Appeasing MKO is Like Appeasing Nazi Fascism
The rise of MKO (MojAhedin-e Khalgh Organization) started with the fall of Shah's regime. Previous to the fall of the Shah's regime, Iranians thought of MKO as an extension of Nehzat-e Azadi liberal-Islamic organization, which the founders of MKO had come from. Also the Iranian democratic movement thought of MKO as intellectually naive, because of its mixing of Marxism and Islamism. Those inside MKO who sincerely saw their views to be Marxist-Leninist, soon left the MKO, as they saw they were living a lie. The killing of Sharif-Vaghefi by Taghi Shahram of one of the Marxist-Leninist factions, who had split from the MKO organization, helped MKO to justify itself as an innocent victim, and for a long time, various groups of Iranian radicals were in unison in their support of MKO as a democratic group, although they all fought among themselves. Only the moving of MKO to Iraq, caused many of these radical individuals and groups, to part with MKO. So they never really took a position as to what was wrong with MKO and they just separated their way from MKO because of MKO's collaboration with Iraq, which had invaded Iran.
The reality is that MKO was really never a Marxist-Islamic group, the way Shah's advisors called MKO. At the time of founding of MKO, most of the progressive movements in the world used Marxist theories to analyze their struggle and using such theories did not really define the nature of such groups. Even Seyed Qotb of Egypt who was a prominent Islamic fundamentalist used Marx's theories extensively in his works . This has nothing to do with the real thought structure of MKO. MKO was really not a Communist group in Iran even from the beginning. There were many groups such as hezbe toodeh or sAzmAne enghelAbi or chrikhAye fadAyii which were really Communist groups, siding with Soviets, Chinese, or Cuban Communists. But MKO was not like any of them. MKO was from the beginning similar to a Nazi-Islamic opposition to the regime. They wanted to revive the glory of Iran's Shiism using the latest achievements of the radical theory and movement. Their formation was a lot more similar to the formation of the Syria's Baath Party and Germany's Nazi Party than being similar to any Communist or Islamic Fundamentalist organization.
The Islamic fundamentalists separated their way from MKO. Even some factions of MKO such as meysami, which were not much different from the rest of MKO, and in their ideologies were similar to Syrian and Iraqi Baath Parties, separated from MKO and joined the fundamentalist Islam of Khomeini. But this did not change the fact that the MKO tradition has basically been a Nazi-Baathi tradition separate from a fundamentalist Islamic tradition. I think in one respect, Iranians were lucky that MKO was not able to come to power ,and thanks to their collaboration with Iraq, got isolated on a nationalist basis by Iranian people. But on the other hand because of staying as opposition for a long time, many people think of them as a democratic-modern opposition, whereas they are not anything different from Nazis and Baath parties before those parties came to power. Only those parties came to power in Germany, Syria,and Iraq quickly and MKO lost to Islamic Fundamentalists.
I think the wrong analysis of MKO has been the main reason that the Iranian democratic and progressive movement has not been able to properly deal with MKO. MKO is a real fascist Nazi-Baathi-Islamic type party. I am not writing this as an insult. This is the ideology of MKO and for over thirty years the progressive movement of Iran has had an incorrect appraisal of this organization. This is why I wrote before that MKO should be dissolved:
The dissolution of MKO (Mojahedine Khalgh Organization) is the best for the growth of the democratic and progressive movement in Iran. It is wrong to appease MKO. Any democratic organization and individual thinking to appease MKO, to find an ally for democracy and progress in Iran, are wrong the same way Banisadr was wrong to have such hopes in MKO. The appeasement is just like the appeasement of Hitler by Chamberlain. The Iranian progressive movement should wake up from decades of wrong analysis of MKO.
This is how one can understand why MKO went to Iraq. They did not go there by a mistake. They saw Baath Party system as their model and they do not feel bad about living in Iraq. True that Syrian and Iraqi Baath Parties have had contradictions and one can expect the same conflicts between MKO and Iraqi or Syrian Baath Parties in the future, the same way Communist countries and parties had conflicts among themselves, but basically they all shared the same path. There is not much difference between their ideologies and the ideal system they want for Syria, Iraq, and Iran. This is how they went to Iraq and they have a Nazi ideology inspired by radical Shi'a movements of the past. The Nazis also were inspired by liberation movements in the history of Germany. This is how one can see the cult of MKO. It is not just some naive people making such mistakes. We are not dealing with something like EST. It is a Nazi-type armed organization. Their terrorism is part of their ideology. Iranian people were lucky that we avoided the Khmer Rouge of the Communist Alternative and we have been lucky to have avoided the Baathi path of Iraq and Syria which was being pursued by MKO. Giving sacrifices does not make them right, the same way that Nazis in Germany gave many sacrifices before coming to power.
The Iranian progressive and democratic forces should take a strong position on the MKO fascism and should call for dissolution of this organization. This organization can become the next Baath Party in Middle East, if they come to power, and appeasing MKO is like appeasing Hitler's fascism by the Western democracies, before Nazis took over power in Germany. The appeasement of MKO should be avoided at all cost. Their appeasement will not help the cause of freedom, democracy and progress in Iran, the same way appeasing Hitler did not rescue the West from Stalinism and allowed Hitler to destroy the Western democracy. MKO coming to power can push back democracy and modernism for Iran and Iranians for another 23 years.
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher
June 1, 2002
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