Globally in recent years, Communists (leftists), atheists and Islamists are getting closer and closer in forming an anti-West and anti-American platform, which is gradually becoming a potential threat to international peace and stability.
A number of top scholars in the West, including Daniel Pipes have written on such a unique grouping of these elements. Although ideologically they seem to have very different agendas, in many cases, these groups have unified formulas such as anti-Semitic theory and the spreading of religious hatred. While Islamists are rather open promoters of an anti-Semitic theme, leftists and atheists promote such theory in a very tricky way.
Let us first have a glimpse over scenarios is the world. When the US-led coalition had its operations in Iraq in March 2003 to oust authoritarian Saddam Hussein, few would have imagined that the move might lead to the formation of an alliance between the radical Left and hard-line Islamists in Western Europe. But this is precisely what happened. In this month’s election for a new European Parliament, voters in several European Union countries, notably France and Britain, are offered common lists of Islamist and leftist candidates, often hidden under bland labels. The Islamist groups, for their part, are learning many tricks from the Left about how to exploit the inevitable weaknesses of an open society.
In Britain, the new Marxist-Islamist alliance is the offspring of the so-called anti-war coalition set up four years ago to prevent the liberation of Iraq. The coalition has a steering committee of 33 members. Of these, 18 come from various hard Left groups: communists, Trotskyites, Maoists, and Castroists. Three others belong to the radical wing of the Labor party. There are also eight radical Islamists. The remaining four are leftist ecologists known as Watermelons (Green outside, red inside). The chairman of the coalition is one Andrew Murray, a former employee of the Soviet Novosty Agency and leader of the British Communist Party. Co-chair is Muhammad Asalm Ijaz of the London Council of Mosques.
A prominent member is George Galloway, excluded a couple of years back from the Labor party, who is under investigation for the illegal receipt of funds from Saddam Hussein. Galloway heads a list of candidates backed by several radical leftist groups, notably The British Socialist Workers Party (SWP), as well as the Muslim Association of Britain, the British branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and a dozen Palestinian groups, financed by Yasser Arafat.
The Palestinian checkered headgear, worn by the leftists as a cache-col, has become the symbol of this left-Islamist alliance.
Marxist-Islamist alliances have also been formed in Belgium and Germany, where the Muslim Brotherhood itself has been taken over by radicals sympathetic to al Qaida. The European Marxist-Islamist coalition does not offer a coherent political platform. Its ideology is built around three themes: hatred of the United States, the dream of wiping Israel off the map, and the hoped-for collapse of the global economic system. Europe’s hard Left sees Muslims as the new under-class in the continent.
“Are these not the new slaves?” asks Olivier Besanconneau, leader of the French Trotskyites. “Is it not natural that they should unite with the working class to destroy the capitalist system?”
The idea of an alliance with Islamists has even seduced the more traditional French Communist Party (PCF), which commissioned a study of the possibilities of electoral alliances with Muslim organizations. The Islamists, for their part, are attracted to the European hard Left because of its professed hatred of the United States and Israel.
“We say to anyone who hates the Americans and wants to throw the Jews out of Palestine: ahlan wa sahlan (welcome),” quipped Abu-Hamza al-Masri, the British Islamist firebrand. “The Prophet teaches that we could ally ourselves even with the atheists if it helps us destroy (the) enemy.”
The first to advocate a leftist-Islamist alliance against Western democracies was Ayman Al Zawahiri, al-Qaida’s number 2. In a message to al-Qaida sympathizers in Britain in August 2002, he urged them to seek allies among “any movement that opposes America, even atheists.”
The idea received support from Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the Venezuelan terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal. In his book Revolutionary Islam, published in Paris last year, Carlos, who says he has converted to Islam, claims he has advised Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader, to forge an alliance with “all guerrilla, terrorist, and other revolutionary groups throughout the world, regardless of their religious or ideological beliefs.”
Carlos said Islam is the only force capable of persuading large numbers of people to become “volunteers” for suicide attacks against the US. “Only a coalition of Marxists and Islamists can destroy the US,” he said.
Now just let us see, what is happening right at our land, this South Asian region. We all know that, Marxism did spread in this region for years, particularly through the platform of democracy haters. They also have deep feelings against the United States, the West and Israel. Anti-Semitic sentiment within these elements is no less. But for years, especially in India, which is considered to be the largest democracy in the world, leftists and Marxists were somehow pushed to a corner or disadvantageous position. If someone will visit India, it will be very prominently seen that the Marxist government in West Bengal has already become a kind of sin for the people in this part of India, while most of the states are seeing lights of prosperity for the past few decades. Although the Indian administration was successful in cleansing Naxalite elements from West Bengal, it is unfortunately yet to succeed in defeating the leftists and Marxists, because, these elements have already established a strong alliance with Islamists and are keeping a strong grip on the ballot through provocative anti-US, anti-West and anti-Semitic slogans.
In neighboring Bangladesh too, leftists, atheists and Islamists have formed hidden or open alliance with the similar ideology and slogans. But the disadvantage there is, leftists and Communists have already penetrated in various important organs of the country, while radical Islamists have planted their own people in various strategic positions, including some of the Western missions in Dhaka. It was learned a few years back that, Islamists are already holding sensitive positions with the US Embassy in Dhaka as well as other Western missions. And, such alliance of leftists, atheists and Islamists is causing a kind of either isolation or misconception on moderate Muslims, Islamic forces (not radicals) and pro-West minds in Bangladesh.
Take the case of Mr. Shahriar Kabir, who is a well known Communist and hater of the United States. To my knowledge, Kabir considers America as an imperial force and has written such thoughts in a number of articles and at least one of his books, which is regularly distributed right within the United States amongst his contacts. He also has secret affiliation with Islamists. This was some how exposed when the Awami League (one of the largest political parties in Bangladesh) signed a treaty with Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish for establishing Shariah law in the country if they would win the election in 2006. Major sections of Bangladesh’s moderate Muslims, including some of the political parties criticized this treaty while Communists like Shahriar Kabir were arguing to justify the ‘significance’ of such agreement. People like Kabir, although they openly speak on various national and international issues; they maintain a strange silence in saying anything about Saddam’s dictatorial role (rather they criticize the United States and the West for ousting Saddam). They even always bear extremely anti-Semitic notions as part of their anti-US and anti-Israel sentiment. These leftists or Communists or atheists strongly believe that Israel is the best ally of the United States, and that is why, they always try to oppose both Israel and United States by various ways and means. And, of course, they have support from Islamist forces as their strong strategic partners.
Sunita Paul is considered to be an expert on South Asian affairs.
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