Koorosh Modaresi - August 98
When Marx said "religion is the opium of the people," he had not witnessed religion and Islamic rule at the end of the 20th century. At that time, the French revolution had confiscated the churches' wealth and curtailed church interference in social life. Napoleonic laws had just re-authorised priesthood as a profession under the control of the secular state. Religion was not a tool of direct oppression then but rather "the general theory of an inverted world," "the sigh of the oppressed creature," "the heart of a heartless world," and "the spirit of spiritless conditions." It was the "opium of the people."
Today, however, religion before anything else is a political rule and movement under the banner of Allah. It is an absolute rule of laws not to be questioned. It represents the governing of a humanity without rights. Today, religion stands for the violent imposition of inhuman and medieval laws and decrees in every aspect of people's social and personal lives. Religion stands for the brutal violation of the most basic individual and social dignities, sexual apartheid and the suppression of half of society for the "crime" of being women. Religion is the machinery of wage slavery from the Middle Ages helping to fill the coffers of Islamic capitalists. It is the fascist rule of reactionaries such as Khomeini, Khamenei and their seminaries. Today, it is the courts of unrestrained tormenting criminals such as Khalkhali * , Gilani * , Lajvardi * , Rafsanjani * and the herds of Pasdaran, Basijis † and Hezbollahs † . Today, religion stands for the Islamic Republic of Iran, the barbarity called Taliban in Afghanistan and the murdering coalition of religious-terrorist organisations in Algeria. It represents the accord between the Pope and the US government, the rule of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the Lebanese Hezbollah, the Mojahedin Organisation ‡ and the Mojahedin Enghelab Eslami ‡ . Religion stands for the darkness imposed on the lives of the youth; it stands for the most barbaric and brutal physical and psychological suppression of happiness and laughter.
In his opposition to religion, Marx correctly stated that the only practical possibility for liberation is that the individual implements the theory that human beings are the highest beings for humans. If Marx were alive today, he would say that religion is not only the opium of the people but also the machinery of the most repulsive gangsters of opium.
Beginning the process for the emancipation of humanity is impossible without ending the interference of religion in people's lives. Along with today"s Marxists, Marx would undoubtedly have said that religion, like fascism, is an inhuman political and social organisation and the murderer of people.
This article was first published in "International" number 28 August 98.