Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja
[Graphic from Greg Boudonck.]
A “war of religion” is unfolding, with a view to justifying a global military crusade. In the inner consciousness of many Americans, the “holy crusade” against Muslims is justified. While President Obama may uphold freedom of religion, the US inquisitorial social order has institutionalized patterns of discrimination, prejudice and xenophobia directed against Muslims.”(Michel Chossudovsky, America’s Holy Crusade against the Muslim World”, Global Research, 8/30/2010).
“Terrorism” is a Political Game of Action vs. Reaction
International politics is a game of action and reaction. To claim that the 1.2 billion world’s Muslim population is breeding “terrorism” is factually absurd and false. Ironically, deceptive is the political calligraphy and dehumanized characterization of the Islamic world that was under the European colonization for centuries. Were the Europeans not “terrorists” to invade and occupy the large parts of the Islamic world by military force and cultural exploitation? What is more alarming in the 21st century when the corporate world’s hired big affluent minds and news-making intellect offer fabricated facts of history to keep the masses under constant fear and red-alerts that American and other Western societies face outrageous trends of “extremism” and “terrorism” coming from the Islamic societies.
In a rational perspective “terrorism” does not grow out of any particular land or culture but it is a global historical phenomenon of action vs. reaction game. It was best explained by British author and producer Adam Curtis (writer and producer of “The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear” – a BBC documentary series challenging the American version of the “War on Terrorism”), spells out the myth with clarity: “international terrorism is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services and the international media.”
Let us be absolutely clear that the US-led forces including the Europeans were not sent to Afghanistan or Iraq to defend democracy, freedom, human rights and liberty but to occupy those nations and exploit their natural resources and in some instances to test new and invisible weapons on easily available civilian targets. The mankind all over the planet is the net casualty of this horrible crime. Who gained most out of the planned miseries, bloodbaths and cruelty to others? The Western oil companies, Washington-based military-industrial complex and the weapon manufacturers in the US and Europe. Chris Floyd (“Darkness Renewed: Terror as a Tool of Empire,” Atlantic Free Press: 04/1/2009), puts it in a nutshell:
“It is the policy of the United States government to provoke violent extremist groups into action. Once they are in play, their responses can then be used in whatever way the government that provoked them sees fit. And we also know that these provocations are being used, as a matter of deliberate policy, to rouse violent groups on the “Af-Pak” front to launch terrorist attacks.”
Across the globe, “terrorism” whether it originates in the Western political culture or reactionary “terrorism” fast growing in the Muslim societies, the problem is critical and consuming too much time and energies which should be used for the good of the mankind living in peace not in adversity and continuing warfare. Do the Americans or other allied with the warrior cliché know, or have the ability to opt out of, the degenerating warfare and its consequential ripple effects for the future of the mankind? To any rational scholars, it is clear that often one track delusional leaders jump to unusual situations of conflict but do not know how to come out of the absurdity of vicious and trivial political ambitions. This is the framework of the prevalent facts of US led bogus war on terrorism. Why should common citizens be victimized by the sadistic ambitions of the few powerful rulers – be they be military dictators or elected presidents?
More than a decade later, the war on terrorism with far reaching consequences continues unabated. Surely, the need is urgent for the people enriched with new ideas and innovative thinking to take initiatives and strive for change and better understanding of the encompassing problems which led to inhuman atrocities on both sides of the aisle. Throughout the Western democratic societies, terrorism myth is institutionalized across the board. There are large scale violations of human rights, freedom by intelligence surveillance and police actions via systematic process to target Muslims as the object of “terrorism.” This term has no valid legal definition. Could the court judges, police and politicians frame the solutions for societal peace and harmony? They are players in the systematic process but not the chief motivators to articulate any navigational change process.
Can ‘Law and Order’ Change the Human Thinking?
