[Marxism] WPI Briefing 170-1:We Must Stop the Terrorists’ War, Issam Shukri

Metin Sarp metin_sarp at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 5 08:41:08 MST 2005


WPI Briefing 170-1

Weekly of the Worker-communist Party of Iran

Editors: Fariborz Pooya and Maryam Namazie

March 4, 2005



In this issue:

* Long Live March 8, International Women’s Day

* In Commemoration of March 8: Islam, Political Islam and Women in the 
Middle East, Maryam Namazie

* Open Letter to the Participants in the Bejing + Ten Conference, Mina Ahadi

* We Must Stop the Terrorists’ War, Issam Shukri

* On Worker-communist Circles, WPI Briefing Interview with Siyaves Azeri

* International TV English is not being updated on its website. We are 
finding a volunteer to do so. Until then, you can only watch it if you have 
satellite TV. TV International English is broadcast via satellite TV every 
Sunday from 8:30-9:30pm Tehran time (5:00-6:00pm London time) on Satellite: 
Telstar 12, Centre Frequency: 12608 MHz, Symbol Rate: 19279, FEC: 2/3, 
Polarization: Horizontal. Our apologies and we will try to rectify this 
problem very soon.

____________________________________________________________________



* Long Live March 8, International Women’s Day



International Women’s Day - March 8 – has been for some time now a day of 
protest against sexual apartheid and the hejab in Iran.  Once more, this 
year, the Worker-communist Party of Iran is encouraging the organising of 
gatherings and meetings throughout Iran in commemoration of this magnificent 
day. On this day, we the people will loudly proclaim that we will no longer 
tolerate the discrimination against and oppression of women. On this day, we 
must declare that we will bring down the walls of segregation of humanity 
based on gender. Women and men are equal human beings with the same rights. 
Those who divide the united ranks of humanity with their rotten traditions 
and laws must be pulled down. On this day we will cry for an end to sexual 
apartheid! Islamic rules and laws and the hejab must be relegated into the 
dustbins of history.



Women’s liberation is the liberation of all!



* In Commemoration of March 8

Islam, Political Islam and Women in the Middle East

Maryam Namazie



The situation of women living in Islam-stricken societies and under Islamic 
laws is the outrage of the 21st century.  Burqa-clad and veiled women and 
girls, beheadings, stoning to death, floggings, child sexual abuse in the 
name of marriage and sexual apartheid are only the most brutal and visible 
aspects of women's rightlessness and third class citizen status in the 
Middle East.



This is Nothing but Islam



Apologists for Islam state that the situation of women in Iran and in 
Islam-stricken countries is human folly; they say that Islamic rules and 
laws practised in the Middle East are not following the true precepts of 
Islam.  They state that we must separate Islam from the practice of Islamic 
governments and movements.  In fact, however, the brutality and violence 
meted out against women and girls are nothing other than Islam itself.  
According to the Koran, for example, the fornicator must be flogged a 
hundred stripes (The Light:  24.2).  Those who are guilty of an 'indecency' 
must be 'confined until death takes them away or Allah opens some way for 
them.' (The Women, 4.15).  'Men are the maintainers of women' and 'good' 
women are obedient.  Those that men fear 'desertion', can be admonished, 
confined and beaten' (The Women, 4.34).  Wives are a 'tilth' for men, which 
they can go into their 'tilth' when they like (The Cow, 2.223).  Veiling is 
promoted in the Koran: 'O Prophet! Say to your wives and your daughters and 
the women of the believers that they let down upon them their over-garments' 
(The Clans, 33.59).



