Archive for the ‘Muslims’ Category

Terrorist attack in France

March 24, 2018

— Nasir Khan, March 24, 2018

An attack on a supermarket in France yesterday in which three innocent people were killed and 16 injured was carried out by a Muslim, who was a petty criminal but became radicalized by ISIS. The ISIS declared that the attacker was a “soldier of the Islamic Sate”. Thus, once again one Muslim commits an act of terrorism in the name of a terrorist ideology that uses the name of Islam and brings dishonor and disgrace to the Islamic religion and its followers.

Once again, Muslim communities and new immigrants living in the western countries become suspect in the eyes of many people.

What we need to keep in mind and tell others that such individual acts of terrorism and the killing of people have nothing to do with Islam or with the vast majority of Muslims living in Europe or in other western countries.

Muslim people are as much victims of such crimes as others. What ISIS did in Iraq and Syria, and now is targeting people in many other countries, such as Libya, Afghanistan, etc. etc., and other countries is directed against the ordinary Muslim people. The victims are both Muslims and non-Muslims.

On behalf of many like-minded people and friends, I strongly condemn the brutal murders and the harm to the innocent people at the hands of a misguided and pathetic individual, and the people using people like him to commit such dastardly crimes.

Along with many other politically active people, I have also opposed and wrote against the roles of imperialist powers, their policies, their wars and war crimes, and their criminal support for dictators, oligarchs and terrorists for many years. However, we should never use the policies of these governments to justify any individual acts of terror as in the present case in France.

Terrorism in the name of any religion or religious ideology (Islamism, Hindutva militarism, Christian fundamentalism, Zionism, anti-Muslim Buddhist mafia) is vicious and should be fought against by all democratic forces, and we should never compromise on this because some brainwashed maniacs and social oppressors are using the names of religions or religious symbols to advance their objectives.

 

Advertisements

Gaza is burning and the Arabs sit and watch

July 14, 2014
Dr Mohammed Al-MisferDr Mohammed Al-Misfer

There have been many times when oppressed people resisting their oppressors gain international solidarity for their cause as public opinion sways in their favour. They embody bravery as they continue to resist against their enemies. We saw this pattern manifest itself in Vietnam when the people struggled against the biggest superpower in the world. The Vietnamese demonstrated how they turned to each other for support when the northern city of Hanoi stood as a beacon of light for its counterpart Saigon in the south. Soon after, the southern Vietnamese people embodied the spirit of resistance and achieved all of their goals.

When it comes to the Palestinian case, the situation is entirely different, for in the Gaza Strip (Southern Palestine) we see true armed resistance being engaged in the battle against the Zionist enemy, which is armed with the most sophisticated weapons and is using all of its power and influence throughout the world to frame this conflict as it sees fit; it is from this that the Palestinian people in Gaza can find no escape. Gaza is burning and its natural supporters, the Arabs of the region, sit and watch. The Palestinian Authority under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, based in the West Bank city of Ramallah (which we can consider here to be the northern region of Palestine), should be the biggest advocate for its people in Gaza. And yet, all we here are murmurs and useless statements being made here and there.

Continues >>

Gujarat: All’s Not Well With Your Home, Chief Minister Modi

May 29, 2010

Tehelka Magazine, Vol. 7, Issue 22, June 5, 2010

NARENDRA MODI HAD ONCE BRAZENLY UPHELD SOHRABUDDIN’S FAKE KILLING. NOW, AS THE CBI  ARRESTS TOP COPS,THE DIRT BEGINS TO UNRAVEL IN GUJARAT, SAYS RANA AYYUB

image
image
Present continuous TEHELKA has persistently tracked the unraveling of the ‘encounter’ killings by Gujarat Police

IS THE noose tightening around Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi over his administration’s alleged complicity in the 2002 massacre of Muslims? Is nemesis, as the cliché goes, finally catching up with him for a string of allegedly fake encounter killings of “terrorists” by his police? It may be too early to call curtains for arguably India’s craftiest politician that Modi has turned out to be over the last eight years. Yet, the arrest of a top police officer in Gujarat by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) may well begin to unravel the Modi era.

Indeed, so thoroughly alarmed are the Bjp, Modi, and others implicated in the Muslim massacres and the encounter killings, that there is a clear last-ditch attempt at preventing the CBI from establishing the truth. The latest round started on january 12 this year when the supreme Court ordered the CBI to reinvestigate the 2005 encounter killing of Gujarat businessman sohrabuddin shaikh, his wife Kauserbi, and an associate of his, tulsi prajapati. sohrabuddin, a small time extortionist, was killed in a joint encounter by the Gujarat and Rajasthan police in November 2005 when he was travelling with his wife Kauserbi, on charges of being a Lashkar-e-tayyeba member on his way to Gujarat to assassinate Modi. A similar theory was given at the time of the Ishrat jahan encounter a year before and later proved as fake by the justice tamang Committee.

Continues >>

Freedom Rider: Endless Terror

May 20, 2010

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report, May 19, 2010

19predator_drone.jpg

Few people are willing to make the connection between the killing of Muslims by the United States government and the inevitable hatred of the American people that is unleashed.”

The United States government continues to kill Muslims like roaches in its never-ending war of terror. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when that violence spawns revenge directed against this nation. Nonetheless, every act or attempted act of terror against Americans is met with shock and defiance in the face of American instigated violence.
Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistan-born American citizen, is in custody for attempting to detonate a car bomb in New York’s Times Square. Fortunately, Shahzad was an untrained amateur who thought he could set off an explosion with ordinary fire works. He also didn’t have enough common sense to know that he should leave town immediately instead of waiting for two days before attempting his escape.
No damage was done to life or property and the suspect is in custody, but every attempt not only endangers us all but brings untold damage to American’s civil liberties. Senator Joseph Lieberman is proposing legislation that would strip citizenship from terror suspects. His goal is to prevent the use of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution which protects against self-incrimination. It is all a canard, because the right to remain silent can be exercised by citizens and non-citizens alike.
Senator Joseph Lieberman is proposing legislation that would strip citizenship from terror suspects.”
Shahzad’s biography has been analyzed and his every move scrutinized. Few people are willing to make the connection between the killing of Muslims by the United States government and the inevitable hatred of the American people that is unleashed. It isn’t very complicated. Shahzad was angry about the continued killings of his people and he wanted to inflict the same suffering on Americans.
While politicians out do one another with demagoguery, the simplest cause of terrorism is ignored. The fear which always follows an attempted attack should be an impetus for Americans to think about the fear and terror their government visits upon the rest of the world. Instead, the same hand wringing and whining about “why they hate us” are the rule.
Why was Shahzad angry? Undoubtedly because thousands of Pakistanis and Afghans have been killed by American drone attacks. If we were at all encouraged to think beyond the “spectrum of thinkable thought” we might be able to speak with some intelligence on this issue. Instead we see Barack Obama and the rest of the Democrats succumbing to Republican demands to destroy our civil liberties at home and continue mass death abroad.

Court decisions are clear that the renunciation of American citizenship must also take place before it can be taken away.”

Attorney General Eric Holder made the rounds of Sunday morning talk shows and made it clear he is bowing to lies and the political expediency that follows: “I think we have to give serious consideration to at least modifying that public-safety exception [to the Miranda protections. And that’s one of the things that I think we’re going to be reaching out to Congress, to come up with a proposal that is both constitutional, but that is also relevant to our times and the threats that we now face.”
Senator Lieberman’s proposed Terrorism Expatriation Act (TEA) goes even further. The constitution has very strict rules regarding the removal of American citizenship. Sworn allegiance to an enemy is insufficient cause to strip citizenship. Court decisions are clear that the renunciation of American citizenship must also take place before it can be taken away. It is shocking that Lieberman, an attorney, would peddle this nonsense that even if passed would be struck down by the courts. For now, the always cringing Democrats aren’t saying very much. Of course they always allow Lieberman, a Democrat who endorsed the Republican candidate without punishment from his party, to do whatever he likes.
Both the Clinton and Bush administrations prosecuted terror cases in criminal court, with all rights of suspects being preserved. All of these cases resulted in convictions and at the time, no protest from Republicans. The cry for the awful enemy combatant designation in the cases of Shahzad and Umar Abdulmultallab should spark outrage and debate about American actions abroad. While political demagoguery becomes the norm, our government’s acts of terror continue with little protest.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is repeating the demand that Pakistan speed up the killing of its own people in order to satisfy her government’s demands.”

Now the Obama administration claims that the Pakistan Taliban were responsible for this act. We don’t know if that is true, we don’t know if their claims that Shahzad is talking are true either. We can only be certain that political considerations come first. Now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is repeating the demand that Pakistan speed up the killing of its own people in order to satisfy her government’s demands. The Shahzads in Pakistan and in the United States will also be like ticking time bombs, growing more and more angry about the deaths of their people and more determined to strike back.
The sickening propaganda which makes invasion and occupation appear acceptable and even beneficial continues with little opposition. As long as the country lives under the grip of empire building and white supremacy, the rest of the world will be in danger and Americans will be endangered by the inevitable repercussions.
One day our luck will run out. A terror attack will not be carried out by someone trying to ignite his shoe or explosive placed in his underwear. The car bomb or other apparatus of death will be expertly put together and Americans will die. It isn’t right that anyone should die violently, but it isn’t worse for Americans to die under such circumstances than it is for people in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Of course, our government and media won’t say that. The end result will be an even louder cry for death from the nation that is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.com.

Images of Islam and Muslims in Western media

May 16, 2010

Dr Nasir Khan, June 19, 2007

Present-day images of Muslims and Islam in Western media vary considerably. However, since the collapse of the Soviet Union the general drift of Western concerns has been to portray Islam as the main enemy of the West and the Muslim world as a hotbed of terrorism that threatens Western civilisation and its democratic values. Thus in the present-day hegemonic world order — under which all norms of civilised behaviour in the conduct of foreign policy have been discarded by the Bush Administration and its allies in London and Tel Aviv — Muslims are associated with terrorism. We have seen over the last few years the expansion of President Bush’s destructive war, the inhuman treatment of captive population of Iraq and Afghanistan, rampant abuse of prisoners from Muslim countries by American and British forces, total indifference towards the human rights of prisoners of war or of those suspected of resisting or opposing the American occupation of their countries and false propaganda to cover up the real objectives and crimes against humanity of the neocon rulers in Washington and London.

Needless to say, the so-called ‘Islamic challenge’ is based on assumptions that have no basis in reality. They misrepresent, distort and mislead rather than enlighten and inform. Over the last fifteen years a number of publications have appeared that have borne sensational titles like ‘Sword of Islam’, ‘The Islamic Threat’, ‘The Roots of Muslim Rage’, ‘Islam’s New Battle Cry’ and ‘What went wrong with Islam?’. They reveal the sort of preconceived image of Islam their writers had intended to convey to their readers. According to such projections, Islam is a challenge to Western values as well as to West’s economic and political interests. But in view of the real power wielded by the West in general and America in particular throughout the Middle East and beyond, the so-called ‘threat of Islam’ is quite groundless.

But right-wing political manipulators and Christian fundamentalists can very easily provoke major crises between the Muslim world and the West; we have only to recall the case of the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The real aim of some Danish and Norwegian right-wing newspapers to publish these cartoons was to provoke hostile reactions from Muslims and thus cause more bitterness and resentment between Muslims and Christians. They tried to cover up their anti-Islamic campaign behind the smokescreen of the argument that publishing the cartoons was a demonstration of the West’s freedom of expression. They were xenophobic, racist and disrespectful of immigrant cultures in Europe and the Islamic culture in particular. How could hurting the feelings of over one billion Muslims was to serve the interests of free Press, freedom of expression or civil liberties? An anti-Islam fundamentalist Christian by the name of Mr Selbekk, the Norwegian editor of Magazinet reprinted the cartoons which were first published in Denmark. He was asked if he would also publish any cartoons that insulted Jesus, said: No. Thus this gentleman’s vaunted ideal of ‘freedom of expression’ was limited to insulting the Prophet Muhammad and obviously did not extend to insulting the gods, prophets and spiritual avatars of any other major religion.

However, it is important to look at the strategic goals of such editors and publishers. They did succeed in their objective, which was to cause maximum provocation to Muslims worldwide and to create an atmosphere of contempt and hatred towards them among the followers of other religions. Muslims were predictably and understandably offended and their reactions led to some horrible incidents in various parts of the globe. What those who reacted violently did not realise was that they had fallen in the trap of anti-Muslim mischief-mongers, who, through provocation had achieved their goal. Now the stage was set to repeat the old charge: Muslims were fanatics, volatile and irrational — they were ‘terrorists’! The divide between ‘us’ and ‘them’ as cultural opposites was reinforced and widened.

The anti-Muslim media keep on churning out the common stereotypes that portray Muslims, compared to Westerners, as more prone to conflict and violence. These media publish accounts of conflicts in the Muslim countries as self-evident truths to reinforce the image. There is a general tendency to oversimplify or ignore altogether diverse trends and complex socio-economic factors that lead to instability and conflicts in various Muslim countries. The explanations offered and conclusions drawn sometimes are based on implicit, but more often, explicit assumptions about the superiority of Western, ‘Judaeo-Christian’ culture, while the Islamic world is thought to be an epicentre of brutality and disharmony.

A very common stereotype in the Western media is that Islamic countries are inherently prone to violence, fanaticism, medieval ideas and prejudices. This means that Islam, both as a religion and as a cultural influence, is to bear the responsibility for all such regional ills. The West is the harbinger of sweetness and light (but occasionally also darkness and misery), peace and civility (but occasionally predatory wars and barbarism), rationality and open-mindedness (but occasionally irrationality, racism and prejudice, and always is focused on its own interests). All those who have taken the trouble to look at the last few centuries’ history of Western colonialism, extending from the time of the so-called  ‘discoveries’ of America by Columbus in 1492 and of India by Vasco de Gama in 1498 by sea routes, the ‘discovery’ of Africa by the European for slave trade show the ‘noble’ hands of Western nations that were extended to the people of Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia have left their marks on every continent. We cannot go into historical details here. But the global expansion of Western colonialism is the story of plunder and destruction across continents. No doubt, the seeds of Western civilisation were sown in this way. Within Western societies, the internal conflicts, violence and wars present us with a gory history. This superior culture when seen in the limited sphere of geopolitics and international relations in the last one hundred years only leaves a legacy of two World Wars, more wars (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq), invasions and coups (Guatemala, Grenada, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Chile, Argentina, Congo, southern Africa), concentration camps, racist massacres undertaken on a large scale by the flag-bearers of Western civilisation.

It is obvious that cultural differences between nations and peoples of the world are a fact of history. And in this context generalising about cultural differences is unavoidable. But in no way can such differences be equated with mutual exclusiveness or inevitable hostility between different cultures. Where the initial instinct is not to enter into an anthropological or historical study of comparative cultures, but rather to foment strife and hatred between nations and religions for ulterior motives the consequences can be disastrous. Let us take the events in the aftermath of the bombing of Oklahoma City in the United States on 19 April 1995. The media rushed to spread rumours that a ‘Middle Eastern man’ [i.e. a Muslim Arab] was responsible for the carnage. As a result Muslims throughout the United States were targeted for physical abuse, rough treatment and social ostracism. Their mosques were desecrated, Muslim women ere harassed and cars belonging to ‘Middle Easterns’ damaged. A British newspaper Today published on its front page a frightening picture of a fireman carrying the burnt remains of a dead child under the headline In the name of Islam’. Identifying the perpetrator of such a reprehensible act alone would not be sufficient; Islam also had to be brought in to ignite the communal passions of people against members of another faith. However, it soon became evident that the bomber was a fair-haired American soldier, a decorated Gulf War (1991) veteran. The religion of this right-wing terrorist was not Islam but Christianity. But no one in either American or British media labelled him a ‘Christian terrorist’ or apologised to Muslims for the wrongs done to them. Once again the freedom to tell the truth and report events fairly had taken a back seat.

