Thursday, August 28, 2014

Western Support for Israeli Genocide & the War against Caliphate - By Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal - www.

Western Support for Israeli Genocide
& the War against Caliphate
Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal
Western Support for the genocide

The most genocidal crimes on earth were not committed by a few war criminals. The perpetrators were always huge; and they enjoyed massive moral, political and military support from their people. In two World Wars, the European nations killed more than 70 million people and destroyed hundreds of cities and millions of homes. But the killers and the planners of the most genocidal World Wars in human history are still celebrated as war heroes. Taking part in such heinous war crimes is marked as patriotism and has become the part of the national culture. Hence Hitler need not burn the Jews in gas chambers by his own hands: he had millions to do that. In such a culture of colonialism, imperialism, ethnic cleansing, even the war criminals that dropped atomic bombs on Japanese cities for a wholesale murder are not condemned either. They too got their place in the US history as war-hero. The modern history has been reduced to mere propaganda works of the winning war criminals. The medieval Mongol killers did not enjoy such a good luck. In such moral, cultural and ideological perversion, the occupation, destruction and genocide in Afghanistan and Iraq are not reckoned as war crimes; rather still celebrated in the USA, Europe, Australia and Canada as a part of the democratisation process. People from 40 NATO and non-NATO countries joined the US aggression to perpetuate those war crimes there. For the same reason, the Israeli genocide in Gaza is not condemned in the ruling circles of the west. Rather, these crimes enjoy full political, moral and military support. Every bullet and every missile that are used to kill children and women in Gaza and destroy its hospitals, houses and schools are made with the money from the USA and other western partners. Hence it is impossible to condemn the Israeli atrocities in the UN or any international forums.    
The moral collapse of the west has reached its lowest ebb; support for Israel’s genocidal war is the clear proof. Such a massacre and destruction received licence as Israel’s security right. Such moral collapse doesn’t come alone; rather breed a special brand of character, behaviour and attitude. This is why these imperialists cannot survive without wars of occupation, exploitation, genocide, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Gharib, water boarding, carpet bombing and drone attacks. Adolf Hitler was not the only criminal who could mobilise his countrymen to commit massive war crimes. Netanyahu could do, too. But President Barak Hussein Obama and other US presidents could add a global dimension to such crimes, especially against the Muslims. President Obama showed his special venom against the Muslims: which is quite natural in murtads who retrieve from Islam to non-Islam. President Obama could take the weapons of mass destruction more than 6 thousands mile away from the US border. The Nazi killing machines were mostly contained within the boundary of Europe. The children and women of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq did not drop any bomb or commit any crime on the US soil. But President Obama’s war planes and un-manned drones have already killed thousands of the innocent children, women and other civilians in those distant countries of Asia and Africa. Such a serial killer of global dimension has been identified as a figure of moral highness in the west and accepted as their leader. What an irony, such a war-hungry man has been honoured by Noble Prize for peace.
The anti-Islamic bias
Moral collapse always gets its brutal expressions through politics, culture, warfare and foreign relations. The west’s moral collapse thus could induce strong political, economic and military support not only for Israel, but also for all barbaric regimes of the Middle East. Hence brutal monarchs of Saudi Arabia, barbaric killer like General Sisi of Egypt and other tyrants are their closest ally. The western imperialists are now forging alliance with another brutal killer like Bashar al-Assad. Basher al-Assad has killed about 200,000 people in Syria, and used chemical weapon and is now dropping barrel bombs. In its recent war in Gaza, Israel has already massacred more than 2 thousands people and destroyed more than 20 thousands houses. About 10 thousands people are injured. About 75% of the dead and the injured are the children and women. Israel’s policy is clear. Occupying foreign lands, genocidal cleansing of the occupied land of its original people and continual increase of its geographical size are the fundamental elements of its policy. Israel could not do it alone unless received moral, political, economic and military support from the USA. The barbaric tyrants of the Middle East couldn’t survive either if the US protection was withdrawn. 
For the west, establishing even the most brutal form of medieval monarchy is not a crime; rather morally acceptable. Hence, the Saudi monarchy with its barbaric suppression of basic human rights has been taken as the closet ally. It is not a crime either to launch a brutal military coup against a democratically elected government. Therefore, the military coup in Egypt against elected President Muhammad Morsi was warmly accepted in the US and Europe. But they consider it a great crime to establish an Islamic caliphate on prophetic tradition! The west is not ready to reconcile with the Qur’anic beliefs and Islam’s political roadmap. Sharia, jihad and jijiya and other Qur’anic prescription in any Muslim land is totally unacceptable to them. With the declaration of khilafa, the Muslims have crossed the red line that the west has drawn against them. Hence, they have started the war.
The old crusade revived
The imperialists never do war to save other people. They don’t have friends; only have strategic and imperial interests even in countries thousands of miles away from their border. They do wars to protect those interests. In such wars, they need subservient collaborators who could help them secure their gains. The US governments –like other imperialists do not hide those facts. Hence President Barack Hussain Obama could candidly say that the USA has strategic interest in Mosul Dam and northern Iraq. He could also reiterate that the USA will do everything to save those interests. And whoever supports its war, the USA supports them too. Like Israel, the newly established autonomous Kurdistan has turned out to be another launching pad for the imperialists in the heart of Muslim Middle East. Since Islam provide the most powerful ideological force for fighting against the aggressors, the imperialists have turned their guns against Islam too. Hence the US war has emerged as a full-scale religious war -in fact a new Crusade against the Muslims.
President Barak Obama has recently discovered some humanitarian causes to justify his barrage of air strikes against the Islamic state. Alleged killing of the Yazidies in the Northern Iraq is used as the pretext. If President Obama has any concern about saving innocent people then the US would have stopped military aid for Israel. After the World War II, horrendous destruction and genocidal massacre is not taking place around Mosul Dam or against the Yazidies in northern Iraq. It is taking place for more than a month against the people of Gaza. The killing of the innocent people in Gaza and destruction of its physical infrastructure are massive. One does not need to be a saint to protest against those crimes. But the US imperialists and their partners in the west didn’t show iota of moral strength to condemn that; rather showed continuous support. The Yazidies nationalists do not want establishment of an Islamic state in the area. Therefore conflict between ISIS and Yazidies can’t be ruled out.  
The imperialists’ ancient crusade against Islam and Islamic caliphate has never ended. It had only some pauses, and still continues with the same old agenda. Hence after the end of Soviet Union and so-called Cold War, NATO still finds reasons to exist and continue its wars. The first crusade ended with the occupation of the holy land of Jerusalem and Masjid-al-Aqsa -the first kiblah of the Muslims. During the first crusade, the enemies didn’t have any collaborators inside the Muslim land, the crusaders were exclusively European. Hence these foreign enemies couldn’t dismantle Islam’s fundamental institutions like khilafa, sharia, jihad and other elements of social fabric. But its twentieth century crusade has many slave fighters from the Muslim lands. The nationalists, monarchist, racists, atheists, secularists and opportunists worked side by side with them. Hence, during the First World War, they were very successful to dismantle Islam’s basic infrastructures. Therefore, caliphate, sharia, jihad all disappeared. They could also create a Muslim World of 57 chicken states.
The state-terrorism
Sovereignty of a state proportionately diminishes with the diminishing size of the country. Therefore, to diminish the moral, military and political might of the ummah, the Muslim World has been divided into 57 pieces. During their long colonial rule, the imperialists’ success to convert Muslims to Christianity is minimal. But their success to cause de-Islamisation cum cultural conversion of the Muslims is huge. Hence Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s Islam with khelafa, sharia, jihad, jijiya, and pan-Islamic brotherhood does not exist among these cultural converts. Neither does survive Islam’s social, cultural and educational policies in any of the 57 Muslim countries. In fact, the Qur’anic Islam has become alien in all Muslim lands. In reality, the Muslim countries have entered into the new phase of internal occupation under the home-grown enemies. In the name of nationalism, secularism, civil and military autocracy, monarchy these rulers are preventing any chances of revival of the original Islam. They are also committed to preserve the legacy of colonialism –the fragmentation of the Muslim World. The USA and other imperialists find their strategic interest only in sustenance of this imposed status quo.
Like colonialism, imperialism, nationalism, racism, capitalism, communism, ethnic cleansing, gas chambers, World Wars, water boarding, atomic bombs, drones, Guantanamo Bay and many other state-sponsored western vices, state terrorism too took its birth in the west. True Muslims have holy war called jihad, but no terrorism. Terrorism is the trade of the non-religious political thugs and the war criminals. When a Muslim land is invaded, jihad becomes a religious obligation on every Muslim of that country. But jihad doesn’t exist in the western vocabulary. Hence they renamed it as terrorism to fit their political agenda. Now they are imposing the same deceitful concoction of a holy Qur’anic terminology even in the Muslim World. The imperialists are proud of their highly modernised weapons of mass destruction. Due to possession of such sophisticated killing machines, they proved to be the most brutal terrorists in human history. Since the US is the champion of such killing machines -has become the most terrorising force on earth. At the arrival of the European terrorists in American soil the native Red Indians were so much terrorised that they moved from one end of the continent to another to save their life. In such a long and arduous migration from North America to South America, they had to cross tough terrains of mountains, forests, rivers and deserts. Hundreds of thousands of them died on the way. The brutal Mongol killers couldn’t think of such killing machines: hence couldn’t think of ethnic cleansing. But the modern imperialists could ethnically cleanse most of America, Australia and New Zealand of their original settlers. The wild animal stops killing if their belly gets full. But the imperialists’ greed is endless; therefore their war never ends. So, the culture of state terrorism still survives with full force. Therefore, suffering of the Iraqi, Syrian, Palestinian and many others are not going to end very soon.  
Fake Islam and fake Muslims
Islam does exist in its original form as was in the prophet (pbuh)’s time. Neither do the Muslims. A fake Islam has taken its place. It has created a generation of fake Muslims, too. Islam that incorporates sharia, khilafa, jihad, jijiya and sovereignty of Allah SWT –these fake Muslims, like their imperialist mentors, call it extremism. These fake Muslims do not believe in sharia, jihad, khilafa, jijiya, sovereignty of Allah SWT and other Qur’anic concepts. Instead, those who try to revive Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s Islam, they label them as the political enemies. To physically eliminate the practitioners of Qur’anic Islam, they have emerged as the state terrorists. Under the rule of these state terrorists, the punishment for any revival effort for prophet’s Islam is either death or long imprisonment. The whole state apparatus are being used to annihilate the Islamists. These states have courts and laws. They have police and army. But these public institutions are used only to protect the tyrannical occupants of the states. Arresting, oppressing, even killing the political opponents are accepted as common political norm. They can kill hundreds of unarmed protesters on the street without any accountability –as happened in recent years in Cairo, Dhaka, and Damascus. To the imperialists, they have proven their worth as the custodians of the divided Muslim World. They have also shown their skills in suppressing the Islamists. Hence, the US Air Force and Naval Ships are ever-ready to protect these state terrorists. So, the US has returned back to Iraq and Kurdistan.
Even the most barbaric crimes of these state terrorists are ignored in western media and in its ruling circles. The imperialists are not ready to consider their crimes as crime either. Instead, the USA and other NATO countries are ready to extend all forms of political, financial and military supports to the perpetrators. General Sisi of Egypt, the monarchs of Saud Arabia and General Musharraf of Pakistan are the perfect example of state terrorism in the Muslim World. The Egyptian state-terrorists could kill more than 11 hundred unarmed people in Rabaa al-Adawiya square in Cairo in 2013. The Saudi tyrants could kill more than 4 hundred unarmed Irani hajis in the holy city of Makka in 1987. In 2007, the military dictator of Pakistan General Musharraf could destroy the Red Mosque in Islamabad; and the Army could kill 154 students of the attached girls’ madrasa. Such atrocities of the state terrorists never reduced their worth in the ruling circles of the west, rather enhanced their usefulness as reliable instrument of suppression of the Islamists. The western imperialists have developed a strong working partnership with these state terrorists to resist Islam’s revival. These imperialists are now begging partnership with the brutal killers of Syria – President Bashar al-Assad to stop emergence of Islam as a world power. According to the recent UN statistics released on 23/08/14, Bashar al-Assad has already killed 191 thousands people in Syria. He has caused catastrophic damage to the most of the Syrian cities, and displaced its population. To continue the killing and fight the Islamists, Bashar al-Assad is also begging the west’s assistance.
The ruling clans of the state terrorists could successfully replace Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s pan-Islamic Muslim brotherhood with narrow tribal, racial and nationalist bias and could also raise Berlin wall like boundary of divisions among the Muslims. They could also replace Islam’s sharia, khilafa, jihad, culture, education and economy with the kufr prescriptions of the imperialists. Allah SWT’s sharia laws are thus thrown into bins or remained confined only in books; and the kufr laws made by the imperialist enemies receive the highest respect in all courts. Was it possible to show such disrespect to Allah SWT’s laws in prophet time? Such an act of disrespect to sharia laws takes away one’s Muslimness and out-rightly makes him a murtad. It is an act of war against the sovereignty of Allah SWT. Secular or non-Islamic states thus have become industries to make such rebel murdats in Muslim land. And the secular states are the most sinful and damaging legacy of the kafir imperialists in the Muslim World.
Caliphate: Islam’s powerhouse
The political power of Islam does not emerge from mosques and madrasas; it emerges from the Islamic khilafa.  Khilafa is Islam’s recognised political infrastructure –established by the prophet (pbuh) himself and sustained and strengthened by his companions and maintained by the subsequent generations of Muslims. It is the most iconic institution of Muslim civilisation. Khilafa carries the symbolic package of Islam’s philosophy, power, institutions, judiciary, sharia, governance, unity, jihad and glory. It survived till 1924. It is an indispensable part of the Qur’anic roadmap. Every Muslim is a khalifa (viceroy) of Allah SWT.  And khelafa (caliphate) is the continuation of prophetic mission to fulfil Allah SWT’s vision.
Allah SWT has trillions of other creations to do His ibada – along with all-time devoted angels. In the holy Qur’an, Allah SWT reiterates His Own testimony that whoever and whatever exists in the universe and in havens praises Him. Hence Allah SWT has no shortage of creatures to do such tasbih, tahleel and ibada. But humans are exclusively created for other task: they have to become His khalifa (the political viceroys) on earth so that His laws and sovereignty overwhelm over faiths and deities. Allah (SWT) announced such vision of His Own in the assembly of angels. As Allah SWT’s viceroy on earth, Muslims’ politics is very inclusive: it must address everything that is pertinent to materialise Allah SWT vision on earth.  It entails guiding and managing the Muslims ummah’s statecraft, economy, judiciary, spirituality, education, culture, defence, commerce, foreign policy and other state and social affairs according to the Qur’anic roadmap. But a Muslims can’t discharge his duty as His political viceroys without the essential political infrastructure. Even a builder needs some tools to do his job. A Muslim’s job is to build a great civilisation –as was done by the early Muslims. In fact, Islamic caliphate is intended to provide such a political infrastructure and provide with the supportive environment. It is so crucially important that prophet Muhamad (pbuh) invested all the possible resources of the Ummah to build such a state from day one of his migration. About 70% of his companion had to sacrifice their lives to build it and protect it.
