China, Iran, and Leftist-Islamic Cooperation

China Daily is the official English-language newspaper of the People’s Republic of China. In the February 15, 2006, edition, there was a special four-page supplement entitled “Iran-China Friendship.” This in itself is frightening. The United States, and the world, is threatened by Iran’s nuclear ambitions. What a time for an official Chinese daily to celebrate China’s friendship with a nation led by a fanatic, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for the destruction of Israel even as he continues to expand his country’s nuclear options.

Equally frightening is the content of some of the articles in this special supplement. The first page is devoted to an essay by Farhad Assadi, Iran’s Chargé d’Affaires to China, who writes, “Iran and China have common and similar views on many regional and international issues.” Farhad Assadi does not tell us whether Iran and China agree that America is the Great Satan or that Iran should plan to use its nuclear weapons against Israel.

When I lived in China, in 1984 and again in 1989, I was often told that Chairman Mao had said “Women hold up half the sky.” Perhaps the Iranian Embassy in China had this in mind when they contributed an article entitled “Remarkable social progress achieved.” Maybe Iran is trying to appeal to China’s citizens and leaders. But what they wrote is an outrageous lie: “Iran has witnessed remarkable progress in all aspects of social life: Improving social welfare of citizens, emphasis on women’s rights, co-existence of different religions and flourishing arts have made the country a better place to live.” Emphasis on women’s rights? Co-existence of different religions? Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s victory in 1979 was probably the greatest setback to women’s rights in Iran’s history. Religious minorities were persecuted as never before. China may not be a free country, but its citizens are surprisingly well-informed. By printing this disinformation, China’s leaders are solidifying their alliance with the nation that finances the world’s terrorists.

China, which loves capitalism as only a Marxist can love an economic system, trades with both the United States and Iran. Nevertheless, China Daily does not print special supplements praising freedom in America. The newspaper has done something for Iran that a government publication would not do for a democratic country.

In Farhad Assadi’s report, we read that “Iran is the second largest economy in the Middle East.” There is no reference to the largest economy. Assadi certainly wouldn’t want to suggest that Israel should be praised for the size of its economy. China does trade with Israel—money is money—but, needless to say, the subject is not featured in special issues of China Daily.

China has not freed itself from the Marxist-Islamic alliance, which began in 1955, when anti-Zionism became an unquestioned component of Marxist ideology. What happened at that time was the Bandung Conference, held in Indonesia, when a Marxist-Islamic alliance was formed to oppose freedom and Zionism. This alliance made little sense. To begin with, Communists and Muslims persecuted each other in their own countries. Furthermore, Israel, had communal farms, called kibbutzim, which antedate the state and still exist today. China experimented with communal farms, called gongshe. The experiment failed and the gongshe no longer exist, but nobody knew that would happen in 1955. Nevertheless, the alliance remained unshaken despite wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere until the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989.

Marxism today is practiced only in North Korea and Cuba, but a leftist-Islamic alliance seems to be getting stronger every day. The ghost of Marxism remains alive in the West. Karl Marx is still honored even though communism is considered a failure. Leftists—those who worship the ghost of Marx—hate America. America is the land of minority rights, women’s rights, and gay rights. Leftists don’t know this. They support these rights, but continue to oppose America.

A fascinating example of this alliance appeared in The New York Times on February 12, 2006. Stanley Fish, a law professor at Florida Atlantic University, wrote an op-ed entitled, “Our Faith in Letting It All Hang Out.” Fish doesn’t like liberals. The gap between liberals and conservatives seems wide, but the chasm between liberals and leftists is wider. Fish describes liberalism as a religion whose first tenet is that everything “is to be permitted, but nothing is to be taken seriously.” He goes on to say that liberalism “is itself a morality—the morality of a withdrawal from morality in any strong, insistent form.” It is the opposite of “the morality of those for whom the Danish cartoons are blasphemy and monstrously evil.” Which side does Fish take? “And the difference, I think, is to the credit of the Muslim protesters and to the discredit of the liberal editors.”

Russia has provided still another instance of the leftist-Islamic alliance. Russia is fighting against the Chechen Muslims, who are openly allied with anti-Israel groups like Hamas. Despite Russia’s war with the Chechens, Vladimir Putin was the first international leader to invite Hamas to visit his country. Putin is following the policies practiced in the days of the Soviet Union: fight Muslims at home but ally with them internationally against Israel and the United States. China, which is suppressing its own Muslim minorities in Xinjiang Province, is doing the same. The special Iran-China Friendship supplement in China Daily is a reversion to the alliance established at Bandung in 1955. And so is the statement by Stanley Fish that the morality of Islamic intolerance is preferable to the tenets of “the liberal religion.”

This essay appeared in the March/April 2007 issue of Midstream.