September 23, 2022
Communiqué of the Communist Party of Iran (M.L.M.) www.cpimlm.org
Editors’ note: Revcom volunteers are responsible for this translation of this post from the Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist.
The compulsory hijab is burning in the flames of people’s anger in dozens of cities and villages, opening a way forward to the overthrow of the Islamic Republic and the burial of “the integration of religion and state.” In 1979, Khomeini’s compulsory hijab decree was the beginning of the establishment of an all-encompassing Islamic fundamentalist regime. The burial of compulsory hijab accelerates the process of overthrowing this fascist religious regime by leaps and bounds. Compulsory hijab and Sharia law (the integration of religion and government) paved the way for the Islamic Republic to trample on the broader basic rights of the people in all aspects of life: suppression of dissent; freedom of thought, expression and publication; freedom of association and partisanship; suppression of oppressed nationalities; suppression of workers, students and teachers, etc. Compulsory hijab is the cohesive glue of the Islamic Republic, as its leaders have emphasized, “maintaining it is even more important than anti-Americanism.”
It should never be forgotten that the “contribution” of the imperialists—especially American imperialists—especially to the consolidation and fortification of Islamic fundamentalism in Iran and the entire Middle East has been huge. In 1979, the United States and other imperialist capitalist powers unanimously opened the way for Islamic fundamentalists to take power in Iran. At that time, American imperialism ran American society and the world within the framework of its anti-Soviet rivalry and anti-communism campaigns, which strengthened the foundations of its power inside the United States against the effects of the revolutionary uprising of the 1960s and 1970s and strengthened its imperialist hegemony in the Middle East against its imperialist rival, the Soviet Union, which still wore the mask of socialism. Within Iran, anti-communism was part of its political approach against the real communist movement which was growing in influence—despite the bloody repression of the Shah’s regime.
Even though the U.S. government itself is based on “the separation of church and state,” the U.S. government, both Democrat and Republican factions, have turned this principle into a very relative matter dating back to the 1950s when they added the words “under god” to the swearing-in ceremony of its presidents. These policy changes increased the influence of fundamentalist Christian fascists in America’s seats of government, where they became further entrenched, opening the door to power during the Trump presidency (2016-2020), when their influence grew by leaps and bounds. It should never be forgotten that ensuring the position of women’s slavery in the family and society is one of their bedrock principles for governing American society and the world.
Therefore, any illusion of American imperialist support for Iranian women, whether from Democrats or fascist Republicans, is a great betrayal of a movement that has begun to bury misogyny in Iran. We should learn from the bitter experience of Afghanistan that not only did the U.S. write a constitution for Afghanistan based on Hanafi Islam but it also opened the way for the Taliban to return.
As we have repeatedly emphasized, Islamic fundamentalism and imperialism are two outmoded systems that must be overthrown. Although the ruling Islamic fundamentalists in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East have been at odds with imperialism, their goal has never been to break from imperialism and the private property of capitalism. Rather, they have pursued their social and political horizons and interests within this capitalist-imperialist system.
Chains of religious captivity must be torn down
All religions in the world, and especially the Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism), are patriarchal religions saturated with the social relations of male superiority over women, and treating women as less than human. They nakedly and violently emphasize the necessity of women submitting to men, the domination of father and husband, and of every male over anyone of the female gender in the family, tribe, and society. By attaching these archaic principles to the capitalist machine, an endless and unique terror has been created for women in Iran and the world. All fundamentalist religious movements in the world, including Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, etc., have a very important epistemological and political commonality: they are all anti-science and see religiosity as a major factor in keeping societies under their cohesive control. This is true of Christian fascists in America who are concentrated in the Republican Party today. The abolition of the right to abortion in America by judges supporting these fascists is proof of this fact.
Today, within the framework of the world in which capitalism dominates, there will undoubtedly be class and social interests of obsolete and reactionary social forces in every area of economic, political and social relations that adhere to religion. Only a socialist republic can guarantee the “separation of religion from the state.” This separation means removing religion from all public spheres of society and government; it means that the state must ensure that religion is restricted to the private sphere of citizens, including by adopting a Constitution and laws in various fields mandating this, including primary and higher education, healthcare, economics and property ownership, and generally within the scope of powers and duties of the three executive, legislative and judicial branches.
In order to successfully advance the struggle that has begun and to eliminate all forms of oppression and exploitation, religious superstition in any form must be thrown out and the ideological chains of religious thought should be broken and replaced by a scientific world view, method and approach to reality.
In particular, if we really want to understand the root of the current problems of human society and its solution, we must adopt the method and approach of the new communism [developed by Bob Avakian] and take up the true path of the struggle to eradicate every form of oppression and exploitation through communist revolution and the establishment of the New Socialist Republic of Iran, whose specifics are set out in the document “Constitution for the New Socialist Republic of Iran.”
Bury the Compulsory Hijab!
Overthrow the Islamic Republic!
Forward to the Establishment of a New Socialist Republic of Iran!
Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)
September 23, 2022