Posts Tagged ‘Muslims’

ISIS attacks in Brussels

March 23, 2016
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Terrorist attacks in Brussels in a wider context of US imperial wars

zaventem-airport

by Dr. Nasir Khan

On 22 March 2016, some suicide bombers carried out their indiscriminate attacks on the innocent people in Brussels. Their acts of vicious violence are shocking and despicable.  ISIS has claimed responsibility for these attacks.

ISIS has shown once again that it can strike anywhere it chooses and by such violent actions,  it gains maximum publicity for its ideological stance and objectives. The murders of 22 March are part of the pattern that ISIS had established and since last year has extended its operations to Europe.  As the organisation has many sympathisers in different countries and many of its indoctrinated fanatics are willing to be suicide bombers, it shows its reckless attitude towards all it regards enemies or opponents.

Despite the utterly abominable crime we witnessed, we should also try to see the terrorist attacks in European countries like France and Belgium in a wider context. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and to some extent Pakistan also have been in the throes of imperial wars as well as internal conflicts for many decades. What has happened in Paris last year and now in Brussels was an extension of the violence from Iraq and Syria to Europe.

We rightly condemn what happens at the hands of fanatic terrorists in Europe but when it comes to US wars and EU interventions in the Islamic countries,  we, who live in the western hemisphere,  show little concern over the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people there. Apparently, the people of the world are not in total darkness about the recent history of Palestine, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Syria. Under the slogan ‘War on Terror’, the US rulers with the help of their allies have pursued their geopolitical objectives by wars and terror, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Unfortunately, political leaders and the media show great reluctance to give the same attention to the vast numbers of innocent victims of genocidal wars. However, when it comes to any terrorist attack anywhere in the west they give a forceful response to any acts of violence and terror. Such attitudes are unhealthy and discriminatory. In fact, religious fanatics take advantage of such debunked standards and successfully show the enmity of the western nations towards Muslims. The aim of propaganda is not to inform and enlighten but to terrify and mislead. In this, US rulers have been the role model for Muslim extremists.

Now let us briefly mention the role of recent US wars. It was no other power than the United States that unleashed the first Gulf War in 1991. The real objective of the United States was not only to evict the Iraqis out of Kuwait but also to diminish the power or potential of Iraq as a regional power.

In fact, President Saddam Hussein had accepted the UN terms for military withdrawal from Kuwait to end his occupation, but US rulers did not allow him to do so. There was a simple reason for this:  A peaceful withdrawal of Iraqi army from Kuwait would have left Saddam’s military power and military hardware intact. That was not acceptable to Washington and the Pentagon hawks. Therefore, they attacked and destroyed brutally the retreating and helpless Iraqi army.

General Colin Powell boasted of having killed so many encircled soldiers and burying many thousands of them alive in the desert. By such bravery, he must have added another medal to his uniform.  Saddam had no options left. The United States initiated and imposed sanctions on Iraq with the formal approval the United Nations. Incidentally, such a formal U.N. approval has the magic to make any major war crime by the US rulers legitimate! The United States has exploited this façade of the U.N. approval routinely.

We rightly condemn what happens at the hands of fanatic terrorists in Europe but when it comes to US wars and EU interventions in the Islamic countries,  we, who live in the western hemisphere,  show little concern over the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people there.

In 2003, America took the second major step to invade and occupy Iraq.  This practically meant finishing off Iraq as a possible regional power if it ever raised its head at some future date. That was in consonance with the neocon strategy to have only one regional big power in the Middle East that was both strategically and politically indispensable part of U.S. hegemonic power and dominance. That regional power was and is Israel.Without an iota of credible ground or reason, President George W. Bush declared war on Iraq and invaded a vast secular Arab country, which did not let any religion or sect to interfere with the affairs of the state. After a massive destruction by the invaders of life, property and infrastructure in Iraq, President Bush became the eventual conqueror and master of Iraq and of its rich oil resources.

As a matter of imperial policy to divide and rule, the Americans started the sectarian favouritism that fuelled sectarian violence and killings. Even after the ‘nominal’ ending of the occupation, the fire of sectarian violence America had ignited to further its objectives is still raging on. Thousands and thousands of innocent Iraqis have died.

The forces of terror, revenge, religious sectarianism and fanaticism that American rulers unleashed in Iraq are out of control; no one is able to control them. Only the ordinary people of Iraq have become the victims of the genocidal war in Iraq. The mayhem and anarchy America created in Iraq has extended beyond the frontiers of Iraq.

Out of the ensuing chaos and instability in Iraq arose ISIS and its Islamist fanatics. ISIL is a direct result of US wars on Iraq. President Bush has said that God asked him to invade Iraq. If the killing of  hundreds of thousands of Iraqis can be  justified because of  listening to the command of God then ISIL can also invoke the support of the  same God for whatever they do or have plans to do! In fact, the US Constitution allowed for a democratic form of government, not a theocracy; ISIL, on the other hand, claims to be a theocracy and its administrative structure is that of a caliphate.  According to its way of interpreting, ISIS has ‘God on its side’.

Another major US imperial adventure was in Afghanistan. It is common knowledge that the United States was instrumental in creating and arming the Mujahidin to fight the Soviet army that had come to help the Afghan revolutionary government. After the Soviet leaders pulled their military from Afghanistan, the American-sponsored Mujahidin of 1980s became the Taliban, the new rulers of Afghanistan.

There is no doubt that the Soviet army suffered heavily in Afghanistan. The US imperialists, with the help of reactionary Saudi and Pakistani rulers and their well-equipped mercenary fighters crushed the Afghan revolution. In this way, they turned the clock of history back by empowering the primitive Mujahidin/Taliban. But that friendship did not last long.

In 2001, America attacked Afghanistan and ended the Taliban rule. The occupiers started a brutal suppression of the Afghans who had no quarrel with America at all. During their long Afghan war, Americans were not able to break the resistance of the Afghan patriots and the Taliban. They finally forced the occupiers to end their occupation. The puppet regime of the former president Karzai and now the present president Ghani have faced the consequences of the imperial invasion. The country suffered enormously and its people reduced to abject poverty and deprivation. At present, the Taliban are still there and fighting the Kabul government.

In short, countless millions of people have suffered in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. Whether we call it a civil war or war by proxy by regional powers, the war in Syria has reduced many cities to rubble. Hundreds of thousands have died.  Millions of Syrians have become homeless. They are trying to escape to any place where they can exist as normal human beings.

Other victims of wars from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and numerous other countries also join them in this quest for a safe haven in Europe. These people are in dire difficulties who need all the possible help. However, it is also important to underline the fact that Europe has no solution to the problems of millions of refugees and asylum seekers. Their number will keep on multiplying, not decreasing. Those who think otherwise live in a world of fantasy.

By attacking innocent civilians in France, Belgium and Turkey, ISIS is able to create a sense of insecurity and fear throughout Europe. No state or public authority can provide complete safeguards against any random attacks. There is no shortage of weapons in Europe or anywhere else. Those who want to commit any terrorist attack will be able to acquire any bombs or weapons they need.  It is a false hope that any intelligence agencies in an open society can stop all indoctrinated and ideologically motivated suicide bombers from their criminal behaviour.

Most of the western societies including Australia have become multi-cultural and multi-religious that have ethnic communities of Afro-Asian origin. Among the immigrant communities, strong social bonds exist through their tribal and religious identities. While the western societies have developed a more relaxed attitude towards their religions and deities, most of the immigrants have gone the other way. There is a strong tendency to adhere to the formal religious traditions where their clerics play a vital social role. Any terrorist attack has negative consequences for these people, especially the Muslims.  They become suspect merely because some Muslim terrorist has done something seriously wrong, somewhere. This strengthens cultural and social stereotypes.

– See more at: http://www.mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/57987-isis-attacks-in-brussels.html#sthash.TYCQ5Nod.dpuf

Book Review: Perceptions of Islam in the Christendoms (Khan)

October 17, 2015

Editor’s Note: This is a recent  review by Jacob J. Prahlow of my book Perceptions of Islam in the Christendoms: A Historical Survey.

This book can be downloaded by clicking on the following link.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/b94nzes5l8ydub4/Perceptions%20of%20Islam.pdf?dl=0

— Nasir Khan, Editor

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Book Review: Perceptions of Islam in the Christendoms (Khan)

History is contested. Though far from a novel statement, we often need to be reminded that the past is not as clean and easy as our history textbooks make it out to be. This is especially true in matters of religious history and conflict, where seemingly everyone wants to contribute their two cents to hot button issues. Occasionally, however, someone will produce a historical narrative that—while outside the mainstream—remains valuable enough to warrant consideration. Nasir Khan’s Perceptions of Islam in the Christendoms may be one such book.

In Perceptions of Islam in the Christendoms: A Historical Survey (Oslo: Solum Forlag, 2006), Khan traces the history of Christianity and its interactions with Islam, admittedly writing from the perspective of a Muslim historian and political analyst. Weighing in at nearly five hundred pages, Khan’s tome-like work stands as one of the most thorough treatments of Islamic-Christian in recent decades. After three chapters on early Christianity and the pre-Islamic world, Khan devotes two sections to the rise of Islam and early doctrinal differences between Christianity and Islam and two chapters on political influence and spread of Islam. Next come two chapters on the Crusades, a section on Islamic interaction with the Mongol empire, and three chapters on “shifting perceptions” of Islam and then rise of Enlightenment perspectives. Perceptions of Islam closes with two chapters on late-nineteenth and twentieth century interactions between Islam and Christianity.

There is much of value in this volume. In the first place, it is well written and easy to follow, something that cannot be said of every attempt at a historical survey. Khan does an especially admirable job providing a Muslim perspective on the history of Christianity, world history, and Muslim-Christian relations. Books that provide other ways of engaging history—even if they are ultimately disagreeable—are integral to properly engaging the complexities of the past. In this vein, Khan provides a good sense of Muslim interpretations of important events—the Crusades in particular—and how these events continue to shape Muslim perceptions of the West. Finally, he offers some solid reading in the general history of Middle East. Overall, there is much that students of history will find useful in Khan’s presentation.

However, much here also stands in need to critique. Two primary issues loom large throughout this volume: the assumption of modernity and its harshest critiques of Christianity without reciprocity toward Islam and a fundamentally faulty understanding of early Christianity. In the first place, Khan takes a thoroughly modernist approach to history—Marxist it seems, both in term of approach and the laudatory citation of Marx and Lenin. This historiography relies heavily upon considerably older scholarship, especially when it comes to discussing the ills of Christianity. Khan’s primary authorities when considering the history of Christianity are Voltaire, Thomas Paine, and Gibbon. Further, he relies on ‘First Quest’ Historical Jesus scholars—Wrede and Renan primarily—when talking about the historical Jesus. This would be problematic in itself, but Khan also almost entirely avoids similarly dated and perspectival criticisms of Islam. This approach to scholarship is simply not acceptable for something published as recently as 2006. Second, Khan’s chapters on early Christianity are filled with numerous inaccuracies, the most troubling of which is a flawed understanding of the Trinity. For a writer who consistently criticizes Christians for not coming to a proper understanding of Islam,[1] this is disappointing.

Overall, Khan’s work stands as something of a mixed bag. The most valuable use of Perspectives of Islam may be that it offers a good indication of “where we’re at” in terms of Muslim-Christian dialogue. Whereas many interfaith-minded authors seem to put the best face possible on any given situation, Khan gives what appears to be his honest opinion, no holds barred. In that sense, this book may serve as a valuable source for where Christians and Muslims need to seek further clarification and understanding. This book comes recommended for those thinking about Muslim-Christian dialogue, and those who already possess a solid foundation in the history of Christianity. For other readers, Perceptions of Islam in the Christendoms should only serve as piecemeal source or an example of Muslim perspectives on the history of Christianity.

All opinions in this review belong solely to the reviewer.

[1] For one example of this, see page 329.

International Yoga Day controversy as India is accused of pushing ‘Hindu agenda’ on Muslims

June 21, 2015

Nasir Khan’s remarks On Yoga and Religions

Religions and the religious are a multi-faceted phenomenon. To my understanding, to practise yoga we need not be religious or follower of any religion. In my own case, I am a Humanist. It is in the common interest of all not to politicise yoga for political or religious ends and in this way create acrimony between Muslims and Hindus because sectarians and communalists will be very happy to play in the muddy waters and infuse their venom against other religions and their followers. Yoga exercises are amazing for gaining physical fitness and mental balance. I had taken a course in yoga a few years ago and found it quite useful. Those who want to do yoga exercises for their practical purposes don’t have to learn the yoga philosophy in depth because it is complex and may not interest everyone.

International Yoga Day controversy as India is accused of pushing ‘Hindu agenda’ on Muslims

Siobhan Fenton,  The Independent, June 21, 2015

A Hindu politician has suggested that Muslims offended by yoga should “go drown in the sea”
The first International Day of Yoga is taking place around the world today, but the celebration of a usually relaxing practice has led to an increase in tensions in some parts of India.
The day has been championed first and foremost by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who petitioned the UN to make the event an international affair. But as Mr Modi himself took part in a mass yoga session on Sunday morning, a fierce debate was raised about the government’s support of yoga – with some reportedly arguing that it is a Hindu practise which goes against Islamic teaching. Continues >>

INDIA: DIAL M FOR MASSACRE

July 1, 2010

Clinching documentary evidence corroborates serious charges against Narendra Modi and key officials in his administration

BY TEESTA SETALVAD, Combat Communalism, June 2010

Three months ago, our covert story, SIT-ting on the Truth (March 2010) exposed the frivolous and shallow investigations of the Gujarat massacres undertaken by the high-profile Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court and headed by former CBI director RK Raghavan. One of the major issues raised was the deliberate refusal of SIT – influenced as it was by the three officers of the Gujarat police cadre, Shivanand Jha, Geeta Johri and Ashish Bhatia – to examine available documentary evidence to pin responsibility for complicity and gross dereliction of duty by top police officers, civil servants and politicians.

Continues >>

Freedom Rider: Endless Terror

May 20, 2010

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

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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.

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.

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 >>

Muslims Are Their Own Worst Enemy

March 2, 2010
by Paul Craig Roberts, Foreign Policy Journal, March 2, 2010

Muslims are numerous but powerless. Divisions among Muslims, especially between Sunni and Shi’ites, have consigned the Muslim Middle East to almost a century of Western control. Muslims cannot even play together. The Islamic Solidarity Games, a regional version of the Olympics, which were to be held in April in Iran, have been cancelled, because the Iranians and the Arabs cannot agree on whether to call the body of water that separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf.

Muslim disunity has made it possible for Israel to dispossess the Palestinians, for the U.S. to invade Iraq, and for the U.S. to rule much of the region through puppets. For example, in exchange for faithful service, Egypt receives $1.5 billion a year from Washington, which enables President Mubarak to buy off opposition. The opposition had rather have the money than support the Palestinians. Therefore, Egypt cooperates with Israel and the U.S. in the blockade of Gaza.

Another factor is the willingness of some Muslims to betray their own kind for U.S. dollars. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to neoconservative Kenneth Timmerman, head of the Foundation for Democracy, which describes itself as “a private, non-profit organization established in 1995 with grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to promote democracy and internationally-recognized standards of human rights in Iran.”

By now we all know what that means. It means that the U.S. finances a “velvet” or some “color revolution” in order to install a U.S. puppet.  Just prior to the sudden appearance of a “green revolution” in Tehran primed to protest an election, Timmerman wrote that “the National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars during the past decade promoting ‘color’ revolutions in places such as Ukraine and Serbia, training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques. Some of that money appears to have made it into the hands of pro-Mousavi groups, who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.”  So, according to the neocon Timmerman, funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, it was U.S. money that funded Mousavi’s claims that Armadinejad stole the last Iranian election.

During President George W. Bush’s regime it became public knowledge that American money is used to purchase Iranians to work against their own country. The Washington Post, a newspaper sympathetic to the neocon’s goal of American hegemony and war with Iran, reported in 2007 that Bush authorized spending more than $400 million for activities that included “supporting rebel groups opposed to the country’s ruling clerics.”

This makes the U.S. government a “state sponsor of terrorism.” For confirmation, one of the U.S. paid operatives, who conducted terror operations in Iran, has ratted on his terrorist supporters in Washington. Abdulmalek Rigi, leader of the Baloch separatist group responsible for several attacks, was recently arrested by the Iranians. Rigi admitted that the Americans in Washington assured him of unlimited military aid and funding for waging an insurgency against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Possibly he was tortured into confession. It is the American way. If the “light of the world,” the “indispensable people,” and the “shining city on the hill” tortures people, perhaps the Iranians do as well. Rigi’s younger brother, himself on death row in Iran, has said that the U.S. provided direct funding to the separatist group and even ordered specific terrorist attacks inside Iran.

The U.S. and its NATO puppets have been killing Afghan women, children, and village elders since October 7, 2001, when the U.S. military invasion “Operation Enduring Freedom,” a proper Orwellian title for a self-serving war of aggression, was launched. The U.S. installed puppet president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, is bought and paid for with U.S. dollars.

The money that Washington gives Karzai finances the corruption that supports him. Karzai’s corruption and his treason against the Afghan people encourage the Taliban to keep fighting in order to achieve a government that serves Afghans instead of Washington, D.C.

Without the puppet Karzai selling out Afghans to Washington, the U.S. would have already been driven out of the country. With Karzai paying Afghans with American money to fight Afghans for the Americans, the war drones on into its ninth year.

Feminists, liberals, and naive American flag-wavers will say that what is written here is utter rot, that Americans are in Afghanistan to bring women’s rights and birth control to Afghan women and to bring freedom, democracy and progress to Afghanistan, even if it means leveling every village, town, and house in the country. We, “the indispensable people,” are only there to do good, because we care so much for the Afghan people who live in a country that most Americans can’t find on a map.

While this collection of naifs rants on about America “saving” Afghans from whatever, the White House and the Congress are conspiring against the American people to cut $500 billion dollars out of Medicare in order to give the money to private insurance companies. Jobless benefits are about to run out for millions of Americans, whose jobs have been moved offshore in order to make the rich richer. The U.S. Senate failed on Friday, Feb. 26, to extend jobless benefits. A single Republican Senator, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, was able to block the bill because it would cost a measly $10 billion and “would add to the budget deficit.”

The “fiscally responsible” Bunning supports blank checks for wars of aggression (war crimes under the Nuremberg standard) and payoffs to investment banks for wrecking the retirement plans of most Americans. Bunning sends the bills to the unorganized and unrepresented Americans, whose jobs have been stolen by corporate offshoring of jobs and whose retirements have been stolen by the endless greed of the Wall Street investment banks.

What fool believes that the U.S. government, which is totally indifferent to the fate of its own citizens, cares so much about Afghanistan that it will spend blood and treasure to bring “progress” and “women’s rights” to a country half a world away, while it drives its own citizens into the ground?

At Washington’s behest, the government of Pakistan is conducting war against its own people, killing many and forcing others to flee their homes and lands. The Pakistani government’s war against its own citizens has caused military expenses to soar, putting Pakistan’s budget deep in the red. Deputy US Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin ordered the Pakistani government to raise taxes to pay for the war against its own people. The puppet ruler, Asif Ali Zardari, complied with his American master’s orders.  Zardari declared a broad-based value added tax on virtually all goods and most services in Pakistan. Thus, Pakistanis are forced to finance a war against themselves.

The “cakewalk war” in Iraq has lasted 7 years instead of the promised 6 weeks, and the violence is still ongoing with Iraqis killed and maimed nearly every day. The reason Americans are still in Iraq is because the Iraqis hate each other more than they hate the American invader. The vast majority of the violence in “the Iraq war” was committed between Iraqi Sunnis and Iraqi Shi’ites as they cleansed one another from neighborhoods.

The majority Shi’ites regarded the American invasion of Iraq as an opportunity to gain power over the minority Sunnis, who ruled under Saddam Hussein. Therefore, the Shi’ites never engaged the American invading forces. The minority Sunnis (20 percent of the population) gave most of their effort to fighting the Shi’ite majority, but in their spare time a few thousand Sunnis were able to inflict serious losses on the American superpower.

Finally realizing the power of lucre in the Arab world, the Americans put 80,000 Sunnis on the U.S. military payroll and paid them to stop killing Americans.

This is how the U.S. won the war in Iraq. Iraqis sold out their independence for American dollars.

Considering that a few thousand Sunnis were able to prevent superpower America from successfully occupying Baghdad or much of Iraq, had the Shi’ites joined with the Sunnis against the invaders, the U.S. would have been defeated and driven out. This outcome was not possible, because the Shi’ites wanted to settle the score with the Sunnis, who had ruled them under Saddam Hussein.

This is the reason that Iraq today is in ruins, with one million dead, four million displaced or homeless, and the professional class having fled the country. Iraq, under the American puppet Maliki, is an American protectorate.

As long as Muslims hate and fear one another more than they hate their conquerers, they will remain a vanquished people.

Dr. Roberts was assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury in the Reagan administration, associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, Senior Research Fellow in the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University.

This tide of anti-Muslim hatred is a threat to us all

February 25, 2010

The attempt to drive Islamists and young Asian activists out of the political mainstream is a dangerous folly

Seumas Milne, The Guardian/UK, Feb 25, 2010

If young British Muslims had any doubts that they are singled out for special treatment in the land of their birth, the punishments being meted out to those who took part in last year’s London demonstrations against Israel’s war on Gaza will have dispelled them. The protests near the Israeli ­embassy at the height of the onslaught were angry: bottles and stones were thrown, a ­Starbucks was trashed and the police employed unusually violent tactics, even by the standards of other recent confrontations, such as the G20 protests.

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