Apologists for Islam say that these verses have been misinterpreted.  They 
go so far as to claim that there is gender equity in Islam and Islam 
respects the rights of women.  Regarding the verse in the Koran sanctioning 
violence against women, they say that Islam only permits violence after 
admonishment and confinement and as a last resort. They say, since men would 
beat their wives mercilessly at that time, this is a restriction on men to 
beat women more mercifully (Women Living Under Muslim Laws, For Ourselves 
Women Reading the Koran, 1997). In a Gender Equity in Islam Web Site, this 
verse is explained in this way: 'In extreme cases, and whenever greater 
harm, such as divorce, is a likely option, it allows for a husband to 
administer a gentle pat to his wife that causes no physical harm to the body 
nor leaves any sort of mark. It may serve, in some cases, to bring to the 
wife's attention the seriousness of her continued unreasonable behaviour.' 
On the verse that says women are men’s tilth, they say the Koran is 
encouraging sexuality, even though women are killed for expressing theirs 
(Women Living Under Muslim Laws, For Ourselves, Women Reading the Koran, 
1997). Regarding the fact that women are not to judge or consult, one mullah 
from Qom using a female pseudonym says: “Or, Let’s suppose that in other 
planets, women are stronger and more learned than men, do we accept their 
custom or do we reject it totally?” (Zanan 4 and 5).  On the Gender Equity 
in Islam Web Site it states that 'Islam regards women's role in society as a 
mother and a wife as her most sacred and essential one. This may explain why 
a married woman must secure her husband's consent if she wishes to work.  
However, there is no decree in Islam that forbids women from seeking 
employment whenever there is a necessity for it, especially in positions 
which fit her nature best and in which society needs her most.'



These 'Islamic feminist' interpretations are an insult to our intellect and 
cannot be taken seriously.  Islam has wreaked more havoc, massacred more 
women, and committed more holocausts than can be denied, excused, 
re-interpreted, or covered up with such feeble defences.  Misogyny cannot be 
interpreted to be pro-woman even if it is turned on its head just as 
fascism, Zionism and racial apartheid cannot be interpreted to be pro-human. 
  These are mere justifications for people who want to legitimise their 
beliefs and religion or reactionary states and movements with a vested 
interest in maintaining Islamic rules and laws.  They apologize because even 
they don't want to associate with the outrages committed by Islam throughout 
the world.  Nothing can hide the fact that Islam, like other religions, is 
anti-woman and misogynist and antithetical to women's rights and autonomy.



Political Islam is a Contemporary Reactionary Movement



There are always those who say that we can't blame Islam for the status of 
women in Islam-stricken countries.  Apologists like Jackie Ballard, an ex-MP 
from the UK says blaming religion for the denial of women's rights in 
countries like Iran 'disguised as concern for human rights' is tantamount to 
'blaming Protestantism in Britain or Catholicism in Mexico for endemic 
domestic violence' and to seeing 'paedophilia as a symptom of a Christian or 
western culture'. This is nonsense. Islam is in political power in Iran and 
many countries of the Middle East and North Africa and cannot be compared to 
Protestantism in Britain. The Bible is not the law of the land in Britain, 
while the Koran is in Iran; it is not in the constitution and penal code nor 
enforced in the courts and by morality police in Britain, while it is in 
Iran.



And that is exactly why Islam, and not Christianity for example, is at the 
forefront of the debate on women's rights in the 21st century.  Islam in 
political power, or as a movement targeting political power (political 
Islam), is as much a political ideology as it is a religion; it aims to 
establish Islamic states and rules and needs political power to do so.  This 
political power has enabled it to maim, gag and kill women on a mass scale.  
Political Islam is a reactionary contemporary movement that was the Right's 
alternative during the Cold War and also the result of Arab nationalism's 
failure.  In Iran, in particular, political Islam was brought to the fore of 
the 1979 revolution vis-à-vis the Left and as a Cold war tool and because of 
an anti 'westernisation' and Islam-ridden tradition dominant in a majority 
of the intellectual and cultural sections of society. It was in Iran that 
the Islamic movement became a notable political force vying for power.  This 
meant that the misogyny in Islam was given a state, laws, courts, the 
military and herds of police, Pasdars, Baseej, sisters of Zeinab, and 
Hezbollahs at its disposal to carry out its laws.  In Iran, women were 
slashed with razors and had acid thrown in their faces, many were killed and 
imprisoned until the Islamic regime in Iran was able to enforce compulsory 
veiling and establish its rule.



It is Racist not to Condemn Islam and Political Islam



This vile political Islam - which has sentenced women who have been raped to 
death for 'adultery', and has blamed mothers for not satisfying husbands as 
the cause of child sexual abuse - also has its defenders.  Some of them say 
that women in England, like in Iran and Afghanistan, also face violence.  Of 
course women face violence everywhere but surely the situation of women in 
Afghanistan and Iran are incomparable to situation of women living in France 
and England.  And since when do we excuse violations because they happen 
elsewhere?  When speaking of the status of women in Iran, they compare it 
with Afghanistan and state it is better.  As if that's all those born in the 
region can expect.  They even go so far as to state that women in Iran have 
freedoms denied to many in the West.  According to these racist cultural 
relativists, it is as if women living in Iran cannot expect more freedoms or 
don't want them.  They say Iran is an Islamic society and are incensed when 
we say it is not Islamic but Islam-stricken.  They choose one of the many 
complex characteristics of a number of people living in Iran and label the 
entire society with it.  Did they call it Islamic during the Shah's rule?  
They go on to say it's the people's culture and religion.  They ignore the 
fact that Islam imposed its rule in Iran through violence and terror.  They 
say Iran is Islamic so that they can more easily ignore the violations 
committed against women by implying it is people's choice to live the way 
they are forced to.  In fact, there is an immense anti-Islamic backlash in 
Iran with people resisting Islam and its state despite the repression.  They 
call Iran Islamic so they can prevent us from condemning Islam and political 
Islam by implying that any condemnation is an insult to people's beliefs. In 
fact, they call it Islamic in order to make it so. Though it’s untrue, even 
if every person living in Iran had reactionary beliefs, it still wouldn’t be 
acceptable. If everyone believes in the superiority of their race, must we 
respect and accept their beliefs? Respecting people's freedom of expression, 
belief and religion or atheism is one thing; that doesn't mean that we must 
respect any belief, however heinous.  Of course human beings must be 
respected, but that doesn't mean that all beliefs must also be respected.  
Should we respect fascism, racism, nationalism, and ethnocentrism - they are 
all beliefs after all.  And when we raise these realities, condemn Islam and 
political Islam and defend women's rights, they say we are racists and are 
promoting abuse against Muslims.  Criticising beliefs is not racism.  Is it 
racist to condemn fascism, nationalism, capitalism, sexism, religion?  Does 
a critique of fascism, nationalism or racism promote abuse against fascists, 
nationalists, and racists?  If we criticise child labour, does it mean we 
are promoting abuse against children who are forced to work? This is the 
pathetic whining of reactionaries who want to silence defenders of women's 
rights and frighten them into inactivity and submission.  Racism, rooted in 
capitalism, exists in society and has nothing to do with a critique of 
Islam.  Don't non-Muslims also face racism?  These apologists go so far as 
to call it Islamophobia. This is nonsense.  Xenophobia and homophobia, for 
example, are the hatred of people: foreigners and homosexuals.  You cannot 
have a phobia against an idea.  If we are opposed to racial or sexual 
apartheid, does that make us apartheid-phobic!  If we are opposed to racism 
and fascism does that mean we are racist-phobic and fascism-phobic?  Come 
on.  Opposing violations of women's rights in Islam-stricken countries does 
not serve racism - just like opposing Zionism does not make one an 
anti-Semite.  In fact, it is racist to assume that all those living or born 
in the Middle East are supporters of Islam and political Islam and that 
these vile governments and the Islamic movement represent women when in fact 
women are their first victims.  Labelling women's rights activists as 
racists is a dim-witted ploy to justify and excuse women's status under 
Islam and political Islam, and deny women and people living in the Middle 
East and Iran universal rights and freedoms.  Those who say these things do 
so because they want to maintain Islam.  They want to justify it.  Excuse 
it.  They have an interest in safeguarding religion and political Islam.  Or 
at best, they believe women in Iran and the Middle East are sub-humans who 
actually enjoy being segregated, veiled, stoned, flogged and dehumanised.  
Like Islam, political Islam is antithetical to women's rights.  It is not 
just a matter of consciousness-raising and creating a renaissance that 
pushes religion out of the public sphere and eliminating its role in 
people's social lives, but also completely eliminating political Islam and 
Islamic states and its movement (as was done with Christianity).  
Well-meaning people assert that we need to separate Islam from political 
Islam in order to defend rights.  In fact, to defend universal rights, we 
must have the courage to confront both. Any compromise with Islam is a 
compromise on women's rights.  There can be no compromise on people's rights 
and dignity.



September 11: The True Face of Political Islam



On September 11, the world came to know political Islam as never before.  
What happened in New York is happening everyday to women and people living 
under the sword of Islam.  On September 11, the monster created by Western 
governments moved beyond its control and the West is now moving to contain 
it.  The USA and Western governments want to contain only aspects of it - 
those aspects of it that are moving outside of the region.  It has no 
problem leaving it contained in the region to continue its reign of terror.  
That is where 'fundamentalism' comes into good use.  It distinguished 
between the Islamists acceptable to the West and those which are not.



This is an important moment for those of us who have struggled against Islam 
and political Islam.  For us, though, none is acceptable.  Just as it not 
acceptable for women, men and children to be massacred in New York, it is 
unacceptable for them to be slaughtered in Iran, Afghanistan and Northern 
Iraq.  Getting rid of political Islam is a precondition to any improvements 
in the status of women and people in the Middle East.  The establishment of 
a Palestinian state and an end to sanctions against Iraq will get rid of the 
primary grounds for political Islam's recruitment.  The overthrow of the 
Islamic regime in Iran will also weaken political Islam considerably.  The 
Islamic Republic of Iran is a pillar of political Islam; its overthrow is 
being delayed by Western government support.  Those who truly support 
women's rights must demand secular societies in the Middle East.  The 
separation of religion from the state, education, and a citizen's identity, 
relegating religion to the private affair of people is not only realizable 
but a necessity after the experience in Iran, Afghanistan and the Middle 
East. They must also defend the right to asylum for all women fleeing 
Islam-stricken societies.  It is our task to move public opinion towards 
people's movements in Iran and the Middle East for secularism, freedom and 
equality and universal rights and away from both poles of USA and Islamic 
terrorism.



The 21st Century must be the century that rids itself of political Islam.  
This will begin in Iran.



The above is Maryam Namazie's speech at a March 8, 2002 conference entitled 
'Islam, Secularism and Women in the Middle East' in London.



* Open Letter to the Participants in the Bejing + Ten Conference

Mina Ahadi



As we are speaking about the status of women, the Islamic government in Iran 
is preparing to put a noose around Kobra Rahmanpoor’s neck.  Do you want to 
know who Kobra is and why she is going to be executed?  Then please read 
this letter.



I come from Iran, a country with an Islamic government that is anti-woman in 
the fullest sense of the word.  I come from a country whose criminal 
government in the last ten years, since the Bejing Conference, has subjected 
hundreds of people to executions. I come from a land in which, in this 
century, women are buried in the ground up to their chest and torturously 
stoned to death in public for having engaged in extra marital relations.  If 
you look at your calendar, the last stoning occurred on July 11, 2002.  When 
each one of us were busy doing something, Maryam Ayoobi, fainted from fear 
and had to be carried on a stretcher to the hole that would become her last 
stop in life. Yes, Maryam, a 35-year old mother of two children, 8 and 9 
years old, was stoned to death.  This was not the first act and it will not 
be the last.



