Centre for Research on Globalisation
[ home ]


It is not the Taliban, but Humanity that has lost the War 

by Ramzy Baroud  


Middle East News Online,  19 November  2001 

Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG),  globalresearch.ca,  23 November 2001

The world's state of affairs cannot be more depressing; the state of the Muslim world is by far the most disheartening.

As a Muslim, my anger and frustration is indescribable.. I have been avoiding speaking in public or accepting radio interviews, for I can no longer articulate what I feel, my logic is bewildered and my fears are mounting.

Since I was a child, barefoot and poor in a Palestinian refugee camp, I was, like my peers, raised on two principals; the first being the injustice that our nations have been enduring at the hands of the world's imperialists, most currently by the United States and Israel; and the fact that it's the tenacity of Muslims and the virtue of Islam that will liberate us from the imperialists' seemingly pressing need to exploit other nations.

My faith in Islam has since then grown, its rationale appealed to me, as a courageous and true defender of the oppressed and the poor. The insensitive propaganda deliberately launched mainly by American media to smear Islam, somehow empowered my faith; in fact it was no longer faith alone that governed my perception, but suddenly Islam became my identity.

Following the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, it infuriated me to see hooligan-like experts crowd every American channel telling the people, who are eagerly awaiting answers and willing to embrace the first explanation they could find, no matter how fallacious it may be, what Islam is.

Even war criminals like Henry Kissinger, murderers of little children like former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discredited self-proclaimed experts like Steve Emerson, became the darlings of the American media, vilifying Islam and calling for a larger war that doesn't only target Muslim nations, but their ideology as well. It was their golden opportunity to bash the little respect of Islam that Hollywood spared after decades of pro-Zionist controlled and manipulated propaganda.

What has bewildered me the most, is the state of the Muslim world.

It's no news that Islam, which now stands accused and is desperately trying to defend itself, was the torch, delivered to today's civilizations, escorting them from darkness into light. This incredible "empire of faith" that developed the achievements of past civilizations and added its own uniqueness, is the civilization that is credited for Europe's enlightenment, in sciences, in philosophy, medicine and arts.

But it wasn't all about Algebra and the discovery of the understanding of the circulatory system that the Muslim civilization developed, but it also contributed to the world's liberation theology and to the destruction of the myth of the superpowers. A glimpse of the history of Islam would reveal incredible findings of how a few tribes warring for trivial reasons, after being empowered by faith, defeated the imperialists of their time who had the world divided among them.

It was Islam that introduced the idea of freeing slaves over 1400 years ago, and it was many of those slaves that carried the torch and created a thriving civilization.

But now, this is all forgotten; it's time for "experts" filled with hate and bias to tell us what Islam is and isn't; it's CNN that now shapes the image of Islam; and its Fox News that defines what "Islamic terrorism" is and that should be differentiated from the "good Islam".

And while one expected that the attack on Islam would be perceived by unprecedented unity of Muslims to preserve the identity of their faith, their own identities in fact, they scrambled with no vision, no direction, and often with no fortitude.

In the Arab and Muslim world, governments rushed to support a global war on the poorest nation on earth. Arab governments were merely concerned about not having an Arab country listed on the countries that would be "punished" by the US; although there is always a space for second thought. Muslim countries "courageously" demanded a quick war to uproot terrorism. Afghanistan was bombed with no proof of any involvement in the September 11 attacks; yet very few dared to request evidence, court hearings and trials.

Most Arabic satellite channels went on with their daily circus, love dramas and singers with broken hearts chasing behind heavily made-up women, as if Muslim children in Afghanistan were not killed every day, many decapitated, and others not yet recovered.

Quickly, they adopted terminology used by the US State Department describing the war on terrorism, overlooking the human impact imposed on an innocent nation, that itself was a victim of terrorism.

The Qatar-based Al- Jazeera was the only channel, perhaps in the world, that stood with all journalistic integrity that a news station can posses, and resisted the American threat, the same way they resisted past attacks by Arab regimes.

America never forgave such integrity, as they destroyed Al-Jazeera offices in Kabul with missiles, immediately after the city was "liberated". The station reporter and workers escaped by a miracle.

In the United States, after the September attacks, many Arabs and Muslims rightfully feared for their safety; the way their organizations handled such a fear however is regretful. Many organizations here declared support for the US in its war against Afghanistan; at the most some dared to urge the US to try to avoid civilians, in a time when gruesome pictures of random killings were routine.

It was more surprising to learn of opinion polls conducted in the US where Arabs surveyed were more supportive of the war than Americans were. It was and still is perplexing. From the hundreds I met at anti-war forums only one was an Arab, a Palestinian, two Iranians, and three Afghanis.

Then the real disaster; the Afghani opposition taking over most of Afghanistan. World news carried unbelievable images, as the Guardian, the Times and others reported of indescribable massacres, acts of revenge, robberies and even rape of Afghani women at the hands of the world's hailed liberators.

520 Taliban soldiers were crushed by tanks after surrendering in a school in Mazar al Sharif, reported the Times of London on Friday November 16. It was also reported that the Northern Alliance openly decided not to take any prisoners of war, but to kill them all.

Not one voice protested the inhumanity; not one human rights organization warned the alliance not to do so.

As the northern opposition began their move to the battered city of Kabul, dead bodies piled up in the street of people who were killed in cold blood by the Northern Alliance; six bodies were left to rot in a park where soldiers spat on them as they strolled the city back and forth, reported a CNN correspondent in Kabul. The dead body of a Pakistani man who left his country to fight against the American attack was penetrated with bullets; a "Mujahid" approached and began kicking his head, as if it was a soccer ball. It was nauseating.

But who cares about the massacres and the rape of women, for the Taliban are gone and it's time to rejoice. This is what the media, including Arabic media is conveying about the situation; CNN showed images of dancing Afghanis, women taking off their veils, men shaving their beards, and images of half naked celebrities being duck-taped on the doors of a few of Kabul shops.

What is a man's right to shave his beard if compared to mass killings and half detonated cluster bombs; what is a shop owners' right to post a naked picture of a women if compared to the crushing of hundreds of people with tanks? Is this a fair exchange of rights? Is this humanity that they said they are defending? Is this the civilization they said they are trying to save? And where are the Muslims in all of this? Rallying behind the US still, some offering to send troops so that they will get a pat on the back in the end.

While it may appear as if the Taliban are the only losers out of all of this; the truth is that all Muslims have emerged as losers; for thanks to those who claimed to be our leaders and representatives; now we lost our integrity as well; our last fortress and most endeared possession.

2001 Middle East News Online.  For fair use only

The URL of this article is: