The Taliban are not a homogenous whole and the Islamic parties have no fundamental ideological differences with imperialism. The conflicts erupt when competing groups of these zealots are sponsored by imperialism
The renowned Keynesian economist and former US ambassador to India, John Kenneth Galbraith, once described Indian democracy as “the most organised chaos in the world”. If one tries to comprehend the prevailing situation of the state and society in Pakistan, it seems more to be in the throes of an orchestrated anarchy.
For more than three decades this anarchic crusade has been spearheaded by the Islamic fundamentalists thoroughly patronised and propped up by the state. Paradoxically this policy of the state was devised by its benefactor: US imperialism. With the collapse of the pro-Moscow and the pro-China Left in the 1980s and the 1990s, the political vacuum created was filled with this obscurantism. Intuitively it was the Zia dictatorship that used Islam to perpetuate his tyrannical rule. The Americans used his brutal dictatorship to conduct their dollar jihad in Afghanistan to further their strategic interests in the region, especially during the last period of the Cold War as they had never anticipated the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In the Middle East and the so-called Muslim world, they used this Islamic bigotry as a major foreign policy contrivance. One of the most heinous genocides was conducted by the CIA through these fundamentalists in Indonesia. After a military coup that deposed the populist nationalist leader Sukarno on September 30, 1965, the imperialists used these Islamic reactionaries, with the support of the military dictator General Suharto, to annihilate the Indonesian Left.
The Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) was the largest communist party outside the socialist bloc. The PKI had three million members and more than 10 million sympathisers organised in various organisations, including the trade unions. From September 1965 till the end of January 1966, throughout the archipelago Islamic vigilantes mainly from Ansor, the semi-autonomous youth wing of Indonesia’s foremost Islamist party Nahdlatul Ulama, were unleashed against the ‘red vermin’ of infidels. More than a million communists and their families were massacred.
Earlier that year the British ambassador, Sir Andrew Gilchrist, had written in a cable to London, “I have never concealed from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change.” Mark Curtis, in his editorial in The Ecologist titled ‘Democratic Genocide’, revealed: “A CIA memorandum dated 1962 stated calmly that President Kennedy and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan had agreed to liquidate President Sukarno, depending on the situation and available opportunities.”
The history of the relationship between the imperialists and the Islamic fundamentalists is not very different in the other countries of the Orient. The only dilemma is that these forces whose interests are based on naked extortionist opportunism often come into conflict when their interests of mutual plunder do not coincide. Even today there is more than one faction of the Taliban that has always had close links with imperialism.
The Taliban are not a homogenous whole and the Islamic parties have no fundamental ideological differences with imperialism. The conflicts erupt when competing groups of these zealots are sponsored by imperialism. As one group of these pious crusaders comes to an agreement with imperialism, they split mainly on the issue of the share of the booty garbed in religious piety. They are fighting and negotiating at the same time. What sort of ideological conflict is that? They have been allies and will join up forces to crush any major movement that challenges the common capitalist economic doctrine they profess.
When the masses in the Middle East burst onto the scene and exploded in a revolution and shook the interests of capitalism to their foundations, it was once again the Islamic parties that came to the rescue of imperialism. The imperialists negotiated with the Islamists as soon as the volcanic eruptions of mass revolt on socio-economic issues began to send tremors throughout the Middle East. In Egypt and Tunisia they came to an accommodation with the Islamists, in Libya they turned al Qaeda affiliates and former Guantanamo detainees overnight into so-called ‘freedom fighters’. In Syria it is absolutely satirical that imperialist henchmen of the autocratic and ferociously tyrannical regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf states are now being unashamedly touted as the ‘Friends of Democratic Syria’ and are busy building alliances with obscurantist reactionary elements who are openly being promoted as the ‘Free Syrian Army’.
In Pakistan the overt supporters of terrorism are flaunting their hideous excogitations without any compunction. They openly support the terrorist jihad and the brutalities being inflicted upon the innocents of this society who, apart from the excruciating conditions of the social and economic situation, are suffering from this orgy of slaughter and bestiality in the name of religion.
Yet again the imperialists are trying to forge a new right-wing alliance including some of these Islamic parties and right-wing populists as an alternative political force to ensure continuing capitalist subjugation. Sections of the military and the judiciary along with other organs of the state immersed in their own crisis and conflicts have become habitual in using these fundamentalist outfits to curb mass movements and even orchestrate anarchy to divert revolution. Why should they care about the facade of imperialist propaganda of a ‘conflict’ between ‘democracy’ and obscurantism when they are aware of the links between these so-called adversaries? After all, the ISI was indulged by the CIA in orchestrating the dollar jihad fought by these religious mercenaries, which began in 1978.
Religion has not remained the same ever since. It has attained an entrepreneurial character and is a source of enormous accumulation of primitive capital. The Americans taught them how to accumulate massive wealth and finance jihad through the drug trade and other criminal activities that was a practice for imperialist-patronised insurgencies in several parts of the world. The mullah aristocracy and the Islamist parties are amongst the richest in the world today. The mullah in the village today does not rely on grain handouts at funerals and in religious rituals. Mosques are mushrooming. They compete with each other to organise religious rituals spewing poisonous hatred to generate funds. This bigotry not only goes on unabated but is encouraged and used by our liberal, democratic, secular and lumpen rulers who revert to religious prejudices all too often to avert social revolts.
This dogma of moderate Islam is absurd to say the least. There is a very thin line, if any, between the so-called extremist and moderate Islam. The capitalists, generals, bureaucrats, politicians who attend the Tableeghi Congregation at Raiwind exhibit the reactionary mindset of the elite. Is the Tableeghi Jamaat moderate? The modern capitalist state was supposed to be secular. The organic crisis of capitalism makes it breed and rely on obscurantism.