The second instance is the 11 September 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon by a few persons, most of whom came from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a close ally of America. They saw the policies pursued by the US in the Middle East and its support for the anachronistic rule by the House of Saud as the stumbling block towards a fair social order in their country as well as the rest of the Middle East. No matter what the nature of their grievances, I regard this attack terribly wrong. It provided ammunition to the neocons and right-wing fanatics in Washington to unleash the reign of terror, war, death and destruction in the Middle East and the petroleum regions in the general vicinity. At the same time, we ask a simple question: What had these bombings to do with millions of ordinary Muslim citizens of Europe and America? The answer is: nothing whatsoever. We witnessed that they were victimised everywhere by many white Westerners in the most grotesque and despicable ways.

During my stay in Europe for more than four decades, I have become acutely aware that the negative images of Islam and Islamic civilisation need a serious historical analysis for general readers as well as academic scholars that enables us to rise above oft-repeated and worn-out clichés of media and partisan scholarship and thus show the facts of the problematic relations between the two world religions and their civilisations. My book Perceptions of Islam in the Christendoms (2006) deals these themes and issues. It is clear that both Islam and the West suffer from the perceptual problems of adversary relationship going far back in history. Their mutual perceptions have been distorted by religious dogmas, political developments and traditional prejudices. If we take a look at the history of European colonial expansion in Americas, Australia and in the East (China, India, the Middle East and North Africa, etc.) the old balance of power between the East and the West had changed. The colonial power over other nations also strengthened the collective consciousness of the industrial West, or its assumption that it was more powerful and therefore superior to the rest of the world. The colonised and subjugated people also started to perceive the West as materially, culturally, and morally superior. It is true the West was superior in producing machines, modern weaponry and efficient armies to invade and subjugate other countries of the world. This made Western nations more powerful, but that did not mean they were morally or intellectually superior. But the subjugated races were not in a position to advance such challenging views. In such uneven power relations under colonialism no genuine communication was possible. The same is true of the current neo-colonial war in Iraq by the Bush Administration to achieve full control over the oil resources and assert political hegemony over the entire Middle East.

The Western ways to see Islam as a monolithic religious and political force is against all historical facts and contemporary political realities. Islam is not a monolithic force; the diversity within the Islamic world is wider than most Westerners think. Within three decades after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, Muslim community split into Sunni and Shia factions following a civil war. This division proved to be permanent, and further divisions within the two main branches have characterised Islamic faith and polity for fourteen centuries. The spread of Islam followed different paths in different countries and regions of the world. At present over one billion people of all races, languages, nationalities and cultures are Muslims. Their socio-cultural conditions as well as their doctrinal affiliations show much diversity and complexity. What this means is that Islam as a universal religion, like Christianity, is not a monolithic entity; this is despite the fact that Muslims share some fundamental beliefs in One God and His revelations through the prophets.

However, historical and religious traditions and myths have a life of their own. Once they have become part of a culture they continue to shape and restructure the collective consciousness of vast populations. The anti-Islamic tradition in the Christendoms has a long historical pedigree and it continues to be a dynamic factor affecting and determining international relations. The study of history helps us to see facts in their historical evolutionary process and thus lighten the cultural baggage that has often poisoned relationships between the two religious communities. An honest and balanced study of the past and the present-day geopolitical realities of the global hegemonic world order means that we no longer have to passively accept distorted legacies and close our eyes to what is happening in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, and also in Pakistan at the hands of the United States, its allies and the marionette Muslim ruling cliques.

The question of ‘Islamic terrorism’, the denial of women’s rights under Islam and the alleged irreconcilability of Islamic and Western values appear all the time in the Western media. But such accusations reveal a deep-rooted ignorance and confusion. They have no relationship to reality. We should bear in mind that a follower of a religion is not necessarily a true representative or spokesperson of that religion. Neither can the individual acts of terrorism, state-terrorism or superpower-terrorism be imputed to religion whether it be Christianity, Judaism, Islam or Hinduism. If an individual or group from a Muslim community resorts to extremism in political or religious spheres for whatever reason or commits a crime, the general tendency is to hold the whole Islamic tradition responsible. What happens if someone from Western culture or a Christian right-wing extremist resorts to violence or commits a crime? He is held responsible as an individual and no one blames the Western culture or Christianity for his actions. Do we not have some powerful leaders in the West who are Christian right-wingers and are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Muslim men, women and children? Does anyone blame Christianity for that? We ask these questions and expect our readers to ask these questions and then try to find some answers.

