We mourn our dead in Paris today and stand in solidarity with the people of France – no ifs or buts.
And whilst we mourn the dead, let us not forget the many other civilians who whilst going about their daily lives have been slaughtered by Islamism – a global killing machine.
This month alone, the dead comprise 7 Hazara, including a 9 year old girl, beheaded by ISIS and 19 year old Rokhshana, stoned to death by the Taliban in Afghanistan; a mass grave of Yazidi women uncovered after ISIS was routed from Sinjar (see photo on left); roadside bombings in Baghdad and Sadr City, which killed 41 people; twin explosions in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed at least 43 people; a downed Russian airliner killing all 224 on board; at least 4 killed in suicide attack in Sinai, Egypt; a secular publisher killed and 3 others wounded in Bangladesh; at least 32 people, including four children, killed in a suicide attack in Pakistan; 30 people killed and dozens injured in twin suicide bomb attacks in Nigeria’s Borno State…
Countless others have also been killed – not by “jihadis” but legally by Islamic states via Sharia laws: 100 have been executed in Saudi Arabia during a 6 month period with 700 executions in Iran during the same time-frame. The current President Rouhani, who planned to visit France, has overseen the execution of 2000 civilians during two years in office… Many more languish in prison – people like Raif Badawi and Atena Faraghdani – or face male guardianship rules, compulsory veiling, gender segregation, even bans on laughing out loud or music…
U2 lead singer Bono says the Paris massacres, especially the attack on the music concert, is Islamic State’s first “direct hit against music” but music has been the target of Islamists for decades. In Mali, for example, Islamists have banned music in the north of that country. In Iran, women cannot sing solo in front of men…
The Islamists target music, art, love, and always civilians.
French President Hollande says the Paris attacks are an act of war. True, but this war has been raging for decades. People in many countries across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia have lost a generation and been fighting this movement at great risk to their lives. This “war” is one of the main reasons for the mass migration.
Despite the devastation, there is hope. Just this week, women came out to oppose Rokhshana’s stoning, tens of thousands came out against the ISIS beheadings in Afghanistan and Kurdish fighters liberated Sinjar from ISIS, lowering ISIS’ flag and raising the Kurdish flag.
Protests in defence of the people of Paris are part and parcel of this global protest movement against Islamism’s inhumanity and brutality. Our success will lie in recognising the global resistance against Islamism and seeing how it is intrinsically linked to our own.
It will also lie in our ability to target Islamists and not just jihadis. We cannot win against ISIS whilst wining and dining heads of Islamic states like Rouhani and the Saudi regime or appeasing, funding or even arming “moderate” and “soft” Islamists, which are part of the problem.
We also won’t be able to win if we place collective blame on migrants or Muslims. Many “Muslims” (or those presumed to be Muslims) are the first victims and on the frontlines of resistance. Also, many migrants are fleeing Islamists or dictators like Asad in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan…
Those who kill indiscriminately in Paris or in Raqqa include the European-born. This is not an “anti-imperialist” movement to be excused and justified nor is this about “identity.” It’s about politics – regressive, fascist politics that needs no justification to kill and slaughter. Where Islamism begins, rights, freedoms, democratic politics and freethought ends.
To push back this movement, we must oppose it all – not just jihadis – and not just in Europe. Keeping the people of Europe safe is intrinsically linked to keeping people the world over safe. In this we have many allies amongst the people of Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Iraq to Algeria who have been standing up to and resisting Islamism for decades.
Today we mourn but we also resolve to continue the fightback on behalf of people everywhere.
Onwards towards a global, human resistance to Islamism.