by Sami Mohammad
The leadership of the Stop the War Coalition organised a massive conference [11 January] in preparation for the 15 February demonstration against war on Iraq.
In the conference there were many political parties, organisations, and famous individuals. I am a member of the Worker-communist Party of Iraq. As an Iraqi dissident, I felt it important to pay a visit to the conference. It was important to see those people who speak on behalf of Iraqi people, and what analysis, explanation and alternative the conference has for the conflict between Iraq and the USA.
From the very beginning I realised that the conference was totally dominated by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and the London Muslim Coalition. I started to feel angry and depressed. Those Muslim organisations have always, openly and proudly, supported Osama bin Laden and his terrorist and criminal activities, and they shamelessly welcomed the 11 September, Bali, Kenya terrorist attacks, and other terrorist practices of Hamas (in Palestine) and Jund Allah (in Lebanon).
Ironically, political Islam is applauded and welcomed by the SWP, while both ordinary Muslims in the Middle East and in Western society, and Western people reject it. Despite the fact that political Islam was created by the USA to destroy and decimate working class and progressive movements in the Middle East and to wipe out all the Marxist and socialist movements, the SWP still does not understand. Those politicalised Muslim organisations should not be given the right to speak in the name of Iraqi people nor people of any other country in the Middle East.
People of Iraq and the Middle East have suffered for a long time at the hands of political Islam. For instance, we all have witnessed the existence of the barbaric Talibani regime in Afghanistan. People of that region are not dancing to the tune of those Islamic political organisations, since they understand that under Taliban, Osama, Hamas, etc., death, deprivation, rightlessness are routine; the event of 11 September is being carried out against working-people on an everyday basis by those groups in the Middle Eastern countries.
In the conference, one of the speakers from the Muslim Association was enthusiastically shouting and screaming against US imperialism, and was proudly attempting to justify the Kenyan terrorist atrocities. At the end of his speech he received a warm welcome and plaudits from the audience.
I was very surprised. It is nonsense for left organisations to support Osama Bin Laden and his followers. It is not acceptable for any workers' political party to compromise and stand shoulder to shoulder with the most repressive, brutal and inhumane political movement in contemporary history, political Islam.
The SWP is trying to win its campaign by relying on the Muslim Association, but this is not acceptable to the British public. The civilised world has already condemned political Islam and their friends. The SWP does not see that there are interests of class; that is why there is no class dimension in their views and analysis. The SWP's views are not based on the interests of the working class. The interest of the Iraqi working class and all in the Middle East is to get rid of political Islam and those reactionary movements.