Mourn for the dead and fight like hell for the living
Mourn for the dead and fight like hell for the living

Politicians have expressed “horror” and “shock” at the attack in New Zealand and now are scratching their heads, asking, “Who could have predicted this?” 

As a Muslim woman living in Australia I can tell you that I and any other Muslim could have predicted this. It wasn’t a question of whether such an atrocity could occur. It was a question of when. 

As politicians denounce this as a freak event or the act of a stupid and deranged individual who just lost his way, it is important to say that it was not. 

The attacker is a racist, fascist, white supremacist and deranged individual. But what led to such a massacre was years in the making. 

World leaders have lined up to express their “sadness” and – laughably – their “solidarity” with the Muslim community, the same group they have spent years attacking and demonising. 

Decades of anti-Muslim racism and the war on terror have led to this. Mainstream political parties repeatedly have made Muslim-bashing a policy platform. Governments have cracked down on civil liberties, some banning Muslim prayer and the burqa. They have spent decades treating Muslims as an enemy and a threat to the “enlightened” West.

So yes, this attack did not come out of nowhere. I lay the blame for it on these politicians. 

As Scott Morrison sheds crocodile tears, let’s not forget his history of Islamophobia and racism. He was the architect of the “stop the boats” policy. He supported US president Donald Trump’s Muslim ban and said in response to it that the world was finally catching up to Australia. His predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, was one of the first to congratulate Trump on his election victory. 

Trump was commended in the killer’s manifesto. The language used in the manifesto – such as “the West is under attack” and “Muslims can’t assimilate” – has been used by mainstream Australian politicians. 

We need to remember this as these hypocrites try to remove the blame from themselves. We also should remember this hypocrisy as the Coalition and Labor move to censure senator Fraser Anning for his comments. They paved the way for people such as Anning and brought him into the mainstream. 

To those who say this attack is “unAustralian”, I strongly disagree. Racism is woven into the fabric of this country and is supported by both of the major parties.

Our society has become so racist that fascists feel confident to kill Muslims. This is not a question of gun control. Banning assault rifles will not end racism. Neither will looking to politicians for solutions when they are the ones who laid the foundations for such an attack.

This is also not a question of national security. This terrorist attack is the argument of Fraser Anning put into practice. National security has long been the justification used by governments to demonise Muslims, to crack down on dissent and to blame refugees for the problems in society. It is the argument of governments when they want to win elections. 

The way to deal with fascists is not to debate them, meet in them in the middle or try to see the world from their perspective. We know what they stand for. They are fascists, white supremacists and Nazis ready to kill. We need to smash fascism and push these people back into the sewers from which they crawled. We should protest them wherever they rear their heads. 

But we also need to challenge those softer racists, the ones that say “maybe immigration is too high” or “Muslims are different”.

We need to fight for a world where our governments cannot use Muslims and migrants for political point scoring. 

We need to win a world free from racism. 

The only way to do that is to get rid of the capitalist system that uses racism to divide us and distract us from who is really to blame for all of society’s problems. The ruling class and politicians like Scott Morrison are the ones to blame, not refugees fleeing Western bombs. 

We should mourn the dead and fight like hell for the living.

Read more
Bans versus strikes at Sydney Uni
Alma Torlakovic

There has been a vigorous argument over the direction of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) industrial campaign at Sydney University this year. Most recently, those who have been reluctant to argue and organise seriously for frequent enough and long enough strikes are now leading the charge for a “smarter” strategy of administration bans. 

Plasterboard workers strike
Adam Bottomley

In late August, around 50 union members at Knauf plasterboard held a meeting in their Melbourne factory to discuss recent EBA negotiations, which had begun a few months earlier. A new HR manager insisted on attending the meeting and wasted people’s time explaining the wonderful job that company management had done taking care of the workers, in particular their recent and significant safety concerns. As he spoke, one after another the workers turned their backs on him. Soon, they began challenging the manager about a worker who had just been sacked.

The stolen revolution: Iran in 1979
The stolen revolution: Iran in 1979
Priya De

Minoo Jalali was among those who resisted Ayatollah Khomeini’s rise to power in Iran. In the early months of 1979, she joined a mass women’s protest against the compulsory wearing of the hijab in public. “That revolution was inevitable”, Jalali recounted 40 years later in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “Nobody could have really stopped the force of it. We hoped that we could steer it [but] we were wrong. And the clergy hijacked it ... and deceived many people.”

‘We are all Mahsa’: riots shake Iran
Riots shake Iran
Bella Beiraghi

Protests and riots have spread across Iran after a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, was murdered by the morality police. Amini was visiting the capital, Tehran, on 13 September when she was arrested for allegedly breaking mandatory veiling laws. Police beat her into a coma and she died three days later. Amini was buried in her hometown of Saqqez.

Reform or revolution?
Tom Bramble

The international working-class movement has long been divided between two strategies to win socialism: the reformist and the revolutionary.

The strategic value of students
Sandra Bloodworth

Revolutionary Marxists argue that socialism is possible only if the working class leads a revolution. So why organise among students?