As we participate in this conference, many women and men await execution.  
Last year, the Iranian regime even executed a 16 year old girl, Atefe 
Rajabi.   After her execution, it was revealed that before her murder she 
had been raped by government officials.



Kobra Rahmanpoor is set to become yet another one of the victims in the long 
list of those who have been executed.  Kobra’s life story and her picture 
were published in Iran, and there is a lot of public sympathy towards her in 
Iran and around the world.  Kobra, who was victimised by poverty, 
deprivation, and misogynist customs, currently awaits execution.



We, in the International Committee Against Stoning, are fighting a massive 
campaign to save Kobra’s life.  The people in Iran have held wide-scale 
protests against the ruling to execute Kobra. Protest letters to the Iranian 
regime, and the distribution of Kobra’s picture and her biography, have 
helped many people in Iran and abroad to learn about her case.  After scores 
of protests in Iran, and demonstrations in many European countries, we were 
able to extend Kobra’s life. The officials at Evin prison in Tehran said, 
“We ran out of rope; we will execute her later.” On March 5, 2005, there 
will be a new court hearing for Kobra.



On the eve of International Women’s Day and during an international 
conference on women’s rights, we cannot speak of women’s rights if we do not 
condemn a government, the policy and brutal treatments of which, create fear 
and horror in a society and force women back.  Executions, stoning, and 
violence in Islamic-stricken countries are weapons used by the terrorist 
Islamic government against women and all people.



The Beijing + Ten Conference must unanimously condemn these barbaric acts. 
They must exert pressure on the United Nations and all other international 
organisations to make a unified protest against stonings and executions in 
Iran and everywhere else they are practiced.



The experience of our campaigns has proven to us and the people of Iran that 
if we protest, the government will retreat.  But if we stay silent, Layla, 
Masumeh, Zhila, Hajieh, Shahla, Kobra, and many others will be executed or 
stoned.  Protest against the brutal acts of the Islamic government!



Mina Ahadi is the Coordinator of the International Committee against Stoning 
and the Spokesperson for the International Committee against Executions.



* We Must Stop the Terrorists’ War

Issam Shukri



The formation of an Islamic-nationalist state in Iraq will not only be 
opposed to the civil and individual freedoms and rights of the people, but 
it will place the entire society on the brink of a new phase of a terrorist 
war between the United States on the one hand and political Islam with its 
local instruments in Iraq on the other.



It is a well known fact that the ascension of the Shiite Islamic Unified 
Iraqi Coalition UIC by their marginal majority victory in the 
US-orchestrated elections has occurred due to the close supervision and 
enormous support of the Islamic regime in Iran. The latter has utilised the 
lack of security and chaos in order to be active and influential in Iraq. 
Despite being a representative of political Islam in Iran, the UIC maintains 
a fragile composition of different Islamic groups. These groups have opposed 
agendas that render the whole Coalition impotent of fully representing the 
aspirations of Iranian political Islam in its entirety. The pro-American 
faction however, is planning to serve the interests of the US bourgeoisie 
through imposing Islam on the Iraqi society in a more acceptable ways to the 
US. In this regard, the pro-Iran Islamist in the Interim Government, 
Muwaffaq Al-Ruba’ie, has compared between their favourites by saying: 
‘America cannot be here forever, but Iran is here to stay!!’  If we unravel 
the nonsense covering his statement, we can simply say that the barbaric 
Islamic government in Iran is getting more fragile and flimsy by the growing 
power of the people of Iran. This emerging revolutionary power will uproot 
this rotten regime forever, contrary to Al Ruba’ie’s wishes. Unless the US 
impedes that power by striking the regime and delaying it downfall.



The US is globally at war with political Islam. Despite the support to what 
the US right-wing Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld calls “moderate” 
Islam (versus the more hostile, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution 
in Iraq – SCIRI), it is obvious that the US does not want a dominant hostile 
Iranian-style political Islam in Iraq. Iran represents one of the poles of 
political Islam in the region, therefore, the US will try to confront it in 
its most influential areas in the region namely Iraq and Palestine, and try 
to beat it there. This will grant the US a more free terrain for its 
manoeuvring simply by confining Iranian political Islam to within its 
borders.



