Kobani's women fight on the front line against rape and sexual slavery!

Kobani's women fight on the front line against rape and sexual slavery!

At a time when darkness is surrounding the world, a star is shining. The town of Kobani and its fighting women are waging not only resilient resistance, but are also part of the military leadership of the war, deciding its strategy and tactics. This is attracting great respect and admiration worldwide. These heroic women fighters have planted hope in the hearts and minds of progressive and revolutionary forces everywhere. They are determined not to become the slaves or war trophies of rotten and outmoded Islamic laws and the Islamic State (ISIS). This stand has given joy and pride to women around the world.

In Syria's Kurdistan, an armed resistance has been formed under women's leadership against the misogynist Islamic fundamentalist forces of ISIS. Despite being from a feudal patriarchal culture, these women took up arms and leapt to the fore of the struggle against these reactionary forces. This struggle is a tremendous development in re-shaping the Middle East and the world – freedom is impossible without women's participation, and also without becoming a material armed force. According to the media, 7500 women soldiers are fighting the enemy and in constant danger of being shot and killed. These women are a key part of the people's defence brigades formed by youth who volunteered in 2012 to defend the Kurdish people against the Syrian state, the Al-Nasra front (close to Al-Qaeda) and ISIS. These forces were successful in curbing the ISIS advances. Their heroic struggle and the fame they won reached a pinnacle when they successfully created a safe passage for tens of thousands of people from Shengal, who were surrounded by ISIS. They began to organise there and arm the local people, where 15,000 Iraqi Kurdish fighters under the leadership of Barzani and Talebani retreated without much resistance.

These armed women love and respect each other so much that they vie with one another to volunteer for highly dangerous missions. They laugh at death. When they talk about their dreams and aims, many speak of a world where everyone is participating actively in their destiny and together are organising society to eliminate oppression and exploitation. Each bullet fired from Kobani’s women hits two targets: the struggle against the anti-women ISIS forces, and the struggle for self- determination. These struggles have landed heavy blows on anti-women norms, cultures and customs, motherhood and housework, the only tasks that this patriarchal culture recognises for women.

The Kobani women's leadership, their selflessness, sense of responsibility and commitment to the interest of the masses, their political and military ability, is so great that ISIS is striving to sow terror amongst them. On 1 October, ISIS beheaded three women to scare away the female fighters. In response, on 5 October a woman military commander fought to the last bullet against ISIS, and to avoid being captured alive detonated a bomb, killing erself and some reactionary ISIS fighters.

The heroic struggle of Kobani's people against ISIS has exposed all the backward forces and states directly or indirectly supporting ISIS. The imperialists, particularly the US, are trying to create a new Middle East with new borders, and were creators and propagators of ISIS, and they are extremely worried about the potential for this kind of struggle and organisation to become a symbol for the region.

The US is clearly playing a waiting game for Kobani to fall, but at the same time pretending to be for “freedom” and “democracy” and the “hope for survival” for the Middle East's people, in order to bring the whole region under its domination. US imperialism is deceitfully pretending to be on the side of Kubani by having its air forces toss a few ineffective bombs, miles from ISIS! But why do US planes with pinpoint precision repeatedly fail to hit ISIS' columns of tanks and heavy artillery?!

Meanwhile Turkey's fascist, anti-women regime, a close regional US ally that dreams of resurrecting the Islamic Ottoman empire, has been providing funds and training and facilitating the entry and exit of ISIS forces in order to surround Kobani and other cities. Tens of ISIS centres have been identified in Turkish territory. Video clips show how the Turkish secret police give ISIS free passage and how the secret fascist Kemalist organisation in the Turkish army trains these mass murderers – the same fascists who massacred thousands of Turkish and Kurdish communists and freedom fighters in past years. Turkey is ISIS” biggest supporter. Turkish forces observe and wait for Kobani to fall, from just meters away. This is provoking a huge wave of protest, particularly by Kurds, in many of Turkey's cities, and the government has murdered dozens and arrested thousands.

In Iraqi Kurdistan, where misogyny and honour killings are widespread, the betrayal of its leaders and nationalists and their collaborations with the Turkish state has caused widespread hatred and protest among the masses after the pathetic defeat and fleeing in Shengal.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, the true spiritual inspirer of ISIS, cannot be ignored. This regime has violently suppressed revolutionary movements, executing and stoning women...implements medieval Islamic anti-women laws, for over 35 years. There is no real difference between the Islamic regime in Iran and the ISIS regime in large parts of Iraq and Syria. No one feels this bitter truth more than Iran's women.

While we recognise the struggle of Kobani’s women against ISIS as a fight against reactionaries and theocratic states, likewise all the reactionaries are frightened of this mass struggle and hope their nightmare will end with Kobani's fall. They therefore promote ideas of “non-violent, peaceful movements” among the people, especially women. They attack women who righteously struggle against the Islamic regime as seekers of violence! As if women’s rights could be secured by “civilised discourse” with the Islamic Regime!! And today they try to prescribe the same for Kobani's women: “armed struggle is violence”, “women are peace seekers”!

The question is, how should Kobani's women respond to ISIS? Should they call for ISIS to meet and talk about women’s rights and civil society?! Or should they voluntarily join the “Sexual Nikah” to avoid violence?!!

Despite flaws and shortcomings due to the struggle's leadership and vision of women's liberation, Kobani's women fighters have challenged this historically bankrupt idea of moderation in dealing with this bloody misogynous enemy. History has proved that when people, especially women, are being subjugated by organized violence, the only path to liberation is an armed fight centred around the emancipation of people from all exploitation and oppression. This lesson has proved to be true in the repeated experience of class struggle worldwide. Revolution is not violence. Revolution means crushing brutality and the existing organized violence.

Although the struggle of Kobani’s women, their commitment and bravery, has inspired women worldwide, it will play an important role for the future struggle of women on a world scale only when it is led by a truly revolutionary vision, and on this basis can deal heavy blows to reformism, postmodernism, cultural relativism, and the other false solutions put forward by many forces in the women’s movement.

8th March Women Organization (Iran-Afghanistan)

October 2014