Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Why does most or much of the "Left" today support Islamic Jihad? After all, the "Left" is supposed to stand for equality, whereas Islam—even in moderate forms—rejects equality. Indeed, that "left" that supports Islamic Jihad is demonstrating that it is in fact AGAINST equality. Without pretending to give a full and total answer to the question, here is some evidence to consider.

In late 1917, shortly after the Bolsheviks took power in the Russian Empire, Stalin's Commissariat of Nationalities issued an: Appeal to the Muslim Toilers of Russia and the East. This was an extraordinary document. It was an appeal to a particular religious group, whereas supposedly the Bolsheviks were against religion. Further, the Muslim Ottoman Empire was perpetrating the first genocide of the 20th century at the time—with the help of course of its German and Austro-German allies.

The Appeal mentions none of this. Instead, it rejects promises by the Western allies to give the Armenians a state and to remove Armenian territories from the Ottoman Empire. It tells the Armenians to wait for their self-determination, while their national territory was to stay under Ottoman control. The Armenians were guaranteed self-determination after "military operations are brought to an end."

Yet, the parts of their national territory under Ottoman control were areas where the massacres had taken place. Other parts had been under Russian imperial control since the 19th century. Whereas the Appeal was issued in late November-early December, several months later, in March 1918, the Bolsheviks, possibly under German pressure, agreed not only to withdraw from Ottoman territories—parts of historic Armenia and Georgia occupied during WW I—but from historically Armenian and Georgian areas conquered from the Ottomans long before.

The promise of self-determination for Armenians was not respected for those areas, whereas Soviet weapons were given to the new Turkish nationalist movement which rose out of the Ottoman Empire's defeat, but was no less anti-Armenian than the Empire. In 1922, the Turkish nationalists drove the Greek population out of Smyrna [now called Izmir], while massacring the Armenians there.

The Appeal is "a brilliant piece of political demagogy," as Serge Zenkovsky has noted [in Pan-Turkism and Islam in Russia (Cambridge, MA: HUP, 1967), p 161]. It disregarded "all the atheistic and internationalist elements of Marxist and Leninist teaching," as well as the supposed working class principles and loyalties of the Bolsheviks, "and appealed to the Moslems' religious and national feelings."

Read it all...

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