The conflict between the US and political Islam is deepening throughout. It 
is deepening further by the more aggressive implementation of the US New 
World Order policy pursued since the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. Iraq has 
already become an open battle field to that destructive and reactionary 
struggle. The United States has been threatening to strike the nuclear 
facilities in Iran. However, this is not likely to happen at the present 
situation. The US fears the deterioration of the situation in Iran if it 
attempts to strike at the regime. It fears a political vacuum and the 
anticipated following chaos and disturbance of oil-production through the 
Gulf region if the Iranian regime was toppled. This political vacuum, if 
created, might also, and more importantly, lead the Left in Iran to take 
control. The situation in Iran is different than what has happened in Iraq 
or Afghanistan. The demarcation line here is the strength of Left and the 
revolutionary forces in Iranian society today.



The US hesitation in Iran is further amplified by the failure it is facing 
in Iraq. The dilemma of the US bourgeoisie is to secure a pro-US government 
in Iraq that could be in control. This task seems farfetched at the moment 
and the US army is ever facing more causalities. The US is in a quagmire 
both politically and militarily in Iraq.



This means that the confrontation between the US and its enemy in the region 
- political Islam will be mainly in Iraq and not Iran. The confrontation of 
America with the powers of political Islam in Iraq will be catastrophic. By 
the nature of their struggle, these monstrous forces of terrorism will not 
spare any human life in order to achieve their victory over their enemy. 
Millions of Iraqis are facing this fatal danger and will be subjected to the 
horrors of such extended reactionary confrontation.



The lines of this bloody confrontation shape the features of the political 
regime that America plans to install in Iraq with the full cooperation of 
their “tamed” copy of Islam. The proposed regime would fall within the 
constituency of the disguised Islamic state and not outside of it, i.e. not 
secular. This tamed Islamic state if found in Iraq, will make the Iraqi 
people pay a hefty price on two levels: 1) the repression and the violation 
of their freedoms especially for women, youth, workers, and secularists, 
and; 2) it would increase the bloody confrontation between anti-American 
political Islam and the US army. The dark scenario would be even darker.



That said, it is required that people of Iraq and the world are brought to 
the forefront. They are the obstacles which will prevent this dark scenario. 
Here comes the role of the Left into play; socialists, communists, 
secularists, and progressives who oppose the transfer of Iraq into a vile 
Islamic prison and placing the fate of millions at the mercy of Islamists 
and the US military machine. The Left has the mandate of crushing the 
US-Islamic scheme which aims at turning Iraqi society into an Islamic 
jungle.



In front of us lies two overlapping tasks; first to prevent the Iraqi 
bourgeoisie from forming an Islamic state whether pro-Iran or pro-US, 
whether headed by Al Hakeem or Al Sistani or Al Jaafari or Al Chalabi. 
Second, which is more strategic and substantial, is to demand the expulsion 
of the US/UK forces from Iraq and the disarmament of all political Islamic 
and nationalist gangs both pro and anti-US. This would pave the way for a 
real peaceful atmosphere for the people to exercise their will away from the 
yoke of these two terrorists.



For the first demand we must focus on the foundation of a secular 
non-nationalist state and the full separation of religion from state and 
education and the civil society in Iraq. For the second we must mobilise 
people around our demand of dismissing the American - British forces and 
disarming the national - Islamic gangs of all kinds.



This is a strategic alternative to end the terrorists’ war in Iraq and 
salvage the people from furthering the dark scenario. We must act promptly. 
We must be at the forefront.



Translated from Arabic with slight adaptation.