With regard to women, the Qur’an gave them legal rights of inheritance and divorce in the seventh-century, which Western women would not receive until the 19th or 20th century. There is nothing in Islam about obligatory veiling of women or their seclusion, either. In fact, such practices came into Islam about three generations after the death of the Prophet Muhammad under the influence of the Greek Christians of Byzantium. In fact there has been a high degree of cultural interaction between Christians and Muslims from the beginning of Islamic history.

The fundamental values of fraternity, respect, justice and peace are common in all the major civilisations and the five major religions. To call democracy ‘a Western value’ is simply bizarre; the monarchical system prevailed in Europe where the kings held absolute powers under the divine right to rule. The evolution of democratic and constitutional form of government took shape much later. Contrary to what the media and populist politicians assert, there is nothing in Islam that goes against democracy and democratic values.

Nasir Khan, Dr Philos, is a historian and a peace activist. He is the author of Development of the Concept and Theory of Alienation in Marx’s Writings and more recent Perceptions of Islam in the Christendoms: A Historical Survey. He has written numerous articles on international affairs and the issues of human rights.

See also, Jeremy R. Hammond, Our “Enemy” Islam

Buchanan: Is the War Coming Home?

May 11, 2010

Patrick J. Buchanan, LewRockwell, May 11, 2010

Faisal Shahzad sought to massacre scores of fellow Americans in Times Square with a bomb made of M-88 firecrackers, non-explosive fertilizer, gasoline and alarm clocks.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up a U.S. airliner over Detroit with a firebomb concealed in his underpants. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan shot dead 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood and wounded 29.

Why did these men attempt the mass murder of Americans who did no harm to them? What impelled them to seek martyrdom amid a pile of American corpses?

Though all were Muslims, none seems to have been a longtime America-hater or natural-born killer. Hasan was proud to wear Army fatigues to mosque. Shahzad had become a U.S. citizen. Abdulmutallab was the privileged son of a prominent Nigerian banker.

The New York Times ties all three to the Internet sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemen-based imam born and educated in the United States who inspires Muslims worldwide to jihad against America. But, following Sept. 11, al-Awlaki had been seen as a bridge between Islam and the West.

Now President Obama has authorized his assassination.

What do the four have in common?

All were converted in manhood into haters of America willing to kill and die in a jihad against America. And the probability is high that there are many more like them living amongst us who wish to bring the war in the Af-Pak here to America.

But what radicalized them? And why do they hate us?

Taking a cue from George W. Bush, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said of the Times Square bomber, “We will not be intimidated by those who hate the freedoms that make … this country so great.”

This was the mantra after Sept. 11. We are hated not because of what we do in the Middle East, but because of who we are: people who love freedom and stand for women’s rights.

And that is why they hate us – and why they come to kill us.

In a way this is a comforting thought, because it absolves us of the need to think. For no patriotic American is going to demand we surrender our freedom to prevent fanatics from attacking us.

The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens advances a parallel view. We are hated, he says, because of our popular culture.

We are loathed in the Islamic world, Stephens writes, because of “Lady Gaga – or, if you prefer, Madonna, Farrah Fawcett, Marilyn Monroe, Josephine Baker or any other American woman who has … personified what the Egyptian Islamist writer Sayyid Qutb once called ‘the American Temptress.'”

This hatred is at least 60 years old, says Stephens, for Qutb wrote even before “Elvis, Playboy, the pill, women’s lib, acid tabs, gay rights, Studio 54, Jersey shore and … Lady Gaga.”

Qutb’s revulsion at American degeneracy is why his legion of Islamic followers hate us.

Again, a comforting thought. For, if Lady Gaga is the problem, there is nothing we Americans can do about it.

Yet, this is as self-delusional as saying the FLN set off bombs in movie theaters and cafes in Algiers to kill the French because of what Brigitte Bardot was doing on screen in “And God Created Woman.”

America’s toxic culture may be a reason devout Muslims detest us. It is not why they come here to kill us. Mohammed Atta’s friends did not target Hollywood, but centers and symbols of U.S. military and political power.

