WEST'S DOUBLE STANDARD ON TERRORISM
BY M.M. Afrah,
frustrated with the way terrorism is described by the Western
media and politicians with words like Muslim terrorists or
Muslim fundamentalists and by people who know very little
or nothing about the teaching of Islam. By the way I am a
Humanist who do not condone terrorism from any quarter. I
strongly believe that life is sacrosanct and should not be
taken away from innocent people. As a matter of fact I have
trouble sleeping at night whenever I recollect the two commercial
airliners slamming the twin towers of the World Trade Center
in New York on September 11.
I am also
puzzled about how the entire search for world terrorists has
been going. The thing that gets to me the most is that the
Western media has been focusing on "Muslim terrorists" for
quite sometimes. Yes, those who committed the heinous crime
against the United States on September 11 were Arabs from
the Middle East (none of them was a Somali national). And
by the way, not all Arabs are Muslims. And yes, the alleged
Osama bin Laden's videotape was given wider publicity in the
West and the rest of the world. But many people are skeptic
about its authencity, saying, and here I quote Professor Henri
Towil, a Lebanese Christian at Beirut University who said:
"How can someone who committed a barbaric acts allows himself
to be video taped, boosting victory with a smile on his face?
Why did someone deny us to listen to his own voice, instead
of English translation that's difficult to decipher? Besides,
the Taliban and Al-Qaeda had forbidden TVs, Video recordings,
radio transistors, tape recorders, computers and all kinds
of modern gadgets as un-Islamic, that's their version of Islam,"
terrorism has been a major issue ever since the dawn of history.
But it took thousands of years to classify it as a war. But
what about those innocent people who live in countries alleged
to have harboured and supported terrorists? Not everyone in
those countries is responsible for the barbaric attacks on
the US. It should be a war against evil and not against ethnics
Terrorists in other countries should be focused as well. I
recall the words of a young Somali-Canadian who said if America's
global war against terrorism is to be believed it should include
the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Northern Ireland, Somalia's
homegrown Mooryaan and the ETA Basque separatists in Spain
who maim innocent civilians. Now the thorny question of who
is a terrorist and who is not is still hanging in the air.
Reuters, the worldwide news agency based in London recently
sent an advisory note to its correspondents around the world,
saying that "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom
Ku Klux Klan and the American militia in the US with their
burning cross planted in front of the dwellings of law-abiding
African-Americans are not classified as terrorists by the
powers that be, I do not have an answer to that question.
Another question is; what leads terrorists to commit suicide
acts against an established entity? That question too still
hangs in the air. Some say grievances and injustice. But that
is not an excuse to commit World War Two Japanese-style kami
kazi. The Quranic Scriptures forbids suicide.
ever thought that a Muslim or an Arab did not commit the Holocaust
in nazi Germany? Has anybody also thought that Timothy McVeigh,
the Oklahoma City bomber was not a Muslim but a white Christian
American citizen, although the media had prematurely jumped
the gun by accusing Muslim terrorists from the Middle East
for committing that tragedy in Oklahoma City? They had shamefully
dismembered or retracted that accusation. But the damage has
already been done.
back in 1998 when a Jewish-American settler opened fire on
Muslim worshippers inside the Ibrahim (Abraham) Mosque? What
about back in 1998 when an Israeli citizen in Tel Aviv assassinated
Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister? Who destroyed the
Ayodia Mosque in India? Those responsible were described as
Hindu Fundamentalists and mentally deranged people, rather
on Indian history, the man who assassinated the revered Mahatma
Gandhi was never described as Hindu terrorist. Mahatma Gandhi
was assassinated because of his straightforward answer to
a question put to him about his faith. He said, "I am a Hindu,
but I am also a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew". He strongly
believed in religious co-existence and to worship the same
God in harmony. Likewise, non-Muslims assassinated Indian
Prime Minister, Mrs. Indhira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi
who was also a Prime Minister.
of non-Muslim terrorists and assassins goes on and on and
it leaves a bad taste in my soul to think that Muslims are
being victimized for the crime of few others.
a country like Somalia is now being targeted for giving shelters
to members of "fleeing" Al-Qaeda network. International journalists
who visited the country during the last ten years or so, maintain
that the Somali people have been living in a yo yo of agony.
But a humiliated US intelligence agencies on September 11
have decided to make Somalia an escape goat and that it should
be the next target for B52s and "Daisy Cutters".
sense precaution and reliable information (not a tip-off by
people with vested interests) are needed to root out international
terrorists who sought shelters in war-torn, chaos-ridden countries
like Somalia. Officials of the shaky government in Mogadishu
repeatedly said they needed a helping hand to combat terrorism
at home and abroad. But the vexing question is are there Al-Qaeda
training bases in Somalia? I do not know. On to you, Mr. Bush.
blood of one person will always haunt one.