* On Worker-communist Circles

WPI Briefing Interview with Siyaves Azeri



Maryam Namazie: The Worker-communist Party of Iran’s International Relations 
Committee has recently been subdivided into three sections given the large 
numbers of people and groups that are turning towards worker-communism. You 
are now in charge of one of these divisions, which aims to establish and 
support worker-communist circles. What are worker-communist circles and why 
is there a need for them now?



Siyaves Azeri: Worker-communist circles are basically associations of 
worker-communist activists and sympathisers all around the world. There are 
a number of reasons why we need these circles now. The first is related to 
the dramatic events of the late 80's and early 90's that resulted in the 
rise of the new-right, Thatcherism, Reganism, and the collapse of the state 
capitalist model in the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe. The bourgeois 
media, ideologists, and academicians presented the collapse of state 
capitalism as a defeat of socialism, communism, egalitarianism and any 
progressive and humanitarian ideals. They even announced the end of history 
and celebrated the final victory of free market capitalism. With the fall of 
the Berlin wall we witnessed a retreat of the traditional, nationalist left 
groups and organisations that in fact belonged -and the residue of which 
still belong - to the left-wing of the bourgeois class and bourgeois 
movement. Many of the former activists of such political organisations 
dramatically shifted to the right and joined right-wing, conservative 
parties. Some, that had a more "ethical" standpoint either accepted the 
"defeat" and "resigned" or inferred that Marxism needed "radical" revisions, 
that communist politics were not sufficient enough to respond to the 
questions and meet the needs of the masses today, that it was out-of-date, 
that it lacked democracy, that it needed democratisation and so on. Hence, 
they shifted to social democracy or formed the so-called Rainbow Parties. 
Yet, we should be clear about the usage of the term "shift". Their shift did 
not represent a re-positioning, in the sense that they belonged to the 
working class movement and now changed their class-politics orientation. The 
matter of fact is that they moved within their own class movement -from the 
left of the bourgeoisie to its extreme right or to its centre… On the 
intellectual level we witnessed a massive production of reactionary ideas 
that joined the western mainstream bourgeoisie to sell the collapse of the 
Eastern Bloc as the retreat of communism. We were said to be in an age that 
we should say "farewell to the proletariat"; we were told that we were 
living in a post-industrial, post-capitalist, post-modern, post-etc. era. 
That even the ideals of universal human rights of the revolutionary 
bourgeoisie of the French Revolution era were out of date. That we should 
not intervene in the "domestic affairs" of other cultures; if women were 
subjected to sexual apartheid there, if children were forced to work under 
the cruellest conditions, it was their own affair and we should respect 
their cultures. However, the facts of capitalist society stayed intact, 
unchanged and even appeared in a clearer manner when compared to the time of 
Marx and Engels. The worker-communist movement was the sole, genuine working 
class communist movement that "hailed" the developments of recent history. 
It saw and determined the opportunity of the rise of the true, genuine 
working class movement that now, after seventy some years could build itself 
up from beneath the debris of the Berlin Wall. Worker-communism had truly 
determined and defined the nature of relations of production in the Soviet 
Union, and in other so-called socialist countries, be it China, North Korea 
or Albania. Hence, it did not vision and did not claim the defeat of state 
capitalism as its own. Worker-communism represents an "undefeated 
standpoint" and as Mansoor Hekmat puts it - the historian of the future 
would have to narrate the events of our age only through this undefeated 
stand. Worker-communism raised the flag of egalitarianism, of freedom, of 
equality, of humanity, of ending any discrimination against women and 
children in one of the darkest eras of the modern age. I believe this is the 
very main reason why people are attracted to the worker-communist movement. 
And I should emphasise that worker-communism does not represent an ethical 
per se stand. It is the genuine class positioning of this movement, its 
class identity that gives way to its politics, to its principles, to its 
egalitarian ethics, to its profound humanism and to its demand of socialism 
now.