Since the 9/11, hurriedly passed terrorism laws have been used to deal with “terrorism” and political priorities. One track legislative acts do not change human thinking and behavior. They are written words on paper with dry ink and nothing else. Human thinking and acts put the law and order construct into reality. When judges, politicians and police establishments adhere to abstract commands to safeguard the society and comply with actions, often innocent people get entrapped into a vicious circle of legal argument and given harsh sentences without any tangible facts of a case. There are numerous factual instances throughout North America and UK whereby judges have used the irrational terrorism acts and punished the accused with harsh sentences not necessarily justifiable in any civilized nations of the 21st century. On suspicion of “terrorism”, Dr. Dhaffir Rafel, highly respected international humanitarian work medical doctor from Syracuse, NY who helped the sick, wounded and displaced children and families in Iraq was jailed for 22 years on false accusations of laundering charity funds. Meet with Mr. Maher Arar, the Engineer of Syrian origin and Canadian citizen tortured in Syrian jail under the direct US-Canada intelligence collaboration. Both countries denied the knowledge of the Maher Arar’s saga until an independent judge delivered the guilty verdict. Talk to Marzieh Hashemi in Colorado, young widow journalist, mom of three small kids was awaken at gunpoint in early morning by armed police raid wanted house search for income tax papers. Would you send police armed squad to ask for income tax return forms? Moazzam Begg, British citizen was wrongfully sent to Guantanmobay suspected of being ‘enemy combatant’ and tortured for several years and then set free to UK. Now in February 2014, Begg is reportedly arrested again on suspicion of operating a terrorist cell to fight against the Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad. Paul J. Balles (“The World’s Sickest Warrior State” Information Clearing House: 03/8/2010) points out the prevalent tragic outcomes of the wars:
“We have now reached a stage where our extreme horrors of brutality and cruelty have exceeded our past records. We no longer have the rationale of moral righteousness of the earlier wars…. There were no excuses for Abu-Ghraib, but our interest in that inhuman travesty dried up and blew away. We have little concern about our violations of human rights in Guantanamo. ….the real horrors – of this war come with the primitive killer mentality developed in our youth. I’ve now seen a half dozen documentary films and read eyewitness accounts that reveal troops or pilots gloating over the massacres of civilians who just happened to be available targets.”
Muslims suspected of ‘Terrorism’ Guilty without a Crime
There are approximately 6000 detainees mostly of the Arab/Muslim origin detained in UK on suspicion of terrorism according to the media reports. Almost 2000 are said to be in the US jails since the 9/11 attacks. Informed source report that 600 detainees have been released secretly by the US authorities and 250 or so mostly bought by the Bush administration still held at the Guantanomo Bay prison without trial. Across North America and West Europe, a separate ‘legal system” is developed to imply the term ‘terrorism’ only to Muslims, explains Glenn Greenwald (“New York Top Court Highlights the Meaningless Menace of the Term ‘Terrorism’”. The Guardian and Information Clearing House: 12/17/2013):
A fascinating new ruling unwittingly illustrates the separate system of ‘justice’ invented for Muslims in the US after 9/11……But that’s what has happened in the post-9/11 era: a whole new system of “justice”, with all new rules designed to ensure convictions and long prison terms, have been invented exclusively for those facing “terrorism” charges. And since the term “terrorism” has no discernible meaning other than “acts of violence committed by Arabs and/or Muslims against westerners”, this illustrates why New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal was exactly right when, under the headline “Liberty and Justice for non-Muslims”, he wrote: [I]t’s rarely acknowledged that the [9/11] attacks have also led to what’s essentially a separate justice system for Muslims. In this system, the principle of due process is twisted and selectively applied, if it is applied at all…….It’s a separate system of justice so intrinsically unjust and unfair – designed to ensure that Muslims accused of “terrorism” have basically no chance of acquittal – that any trial that proceeds under its warped rules for non-terrorist defendants must be thrown out in its entirety, said the New York Court of Appeals. That’s extraordinary.
Hold your breath, one such person has experienced the reality of what Glenn Greenwald has disclosed. Momin Khawaja, 22 years old young college computer graduate was the first Canadian victim of the “war on terrorism.” Momin Khawaja was acquitted by the trial judge of “terrorism” in the UK involvement – the focal point of the case but sentenced to 10.5 years on accusations lacking tangible evidence except the emails. The higher appeal courts extended the sentence without any evidence to life and 24 years along with racially biased remarks. If he had contributed approximately $859. to an Afghan women-children charity fund and attended one day camp in Pakistan and used a cell phone jammer device readily available from the store (the prosecution alleged it a ‘bomb making’ device but could not prove it), how could he be sentenced to a Life and 24 years under terrorism? What was the so called “terrorist” crime that he committed and deserved this slow death punishment? Even the Supreme Court judges asked the prosecution: “why should Momin Khawaja be sentenced to a life-24 years when he is not charged with the crime nor he committed it.”
