The past week has seen scores of people killed by Al Shabaab militants in Nairobi and by Taleban-linked bombers in Lahore. Earlier in the month, over a hundred civilians were massacred by Boko Haram fighters in northern Nigeria and dozens killed by Al Qaeda linked bombers in Bagdad. Men, women and children lost their lives because they espoused different religious faiths and in Nairobi because they might be seen to be adopting the values of the West or themselves being Westerners.
These brutal killings must be condemned. But this is not enough. It is also essential that there is an understanding of their context and motivation. Those who killed did so not in the name of Islam but under the banner of the reactionary Wahabi sect that totally rejects all aspects of modernism and the West. Its adherents are recruited from those parts of the world which have experienced the direct and indirect violence of imperialism – and even to a degree from those within imperialism’s metropolitan states. It is this context that we cannot ignore: unending wars of intervention, the continued looting of the African continent and the ever present drones flying into Pakistan and across East Africa.
This knowledge must stiffen the resolve of all on the left to campaign against war, and for alternative economic and political policies that are not determined by British and US bankers in the City of London. Above all, we need a Middle East free of nuclear and chemical weapons and which also recognises the rights of the Palestinian people as determined by the United Nations. All progressives must also show the utmost solidarity with the embattled secular left which faces repression and worse from Sudan, Turkey and Iran to Iraq, Syria and Pakistan. Their continuing struggle for a democratic and socialist future is the only vision that can ultimately defeat an ideology that is itself a by-product of Western imperialism and which serves the regional agenda of the forces of autocracy and oppression’.
Statement issued by the Communist Party of Britain and its International Secretary John Foster (September 27):