U.S. Marines were not attacked by Hezbollah until we inserted those Marines into Lebanon’s civil war. No Iraqi committed an act of terror against us before we invaded Iraq. And if the Sept. 11 killers were motivated by hatred of the immorality of our society, what were they doing getting lap dances in Delray Beach?

Osama bin Laden declared war on us, first and foremost, to end the massive U.S. presence on sacred Saudi soil that is home to Mecca and Medina.

Some may insist this was not his real motive. But, apparently, the Saudis believed him, for they quickly kicked us out of Prince Sultan Air Base.

As for the Taliban, they would surely make short work of Lady Gaga. But their stated grievance is the same as Gen. Washington’s in our war with the British: If you want this war to end, get out of our country.

By Occam’s razor, the simplest explanation is usually the right one. Looking at America’s wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Maj. Hasan, Abdulmutallab and Shahzad decided that what we call the war on terror was in reality a war on Islam.

All decided to use their access to exact retribution for our killing of their fellow Muslims.

We are being attacked over here because we are over there.

Nor is it a good sign that U.S. intelligence is reporting that rising numbers of U.S. Muslims are making Internet inquiries about how and where to get training to bring the war home to America.


Patrick J. Buchanan [send him mail] is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of seven books, including Where the Right Went Wrong, and A Republic Not An Empire. His latest book is Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. See his website.

Praveen Swami: The Rise of Hindutva Terrorism

May 11, 2010

South Asia Intelligence Review, Vol. 8, No. 44, ay 10, 2010

Guest Writer: Praveen Swami
Associate Editor, The Hindu, New Delhi

Eight hundred years ago, the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti described what he called the highest form of worship: “to redress the misery of those in distress, to fulfil the needs of the helpless and to feed the hungry.”

Back in October, 2007, bombs ripped through the courtyard of what is without dispute South Asia’s most popular Muslim religious centre — the shrine that commemorates Chishti’s life at Ajmer Sharif, in Rajasthan. For months, Police believed the attacks had been carried out by Islamist groups, who oppose the shrine’s syncretic message. On April 30, 2010, however, Rajasthan Police investigators arrested the man they say purchased the mobile phone subscriber-identification modules (SIM) used to trigger the attack. Devendra Gupta, a long standing worker of the Hindu-nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), was held along with his political associates Vishnu Prasad and Chandrashekhar Patidar. All three men are now also thought to have participated in the bombing of the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Rajasthan Home Minister Shanti Kumar Dhariwal said the men were backed by an “organisation which tries to incite violence between Hindus and Muslims”, adding that authorities were “investigating the links of the organisation with the RSS.”

Continues >>

Islamophobia – Now in American Children’s Textbooks?

April 20, 2010

Middle East Online, April19, 2010

True, the demonizing of Arabs and Muslims in America began well before the terrible tragedy of September 11, 2001 but, what is new post-9/11, is that now demonizing Muslims and Islam is not only more widespread but also considerably more mainstream and respectable. In short, Muslim-bashing has become socially acceptable in the United States, notes Abdus Sattar Ghazali.
As if the adult media’s vitriol wasn’t enough, the seven-million strong American Muslim community, is now being faced by the alarming publication of a series of ‘children’s books’, containing misleading and inflammatory rhetoric about the Islamic faith. The 10-book series – entitled the “World of Islam,” – is published by Mason Crest Publishing in collaboration with the Philadelphia-based pro-Israel and pro-war Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Anti-Islamic sentiment pervades the entire series, portraying Muslims as inherently violent and deserving suspicion. It encourages young readers to believe Muslims are terrorists, who seek to undermine US society.

Continues >>

Green Scare: The Making of the New Muslim Enemy

April 19, 2010

by Deepa Kumar, CommonDreams.org, April 19, 2010

The events of September 11 laid the basis for the emergence of a vicious form of Islamophobia that facilitated the U.S. goals of empire building in the 21st century.  This form of Islamophobia focused on the enemy “out there” against which the U.S. supposedly had to go to war to protect itself, from Afghanistan to Iraq.

As George Bush famously put it, “We’re fighting them there, so we don’t have to fight them here.” Or as he stated in his West Point speech in 2002, “We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans and confront the worst threats.” In short, an endless “war on terror” on the enemy beyond U.S. borders was now justified, according to Bush.

Continues >>

Gujarat Carnage: The end of impunity

March 5, 2010

By Teestad   Setalvad,  Indian Express, March 3, 2010

The struggle of man (or woman) against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. — Milan Kundera

It was not simply the number of lives lost, though the number — perhaps 2,500 — is not insignificant. It was the cold-blooded manner in which they were taken. It was not simply that 19 of Gujarat’s 25 districts burned while Neros watched, fiddled and smirked but the sinister similarity in the way they were set alight. Militias were armed with deadly training, weapons, technology and equipment; with a lethal brew of deadly intent, inspired by constructed tales of hate, using the February 28, 2002 edition of a leading Gujarati daily that urged revenge; all combined with a deadly white chemical powder that seared to burn and destroy already killed bodies. And, of course, truckloads of gas cylinders, in short supply for cooking, were used instead to blast mosques and homes. Mobile phones and motorcycles made communications easy and movement swift.

Part of the plan was to humiliate, destroy and then kill. Another was to economically cripple. But at heart the desire was to construct a reality whereby a whole ten per cent of the population lives (and a few even prosper) as carefully whipped into shape, second-class citizens. Most incidents that racked the state, except the famed Best Bakery incident, took place in the glare of the day, not the stealth of the night. Critical to the plan to mutilate and humiliate was to subject women and girls to the worst kind of sexual violence. Tehelka’s “Operation Kalank” records victorious testimonies of rapists and murderers who claim to have received personal approbations from the man at the helm. Over 1,200 highway hotels were destroyed, more than 23,000 homes gutted, 350 large businesses seriously damaged (and are still unable to recover) and 12,000 street businesses demolished.

Genocide is about economic crippling as much as death and humiliation. The Concerned Citizens Tribunal — Crimes Against Humanity 2002 called the happenings in Gujarat a genocide, because of the systematic singling out of a group through widely distributed hate writing and demonisation, the economic destruction, the sexual violence and also because over 270 masjids and dargahs were razed to the ground. The bandh calls on February 28 and March 1 by rabid outfits and supported by the party in power enabled mobs free access to the streets while successfully warding off the ordinary citizen.

Eight years on, it is this level and extent of complicity that is under high-level scrutiny. The involvement of high functionaries of the state in Gujarat did not begin, and has not stopped, with the violence. It has extended to destruction of evidence that continues until today, the faulty registration of criminal complaints, the deliberate exclusion of powerful accused and, worst of all, the utter and complete subversion of the criminal justice system by appointment of public prosecutors who were not wedded to fair play, justice and the Constitution — but were and are lapdogs of the ruling party and its raid affiliates. The proceedings in the Best Bakery case in the Supreme Court and the judgment of April 12, 2004 strips our legal system, especially lawyers, of the dignity of their office.

The hasty granting of bail to those involved in the post-Godhra carnage remains a scandal. While over seven dozen of those accused of the Godhra train arson have been in jail, without bail for eight years — and today face trial within the precincts of the Sabarmati jail — powerful men, patronised by the state’s political hierarchy who are accused of multiple rapes and murders roam free in “vibrant Gujarat” even as the trials have resumed. The few that are in jail — ten of the 64 accused in the Gulberg society carnage, eight of the 64 accused in Naroda Patia massacre, two of the 89 in the Naroda Gaam killing, eight of the 73 in the Sardroura massacres (all the 84 accused of the massacre at Deepda Darwaza roam free on bail) are those with no political godfathers. A vast majority have lived in freedom even after committing unspeakable crimes. All this and more is being investigated under the orders of our apex court on a petition filed by Zakia Ahsan Jafri and the Citizens for Justice and Peace. For the first time in our history criminal conspiracy and mass murder are the charges, the chief minister and 61 others the accused. Will the wealth of evidence be matched by the rigour of investigation? Will the will to prosecute surmount political considerations? Will the Indian system throw a spotlight on what surely must be its darkest hour? As we stood, remembered and prayed in painful memorial, with lit candles at the Gulbarg Society this Sunday we did so in both faith and hope.

The writer is the secretary of |Citizens for Justice and Peace


%d bloggers like this: