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Communists and Islamists: The Unholy Alliance of the Extremists

Nabanil Sanyal

Nabanil SanyalSep 14, 2021, 01:11 PM IST

Communists and Islamists: The Unholy Alliance of the Extremists
The new found bonhomie between Taliban and China can new be seen after the formation of new regime in Kabul

The tie-up of Muslims and Communists across the world looks akin to an alliance of shrewd politics of give and take. If the concoction of the two most violent set-ups on the face of the earth is not exposed extensively and repeatedly, the secular world we know of might cease to exist in near future

 

The French Revolution was the cornerstone to the uprising of the exploited masses which finally led to the nascent idea of democratic set up and equal participation of society as a whole in determining its own future through a forceful revolution against the imperialist state. Fredrich Hegel then came up with his dialectics on rights, state and freedom; Hegel concluded on freedom, “The sole work and deed of universal freedom is therefore death … a deed, moreover, with no more significance than cleaving the head of a cabbage …. Absolute freedom becomes objective to itself as abstract self-consciousness which destroys all distinction within it … the Terror is the direct expression of this, it’s negative character”. The idea of reality according to Marx was naively put to be only about the fight between the oppressor and the oppressed. The revolution of the proletariat thus had only one goal, to overthrow any existing superstructure and create a new centralised structure where the state determined the freedom, rights and a vindictive redistribution of possessions. The State was to become the caregiver of the subjects and any subversion from the ideals of the state was deemed anti establishment. In a way the imperialists/oppressors were fought only to be ruled by another powerful ruthless  oligarch according to a few principles, as  we have seen in every country which  tried socialism.

Idea of Islamic Socialism 

The dip in the monopoly of Islam as the Ottoman empire, Safavid empire kept  loosing its strength after almost 700 years of ruthless rule around the world and the rise of imperialism in the form of education and technology during the Renaissance period and afterwards coupled with the ascend in acceptance of Christianity since the 16th century in western Europe, led  to the growing discontentment and an urge for mordernisation or re-energising the Islamic society.  Around the end of 19th century, many found the perfect opportunity of re-establishing the ideals of Islam as they strained the idea of equality was inherent in Quran like Zakat and started cozying up to the idea of socialism which gained momentum in eastern Europe.  Bahawetdin Wäisev, the earliest known proponent of political Islam according to Hanif Ramay Chief Minister of western Punjab in 1993, was born in Tazan Russia in 1810 and died in 1893. He had ambition to  create a Muslim-Turkish nation based on Sharia  and socialism. 

According to the testimony of Ibrahim bin Zainulla Al Bulgari, “Bahawetdin Wäisev had documents proving that his father was directly descended from Prophet Muhammad, and that his mother was also descended from a noble Bulgarian clan .” The main doctrines of Wäisi were disobedience to civil laws and administration, adherence to the Sharia and Quran rather than government regulations, evasion of service in the "kafir" army and of paying imposition, and refusal to obtain the Russian passport featuring a double-headed eagle which led to the Russian Revolution in 1905 and Lelin famously stated it to be the dress rehearsal for the Bolshevik Revolution a decade later.

Turkey as Centrepoint of Confluence 

The formation of Turkey and Iraq after the First World War and the abolition of the Ottoman empire and the caliphate and the later triggered an upheaval of Muslim sentiments around the world and a distinct Islamic nationalistic fervour was observed in South Asian countries with sizeable Muslim population. The Armenian genocide and the torture of Assyrians and Greeks during and after World War in Turkey proved the hostility and the insecurity of the Muslims against other religions and the consolidation of Islamic Ummah from the perspective of a nation state. The Khilafat Movement in India which started from 1919 and similar movements in Indonesia finally led to the formation of Islamic Pakistan and Afghanistan was a response to the domination of the imperialist colonisers.

Old Bottle, Old Wine: Despite the claims of changed Taliban, the new regime continues to inflict atrocities against women, minorities and everyone who don't agree with their version of Islam

Old Bottle, Old Wine: Despite the claims of changed Taliban, the new regime continues to inflict atrocities
against women, minorities and everyone who don't agree with their version of Islam

The Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 was the biggest success against Christian imperialists and the communists found a strange ally with the Muslims of central Asia as communists lacked numbers to conquer the whole of Russia. Lenin went to the extent of supporting Muslims post the revolution with sincerity. “To all toiling Moslems of Russia and the East, whose mosques and prayer-houses have been destroyed, whose beliefs have been trampled on by the Czars and the oppressors of Russia. Your beliefs and customs, your national and cultural institutions are declared henceforth free and inviolable. Organise your national life freely and without hindrance. This is your right. Know your rights . . . are protected by the entire might of the revolution and its organs. . . . Support this revolution and its government!” Because the bulk of the Muslims of the Soviet Union consisted of an unusually high proportion of peasants, the pro-peasant NEP in early 1920s effectively worked in their favour.”

Islamic Resurgence 

The Church controls the society and guides everyday life and is strict to a fault, thus breaching the wall of the Christian religious society was easier for the Red Army. The orthodox Christians were crushed mercilessly in Russia. The theology of Islam is greatly different than that of Christianity and Islam permits different ways of following. Dar-ul–Islam is the land where one can practice freely the five pillars of Islam, but living in dar-ul-harb, a land not conducive to Islam, Muslims are free to choose and follow the religion in private and in secrecy. The Muslims under the Russian monarch enjoyed a free and reformed Islamic life but the idea of  overthrowing the monarch supporting the revolution was more acceptable than being under  Christian rule.

The Muslim population of Central Asia expected industrial growth with the arrival of communists but that hardly happened. Stalin stated that Islam had to be destroyed "by indirect and more cautious ways" than those used against the orthodox church. Numerous mosques were closed down, clerics banned and Muslim communist leaders like Mirza Sultan-Galiev purged for their interest in autonomous Muslim states.

The Middle East was at one point completely controlled by the imperialists and communism did try to penetrate the Islamic society for the revolution and we see that in Egypt, the leader of Muslim modernism, Sheikh Muhammed Rashid Rida, occasionally gave voice to pro-Bolshevik sentiments. Similar attempts by the communists were made in Lebanon, Sudan, Yemen, Morocco and Algeria where Islamist uprisings were co-opted. Although as  soon as the Islamists came into power the communists  were the first people to be purged like in Iran,  Afghanistan, Indonesia.

The so-called socialism inspired Islamic resurgence with the help of Soviets in Asia was not exactly to the likings of the traditional Muslims because of a glaring difference of atheistic communists and has been opposed. We can see in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Turkey where there has been a surge in radicalisation of Islamists and violent overthrow of puppet governments in response to communists attempting to dilute Islamic conservatism

China’s Concentration Camps  

The communists of China has been seen doing similar oppression to Urugur Muslims like in Soviet Russia by setting up concentration camps, rape and looting of properties and has strived hard to de-Islamise the population. The world has been a witness to the communists using Muslims for their benefit but strangely even now after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, we see them expressing trust and heavily relying on Chinese money for the expected development of Afghanistan. The Taliban has also declared their interest in participating in the Chinese belt and road project. A déjà vu of the USSR using the Muslims of Central Asia.

Indeed, observers of Muslim political thought in modem times have often noted, sometimes with patronising sympathy, sometimes with superciliousness, that those Muslims who seek democracy argue that Muhammad was the first democrat and the early Muslim community was the first democracy, those advancing socialism depict Muhammad as the first socialist and the early community as the first socialist state, and so on as political styles change. Even certain Muslim communists went so far as to say that Muhammad and the early community prefigured the idealised communist (“Religion and State: The Muslim Approach to Politics”, author: Paul Froese  Baylor University)

The invasion of Afghanistan by USSR was violently fought as USA created the hardcore Islamist  Mujahideens which later morphed into Taliban and Al-Qaeda following a form of Islam which is intensely radical and  fundamentalist. The Taliban rule of Afghanistan saw  rampant human rights violation and torture on women  and the second phase of taliban rule doesn’t look  any different.

Communists in Cahoots with Islamists 

The first example of a communist and Islamic bonhomie in South Asia was observed In Indonesia was Sarekat Islam (SI), the mass movement founded in 1912 defending Indonesians against the imperialistic domination of the Chinese, the religious encroachments of the Christian missions and the political rule of the Dutch. Few known modernist Islamist like Hadji Mohammad Misbach was very active in the mid-1920s in developing and publicising the idea of the alliance between communism and Islam. His articles on ‘Islamism and Communism’ of 1925 display an absolute certainty that the two are identical. 

In India, the communists saw the terrible Moplah riots where thousands of innocent Hindus were murdered, raped and looted or were converted forcefully as the first peasant uprising against imperials and landlords as declared by Saumyendranath Tagore the founder of Revolutionary Communist Party of India. Subsequently, the Kerala govt. declared the rioters as freedom fighters in 1967. The Communists had pursued a rather independent line during the Second World War when Stalin allied with the imperialist Britain. They then favored the division of India into 16 separate regions, on the basis of the principle of national self-determination. Muslims were to have ‘the right to form autonomous states and even to separate if they so wished, in places where they were in the overwhelming majority’. Later, after the war, stress was laid more on the need for immediate insurrection to overthrow both colonialist regimes and independent bourgeois nationalist states, such as India and Pakistan as the Soviet Eastern specialist E. Zhukov wrote in July 1947 that Nehru was a ‘rich reactionary’ and the Congress leadership were bourgeois who had capitulated to imperialism. Since the beginning of the last century, nationalism and establishment of a Hindu ethos and its safeguarding in india was declared to be fascist in mindset and that even the thought of rejuvenation of Hinduism was regressive because of inherent atheistic nature of communism and that probably it’s the dominant religion and thus has to be opposed at every instance.

Urugur Muslims have been subjected to  torture in concentration camps in China

Rajani Palme Dutt from CPGB in his book ‘India today’ wrote in 1940, “The insistence on orthodox religion as the heart of the national movement, and the proclamation of the supposed spiritual superiority of the ancient Hindu civilisation to modern ‘ Western ‘ civilisation (what modern psychologists would no doubt term a compensatory delusion), inevitably retarded and weakened the real advance of the national movement and of political consciousness, while the emphasis on Hinduism must bear a share of the responsibility for the alienation of wide sections of Moslem opinion from the national movement ”. The statement itself declares the loathing and fear mongering attitude of communists as a whole.

Glorifying the Mughal Rule

The communists in India thus evidently inherited this hypocrisy furthered by the Neheruvian tint on history and have time and again denied or under-represented the existence of ancient Bharat in the lines spoken by British generals and pushed by historians like Irfan Habib and Romila Thapar. The communists talk of how great the Mughal rule was but never talk of how the Sikh Guru Arjan and Guru Teg Bahadur were executed in open crowds by them. The overt importance given to the history of Muslim rule as the so-called bedrock of Indian existence is the nefarious design the communists had successfully hatched. We have time and again seen concrete attempts to selectively vilify the whole of the majority in name of genuinely  unfortunate mob events and put a blind eye to the innumerable communal riots started by the Muslim minorities across India.

In India, the communists saw the terrible Moplah riots where thousands of innocent Hindus were murdered, raped and looted or were converted forcefully as the first peasant uprising against imperials and landlords as declared by Saumyendranath Tagore the founder of Revolutionary Communist Party of India

The recently concluded Bengal election saw the Communist parties and Congress tie-up with an extremist Islamist Abbas Siddique’s party cunningly named Indian Secular front. We have seen many Muslim  communist leaders declared as comrades but posters in Muslim areas hide the communist credentials like ex-MP Md. Salim addressed as Janab Md. Salim in  Khidderpore area.

The tie-up of Muslims and Communists across the world looks akin to an unholy alliance of shrewd politics of give and take. With the mindset of ‘ enemy’s enemy is my friend’ against the European imperialists and later the American capitalist society in the 19th century, the communists continue to fan the extremist pan-Islamism identity to fuel the political life of the ever dwindling population of hardcore communist across the world. If the concoction of the two most violent set-ups on the face of the earth is not exposed extensively and repeatedly, the secular world we know of might cease to exist in near future. 

 

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