Appeared in ‘Ceylon Today’
Sunday 25 December 2011
Enemy Hunt, the Perennial Quest of the West
Hameed Abdul Karim
The western powers have always needed enemies to force their agenda down the throats of different nations at various times in history. With the end of colonialism, however, the U.S.
spurred by its imperial mindset, has
taken over the role of ‘ civilising’ the former colonies with the full backing
of France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK which now are, for all
intents and purposes, US satellite states.
Enemy number one has always been Islam. The war on Islam was reduced to a low intensity
conflict while the west was involved in the ‘Cold
War’. When the Soviet Union eventually caved in due to western pressures, not
without the crucial role played by the Afghan mujahidin though, it trained its
guns back on Islam.
Islam has always been a thorn in the
west’s side. Despite
centuries of colonialism the west has not been able to subdue the faith or the
spirit of millions of its adherents.
War on terror or crusades
Muslims see the west’s ‘war on terror’ as yet another campaign to crush Islam and think it’s a continuation of the crusades despite pious
pontifications to the contrary. This raises the question – why does the
empire see Islam and Muslins as enemies? This is largely because Muslims have
never surrendered their passionate loyalty to their faith or their traditions
in return for cars, coca-cola and in general the ‘good life’ which is fast
crumbling under its own contradictions as we speak. Muslims had fought for
their independence with ferocity as one insurrection followed another during
colonial occupation clearly demonstrates. Bear in mind that virtually all
Muslim countries were under occupation of one western colonial power or another
for centuries but hardly any Muslim exchanged his or her faith for material
gains. Even the likes of Salman Rushdie or Taslima Nazreen have not been able
to make a dent in the mindsets of Muslims despite the west’s heavy funding and
political support to bring Islam and Muslims into the ‘enlightened era’ and to
fit in cozily with America’s PNAC.
Islamic Banking – Islamic Fundamentalism?’
The west’s media
has marched in lockstep with its leaders in
their spiteful attacks on Islam and the Muslims without even pausing for
reflection as is expected of media personnel. The media ‘experts’ have never
seen a need for a deeper look or an understanding of what makes the Muslim
tick. The once valiant Afghan Mujahidin who fought the Russian occupation of
Afghanistan are now being described as ‘Muslim terrorists’ or ‘Muslim
fundamentalists’ because this time around they are fighting the US led NATO
occupation of their land. Islam, we are told repeatedly, is a ‘backward
ideology’ or a throwback to ‘medieval times’. Yet there is a glaring
inconsistency to this charge. Today we see what called ‘Islamic Banking’ (a
misnomer) is flourishing the world over, while what is called ‘conventional
banking’ is going belly up all over all the U.S. and Europe. There are many
non-Muslims who are in the business of running ‘Islamic banks’ around the world, but nobody has the imagination or the temerity to call them ‘Muslim
fundamentalists’ or the system as a throwback to ‘medieval times’!. Karen
Armstrong in her biography of the Prophet Muhammad states it was Islam’s obsession
with social and economic justice that led to its success as a world religion.
Her book, though, has a lot of shortcomings.
Western media brainwashing
Over the years the west’s media (sometimes copied verbatim from media of nonwestern countries) in tandem with their respective governments’ pernicious imperialist designs, has shaped the minds of its viewers, readers and listeners with negative images of Islam. They want the world to believe their version of Islam instead of the Islam Muslims believe in. Take for example the recent riots in the UK. Three Muslims were killed when a car driven by a rioter ran over them. The western media referred to them as ‘Asian immigrants’. Had a Muslim committed this crime he would have been depicted as a ‘Muslim extremist’ or an ‘Islamic terrorist’. Nobody pointed a finger at the faith of the non-Muslim rioter; and that’s acceptable because his faith cannot be held accountable for his crime.
It’s not uncommon to hear such clichés as the ‘green peril’ or the ‘crescent of crisis’ to describe Taliban’s resistance to the U.S.
NATO occupation of Afghanistan. This is not to say the Taliban is lily white
but just to emphasise the news we are getting about them is from their enemy.
Popular magazines like ‘TIME’ or ‘NEWSWEEK’ do not think it unfair or unethical to run cover stories describing American Muslims as the ‘Jihadi Next Door’ or the ‘Return of Islam with a cover picture of a Muezzin in a minaret calling the faithful to prayer to illustrate the roles of Islamic parties in North Africa or the Middle East. Hollywood follows the same line of propaganda.
While Muslims are being projected as some kind of barbarians from the Middle Ages, the
western media (that preeminently includes Hollywood)
presents the actual fundamentalists in Washington DC who dictate terms to the
world, as saviours of the world when they are anything but that. The U.S.
ruling elite comprise the White Anglo Saxon Protestants (WASPS), and the
Christian and Jewish lobbies on the ‘principles’ enshrined in America’s ‘Manifest
Destiny’ which articulates America’s self proclaimed ‘divine’ right to rule the
world. Any other creed or faith that challenges or refuses to submit to ‘Manifest
Destiny’ is an obstacle and an outrage and has to be destroyed by any means
possible. Islam is seen as an ideology standing in the way of the empire and hence
When we had President George Bush senior claiming he was doing the ‘Lord’s work’ when he bombed Iraq in what is now called the 1
Gulf war, nobody in the world called him a fundamentalist or challenged his
secular claims. Ronald Reagan was yet another ‘born again’ fundamentalist who believed
he had the Holy Spirit in him. George Bush junior claimed he was on talking
terms with God and yet nobody dared called him a born again fundamentalist
though he said he was one. If a ‘fundamentalist’ Muslim were to make a similar
claim, Muslims would put him in the nut house. The Americans put George Bush in
the White House.
You can be sure Islam will continue to be in the news and be projected as
civilisation’s enemy as the Arab Spring goes about bringing in change to
improve the wretched lives of their people who were at the mercy of U.S. multinational
corporations and the bankers. Happily the Arab Spring has inspired American’s
and Israelis to rise up against the ruling elites in their respective countries
and produced the ‘Occupy” movement. The 99% in the belly and the heart of the
U.S. have woken up and can now connect with the Arab Spring. In the meantime
spy agencies like the CIA, Mossad and MI5 will not rest until they bring back
the Arabs and the Iranians and the Turks back to the fold of obedience to the
American empire and obeisance to Israel.