The Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) has produce a withering attack on the fake “anti-imperialism” of Islamist forces across the globe. An article by Farooq Sulehria contains a sharp rejection of these forces. Although we disagree with the LPP’s views on some other “anti-imperialists” discussed in the article, we welcome their honest and uncompromising stance.
Anti-imperialism is freedom, for all oppressed, from all oppression. In contrast, an Osama bin Laden, or Ayatollah Khomeini for that matter, offers an anti-imperialism that does not tolerate these values. Theirs is an anti-imperialism that chokes minorities and strangles small nationalities.
Anti-imperialism represents liberation. One cannot be a liberator and an oppressor at the same time. The anti-imperialism that upholds Osama as its poster boy does not solve this contradiction. We have seen this anti-imperialism in action in Pakistan's neighbourhood, exemplified by Iran, or Afghanistan under the Taliban where it was reduced to burqa and massacre of minorities. Al-Qaeda is the non-state portrayal of this brand of anti-imperialism: bombings, kidnappings, hijackings.
The anti-imperialism currently on display in the Muslim world is symbol rather than substance, signifying a new phase in the relations between two estranged lovers, fundamentalism and imperialism. It symbolises the outcome of the process run by imperialism in collaboration with fundamentalism, to eliminate genuine anti-imperialism in the Muslim world…
An anti-imperialism that does not threaten to nationalise oil (Osama declares that oil is an asset owned by Arabs but opposes its common ownership), stand for land distribution or allow the working classes to organise trade unions -- such anti-imperialism does not bother Empire. It is an anti-imperialism based on the repression of women, religious minorities, small nationalities, trade unions, peasant organisations, and political parties. Thus it actually performs a function imperialism wants: repression of the masses.
It is countries that oppress their masses and lack trade unions and workers' parties that best suit multinationals. The anti-imperialism of these religious forces thus actually serves imperialism in the current global scenario. It is the anti-imperialism of fools.