I sign this statement as a supporter of the legitimate struggle for freedom and independence of the Palestinians, Chechens and other enslaved Muslim peoples caught between the Scylla of colonial oppression and the Charybdis of Islamofascism.
To every genuine national-liberation movement, sectarian hatred and pogroms of civilians are as alien as the foreign occupier. In German-occupied Yugoslavia during World War II, the anti-Nazi Partisans preached brotherhood and unity between Muslims, Christians and Jews; they were known to execute their own officers and soldiers if they so much as stole chickens from local peasants, let alone massacred civilians. Al-Qaeda’s Islamofascist network – targeting Jews, Kurds, Shiites, women, homosexuals, moderate Sunnis and ordinary civilians everywhere – represents, by contrast, the very antithesis of a genuine liberation movement.
Everywhere, Islamic extremists have aided and abetted the oppressors of Muslims. In World War II, the Islamofascist Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini helped incite an anti-British revolt in Iraq; he subsequently visited Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia to mobilise Bosnian Muslims to fight in the SS. Islamist terrorism in Daghestan in1999 provided Russia with the pretext for its genocidal reconquest of Chechnya. Elements in the Turkish and Israeli security services encouraged Islamic extremism as a means of dividing and weakening secular Kurdish and Palestinian nationalism respectively, helping to create a Frankenstein?s monster that is claiming the lives of Turks and Kurds, Jews and Arabs alike.
There can be no freedom for Muslim peoples without the defeat of the Islamofascists and everything they stand for; and there can be no defeat of the Islamofascists without liberty for all Muslim peoples.
Marko Attila Hoare (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge)