, by MAHBOOB A. KHAWAJA
Terrorism originates from the Western colonial powers but none would dare to concede it for the fear of unknown in contemporary history. When the European businessmen explored new world markets for diminishing resources and their armed forces invaded and occupied the vast Muslim world, there were no television, internet, video cameras and stone throwing public and voices of reason to call them foreign mercenaries, aggressors and terrorists. The colonisation scheme of things was not the outcome of Western democratic values to spread freedom, liberty and justice but ferocity of violence and killing of millions and millions of human lives for the Empires to be built on coloured bloodbaths.
The European crusaders crossed the channels and unknown time zones to subjugate the much divided Muslim people as part of their superior nationalism perception and values that Muslims were inferior to the European race and could be used as subjects without human identity and raw material to build the new Empires. Many centuries past, if there was a UNO, it would not have dared to call the European intruders terrorists because it would have been their own organisation as Muslims lived in slavery and denial of basic human rights and identity. In an age of information and knowledge–driven global culture of reason, ignorance is no longer a requisite to learn from the living history.
History speaks of the Al-Andalusia Arab civilization as the longest advanced civilization lasting for eight centuries in Europe. Now, the Europeans identify themselves as civilized people but the effective date for the claim remains a mystery. The previous Empires knew their geography and limits, but the newly articulated American Empire in its infancy, is challenging to the limits of the Laws of God and appears obsessed with “fear” of being replaced by the new emerging economically productive nations of Asia such as China, Japan and India and combination of others. President George W. Bush invoked the “War on Terrorism” as a dictum of power, not reason and wisdom, to camouflage the prospective future with acts of barbarity and to dispel the notion of accountability in global affairs. Historically, people and nations pursuing this path of behaviour have ended up in self-delusion and self-destruction.
The 9/11 attacks in the US were carried out by individuals and not inspired or supported by the religion of Islam or Muslims. Some hourly paid intellectuals turned guardians of the approved truth, allege that Islam breeds terrorism. The Western mass media complements the self crafted notion to poison the public thinking and perceptions and source of judgments against the Arabs and Muslims as “terrorists” making the treacherous claim as if Islam was at the threshold of the paradigm. The US Neo-Conservatives gang helped to rob mankind of its human heritage. The perception of ‘radical Islam’ was invented and enhanced by the ‘fear’ of terrorism as if Arabs and Muslims were born in the eye of the storm, and terrorism was an exclusive domain of the Islamic religious tenets.
Gwynne Dyer, a London based prominent writer (The International Terrorist Conspiracy) points out that “terrorism is a political technique, not an ideology and any group willing to use violence in pursuit of its political goals may resort to it.” He explains that “there are left-wing terrorists and right-wing terrorists; national terrorists and international terrorists; Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and atheist terrorists.” In theory, you could have a “war against terrorism”, but it would involve trying to kill everybody who uses this technique anywhere in the world. The United States is not trying to do that, so it is not fighting a “war against terror.” In reality, what the United States leadership is doing is fighting its own articulated war against the people and nations who had no animosity, nor did any perceive capability to threaten the US as a global power.
British author and producer Adam Curtis (The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear: BBC documentary challenging the American version of the “War on Terrorism”), spells out the myth with clarity: “International terrorism is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services and the international media.”
Remember, after the 9/11 attacks, the US official statements made no mention of involvement of the government or people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran in the accused list of the 9/11 perpetrators. In 1997, many leading architects of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), did include the name of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, PLO as selected targets to impose the American liberal democracy and throw out the authoritarian regimes. It was a strategic stunt to inject the fear into people’s mind.
Paul Craig Roberts, co-author of the Tyranny of Good Intentions, in his recent article “The High Price of American Gullibility”, ICH, makes a logical assertion: “Bush’s rhetoric “you are with us or against us” is perfectly planned to influence the common masses. Emotional appeals to fear and to patriotism have led close to half of the population to accept unaccountable government in the name of “the war on terrorism.” What a contradiction it is that so many Americans have been convinced that safety lies in their sacrifice of their civil liberties and accountable government.”
Obviously, human intelligence, emotions and perceptions, superficially turned antagonistic with compelling impulse of media propaganda strategies to view Arabs and Muslims as the qualified candidates for extreme militancy.
Truth is one and indivisible. When it comes to terrorism and the Arabs or Muslims, the North American and European mass media portrayals enforce two distinct orders of truth – one for the general public and one exclusively for the Muslims. In all human affairs, facts are considered to reach the conclusion. End cannot be assumed to play with the facts, nor based on dogmas to explain the facts of human life.
Under the guise of the Anti-Terrorist legislation, America, Britain and Canada have misused the logic of power to arrest, defame and punish people of Arabian and Islamic origin who had no linkage to the terrorism myth. The strategy dictates that selected groups should be detained and tortured indefinitely, to drain out their moral, intellectual and creative energies, making them incapable to survive socially or professionally credible citizens of the country. Consequently, the public will view them as crazy and undesirable people to be counted as numbers and digits in economic terms, but not dignified human beings.
Divergent scenarios flourish to manifest lies and deception about the real aims of the “War on Terror.” When the Western leaders play with words, it is known and often acknowledged; but when the Muslim leaders offer ignorant excuses, they are masked under wilful lies and deceptions without any accountability.
Many Western scholars wonder why leaders of the Muslim countries and the masses appear disinterested in the post 9/11 affairs when it had direct impacts on the entire Arab and Muslim world. Foremost reasons being that the Arabs and the Muslim countries in general have no educated and responsible leadership to represent the masses and their interests. The West and its scheme of political subjugation institutionalised the neo-colonial authoritarianism. Arabs and Muslim societies are devoid of public institutions for thinking, change and policy development.
There are various shadowy groups and organisations claiming to represent the Arab-Islamic interests in North America. In real world affairs, hardly anyone seems genuinely capable to deal with the issue of terrorism that directly confronts the Muslims living in North America and Europe. Many pretend to be the spokespersons of the Arabs and Muslims communities but they are aligned with the official establishments including the intelligence agencies, lacking credibility, often playing the role of informants rather than representing the Islamic concerns. Generally speaking, Muslims live in millions across North America and Western Europe but lack the political presence in any organised political party or interest group. In the given politics of wars, Muslims have no weight on the scale except digits and numbers.
There are 57 or more, so-called Muslim countries, members of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC). Not one of them has genuine Muslim leadership, nor Islam as a system of life. When the Muslim Ummah (nation) looks for intellectual security, all authoritarian leaders operate under the dictates of Western masters, namely the American and British leaders. Islam is One and so should be the believing folks, but there is no unity of thought and actions across the Muslim world, a typically neo-colonial landscape governed by ignorant and intellectually bankrupt rulers, subservient to the West.
For ages, the Arabs and Muslim masses continue to pray to Almighty God for change, reformation and democratically elected governments without public demonstrations. Strangely enough, they seemed eager to hold demonstrations for the symbolic “cartoon” controversy, but not for the real world problems affecting the lives and future of the common Muslims. For sure, there is no “terrorism” in thoughts and in words of the prayers and no Arabic-Islamic vocabulary exists of “extremism” or “terrorism” to reciprocate the Western accusations and mass media propaganda campaigns.
Would the American and British political leaders learn any lessons from the on-going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? There are ample media reports that George W. Bush and Tony Blair have been identified as candidates for war crimes against humanity. Would the masses pursue the war crimes against these sadistic egomaniacs? It remains to be seen at this stage.
John Laughland (“The Mask of Altruism Disguising a Colonial War”: The Guardian: Aug 2, 2004), offers a real world perspective: “Just an old fashioned colonial war – the reality of killing and escalation of violence, disguised with the hypocritical mask of altruism. If Iraq has not taught us that, then we are incapable of ever learning anything.”
Every beginning has its end. It is just that most transgressors do not know about it when they cross over the limits of the Laws of God. The Roman, Austro-Hungarian and British Empires collapsed after they violated the limits. Nazis claimed to run the world for thousands of years, but ended up in just 12 years after killing millions of human beings throughout the Western hemisphere. Fascism met resistance at its early stages.
The beginning envisions the end. The USSR was defeated the day it raided the destitute people of Afghanistan and disturbed the dead in graveyards with continuous bombing. The American and British surrendered the day international community learned about the Guantanomo Bay prisoners and photos of the Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq. An estimated three million civilians have been killed by the American-British war in Iraq since March 2003. After the facts, the American and British apologists would put up the explanations that the soldiers had social and mental disorders. On the continuing daily massacre of the civilians and rapes of women in Iraq, Mike Whitney (“Crackdown in Ramadi”, 06/2006), shares a historical image visualised by Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar:
“And let us bathe our hands in blood, up to the elbows / And besmear our words / Then we will walk forth, even to the market place. / And weaving our red weapons o’er our heads / Let us all cry “peace, freedom and liberty”.”
Who is going to write the closing chapter of the history of the “War on Terrorism?” Is the history going to wait for the cessation of the aggressive hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan? Would the American-led war achieve its agenda priorities or meet the same destiny as it happened to the Romans, German Nazis and the USSR Empires? Obviously, history will judge the nations by their actions, not by claims of the leaders. Paul Craig Roberts (“The High Price of American Gullibility”) puts the answer in a nutshell:
“In National Socialist Germany, by the time propaganda lost its grip, Germans were in the hands of a police state. It was too late to take corrective measures. Not even the military could correct the disastrous policies of the executive. In the end, Germany was destroyed. Does a similar fate await Americans?”
During the World War II, America and Canada detained and imprisoned their own citizens of Japanese, German and Italian origins and sent thousands of them to internment camps. More than half a century later, both governments have offered apology to the innocent victims of the state terrorism. Are the Muslims expected to wait for another half a century to have their voices heard?
After waging a decade old bogus wars of terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, American and some of their hired European allied policy makers and military strategists seem to have exhausted their rational thinking and miserably failed to understand or differentiate between the myth of power and realities on the ground that they cannot win any wars against Islam and Muslims. Of all the forbidden truth that the Western news media does not exhibit and the political leaders failed to grasp is that the US and its former colonial allies do not have the will nor weapons to fight against God and Islam. If time and history could reawaken their conscience and give them a space for self-reflection, would they ever learn this compelling reality from the recorded history?
[Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specialises in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including: “Muslims and the West: Quest for Change and Conflict Resolution”; How America Lost the War in Iraq and Afghanistan and Mujahideen Won; To America and Canada with Reason; “President Obama – War is War, Not Peace”; “Global Peace and Conflict Management – how wrong thinking and wickedness duped the humanity”, etc. Comments are welcome at: firstname.lastname@example.org]