The former President of Iran, Dr. Ahmadinejad, made great strides in creating such an alliance with Latin American nations forging a path of 21st Century Socialism – that attempts to bring together classical socialism, and indigenous traditions. Such an alliance is necessary, and in no way contradicts Islamic precepts – in fact the coming together of independent nations, in the face of imperialism, is very much part and parcel of Islamic teachings. Because Islam is not an exclusive tribal religion, the call for justice, and the struggle against oppression is a responsibility of Muslims – regardless of who is being oppressed, and regardless of who the imperial aggressor is. The current problem for Muslims is to clarify who is the oppressor, and to not fall into the sectarian nonsense that is plaguing the community. And furthermore to rid of inferiority complexes, rooted in colonialism, that looks up to imperial nations as superior.
Thus far the alliance building has been done through socialist/islamic governments – and while some “grassroots” level contacts have taken place – primarily through the respective consulates in South American countries and in Iran, this has been limited. And with the emergence of Rohani (a capitalist-neo-liberal) in Iran, these contacts have been severely curtailed – as the point of foci has become appeasing western capitalist nations, and their mega-corporataion (invitations to these corporations for “investment” in Iran have already been issued).
Much more needs to be done, and the way forward is building on the foundations already laid with independent Latin American nations.
These are some of the questions Walberg addresses, trying to bring together the two main opponents of imperialism today: Islamists and socialists. Our foe is the entire Western corporate juggernaut, of which Israel is only a part. To survive, we must set aside our religious and political differences and form a united front. Shias, Sunnis, secularists, and socialists need to work together to defeat our common enemy. As Samir Amin wrote, “To bring the militarist project of the United States to defeat has become the primary task, the major responsibility, for everyone.” If we join in solidarity, we can win. Otherwise the imperialists will continue to divide and rule.
But it is essential for socialists to take Islamists seriously, and vice versa, for both sides to understand the various currents in the common resistance to imperialism, and to forge alliances that will be lasting. So far, Islam has been at best tolerated by socialists, at worst, dismissed and opposed. At the same time, Islamists have been suspicious of the socialist reaction to imperialism, in a sense, wishing a pox on both houses.