Expose and Defeat the Anti-Afghan Campaign of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Smash the Anti-Afghan Campaign of the Islamic Republic of Iran!

Once again the reactionary regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) has exposed it's anti-people nature by unleashing yet another round of savage attacks against the Afghan people living in Iran. The height of these attacks culminated when a group of thugs attacked Afghan refugees in Yazd a city in central Iran. On Friday, June 30th, a herd of thugs rushed towards a poor neighbourhood of Afghan refugees and barbarically attacked these defenceless people in the Koshtargah neighbourhood of Yazd. They beat people and set fire on their homes; many were burnt and injured and abandoned their homes, some rushed out of the town or had to take refuge to relatives in other areas in the city or country.

The regime stooges and their media tried to justify and relate these savage attacks on refugees to the rape and murder of an 18 year old girl whose body was found in a well on the outskirts of Yazd. The Authorities and media announced the identity of a man who was arrested for this matter as an afghan.  Announcing the Identity of the man arrested whether guilty or innocent can not justify the heinous act of harassment of a community and can not be a cover for an organised campaign of harassment of Afghan refugees. The attacks against the Afghan refugees have been going on, continuously in the last 30 years in Iran. There has been an enormous level of brutality committed against the Afghan people by the IRI agents or backward sections of the people which the chauvinist culture is the feeding ground for such heinous acts.

In addition to years of hostility and harassment of Afghan citizens, Iranian border guards have shot and killed many of them when crossing the border.  Recently, more than 20 Afghan civilians, this time on Turkey's borders were machine gunned by Iranian military forces.  Most of them were killed and others severely injured.

In recent years, hundreds of Afghan civilians have been sentenced to death and a number of them have been executed by the Islamic Republic in connection with drug related offenses, angering people on both sides of the border.

According to reports, the Revolutionary Guards (a military arm of IRI) have connections and are involved with the trade and transfer of drugs in Iran and other countries, at the highest levels, accumulating wealth for themselves and their government and deliberately setting up millions of young people in Iran and other countries to drug addiction.

The preface of the recent assaults against the Afghan people in Iran was the anti-Afghan campaign that the government had launched in various provinces of the country. For example, Afghan men and women were banned from entering a park in Isfahan at the end of the New Year's celebration early April of this year in order to exhibits the extent of the chauvinism of an anti-people regime.
Authorities in Mazandaran Province announced that by the end of the spring and beginning of summer all Afghan refugees, regardless of their statutes had to leave the province. Local officials said that the presence of Afghan refugees in 10 coastal cities had already been banned. The officials also said that "the Afghans are a threat to Mazandran" and the interior Ministry said since Mazandaran is a tourist attraction province, they cannot accept the presence of Afghans in that province.
The shamelessness of the government and their agents is beyond comprehension. There are no words adequately reflect the depth and magnitude of the chauvinism and arrogance of these reactionaries. The question is that, who has in fact made the life for them and especially for the women and the youth a hell. Is that the Pasdaran (so call revolutionary Guards) and other security forces of the regime or the hard working Afghan families?
The evidences show that the criminal regime of Iran has prepared a well organised plan to limit and ultimately expel all Afghan refugees and has already started to carry it out. According to reports, the presence of Afghan refugees are completely banned or limited in 28 provinces. More recently, in the province of Fars providing any services such as education, health care and the use of public transportation and even selling food to the "illegal" refugees has been banned! In the past, owners of small businesses had to pay a fine for employing Afghan refugees. Now, those who sell food to refugees are threatened with the forced closure of their businesses. These reactionary are trying to overtake the infamous Nazi fascists, by starving these oppressed people and denying bread and water to their children.

But these are never enough for them as by giving permission to all Iranian citizen to demand foreign national identification papers at any time in order to instigate their most backward and reactionary nationalistic sentiments and to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation among Afghan national.

Millions of Afghan workers and refugees have lost their livelihood and fled their country due to foreign intervention and the internal conflict among various reactionaries/Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan and become refugees in different countries.

Afghan workers and refugees in Iran have taken the most difficult jobs under the worst conditions: the brickwork, working on farms, slaughterhouses, construction work, stone cutting, cleaning, and so forth... They live in the most deprived slums and housings. They lack any civil rights with no security. They get blackmailed and bullied by agents of the regime and they bear the humiliation of government agents and backward sections of the society.

Many of the Afghan workers are either not paid or their petty wages are extorted by the security forces. Afghan workers contribute many times more than what the petty amount they are paid as wages or the social services they receive, to the overall wealth of Iranian society that goes into the pocket of those in power. The Islamic reactionary rulers shamelessly say that these refugees are a burden on society and put them under even more pressure and restrictions, depriving them of their most basic rights.

The reactionary propaganda of the Islamic Republic act as if those refugees have left their homes by their own will, even if that is so, they have no right to harass them and make the life so miserable for them. If not for the reactionary intervention of imperialist countries and regions, including Iran, would have the Afghan people faced such suffering?  If not for the export of Islamic fundamentalism by the Islamic Republic as well as Western imperialists to this country, would have they been forced to leave their home country? Did not Iranian regime financially and militarily supported the Shia Islamic parties like the "Islamic Unity"- or "Islamic Movement"? Didn’t IRI supported the “Jemaat-e-Islami” (Islamic Society) and other "Northern Alliance" parties and other warlords related to them against Golbedin Hekmatyar (another reactionary element) in the civil war that led to the destruction of the Kabul? Wasn't it the IRI that supported the warlords after the Taliban seized power, including Hekmatyar and his gangs to maintain its influence in Afghanistan? Wasn't it the IRI who helped pave the way for Western imperialist occupiers? Hasn't the IRI played it's share in the destruction of Afghanistan by it's constant involvement, along with Western Imperialists and reactionaries of the region?