Political irony speaks loud and clear that judges are appointed by politicians. In early 2005, President George W. Bush asked the then visiting Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin at his Texas ranch to “fix Khawaja.” In an age of knowledge and reason, reason lost its place and purpose to “suspicion” as the code of Law. Internationally well known American intellectual Paul Craig Roberts (“What Do We Stand for? Information Clearing House: 18/02/2008), expressed similar concerns:
Do we Americans have any honor, any humanity, any integrity, any awareness of the crimes our government is committing in our names? Do we have a moral conscience? …..The killing and occupation continue even though we now know that the invasions were based on lies and fabricated “evidence.” The entire world knows this. Yet Americans continue to act as if the gratuitous invasions, the gratuitous killing, and the gratuitous destruction are justified. There is no end of it in sight. If Americans have any honor, how can they betray their Founding Fathers, who gave them liberty, by tolerating a government that claims immunity to law and the Constitution and is erecting a police state in their midst?
The Need for Rational Rethinking to Change and Adaptability to the Future
Aggressiveness, police raids and irrational harsh legal judgments do not articulate cooperation and respect for human dignity or social harmony and peace in human society but divide people in hatred, fear and more conflicts. You cannot change a society with law and order dictum. When a problem is misunderstood, its diagnostic approach will be wrong. An out of the official box approach to understand the problem is urgently needed. The major news media corporations in North America and Western Europe are aligned to the establishments and tainted with biased coverage as they get paid via ads and secret dealings. None of this is helpful to foster change and societal advancement for a peaceful future. Glenn Greenwald (“The ‘War on Terror’ – by Design – Can Never End. The Guardian: 1/4/2013”), shares a foresight in time and place to make us think hard about the future:
There’s no question that this “war” will continue indefinitely. There is no question that US actions are the cause of that, the gasoline that fuels the fire. The only question – and it’s becoming less of a question for me all the time – is whether this endless war is the intended result of US actions or just an unwanted miscalculation. Why would anyone in the US government or its owners have any interest in putting an end to this sham bonanza of power and profit called “the war on terror”?
What is the cure to raging indifference and cruelty to the interests of the people of North America, Europe and for that matter to the whole of the mankind? Looking at the Nature of Things, the universe encompasses many challenging opposites: time, space, sun, moon, gravitational rotation of the earth, fire, water, air, sand, floods, earthquakes, tsunami, disasters, explosions, wars, destructions, bombing and all that can be imagined to destroy the mankind and endanger the continued movement of the splendid, inspiring and harmonious Universe. How is it that Man – a creation of God cannot co-exist with fellow Man? Is Man by nature a blood thirsty creature? Perhaps, the invisible forces of culture and environment and societal indoctrinations frame and shape that mindset.
Do the American and European politicians and military strategists think like the common folks who believe in peace, freedom and liberty? If Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln were alive, their moral and intellectual souls would have been disturbed – how George W. Bush, Blair and Obama tortured the innocents at Guantanomo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Informed masses throughout the globe aspire for conflict-free change, peaceful co-existence and harmony amongst the civilized societies. Rationality and insanity cannot be combined in the character of one organization or people. Legal stipulations or court judges or police cannot reform the societal thinking or develop a new future of collaboration across the globe. But enhanced societal communication and people of new ideas and ideals on both sides could make positive contributions to bridge the gaps of suspicion and mistrust through interactive communications and to move forward for societal trust-building and mutual co-existence without reactionary terrorism. Every beginning has its end. There are no Islamic states and no Islamic terrorism challenging America, Canada or any other European nations. ‘Terrorism’ is a political myth crafted for global business and strategic domination and to incite emotions and mislead all the masses against one another. No religion teaches hatred and terrorism, but individual humans do it by their own choice and arrogance. Reflecting a collective consciousness, Islam and Muslims do not look for animosity for their survival and outreach. America and West Europeans are using wrong weapons to fight Islam and God. In the 21st century global community of informed citizens, need is not for perpetuated animosity against Islam and Muslims but friendship and understanding for unity in diversity to strengthen the multicultural mosaic. The essence of sustainable and peaceful future-building requires mutual cooperation for continuous learning and understanding (without agreeing or disagreeing- just knowing each others perspectives), for change and adaptability to the future-making. Time and emerging opportunities warrant new societal thinking and approaches, and new visions for change and the future-making. But change and creativity and new visions will not emerge out of the obsolete, redundant and failed individualistic absolutism of the few insane and egoistic leaders. Intelligent and effective leaders offer hope and optimism in situations of adversity and share proactive vision, and demonstrate flexibility for navigational change when facts of life warrant a change; and eagerness to learn the art of good communication and to do the best for the society. Where official know-how and genius are boxed-in without favorable results or have flunked, people of new vision and leadership initiatives could produce societal change and better sustainable outcomes to restore peace and normalcy. Winston Churchill once said: “a pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” Are there any people of REASON open to listening and learning for the best of human communities across the globe?
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.