On the other hand, as I mentioned before, the fundamental characteristics of 
capitalist society quickly falsified the claims and theses of bourgeois 
propaganda machines, ideologists and intellectuals. Soon after the collapse 
of the Soviet Bloc we witnessed an extensive attack against all the gains 
that workers and people had attained during the Cold War era. The end of 
socialism is the fantasy of the bourgeoisie but it is the very facts of the 
capitalist mode of production that produces and re-produces with itself its 
own gravedigger. And it was obvious that sooner or later society would face 
these facts. Today, we observe a shift towards left society-wise. People are 
aware that the traditional left does not have an answer to the existing 
situation. It lacks any clear programme and strategy towards a better world. 
People look for answers and worker-communism gives the right answers with 
clarity.



The positioning of worker-communism against the two poles of international 
terrorism -the US state and political Islamic terrorism, its insistence on 
maximal freedoms and equality, on the immediacy of socialism has shown that 
worker-communism is the inheritor and representative of Marxist communism, 
and it has put a new horizon of hope in the view of vast masses all around 
the world. This is another reason for its increasing popularity, and it 
shows its gigantic potential. It represents all the hopes and ideals of 
humanity, but in an earthly manner.



Therefore, worker-communist activists feel the urgent need towards a more 
effective sort of organisation and managing of their activities. However, we 
are just at the very outset of organising ourselves in countries without 
worker-communist parties. Organising as circles, I believe, will meet the 
needs for our present political activity and will be a step -yet a decisive 
one - towards the formation of worker-communist parties.



Maryam Namazie: What will be the main aims of these circles?



Siyaves Azeri: The very first tasks include forming journals - be they 
weekly, quarterly, bi-annually - in the native language of the countries 
where such circles are formed. Of course such a task is not an aim in 
itself. It is to serve the spread of worker-communist ideals in order to 
attract more people into our ranks. I believe there is a great deal of 
workers, youngsters, women, that will definitely be able to crystallize 
their demands for a free, equal, humane world within the framework of the 
worker-communist movement. Worker-communism holds the banner of maximalist 
communism, of Marx and the Manifesto's communism today. Worker-communist 
circles will give us the opportunity to reach these people, to the great 
mass of the "third pole", the "sleeping giant" and to ignite the first 
concrete step towards the formation of worker-communist parties.



Maryam Namazie: What should individuals and groups of people interested in 
establishing these circles do?



Siyaves Azeri: Every individual worker-communist activist should look for 
ways to participate in the political life of the country of her/his 
residence, which are peculiar to that state. I cannot give a blue-print of 
the shoulds and the shouldn'ts. However, the spread of worker-communist 
theoretical heritage is among the most important tasks of such circles. 
Translation of works and articles of Mansoor Hekmat, translation of the 
political and theoretical statements of the Worker-communist Party of Iran 
on international issues such as the situation in Iraq, the state of 
political Islam is one thing that should be considered as central to the 
activities of such circles. Participation in polemics with traditional left 
groups, but more importantly, intervention in the major debates that are 
going on in different countries may be enumerated as other tasks of 
worker-communist circles. Worker-communists can, and they should, effect the 
agenda of their living places.



Maryam Namazie: In brief, why are they important? Any final comments?



Siyaves Azeri: In brief, I believe that worker-communist circles will give 
the opportunity to our activists to appear in society in a more effective 
manner. Organising as circles will give us the chance to transcendence 
beyond our existing position, to intervene in the political situation of the 
society. But more importantly, such circles will prevent us from melting in 
the "theoretical pot" of the radical left debates and turn into yet another 
group of Marxists at the margins of society. Worker-communism is the social 
movement of the working class. By definition it requires organising as a 
political party. It is this material need, the social demand for 
worker-communist activity that has put the worker-communist circles in our 
agenda. At the end, I call all communist and working class activists, all 
who fight for a better world and those who will to change the world to join 
us. Thank you.



To contact Siyaves Azeri, head of the Worker-communist Circles Division, 
email him at siyavesazeri at hotmail.com.



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