On the Horrific Massacre of Sufi Worshippers in Egypt

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


On Friday, November 24, heavily armed Islamic fundamentalists, reportedly affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS), surrounded a Sufi Islam mosque in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula filled with worshippers. They exploded a bomb inside, then gunned down those trying to escape and attacked ambulances that rushed to the scene. Over 300 people, including at least 27 children, were massacred and another 109 were wounded.

This was a horrific crime, carried out by thoroughly reactionary fundamentalist Islamic jihadists. Then Trump seized on it to promote even greater reactionary crimes. He called for escalating U.S. bombings and wars in the Middle East, banning all Muslims from the U.S., and moving ahead to build the wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

How do we understand and act in relation to the battle between the U.S. and its allies, on one hand, and Islamic fundamentalism and jihadism, on the other? Bob Avakian spells this out in BAsics 1:28:

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade [increasingly globalized western imperialism] on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “historically outmodeds” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity: It is the “historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system,” and in particular the U.S. imperialists.

Think about it: the U.S. has been waging wars, carrying out enormous crimes, killing hundreds of thousands of people, and destroying the lives of millions across the Middle East for the last 16 years. It has recently been exposed that the U.S. has killed 31 times more civilians in Iraq and Syria in the last two years than it has admitted to.

U.S. allies, like the military butchers running Egypt, are notorious for rounding up and torturing their opponents. In the Sinai, Egypt’s military has carried out summary executions and destroyed whole villages.

These crimes have fueled reactionary Islamic fundamentalism. One of the horrendous by-products of this dynamic is the spread of violent religious sectarianism. ISIS and other jihadists have massacred those they consider “heretics” or “apostates”: Sufi Muslims as well as Coptic Christians in Egypt; Shi’ite Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan; and religious minorities like the Yazidis in Iraq. All this is driven by their reactionary program of imposing medieval fundamentalism as the ruling ideology and law of society.

The world does not have to be this way! We do not have to choose between the horror of global imperialism and the horror of Islamic fundamentalism and jihadism. A whole other way and a radically different and much better world is possible through communist revolution, a real revolution aimed at ending all forms of oppression!

STOP Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation, and Crimes Against Humanity!



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