Statement by the Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada, Nov. 29, 2015
Just weeks after the most racist and reactionary government in recent Canadian history suffered a major defeat at the polls, far-right forces are making a brazen attempt to use tragic events in other countries to press the new Liberal government to adopt the discredited right-wing agenda of the Harper Tories. This right-wing drive must be blocked by united and powerful resistance by the labour and democratic movements, bringing together all those who want a future based on economic and social justice, human rights, and world peace.
The imperialist drive towards increased militarization and war on a global scale is an intrinsic feature of capitalist development in general. In turn, it inevitably has a negative impact upon domestic politics, including a pattern of “selective attention”. Events such as the bombings in Beirut, Ankara and other cities, the US military’s massacre at a civilian hospital in Afghanistan, the Saudi aggression in Yemen, or the Ukraine government’s shelling of civilians, are downplayed or ignored in the West. However, the shocking Nov. 13 attack in Paris quickly became the focus of a hypocritical attempt to whip up fear and hatred against refugees and immigrants.
In Canada, the most immediate feature of this xenophobic campaign has been a conscious and deliberate attempt to smear Muslims and members of racialized communities as the alleged source of terrorist threats, crime, and economic problems. This campaign has been fanned by far-right, racist elements in the United States, such as Donald Trump and other Republican presidential candidates who call for fascist measures such as surveillance and registering of Muslim people in a database, removal of citizenship rights, and even the mass incarceration and expulsion of racialized communities. Similar racist voices emerged from the shadows during the recent federal election to support the Tories in their attempt to bar refugees from war-torn areas of the Middle East, central Asia and Africa, and then to fight the new Liberal government’s plan to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada.
These forces have adopted the rhetoric used by racist movements in Europe, such as the lie that refugees and immigrants aim to use their higher birth rate to “swamp” Canada’s supposedly “white Christian” values. Earlier in the election, they demonized Islamic women who choose to wear the niqab, in an attempt to claim that they support women’s equality – equality rights which in reality were systematically attacked and undermined for a decade by the Harper Tories. The most cowardly and despicable elements among these racists torch mosques under cover of darkness and assault Muslim women and children in the streets. Politicians such as Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall openly spread lies and misinformation, claiming that bringing Syrian refugees to Canada will lead to a dramatic escalation of terrorist recruiting. These forces condemn the Liberal government’s plan to end Canadian participation in bombing of targets in Syria and Iraq, and demand an immediate escalation of military force and a major increase in the military budget.
All of these efforts are connected to a wider corporate push to further erode labour, civil and democratic rights in the name of “protecting” Canadians. The political and physical attacks against Muslim-Canadians are part of a long-standing drive to intimidate and silence all those who reject the agenda of austerity, poverty, environmental destruction, corporate trade sellouts, and war.
The Communist Party of Canada joins with all other progressive people in condemning every form of terrorism, including both the imperialist wars and occupations of the US, Canada and other NATO countries, and those committed by fundamentalist movements such as Daesh and al-Qaeda. At the same time, we stress once again that these dangerous forces have gained strength in large part because of the state terrorism, interventions and exploitation of the Middle East, central Asia and Africa by the imperialist powers and their regional ally, Israel. Many of the terrorist attacks in recent years have been carried out by forces which were in fact spawned and supported by the US and its NATO allies, the root source of mass terror and destruction on our planet today.
Both the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front and ISIS (or “Daesh”) – the main forces attempting to overthrow the Assad government in Syria – have long been financed and armed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, with the direct knowledge and support of Washington. Our Party condemns the imperialist-orchestrated campaign to impose ‘regime change’ on Syria, the real cause of the conflict which has virtually destroyed the country and driven millions from their homes as refugees. The downing of a Russian jet by Turkey, under highly dubious circumstances, has further heightened tensions, and could provoke a wider regional and even global war.
The Communist Party calls for an immediate cessation of all foreign military, political and economic interference and aggression in both Syria and neighbouring Iraq, not an expansion of foreign military operations under the pretext of a “war on ISIS”. We express our solidarity with the Syrian people struggling to defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity, and favour negotiations to end the ‘civil’ war as determined by the Syrian people themselves, without outside involvement, interference, or ‘dictat’. The crisis needs a political solution that has the elected government of Bahsar al-Assad at the table. This is the only path to de-escalate the war tensions in the region, and to end the humanitarian tragedy that has afflicted its peoples.
We also call for full solidarity with the Syrian refugees coming to Canada, and for restoration and adequate funding of the services they desperately need, including housing, language training, legal aid, social assistance and much more. Instead of expanding the Canadian Armed Forces, we demand a complete end to the Syria/Iraq mission, and a 75% reduction in military spending, which would provide $15 billion annually for social programs, housing and infrastructure projects in this country.
Finally, we demand swift action against the racist groups and individuals which are engaged in violence against the Muslim community. These criminal elements must not be allowed to conduct their campaign of racist terror under cover of sympathy for the victims of the Paris attacks.