Yes, the IRI has done its share of the crimes against the people of Afghanistan and has been and still is part of the problem of Afghanistan and one of the reasons that the people had to flee their country. It is shameful and absurd to pretend that they have been overwhelmed with the "sudden arrival" of millions of refugees and keep the right for themselves to harass them and commit any crime against them. Is that the expression and the reality of the Islamic kindness?

Now the working people, along with women and different nationalities, and religious minorities in Iran and Afghanistan have tasted the same brutality of Islamic kindness!

Now that their Islamic ideological weapon has lost its capacity to fool people, the regime is trying to rely on another rotten weapon of national chauvinism. But they are mistaken if they think that they can resolve their ideological (economic and political) crisis by scapegoating Afghan people. The Islamic Republic is in a very deep political and economic crisis, and even if all Afghan citizens are expelled from Iran, still can not free itself from the desperate situation in which it is entangled in.

Afghan women often work at home and because of that are forced to take care of the household and children at the same time. Their wages are several times less than meagre amount other workers earn, hardly enough to sustain a family. Many families are run by women, many are the only breadwinner in the family. Most of the men are either in prisons or killed in battle. Many families have been split apart. Women have to hold the family together and face the repression by the Islamic Republic.

The Islamic Republic has tried in more than three decades of its rule to enforce the inferiority of women as the main norm in the society. They have given many advantages to men in order to win their loyalty, especially amongst the most backward sections of the masses by implementing many anti-women policies that have resulted in a gender apartheid system which has turned women into the most inferior section of the society. Afghan women in addition to all the other layers of oppressions, have to endure acute national oppression. Because of this, they are the most subjugated and oppressed in Iran.

To understand the depth of the problem when the racist policy of the IRI is combined with its anti women policy it is enough to have a look at the marriage law between Iranian women and Afghan refugees. The Islamic regime recognizes their citizens only through father’s side who are Iranian. Children whose fathers are Afghan are not considered as Iranian citizens and are deprived of education and social services. But the problem does not end here the Islamic Republic has passed a law in 1991 to even deny official recognition of marriage between an Afghan man and an Iranian woman.  They have stopped issuing marriage certificates in these cases. According to government statistics, some 32,000 unofficial marriages between Afghan men and Iranian women have taken place since the law passed; the actual number is much higher, especially in the eastern provinces of Iran. For their children, who constitute nearly 100 thousands, will not even receive a birth certificate - thus no right to education, health care and other basic services to be able to lead a decent life.
Going back to the tragic incident of the young girl who was raped and murdered in Yazd, this horrific act of sexual violence, is a concentration of what Islamic Republic has brought down on women. The story of this young girl is the fate of thousands of young girls under the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In a country where anti-women policies are the main concerns of the regime , in a country that has institutionalized discrimination against women in laws and it's system as a whole, in a country where violence against women is a strong current and is part of it's punitive suppressive entity, in a country whose prisons permits and encourages the rape of women, a country whose ideological flag is expressed through the enforcement of hijab and the absolute inferiority of women,  it should not be any surprise that violence against women exists in every sphere of society.

It is in IRI that the person known as ‘the batman of the night” the serial killer of women, was created. When he was arrested, he identified himself as an Afghan national to add fuel to the anti Afghan hysteria. Let's remember the terrible event in a village in Varamin near Tehran that a young girl was gang raped by six. The video of this crime was all over; immediately rumours went out that she was raped by Afghan. And until this rumour was proved to be a lie, many Afghans in Varamin and elsewhere were assaulted and harassed by thugs and backward people. It is the system that creates an environment that actively promotes violence against women and crimes against Afghan citizens. It is this regime that knowingly spreads all kinds of rumours against oppressed Afghans.

It is up to all freedom loving people, not only to defend the oppressed Afghans in the face of the heinous crimes of the reactionary rulers of Iran but at the  same time, to stand up and fight against the disgusting Persian chauvinism  which has become a tool of the rulers to mobilise the opportunists and backward sections of the masses. No conscious human being should let these crimes against the rights of the Afghan people go unanswered.

Oppressed people of Afghanistan, either those who are in Afghanistan or live in Iran, have been suppressed and been suffering from the direct or indirect atrocities of the regime.

Afghan women in particular suffer the most because of the influence of fundamentalism.  They have continuously been under medieval suppression for the last 30 years and because of this there is a close and strong relationship between the oppressed Iranian and Afghan people and the women of these two countries.

The Afghan people who live in Iran are an integral part of Iranian people and the working class of Iran. It is their undeniable right to live anywhere they wish to. They have the right to healthcare and education. They should have access to the resources and services that has been produced and presented by themselves and other toilers.
Women of Afghanistan and Iran along with the working class and toilers of both countries should do whatever they can to overthrow the reactionary anti-women and chauvinist regime of Islamic Republic of Iran build together a society free of racism, oppression, exploitation and gender oppression.

8 March Women's Organization (Iran - Afghanistan)

July 7, 2012