes of the Chinese revolution and socialist construction which united and uplifts hundreds of millions of people led by a socialist and anti-imperialist ideology, and it is represented by the anti-imperialist unity oriented Indian masses, and the anti-Nato resistance in Libya and Syria. There is no doubt that the imperialists are putting in a massive amount of efforts and resources to ensure that white supremacy racism is promoted en masse amongst not only the white masses in the West but also internalised by non-white communities in the West who ape the oppressive views and mentalities against Black and Asian people and especially immigrants and refugees. All indicators also point to imperialism working hard to promote similar narratives and frameworks amongst global south peoples struggles; this is a problem that requires serious learning and understanding of what modern coloniality and imperialism is and frameworks, ideologies and struggles that counters that.
It has been a mixed Easter, on the one hand Palmyra has been liberated from the Nato's supremacist forces, also we are celebrating 100 years since the uprising of the anti-colonial Irish Easter Uprising revolt that inspired all colonially oppressed peoples across the British empire, but also we have seen on-going massacres of these supremacist forces in Libya, Iraq, Pakistan and its ugly manifestation in Glasgow. How many more innocents and children have to be devastated and killed before there is an almighty fight back by our peoples? Syria has shown we can fight back and win. India is showing that people can turn the tables on the oppressors and fight back. People in Mali, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Niger, Nigeria and many other countries people of all faiths and no faiths are resisting. It is through the development of this resistance into a tsunami that will wash away colonialism's and imperialism's contribution of supremacism, looting, rape and genocide against our peoples.
I've been fortunate in my life to meet and work with Pakistani Christians both in Pakistan and in the UK. There have always been tensions but it is in recent years that this has been intolerable and in a country which historically has taken in millions of refugees it's concerning that groups such as Christians and Shia folk are no longer welcome. Behind the scenes the project to attack minorities in Pakistan continues and the role of intelligence services who support the Taliban elements such Jamaat-ul-Ahrar needs to be examined.The use of these as militia and death squads outside of state institutions is deeply disturbing and shows how powerful this template of operating has become
Seven myths that demobilised the Pakistani left against extremists resulting in tragic lost historic opportunities.
Oh yes. It has failed massively. It has failed because of stupid self-defeating ideas that I have been criticising for years. Lets start with each of them.
1. "Taliban are anti-imperialists". You would think such an inane argument could not be made but you will be shocked to read who all supported this view (Tariq Ali, Dr. Riaz, Asim Sajjad Akhtar).
2. "Fighting extremism is a US agenda": This was the position of the overwhelming number of grassroots leftists who argued that since US was condemning Taliban we should not condemn them.
3. "Fighting Extremism isn't a working class issue. It is a liberal issue": As if the rich or liberals were the only ones getting blown up or affected. Insane position I know but it dominated the left in Pakistan.
4. "Fighting Extremism is not the principle contradiction." A leftist way of saying it is not a priority. Mun chupatay phir rahay hain yeh log.
5. "Public is not with extremists, we don't have to worry about them". Take a look at Qadri's funeral.
6. "We should negotiate with extremists.Violence begets violence. We need a 'political' (i.e. non-violent) solution" ROFL.
7. And my personal favourite "They are too strong, we will be killed". We are getting killed anyway.
Your twitter RIP's and fb prayers are meaningless if they do not translate into actual struggles against religious extremism.
Your tweets about how the bombings make "you" so upset are not only irrelevant but serve only to draw attention to yourself at a time when attention needs to be focused on solving the actual problems.
Get into the grassroots movement against extremism. You know where they are. They've been calling you to action for years. You just haven't bothered to spare any time for this issue. You've been too busy with your job, your studies, your family, your x, your y, your z. Face it. You've been obsessed with "you".
Stop working for yourself and start working for people. Then we will see an end to violence in Pakistan