Image from Our Solidarity is Our Strength
After the 9/11 tragedy, American politics is obsessed with anti-Islamic hatred and Islamophobia has assumed to become an industry to be used by the neoconservatives and continued proponents of the war on terrorism. More recently, the documentary movie reportedly made by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula or Sam Bassile 52 years old real estate developer originally from Israel (as mentioned by the NYTimes) available on the You Tube and elsewhere on the internet allegedly portraying false images of Islam and Prophet Mohammad’s life is not rare or the end in itself. Islamophobia is an organized scheme of things – an industry – an anti-Islamic institutionalized hatred campaigns and fear-mongering across the US and Western Europe. It is business as usual by entrepreneurs and lobbyists of the Military-Industrial Complex warmongering corporations. Its ultimate aims are to keep the American and European people fearful of the growing Islamic presence in these parts of the world as if Muslims were the outcome of the eye of the storm to destroy the industrial progress or to halt the planned perpetuated fear of Islam. America and Muslims NEED to rethink about their perceptions and inborn fears toward each other. Perpetuated animosity and attacks on diplomatic missions will not solve any problems but create more and dangerous ones to be unsolvable. A crisis situation requires responsible critical thinking, not hasty actions of jumping into fireballs, killing of diplomats, verbal outbursts and burning of others flags. None of these are the rational strategies to address the problem. America as a global power must realize its moral and political responsibility in an international context. Islamophobia is not the means to deal with morally and intellectual conscientious Muslim people.
In early 90’s, Professor Samuel Huntington (the Clash of the Civilization scenarios), characterized the Muslim world as “Islam’s bloody borders.” In our communications, Dr. Huntington indicated that he had no specific knowledge of the Islamic civilization or first-hand observations shaping the Muslim moral and intellectual fabric. They call the politically active Arabs and Muslims as members of “al-Qaida” (the organization originally perceived, developed and managed by the CIA and American political leaders to fight the USSR-former Soviet Union occupation o Afghanistan. It is dead long time except its label is used when and if convenient to the warmongers. Richard Chamberlain observed: “Al Qaida” is a CIA fabricated enemy, created as an opponent for the CIA-created “neocon” supermen, intended to embed an invisible terror army amongst the people, in order to perpetually justify waging war upon the people.
No doubt politics is a game of pretension and always remains problematic. Politicians need problems to get public attention and to argue being the deliverers. Most often, they are not capable of doing any public good except being treacherous, cynical and deceitful to their ideas and ideals and to the public interests they claim to serve. It is an election year in the US and both presidential candidates desperately need new issues and new exciting problems – local or international to move the public passion and opinions and gain in number games. Strange as is, Arabs and Muslims of the world are providing that food for thoughts to the US politicians. This is something a planned outcome of the Islamophobia movement in the US. Last year, Terry Jones wanted to burn the copies of the Qura’an- the Divine Book of Islam. It prompted action-reaction responses and people throughout the globe got attentive why such an extreme act of ignorance against Islam, when Muslims believe and respect Judaism and Christianity as part of their indivisible faith. A Danish journalist embarked on folly and carved up a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad. The world-over reaction by Muslims and others consumed enormous time, energies and thoughts but what was the end of it? Few months earlier, American troops burned the copies of the Qura’an in Kabul. Massive protest but nothing changed on the ground. Obama and his administration cited ignorance about the vitality of the Qura’an. Thomas Jefferson had copies of the Qura’an and used it to devise the moral and intellectual injunctions for the American Constitution. Were the educated Americans that ignorant?
Islamophobia is well organized and flourishing across the Western cultural domains, again investing in “fear-mongering” of Islam and generating sense of insecurity to peace and global harmony. There is a problem with the Arabs and Muslims at large, they are emotional people, unimaginative and often shortsighted when it comes to rational THINKING and steadfastness in situations of volatile circumstances. The Western politicians want Muslims to act like immature actors and bodies on their script originating from the Islamophobia scheme of things. This could be justified to the coming dangers to plan more wars of terrorism or terrorism of wars against the innocent people in the Islamic world. Truth speaks its own language. Islamophobia is intricately linked to the US-Western policies and foreign relations with the Arab and other Muslim countries.
Despite having a knowledge-based culture, the Islamophobia organizations generate hatred and fear throughout the global news media. They envisage and project the Muslim people as of draconian age, violent and lacking reason, science, and intellectual foresight. On September 12, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI equated Catholicism with reason, saying violent Islam lacked it. This contradicts the European history where Islamic civilization flourished for eight hundred years in Spain (Al-Anduls) and contributed to knowledge, scientific developments and helped the Europeans to become civilized when they were species of the dark ages. Was Pope Benedict not expected to be knowledgeable of these pertinent facts of the European history?
Rev. Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, November 2001 made it known: “(Islam) is a very evil and wicked religion wicked, violent and not of the same god (as Christianity).” “Islam is Evil, Christ is King.” Allegedly written in marker by law enforcement agents on a Muslim prayer calendar in the home of a Muslim being investigated by police in Dearborn, Michigan, July 2002. (Gary Leupp, “Challenging Ignorance on Islam”).
Hillary Clinton called the current battling scenes as “disgusting and reprehensible.” President Obama claims, he has respect for Islam and understanding of the faith. These are just abstract words lacking meaning and purpose. What if the US administration would move to arrest Sam Basile – the media described filmmaker of the controversial documentary movie and charge him with insult and injuries to the American public interest. After all America is part of the global moral and intellectual hub of the mankind, it is not out from somewhere from another planet of subhuman beings. The move maker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is reported as a fraudulent person who was convicted in California in 2010. Several members of the film cast and crew have disavowed the movie, saying Bassile/Nakoula duped them. Actress Cindy Lee Garcia said she thought she was in a film about ancient Egypt called Desert Warriors.
“It was going to be a film based on how things were 2,000 years ago,” she told the local newspaper “It wasn’t based on anything to do with religion, it was just on how things were run in Egypt. There wasn’t anything about Mohammed or Muslims or anything.
Professor Michel Chossudovsky (“America’s Holy Crusade against the Muslim” World, Global Research: 8/2010) offers the prevalent context:
Recent developments suggest a breaking point, a transition from “the war on terrorism” to the outright demonization of Muslims. While underscoring the freedom of religion, the Obama administration is “beating the drums” of a broader war against Islam………….
The rising tide of xenophobia, sparked by the proposed Ground Zero mosque and community center, has all the appearances of a PSYOP (Psychological Operation) which contributes to fomenting hatred against Muslims throughout the Western World.
After the 9/11 and incidentally on the anniversary of the 9/11 on that very day, American politicians are vengeful, paranoid and often appear to be victims of their own obsession and insanity – that all problems must be solved by power, by military interventions, killings and devastation of other nations and habitats- more so of the Arabs. Rick Maze (Army Times, April 26 (22), 2010) reports that 18 American veterans commit suicide every day. In the same write-up Dr. Janet Kemp, VA Coordinator is noted to have saved 7,000 veterans from the actual act of suicide. This is appalling and exposes the bogus nature of the US led wars in the Muslim world. Yet, no American politician is discussing such a vital issue in the real world affairs. Do the politicians view the people as eggs and chicken to be broken and slaughtered? Now, the media reports that President Obama is sending warships to Libya because of the killing of its ambassador and three other diplomats. Is it not the same mindset as of George Bush to take military action in haste without rational thinking of the consequences on the US and others? Nobody has invincible armies and nobody can conquer the world on its own. Only people with monstrous mind can think that way.
In the 21st century of global citizenry and across the globe communication channels, complex problems do not require military actions but diligent and thoughtful moves to diffuse the crises. American scholars and experts in peace and conflict management know it well. But, this is not part of the official American Big Thinking after victimizing the mankind under the false flag of terrorism for over a decade and killing three million Iraqi civilians and million or so killing and displacement of Afghanis and several thousands innocent Pakistani civilians by drone attacks. As expected, the reactionary Muslim people are slipping into violent behavior on problems requiring serious thinking, attitudes and understanding to come up with peaceful and workable remedies. Muslims cannot fight the madness of the US-British mindsets. Muslims failed to recognize their moral precepts taught by Islam and political weaknesses and strengths within the global system of political affairs. Burning flags and denouncing the US-Israel would not solve any problems; it will enlarge the scope to more critical catastrophic incidents beyond human control.
Arab rulers have no armies to defend Islam. They pump oil and enjoy living in palaces, not with people – the illusion of so called economic prosperity soon to be dismantled as is the case of change now in progress. Most Arabs are still living under the powerful shadows of authoritarian rulers who would not allow them to speak openly. People in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt are discovering their newly gained freedom from the past captivity. They need to develop new thinking for change and the essential political capacity-building for democracy, public institutions and encourage educated and intelligent leaders to assume the leadership role. If American policy makers were intelligent enough to envisage the contemporary priorities of global peace and relationships, they could have set-up an advisory body of Muslim scholars and American intellectuals /experts to assist on sensitive US-Muslim relations and problem solving.
America, having been glued to the pro-Israeli lobbyists, lacks freedom of rational thoughts and actions to deal with the global citizens and more so with the Arab-Islamic world. Its captivity to one interest group is the real problem, not the changing landscape of the Arab people. To Muslims, Islam teaches respect and co-existence with other religions and people of the Book. Many could be pretending as if they are doing any good for the cause of Islam or to protect the honor of Prophet Mohammad while they pursue their own ambitions of power. Prophet Mohammad life is a role model for peace and human coexistence. He was always open to communication and took initiatives to have direct communication with his worst foes in Makkah and Madinah. He was commanded by God to invite them to peace and to Islam. Have the people in all these Muslim lands reacting to the current Islamophobia conspiracies considered the teachings, morals and practices of Prophet Mohammad? Those rushing to hasty conclusions and jumping into fires and burning others national flags and symbols, when did you convey the message of Islam to your enemies? Are you rational beings and know the short-long terms consequences of your actions? What would you achieve out of this staged drama and acts of irrational behaviors and utter nuisance? Your enemies planned this way as the makers of the movie claim that Muslims will react in anger and violent behaviors and disrupt the normal life. They wanted to depict you as reactionary without THINKING as most have not seen the documentary film – a herd like move to drain out your thinking and positive energies and to make you dumb and dull in real life. You compete in shouting matches, expend your time and precious energies and simply go home to sleep. Simply, you have not encountered the real world issues and how to deal with them.
Do you remember the paradoxes of history? Do you recall what Sultan Salahudeen Ayoubi did to free Jerusalem and drive out the Crusaders from the Muslim lands? Do you remember how Sultan Salahudeen treated his enemies – King Richard and others even in the battlefield? Do you know that for ages the European feared Salahudeen – the Conqueror of Jerusalem – the Leader of the Muslim Ummah because Allah’s help was with him. Many of you pretend like actors and have no understanding of Islam and its primary values to deal with others. None of you are serious about your own intentions and beliefs. What if you were organized as morally and intellectually conscientious people and knew the complex nature of global politics and had intelligent leaders and freedom to THINK before you act and communicate with moral strength not weaknesses to the enemies of Islam, don’t you THINK, you would have accomplished something better, something durable in dealing with some of the emotionally charged issues? In the 21st century of New World of Hope and Optimism, Men who are universally hated and feared can be approached, communicated and can be imagined to be sitting in front of you on the table to discuss the on-going problems. That is, if you are organized as an intelligent group of people, you are confident of your moral and intellectual strength and have responsible and able leaders to represent your interests and priorities. By the same token, if American leaders were intelligent and responsible, they could have avoided these violent developments and opened communication channels with the Muslim world as President Obama had originally claimed to do so. But he rescinded his promises and deceived the mankind on the war of terrorism, closing of the Guantanmo Bay and normalization of relationships with the Islamic world.
The US leaders are not waging any wars for human freedom, peace and liberty anywhere; they need to see the mirror for accountability. On the continuing massacres of the civilians, drone attacks and rapes of women in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mike Whitney (“Crackdown in Ramadi“, 06/2006), shared a historical image visualized 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.”
(Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012).