Few Americans have heard of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), a violent cult that was allied with Saddam Hussein, has killed American citizens and has conducted numerous terrorist attacks in the Middle East. Even fewer know anything about its leader, Maryam Rajavi, the Marxist, feminist fanatic who heads up the group and its largely female militant wing.
Also known as the PMOI (People’s Mujahedin Of Iran) and the NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran), MEK started as an anti-American Marxist group opposed to the Shah of Iran back in the 1970s. Following the Islamic Revolution, the Communist-oriented MEK and the Islamic government of Iran naturally had a falling out, which erupted into armed conflict after MEK killed some 70 of Iran’s new leaders in a bomb attack and assassinated various others. Despite the fact that MEK supported the revolution – including the 1979 seizure of the US Embassy – it couldn’t see eye to eye with Islamic revolutionaries, and soon found itself in exile.
After a brief stint in France, the Iran Iraq War presented MEK with an opportunity, as Saddam Hussein invited the group to assist him in his war against Iran. Soon, MEK was established in Iraq, and began to receive substantial support from Saddam Hussein, including tanks, heavy weaponry, funding and a role in internal security. This move quickly alienated the majority of Iranian supporters, and the group became increasingly cult-like and fanatical. MEK and Saddam collaborated in cross-border raids, intelligence gathering and terrorist attacks on Iran, which continued well into the last decade. It is alleged that MEK participated in the suppression of Kurdish and Shiite resistance to Saddam Hussein following the first Gulf War.
Maryam Rajavi, the public face and “President Elect” of MEK, succeeded her husband Masoud Rajavi in 1993, and currently resides in France. Mr. Rajavi has not been seen since the 2003 American invasion of Iraq, and it is not clear whether he is still alive. Over the last decade, Mrs. Rajavi has emerged as the undisputed leader of the group, and has had considerable success gaining support from various American organizations, including the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Although one might expect organizations such as the Feminist Majority Foundation to support some unsavory characters, it is a bit more serious than usual in this case. That’s because MEK is officially designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the State Department, and supporting these organizations is a federal crime. Legally speaking, this would be equivalent to Fathers and Families writing checks to Osama bin Laden, and we all know what would happen if that were the case…
So what is it that draws American feminist organizations to support a foreign terrorist organization with American blood on its hands? Evidently, feminism trumps all. According to Maryam Rajavi’s NCRI website, she believes in “complete gender equality in social, political, cultural and economic arenas.” However, her real intent might be better gleaned from her Wikipedia entry:
As President-Elect, Rajavi has continued to place women in nearly all of the leadership roles within her resistance movement…
Also revealing is a comment on Daniel Pipes’ website:
The MEK is a radical feminist organisation. Their leader believes that women should occupy all the leadership postitions in the resistance. This is refelcted in the current make-up of the organisation. The entire leadership council of the MEK as well as the NLO is comprised entirely of women. The President-elect of the organisation is a women Mrs Rajavi. Even though only 30% of the military resistance are women, women hold over two-thirds of the commander postions and command many all-male units. So the MEK seek to replace a male-dominated society in Iran, with one that actively discrimiantes against men. So rather than being progressive and for equal human-rights the MEK is as discrimiantory as any regime in the middle-east, if not worse because it currently masquerades as being democratic and fair. In reality the orgainsation discriminates against men.
Mrs. Rajavi must be greatly admired by American feminists. If you want to know what a feminist “utopia” would be like, this chilling article in the NY Times Magazine written by Elizabeth Rubin about MEK is probably right on the money.Here’s an excerpt:
Recently, I went to visit Camp Ashraf, the main Mujahedeen base, which lies some 65 miles north of Baghdad in Diala province, near the Iranian border. Ashraf is 14 square miles of ungenerous desert surrounded by aprons of barbed wire, gun towers and guards in trough-like bunkers, shaded by camouflage netting and dehydrated palm trees, their trunks thickened by dust. As you pass the checkpoints and dragons’-teeth tire crunchers into the tidy military town, you feel you’ve entered a fictional world of female worker bees. Of course, there are men around; about 50 percent of the soldiers are male. But everywhere I turned, I saw women dressed in khaki uniforms and mud-colored head scarves, driving back and forth along the avenues in white pickups or army-green trucks, staring ahead, slightly dazed, or walking purposefully, a slight march to their gaits as at a factory in Maoist China.
Although Justin Raimondo broke the story linking the Feminist Majority Foundation to MEK, there are other strong indications of cooperation between MEK operatives and American feminists.
The National Committee of Women for a Democratic Iran, a front group for MEK (compare the crest on the NCWDI’s website with the one on NCRI’s) that was active in the US around the time of the 911 attacks, sponsored a rally by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) along with the Feminist Majority Foundation. RAWA, for its part, supports resistance against American forces in Afghanistan.
Now I’m going to go out on a fairly stout limb here and guess that RAWA is associated with – if not completely run by – MEK. Why? Well, for one thing, the National Committee for a Democratic Iran, the aforementioned MEK front group, has RAWA as one of its most prominent links, and it also co-sponsored RAWA’s DC rally. Additionally, RAWA features four different languages on its pages, and none that I can tell are Pashto, but Farsi is quite prominently featured. Farsi is what people speak in Iran, not Afghanistan (except perhaps in some northern enclaves).
Following is a RAWA url to what I believe to be a Farsi article titled “Ensler:”
Yes, THE Eve Ensler of the Vagina Monologues. She is a big supporter of RAWA:
But some feminists remain unconcerned. In a Salon.com interview, Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, dismissed RAWA’s alleged connection to Maoist groups. “I may not be the most thorough investigator,” she admitted. Yet Ensler declared later in the same piece, “I’ve become RAWA’s greatest defender.”
I would really appreciate it if someone could translate the Ensler article, or at least the relevant parts. It is clear that Ensler supports a group that advocates fighting coalition forces in Afghanistan, but the extent of the support is not altogether clear. Perhaps this article would shed some light on the subject.
Obviously, it is a murky world out there in Middle Eastern politics, and Marxist/feminist politics in particular must necessarily be pretty shady in those parts. But as they say, it takes one to know one, and apparently American feminists can sniff out their sister-comrades and will extend support to them, federal law be damned!
What I find most illuminating about the collaboration between feminists in matters of power and war is that they clearly have little idea how to do things right. For example, what sense does undermining US power in Afghanistan make when America represents the pinnacle of feminist power in all of history? This simply shows that feminism is about nothing but “deconstruction,” and even when they have the world handed to them on a silver platter they can’t figure out what to do besides tear things down. This is why feminism will ultimately fail. It is simply end-stage indulgence, and men are starting to catch on.
Sadly, over a dozen American soldiers died providing transportation to the MEK while they remained under our protection at camp Ashraf — and this after they opened fire on our forces when we came to establish control over the area, wounding at least one. As Raimondo and Rubin both suggested in their articles, a number of US government officials have suggested using MEK against Iran, but I think they are vastly overestimating the effectiveness of the group. It is possible that MEK was in part responsible for the vehemence of the post-election protests in Tehran (PMOI was working overtime putting out calls to action around that time), but if so they failed to achieve their objective, and intelligence agencies around the world have likely wised up to the tactics employed by feminists in stirring up trouble. In all likelihood, MEK’s days as a formidable terrorist organization are over, probably because most of the male fighters are already dead, and they will not have an easy job finding new ones given MEK ideology and abusive treatment of male recruits.
However, the group still poses a threat. Most seriously, the threat is within the West if a similar group is established on our soil, because our feminist laws will allow them to organize and menace men with impunity. Just as Saddam made use of women with tanks and heavy weapons to terrorize his own people, it is not inconceivable that feminist militias in the US or Europe could be used to intimidate citizens who are legally prohibited from defending themselves.
In conclusion, I would say that America’s association with an unnatural, oppressive cult such as MEK dishonors our nation and people. No matter what argument we may have with the nation of Iran, there is nothing to be gained in the long run from associating with a group that is not only an ideological failure, but a murderous, exploitative cancer in the already fragile political mélange of the Middle East.
For more background information the Rand Corporation has compiled a report on MEK. Download the pdf here.