Statement on a new anti-Islam film and the mass protests against the US embassies in the Middle East
Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 13.9.2012
1. A new anti-Islam film, called "Innocence of Muslims" and produced in the USA, has provoked widespread protest in the Muslim world. The film slurs the Islam’s prophet Mohammed, compares him to a goat and portrays him and a number of Islam's founding figures as homosexuals and child-molesters. In reaction thousands have protested in front of the US embassy in the Egyptian capital Cairo and pulled down the US flag. In Benghazi, the centre of the Libyan revolution against the Gaddafi dictatorship in 2011, the US American consulate was stormed and burned down, leaving the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and a number of embassy officials and security forces dead. In Yemen's capital, Sanaa, the US embassy was stormed too. US president Obama has promised to bring those responsible for the event in Benghazi “to justice” and has ordered two navy war ships to the Libyan coast.
2. The RCIT considers these protests against the symbols of US imperialism as justified. In fact the international workers movement and all democratic forces, irrespective of religious or non- religious believes, should condemn this film as another imperialist-racist humiliation of the Muslim people.
3. This film is not a “critique of Mohammed” or even less “a documentary” as the ultra right-wing US TV station Fox News claims. It is not even a religious film. It is a racist political attack against the Muslim people to justify ideologically the imperialist war-drive in the Middle East.
4. This becomes completely obvious if one looks at the producer and the promoters of this film.
a. The film producer calls himself Sam Bacile, and claims to be a 52-year-old Israeli-American real estate developer from California. Bacile claims that he raised $5 million for the film, in which about 60 actors and 45 crew members participated. He told the Associated Press in an interview that his motivation was to show the world that “Islam is a cancer”. He does not hide his political intentions: "The movie is a political movie. It's not a religious movie." While the true identify of this person is unknown, other leading figures in this project are well-known.
b. Steve Klein, a consultant to the film who claims credit for inspiring Sam Bacile, is a right-wing extremist Christian activist in California. He claims to have led a “hunter-killer team” during the US war in Vietnam. He is a founder of a group called “Courageous Christians United”, which promotes anti-Mormon, anti-Catholic and anti-Muslim literature. Klein also has ties to right-wing militias and the racist anti-immigrant “Minuteman movement”.
c. Klein is closely related to Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-American anti-Muslim activist, who made the film famous via producing an Arab translation of it on his website. Sadek is a supporter of “ACT! for America”, which believes that President Obama has embraced the Muslim Brotherhood. The group rallied its supporters behind the right-wing Tea Party leader Michelle Bachmann. He’s a member of groups like “Islam is of the Devil” and “Warriors of Christ”, and an enthusiastic supporter of Israel, of Republican Tea Party icon Allen West, Daniel Pipes and George W. Bush.
d. Another promoter of the film is the Florida pastor Terry Jones. He is the leader of an extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalist church. Jones became famous for burning copies of the Koran in April 2012.
5. While the trigger for the protests is this slanderous film, the real background is the justified outrage of millions of people in the Middle East against the unceasing imperialist war. Day by day, occupation forces, led by the USA and supported by Germany, Australia and other imperialist powers, terrorize the Afghan people. The US imperialism and its regional watch-dog Israel threaten to bomb Iran. US military repeatedly kills so-called terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other countries. The Zionist Apartheid state Israel has driven out the Palestinian people from their home territory in 1948 and occupies and oppress them until today. Add to this the constant harassment of Muslims in the USA and Western Europe by the imperialist bourgeois democratic regimes. For all these reasons we say that the trigger of the protest is of religious nature but the real content is political: the justified outrage against the oppression and humiliation by the imperialist powers. For all these reasons the masses protest against the USA and Israel and not against the Christian Church. That’s why they burn the US and Israeli flag, not the Christian cross. V. I. Lenin, the leader of the Bolshevik Party and the Russian Revolution 1917, recognized that politically backward masses often participate in “political protests in religious guise”. Indeed, this is what we see today.
6. Of course, no one should have illusions about the organizers of these protests. According to information’s available these are mostly Salafist groups, i.e. reactionary Islamist fundamentalist, who utilize the mass unrest of Muslim. Also bourgeois conservative forces like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt call for mass demonstrations. Revolutionaries have to point out that these Islamist forces support such protest but at the same time they or their financial backers – like Saudi Arabia or other bourgeois-Islamist Gulf regimes – collaborate closely with US imperialism. The task is to politically fight against such bourgeois Islamist forces and to remove them from the leading positions which they often possess in resistance movements today.
7. Working class militants should not politically subordinate to these bourgeois forces but take an independent class position. It is therefore important for organizations of the workers movement and the oppressed to support mass protests against the imperialist war mongers and to argue for a political anti- imperialist working class perspective.
* For an international mass movement against the imperialist war on terror!
* For mass boycott of the imperialist war on terror – like the protests in Pakistan against the supplies for NATO!
* Break down the blockade of Gaza! Open the border between Egypt and Gaza by any means necessary!
* Cut all treaties with US imperialism! Close down all imperialist military bases!
* Down with the US embassies in the Middle East!
* Cancel all debts to the imperialist powers!
* No US-Israeli attack on Iran!
* Support the armed resistance movements in Afghanistan and Palestine against the imperialist and Zionist occupiers! Material aid including arms for the resistance!
* Solidarity with the Syrian revolution against the Assad regime! For a workers and peasant government in Syria! Down with Russian and Chinese imperialist support for the Assad regime! No to Western imperialist sanctions and intervention!
8. Socialists should combine such an unwavering anti-imperialist stand with an opposition against any sectarian hatred against Christian minorities like the Copts in Egypt, the Shiite minorities in Saudi-Arabia or the Alewites in Syria or Turkey as it has been promoted repeatedly by Sunni Salafist groups. The task is the building of a non-sectarian political mass movement of the working class and the oppressed against the imperialist warmongers and their supporters which should unite people of different religious convictions as well as Atheists.
9. The mass protests show again the burning need to rebuild an anti-imperialist working class movement in the West, the Middle East and internationally. It demonstrates in particularly the need for a new revolutionary Workers International, the Fifth International, to replace the existing petty-bourgeois and bourgeois leaderships! This is what the RCIT is fighting for.