On Woolwich: Islamism is the problem

Anything can be justified – a war on Iraq or bombs on buses and decapitations on the streets of London. But having justifications doesn’t necessarily bring legitimacy or mean that they are true.

Just as the Iraq war was not about the liberation of Iraqi women or weapons of mass destruction, the cold-blooded murder of a soldier in Woolwich is not about retaliation for the war on Iraq or Afghanistan. (Just as the English Defence League’s convergence on Woolwich and attacks on mosques have nothing to do with demands for “justice”.)

The decapitation was an act of terror, pure and simple, and characteristic of Islamism and far-Right politics which uses terrorism as a key tool in instilling fear and for social control. The main target of this terror is usually civilians in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and elsewhere (and often with the acquiescence and appeasement of western governments via funding for or close relations with Islamic organisations and states, defending Sharia law, and the curtailing of universal and citizenship rights and secularism).

As Women Living Under Muslim Laws says: “Fundamentalist terror is by no means a tool of the poor against the rich, of the Third World against the West, of people against capitalism. It is not a legitimate response that can be supported by the progressive forces of the world. Its main target is the internal democratic opposition to their theocratic project and to their project of controlling all aspects of society in the name of religion, including education, the legal system, youth services, etc. When fundamentalists come to power, they silence the people, they physically eliminate dissidents, writers, journalists, poets, musicians, painters – like fascists do. Like fascists, they physically eliminate the ‘untermensch’ – the subhumans -, among them ‘inferior races’, gays, mentally or physically disabled people. And they lock women ‘in their place’, which as we know from experience ends up being a straight jacket…”

Islamism is the main reason behind the murder in Woolwich and the slaughter of countless people across the world for the past several decades – not Muslims or those labelled as such who are in fact Islamism’s first victims and on the frontlines of resistance. Also, whilst Islamism sees Islam as a tool for the far-Right restructuring of power structures, the movement is not fundamentally about Islam as an ideology but about political Islam (gaining power and ruling via Sharia law). Ironically, political Islam and far-Right neo-conservatism and militarism are two sides of the same coin – both seek power and control through sheer violence, terrorism and by targeting civilians…

Of course times are changing. The new era of revolutions and uprisings – many of them women-led – is the real challenge to the far-Right, including Islamism, and terrorism. Only a humanity speaking on its own behalf can and will bring this movement to its knees. And whilst that fight has already begun, how it ends will depend on real solidarity with Islamism’s victims and dissenters and an unequivocal defence of universal human values, freedom, equality and secularism.


  1. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Yes exactly so. Well said Maryam Namazie & seconded by me.

    Those commenters on FTB (you know who you are) who make weak excuses and rationalisatations and finger point away from the Jihadist extremist Islamists who are committing these atrocities should reconsider.

  2. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says


    Oh & Maryam Namazie : Respect.

  3. Contessa de Metoncula says

    Most unfortunately, this is true for all organized religions most all descendant of Judaism..
    The entire World should be secular

  4. grumpyoldfart says

    Muslims … are in fact Islamism’s first victims

    Oh they were happy enough with Islam when it suited them and they thought it was going to be to their advantage. I remember when Ayotollah Khomeni took over in Iran. The hoi poloi were absolutely delighted and welcomed him with open arms. They already knew his teachings; they knew he intended to make Iran into a theocracy and they accepted him anyway – because he was a tougher Islamist than those who went before him. And the theocracy didn’t come about by force – it was written into the constitution after the muslims agreed to it in a referendum.

    • says

      Islamism in Iran came by brute and sheer force. The Islamic movement slaughtered an entire generation to establish its rule. It would do you well to know Iranian history before commenting on it.

    • stephenmuth says

      Right on, Maryam. Correct me if I’m wrong on any of this…

      “old fart:” The original revolutionaries were largely Tehran-based (modern urban) and university-educated people: professors, teachers, students, artists, scientists, etc. Their “crime” in western eyes was sympathies with Marxist political ideologies when we were in a cold war with the Soviets. We did everything we could to keep the Shah in power, including helping him quash such dissent within their own country. But when their movement was finally getting somewhere and their uprisings ultimately led to the destruction of that terrible regime, the fascistic fundamentalist factions saw their chance, outnumbered and slaughtered anyone they could find with a brain. The larger, tribal, uneducated rural masses tended to be more in line with the messages of the thugs, and here we are.

      When you think about it, a VERY similar dynamic exists here in the USA with our fundamentalists and theocratic politicians.

  5. kevinalexander says

    it was written into the constitution after the muslims agreed to it in a referendum.

    Was that before or after those who might have voted against it were slaughtered?

  6. Sgarre says

    Have the revolutions actually been moderating factors as the post suggests in the last paragraph? I was under the impression that in the North African countries Islamic influence has become more prevalent rather than less.

    • says

      Islamism’s gain is a gain not for the revolutions in the region but as a counter-revolutionary force to suppress the revolutions. I will post my speech in DC that discusses this asap.

  7. zytigon says

    It might help prevent radicalization if everyone had sufficient knowledge of comparative religion.
    Interesting to look at the history of law codes. Hammurabi code 1776 BCE.
    ” Egyptian myth and Legend ” by Donald A. Mackenzie points out that the ancient Egyptians pre 1500 BCE had a taboo against eating pork. They also practiced circumcision long before any Hebrews did and at the same time. So if the Hebrews practiced such things then it did not make them different from neighbouring cultures. If anything they were copying ideas from the neighbours.
    It is interesting to read the 1500 BCE Egyptian papyrus of Ani especially the 42 negative confessions. It can be seen that they had a similar sense of morality to that which was much later written in the 10 commandments [ maybe 700 BCE ? ]
    Acts 7v22 claims that Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Exodus claims Moses was brought up in the Pharoah’s house [ though Pharoah is an anachronism, in those days they were known as Kings ] Moses would have known the Egyptian law codes so why go up a mountain to receive something little different.
    There is no evidence of a large Hebrew slave presence in Egypt or an Exodus or conquest. Archaeologist Israel Finkelstein writes of the possibility that the Hebrews emerged from the resident Canaanites.
    It is interesting to read about arabian mythology on wikipedia so see what the situation was prior to the formation of the koran in 700 CE. Also notable that the Koran is a jumbled summary of the bible qu 17:2 We gave to Moses the scripture.
    The bible and quran can be compared at skepticsannotatedbible.com
    BBC news on 4th April 2000 reference to 1996 Church of England synod decision that hell doesn’t exist has a link ” What-the-hell-is-hell.com “

  8. zytigon says

    It is interesting to note that the Koran, which was written about 700 CE has re written the supposed history of the Septuagint by making Abraham & Moses talk not of Yahweh but of Allah. So the question is how come the history of the Arabian peninsular pre 600 CE is of polytheism in which Allah was just one of the gods in the imagined Pantheon ? How can Mohammad claim to be the first muslim yet claim the Septuagint characters were muslim ? What happened to Ishmael ? How did he fail to bring any correct text to the Arabian peninsular ? Why does it look like the Hebrews / Jews had some recorded history then Muhammad borrowed it and amended their religion ?
    The authors of the Koran would maybe have been better leaving the Septuagint ( written prior to 250 BCE ) as it was and then say, ” Ah but here is an update from God and he now wants to delete a,b,c from the law of Moses and to add x,y,z “. Maybe they thought it would have more credibility if Moses etc were written as saying it – straight from the horses mouth .

    If Imams were following a living God then why don’t we have an update, ” See all that stuff about hell and killing unbelievers, well that was for the first millennium and is now out of date, actually Allah wants peace now and no one is going to suffer when they die. Science and reason should be your guide posts from now on “

  9. zytigon says

    One day Mohammad was sitting in his cave doing the really smart thing of studying the Septuagint, New Testament and the writings of Greek philosophers like Plato, Socrates, Epicurus, Anaximander and a whole lot of other stuff by Arabic astronomers when an angelically brilliant idea came to him and said, ” Know what “,
    ” What ? “, replied Mohammad.
    And angelic idea said, ” The stories of the Septuagint and N.T. are mostly fiction. What actually happened was they copied and revised stories of the surrounding cultures, Egypt, Babylon, Greek, Buddhist. It was Plato who developed the Greek idea of Hades and made it sound worse then called it Tartarus which later developed into the nightmare of Hell.”
    ” Oh how interesting ” said Mohammad intelligently.
    Then the brilliant idea said to him, ” You know the Genesis creation story is just a myth, life didn’t come about by magic but by evolution which is a very gradual process where primitive animals can become more complex. So human’s ancestor was like a bonobo ape, and the apes ancestor was like a rat and the rats ancestor was like a fish, Something like that, quite complex to explain.
    And Mohammad said something very smart, ” You know what, I think that could be true “.
    Then the brilliant idea revealed to Mohammad that 200 million years ago the continents of Africa, Americas, Australia, India and Antartica used to be joined together in one huge land mass which is to be known as Pangea. You will find similar flora & fauna fossils spread over the Pangea .
    And Mohammad said, ” Wow that is amazing to find that out, I am going to be able to impress everyone by knowing that, now i am really one up on them, what else have you got to reveal ” .
    And the angelic idea said, ” Well you know how lots of people think the sun revolves round the Earth, well in fact the Earth beneath your feet is a planet shaped, spherical, like an orange that is orbiting the Sun “,
    ” Wow said Mohammad. I’m going to lead my neighbours into these great truths ” .
    Finally the brilliant light said, ” That is great, I hope you will make up a code for living by, which minimizes human suffering and maximises their health and happiness, women have the potential to do anything as well as a man can, slavery is forbidden, set a living wage, health & safety at work needs to be a priority & if you study everything really closely using the scientific method then you will find ways to prevent illness & disease and cure people from what causes grief ”
    And Mohammad said, ” What joy i have with this great news, i will go and share it with the whole world and help them to understand it ” And so it was that the Arabs became a great advanced civilization renown for their
    kindly treatment of their fellow humans.

  10. Yek Shakhs says


    You say that these people are not concerned with Islam as an ideology, but rather with Islam as a political movement for power. However, don’t we admit that Islam innately has, and has always had, a political aspect? Indeed, is not some of Islamic law, well, law intended to be implemented politically? In other words, being concerned with Islam as an ideology means that one must also be concerned with religious politics, because that is part of the religious ideology to begin with. This does not mean every Muslim wants to implement Shari’a courts in London or create a new Khilafa, but it does mean that at the very least they will have to accept and excuse their faith’s political ideology of the past, which is not merely historical but also doctrinal.
    What do you have to say about this?

    Also, what do you mean when you say that Muslims are the first to be the victim of Islamism? Has it not been that throughout history it was Muslims themselves involved in the propagation of the political aspects of Islam?

    Thanks! Apologies for not properly understanding you.

  11. szopen says

    Terrorism is key characteristics of every extremist ideology, no matter whether far-Left, or far-Right. Stalin, Lenin, Mao were not rightists.


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