Prisoners Respond to Bob Avakian’s Quote on Fundamentalist Islamic Jihad

Islamic Fundamentalist Jihadism: NOT A Radical Alternative…Just Another Form of Vicious Oppression

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Earlier this year, posted a quote from Bob Avakian on fundamentalist Islamic Jihad (see below). A number of prisoners have written to us with their thoughts about and responses to this quote. Their comments reflect different viewpoints and perspectives. The views expressed here are the views of the writers and not newspaper. We greatly appreciate receiving these letters and encourage prisoners and others to keep sending us correspondence.

Bob Avakian on Fundamentalist Islamic Jihad, not the answer


“Oppression which replaces oppression is itself oppression”

BA is absolutely correct in saying that oppression which replaces oppression is itself oppression:

Oppression is not what the world needs. People have an inherent right to freedom. Freedom to express oneself to the fullest. Freedom to help and support one another to the utmost. Freedom to grow, to learn, to change. The world is constantly changing, and we must be in tune with that change in order that the best outcome might be achieved. Dated and inferior ways of thinking must be replaced by an egalitarian spirit, that all may have what they need in order to live a life of fulfillment and contentment. Greed is never satiated. Denying people the opportunity of a decent life only robs one of their own decency.

It is time to awaken.

It is time for revolution.

—a prisoner in Massachusetts

“Another form of enslavement, oppression, and atrocity, against women and masses of people overall”

For those who are desperately looking for a way out of this nightmare of a system of capitalism-imperialism—specially those who have historically been the most oppressed by said system, blacks and other minorities, women, etc. who are seen and treated as lesser human, things to be exploited, or as mere breeders. For those who claim or even consider that the answer to escaping said nightmare is fundamentalist Islamic Jihad, then I want to say that you are being misled. Because as BA said “ is not a radical alternative to this system and its monstrous crimes—it is itself another form of enslavement, oppression, and atrocity, against women and the masses of people overall.”

The only way to escape this nightmare of a system of capitalism-imperialism, without entering another nightmare in different form, is to get into the movement for Revolution; with the final aim of a communist world, free of all forms of oppression. A good starting point is to read Revolution and BA’s works. I invite you to walk through that path together.

—a prisoner in California

“What does American capitalism, Zionism and Islamic Jihad have in common?”

What does American capitalism, Zionism and Islamic Jihad have in common? The short answer: DEVASTATION! Outside of the fact that both Zionism and Islamic Jihad can both point to American capitalism as reasons in part to their existence, all three (3) are in the business of destroying any and all forms of resistance and opposition to its philosophy of the way it believes the world should function. American capitalism, Zionism and Islamic Jihad are all predicated on the devastation of Humanity! All three (3) programs can have no alternative result.

American capitalism created the school to prison pipeline that has kidnapped, caged, and held captive millions of us trapped in the clutches of its mechanism of Destruction. Islamic Jihad and its fundamentalist radical interpretation of the Koran created a system of belief that thinks their god is cool with them throwing acid in a girl's face or shooting her or killing her simply because she does not want to be illiterate. Zionism in its ridiculous zeal to bring to life some version of a supposed holy land given to them by their god created a policy to remove by any measure they deemed right which mostly is by killing and bombing an entire people from their homes and land.

—a prisoner in California

“Fundamentalist Islamic Jihad is not the answer to any of the matter issues at the heart of this system”

Point One: I entirely agree with the statement that science and truth get distorted and twisted, reduced to what is useful in the mad drive for profit. I would say that organized religion plays a larger role, though for many of the same reasons others attempt to suppress progress. It is in their best interest to keep the people ignorant and superstitious, lost to the many realities only scientific advance can present. Of course fundamentalist Islamic jihadists fear the unfettered search for truth, for if the people were to open their eyes the money, power and influence the world’s top religions enjoy would quickly disappear... Fundamentalist Islamic Jihad is not the answer to any of the matter issues at the heart of this system because it is only another facet of this system. Until there is a real and revolutionary change, radical thinking and systematic replacement, oppression will always remain a mainstay of any governance that replaces another.

—a prisoner in Indiana

“I had to wrestle with everything I had previously been told to find Truth”

Being the product of an Islamic household and a part and parcel of a quasi-Islamic organization..., I had a lot to think about concerning this topic. I had to wrestle with everything I had previously been taught to find Truth. The following is how I understand BA’s declaration. It is true; this amerikkkan system of capitalism-imperialism continues to oppress, suppress, and depress Black, Asiatic, and less affluent peoples throughout the world. It is also true that fundamentalist Islamic Jihad cannot, by definition, serve as an emancipating revolution. This is because Islam is by its own self-identification a religion.

To fully overstand that last sentence and why “religeon” is relevant, one must appreciate religeon’s Truth: the prefix “re” means to “do again”. “Ligeon” is from the latin “ligeo” or “ligare” which means to “Bind, Tie Up, or Hold Back”. This does not coincide with what an actual revolution is. In fact, it is in direct opposition to revolution. It is a reactionary method to re-distribute power to those whom it was taken from that does not erase class lines through the manifestation of true Equality, but instead does nothing more than move from one caste system to another with even more demands for obedience to a powerful institution whose head can be neither seen, nor touched.

—a prisoner in Wisconsin

“I agree 100% with the Chairman”

In response to your subject-matter: Fundamentalist Islamic jihadism, I agree 100% with the Chairman; Islamic Jihad is just another form of brutal oppression cloaked under the robe of religious nonsense.

Many times I try to figure out the reason for its gravitational pull on the minds of so many people (worldwide) and, try as I might, the logics of it always seem to evade me—where’s the sense in it? What’s the appeal? I got some insight into this, via your article, where it mentioned about “reactionary hunger,” this is 100% accurate; this brand of Islam is a reactionary line, put forth as the answer to western capitalist/imperialist aggression.

Like BA said, humanity needs science to get a clear understanding of how society functions. A scientific approach is also needed to get an insight into who sets the social order that dictates the social relations, which causes so many billions to live out a despicable form of existence. As a matter of fact, Fundamentalist Islamic Jihad allows the fascist imperialist monster-machine to—in response to their lunatic violence—ratchet-up on its suppression of people’s basic rights. These are instigated under the guise of fighting terrorism. The people’s own ignorance is used against them, and so they give their fundamental freedoms in promise of “so-called” security, which consistently falls short on curbing terrorist violence—which is as unpredictable as the wind. It was Adolf Hitler who said, “What good fortune for those in power that people don’t think!” I can loop this statement to cover various contexts: 1) In BAsics 4:1, it says: “Oppressed people who are unable or unwilling to confront reality as it actually is, are condemned to remain enslaved and oppressed.” By subscribing to whatever brand of religion, people are consequently steered away from the much-needed scientific approach to life—which would unearth truth and unleash the strategy of Realism; Realism, according to BA, is the disposition to face facts and deal with them practically. The fact is: terrorism isn’t limited to just terror cells, there’s also terrorist States/Countries. If people take an unbiased look, they will be able to identify these States/Countries. This is an example of the scientific approach.

—a prisoner in Florida

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