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Women, Objects of a Similar Reactionary Vision in Al-Qaeda and MKO

On the anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks perpetrated by al-Qaeda makes it absolutely necessary to have a review over the hideous phenomena of terrorism and the identical political and ideological features shared by the notorious terrorist groups. It might be of a great aid to diagnose the threat of the groups that are scattered among the societies under the pretext of pro-democracy activists. Al-Qaeda being a potent threat at the present relying heavily on its military and ideological potentialities, other groups that share similar characteristics with it can give rise to even more alarming terrorist threats to destabilize the global security.

The found ideological similarities between al-Qaeda and the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), also known as Mojahedin cult, and the comparable approaches for fund-raising activities and identical goals the both seek to accomplish make it necessary to have a much deeper scrutiny of MKO. Although there might be some minor disagreements between the two, but a close study reveals shocking similarities in their position taken against America and capitalism, organizational structure and their ideological outlook on the social and organizational status of women. MKO unlike al-Qaeda exploits women within the organization and even promotes their status, but like al-Qaeda imparts no telling viewpoint on women. However, assertions made by many MKO’s separated members reveal that both groups ideologically hold homogenous views on women.

Following its internal ideological revolution, MKO partly surfaced its ideologically based value standpoint on women. Annihilation of family foundations inside the organization, forced divorces, escalation of hatred among espouses and encouraging them to remain celibate for the rest of their lives were all unprecedented achievements that Rajavi, as Mojahedin’s modern revolutionary leader, enforced. At the first look the revolution reaffirmed restoration of women’s historically violated rights, but underneath women were viewed to be impediments for the accomplishment of MKO’s ideal revolution for which the group had already dedicated itself. Forced marriages followed by forced divorces in no way could theorize restoration of any violated right but could make women totally dependent on Rajavi, intimidate the men and control any possible rivals for leadership.

The evidences indicate that the instrumental use of women and male chauvinism do not infuse Mojahedin alone. Assented by the majority of ex-members who were present at Rajavi’s regular meetings, Rajavi had repeatedly stated that ‘we made the revolution but al-Qaeda is reaping all the corps. In many instance he had referred to Mohammad Atta, the al-Qaeda suspected ringleader behind 9/11 plot who held misogynistic attitudes, had developed a better understanding of MKO’s ideological revolution compared with the group’s own members. Mohammad Atta’s misogyny is well acknowledged in his will which has been released in English by the FBI:

I don’t want women to come to my house to apologize for my death. I don’t want any women to come at my grave at all during my funeral or any occasion thereafter. [1]

The dogmatically misogynistic ideology dominates both groups by some differences; in contrast to al-Qaeda that avows physical repellent of women, MKO more advocates curbing and elimination of the insiders lust for women. In fact, Mojahedin’s outlook is much more reactionary and outrageous than al-Qaeda. At least Atta promised the al-Qaeda operatives when encouraging them before the attacks that the day will come, after the death, when ‘you spend with the women of paradise. [2] Rajavi’s internal revolution completely deprives the members of thinking erotic tendencies and even making fantasies termed as big sins:

Following the divorce meetings, the families residential were evacuated and it was known to be a big sin if anyone thought of home. The residences being evacuated, they had them environed by walls of earth so the memory of home eluded the members minds. [3]

Oddly enough, there is no difference in the nature of al-Qaeda and MKO’s outlook on women but in organizational relations. For an organization that posture a pro-feminism, pursuing the reactionary line of repelling women, as al-Qaeda does, means depriving itself of a noticeably potential human force. Mohammad Atta removes the barrier that comes between him and his goal by physical denial of women even after his death. In contrast, Rajavi deprived all male and female insiders of their human instincts and emotions which were known to be barriers to the main cause and promoted women’s organizational status to exploit the strong, endurable human potentialities in them.

In both al-Qaeda and MKO, the picture and idea of women have to be completely cleaned from the minds of veterans. MKO requires all male members to avoid all sexual thoughts and to liberate themselves from their instincts, particularly sexual drives. Rajavi in regularly organized gatherings recurrently reminded members of their uncontrolled lust and even insulted them:

Massoud Rajavi in an ideological meeting for members of executive committee, before saying anything else, he surprised everybody by saying: “I have heard from Dr . . . that your pee has bubble. Strangely according to what I heard from him, our “HE” [member of executive committee] member’s pee has bubble while our ordinary member’s pee is bubble-less. Then when he faced strange and puzzled look of members said: “Don’t look at me with surprise, like you don’t know what that means. It means, few years after ‘ideological revolution, still you have not been able to neutralise your sexual desires and still you have ejaculation of semen, which creates bubble in your urine. [4]

For Rajavi, women are merely playthings who, devoid of all womanish fleeing and desires, should develop a dual personality who is neither a woman nor a man but at the service of leadership. She is a depersonalized creature that is deprived of freedom of thought and lifestyle running a slavery life in the bond of Rajavi’s ambitions.

In fact, women are identical problems in al-Qaeda and MKO with two different solutions. Mohammad Atta considers women as obstacles that impede accomplishment of his goals while to rajavi women are encumbrances to his leadership. The solution for Atta is resorting to reactionary fashion of physical riddance of women; rajavi takes advantage of sophisticated, modern psychological techniques to kill their fleeing and emotions and turn them into absolute machines and robots. Oddly enough, to the world MKO are proclaimed to be a pro-feminist group but inside feminism is believed to be a manifest of the crummy slough of bourgeoisie. As Mehdi Abrishamchi states:

Women’s right fails to be restored out of men and women’s direct conflict but is restored through a deep anti-exploitation struggle wherein women equally play a role. The climax of a bourgeois thought is feminism. That is, it develops the idea of female superiority which in itself maintains an opposition because in social balance the female gender occupies a second status and the opposition works for the interest of the superior gender. Preservation of social classes absolutely benefits capitalism. Capitalism attempts socially and ideologically to theorize everlasting stability of classes; that is why it tries to bolster class conflict to exploit easily and in various forms. The gender exploitation continues for ever unless a jointly male and female anti-exploitation struggle is initiated to solve the problem historically. [5]

Then, what demarcates al-Qaeda and MKO is in the quantity of two unified observation of today’s world phenomena. The former holds an extremely reactionary view that resorts to blind terrorist operations showing no consideration for others and freely revealing its ideological and tribalist teachings. The latter takes shelter behind the contradictions and utilizes the most radical political and social inclinations and sophisticated cult techniques to promulgate the same al-Qaeda cult-like, reactionary teachings. Abrishamchi explicitly draws the line between al-Qaeda and MKO by using the terms of rebel and revolutionary:

A sine qua non of revolution is the thought that completely sees the needed ordinance for such a necessity. As a result, a rebel provided with an ideology undergoes a change to become a revolutionary. A rebel conducts blind insurgency against the ruling regime while a revolutionary element knows well whereto conduct the insurgency. [6]



[1]. English version of Mohammad Atta’s will:


[2]. observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,560773,00.html

[3]. Shams-Haeri, Hadi; Mordab (The Swamp), Abroad publication, p.193.

[4]. Masoud Banisadr; Memoirs of an Iranian Rebel, 386.

[5]. Mehdi Abrishamchi’s speech made on the ideological revolution within MKO, published by Muslim Student Association, 1985.

[6]. Ibid.


Bahar Irani – Mojahedin.ws – Sep. 10, 2007

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