February 07, 2006

'Secularism has been forgotten in the West'

From an interview with Hamid Taqvaee, Leader and Secretary of
the Central Committee of the Worker-Communist Party in Iran.

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'Political Islam exists because it was created in the final analysis by the policies of Western governments. And, I am not referring to the Iraq war alone or Western intervention in Afghanistan. These are only the most recent examples. Western governments have basically been supporting political Islam for some twenty to thirty years now, including the Taliban vis--vis the former Soviet Union. They created the climate for the problems we are faced with today. Political Islam rose to power when Western powers supported Khomeini against the Shah in order to control and in fact defeat the revolution in Iran. These are the roots of the political Islam that we see today. And that is only one aspect of the reality we are faced with.

The other is the way that Islam and religion are promoted as a whole in Western society. With Reaganism, Thatcherism, and neo-conservatism, religion has been given a growing role in education and our system of values in the name of multiculturalism and toleration of cultures.

...

You must rely on the universal values of civil society, on secularism and humanism and attack political Islam and religion as part of government, the educational system, and a social system with the most backward system of values. The solution is secularism, defending humanism, defending civil society, defending universal values of human beings against any kind of religious political, social, governmental system, including political Islam.

...

If there is a proven relationship between a group or cleric and political Islamic trends in the UK, they must be condemned and prosecuted. Where does deportation come into it? If British citizens are British citizens and are prosecuted according to the law, deporting them only divides citizens between those who are born here or who are Anglo-Saxon versus others. It is a form of racism. The fact that they or their parents originally came from other countries, and can therefore be deported back there is part of the problem.

The problem is that these governments don't see human beings as human beings - not even their own citizens. Even British citizens are classified as Muslims or Asians or Arabs, or from wherever they came from, or where their parents and grandparents came from; that is exactly the problem. Of course if someone commits a crime, treat them like a criminal; prosecute them according to the law but why deportation?

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Secularism has been forgotten in the West. If Tony Blair wants to attack the problem with reason, then one cannot stand against extremism and Islamic terrorism alone without referring its roots, without referring to the environment created by Western policies. That is the root of the problem. That is the real force of reason.

...

Withdrawing from Iraq is a good move. But, what I am saying is that it is not enough. Do something with religion and Islam in your own country. Do something in the philosophy of your culture. Go back to the French revolution. And attack any religion as a social activity. Religion is a private matter. Everybody has a right to have a god or not. It's their personal problem. Please treat religion as a private matter.'

Posted by mark at February 7, 2006 06:56 PM | TrackBack