The enemies of Islam did not make any mistake to discover the real powerhouse of Islam. In fact, the enemies’ war against Islamic caliphate started from day one of its establishment. All non-Muslims of the Arabian Peninsula forged a grand coalition to launch a decisive war against this nascent state in Medina. Ten thousand tough Arab warriors were mobilised to destroy the small village state. The idol-worshipers of Makka and the Jews of Medina played the key role in the formation of such a broad coalition. But Allah SWT’s army descended on them in the form of fierce sandstorm to dismantle the enemies’ seize. They returned homes with deep frustration and never dared to come back again. In the Islamic history, it is known as war of ahjab (war of a coalition).
But the enemies’ dream for destroying Islam’s political powerhouse never died out: still survives with the same intensity. Hence, while invading the Muslim land in first Word War, the imperialists did not bother destroying any mosque or madrasa, but dismantled 13 hundred year old caliphate. In 1924, they could succeed with the help of Islam’s internal enemies like nationalists, monarchists, secularists, socialists and other cultural converts. When the Muslims lost caliphate, they also lost their political power and influence. Now the 1.3 billion Muslims look weaker than 55 million British. They do not have any say in any world body.  Now the enemies of Islam keep constant vigilance to stop its re-emergence. Hence the west’s enmity is not only against Abu Bakr Baghdadi –the newly declared khalifa; rather with any khalifa in any time! In fact, they have declared war against the very institution of khelafa. Can a true Muslim reconcile with such arrogance? They want to continue with the status quo of the Muslim world; and they call it stability. The Muslims could defend this Divine institution for 13 hundred years. But the failure of the modern day’s Muslims is catastrophic: not only did fail to defend it, but also failed to show minimum sanity to resurrect it.
Can USA win the war?
The US can start the war. But can they win the war? The US didn’t win its war in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. In its wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, the US had its huge land, navy and air power. They invested more time and resources in those wars than they did in World Wars. But now they have turned more cowardice.  They have decided not to bring the soldiers to the warfront in Iraq and Syria. Therefore, how can they win the war without troops on the ground? They have realised that winning the war against Islamic caliphate is impossible: hence focussed only to reduce its speed of rapid expansion. They have adapted a containment policy. They are now bombing only from high altitude, and flattening the houses and mountains and killing the innocents. Israel launched its war from air, land and sea. The Israeli war planes, tanks, artillery and the gunboats bombed day and night on the small city of Gaza for more than one month. In 50 days’ war, they could kill and maim thousands of civilians. They could also destroy houses, hospitals, mosques, schools and offices; but couldn’t destroy Hamas. They couldn’t dare enter the heart of Gaza. Their attempt was foiled by few hundred Hamas fighters; and lost more than 60 soldiers. Hence Israel couldn’t attain its stipulated target of dismantling Hamas. Rather Hamas has emerged much stronger and popular. 
The US army too, don’t dare enter the caliphate territory on the ground. They can only drop bombs from the air and kills and maims thousands of innocents. That will only boil the blood of Muslims all over the world to explosion level; and will hugely enhance the new recruitment for the ISIS. Thirteen years’ bombing in Afghanistan could kill several hundred thousand innocent people and flatten hills and houses. But couldn’t finish Taleban: rather helped Taliban emerge much stronger and popular. The US’s new war against the caliphate is a clear proof that its leaders have learnt nothing from its defeats in previous wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. They have failed to understand that it is not a war between two armies: rather the war between two ideologies. Can anyone win against Allah SWT’s ideology? It was easy to defeat Saddam or Gaddafi, but impossible to defeat the ideology of Islam. Pharaoh couldn’t do it in the past. The Persian and Roman Empires couldn’t do either. Can Obama do it now?
About me(Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal) PDF Print E-mail
I was born and received my early education in Bangladesh. I graduated in medicine from King Edward College in Lahore in Pakistan, and received a BSc. from the University of Punjab. I studied MPH (Masters in Public Health) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, and received a Post-graduate Diploma in Dermatology from University of London. I have worked as a medical doctor in Pakistan, Iran and Bangladesh. Along with my medical practices, I did some researches in social sciences issues and presented the findings at international conferences of IUSSP (International Union of Scientific Studies of Population) at Beijing in 1997 and in Brazil in 1998 and some of the articles have been published in international journals. My other engagements have been in writing articles and books on social, political, cultural, educational and international issues, both in Bengali and English. I also write as a freelance columnist in several dailies and periodicals of Bangladesh, and also in blogs and websites, and had the opportunities to edit periodicals in London.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Crisis of Competence in the Middle East: Half a century of humiliations - By: Waheeduddin Ahmed -

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The Crisis of Competence in the Middle East: Half a century of humiliations

By: Waheeduddin Ahmed
A learned friend of mine asked me a question: “Is this the lowest point in history for Muslims or was it the Mongol devastation of Baghdad?” To me the question was perhaps improperly phrased because we, as people are a part of history at this point of time and are actors in the drama which is being played out. So, are we any better or worse than the people who lived in Baghdad at that time? Let me leave the answer to the readers.
You can divide the modern history of the Middle East into five parts:

The colonial period
2.     The Nasser Era
3.     The post-six-day war era
4.     The post-nine-eleven era
5.     The post-Arab Spring era

I see three common elements in the dynamics of all the five parts:

Arab (Muslim) incompetence  
b.     The hostility of the Christian world spearheaded by the United States of America
c.      Israel supported by the World Jewry.

All the three factors have contributed to the catastrophes that have occurred. So would it not be logical to assume that a change in any one of the three elements should alter the equilibrium and inflection in any two forces should reverse the dynamics? If the answer is in the affirmative then let us proceed in the analysis of the topic.

The Colonial Period:

This period was the one in which the modern atlas of the Arab world took shape. Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, (Saudi) Arabia and Egypt, snatched out from the Ottoman dominions were made “countries”. The British and the French arm chair politicians and generals, over pegs of whisky and brandy, drew lines on maps like they did further east in the Indian subcontinent (McMahan Line and the Durand Line) and divided the Arab people into the British and the French areas of influence. The British appointed kings from the progeny of Sharif Husain in their areas and the French instituted “republics” in the areas under their mandate; they even wrote a sectarian trilateral constitution for Lebanon, which the Americans imitated five decades later in Iraq, a prelude to disaster as it turned out. Make note of the machinations of the British, the French and recently the Americans who are primarily responsible for the carnage in the Middle East. Since they have done it with their eyes on their prize, you cannot appeal to their conscience or try to teach them morality. It is your morality which should be under focus.

The Nasser Era:

The first semblance of an awakening was the secular bourgeois movements among the urban population initiated by the western educated elite such as Zaghlol Pasha in Egypt, who sought to replace the colonial rule by their own. This was followed by a period of military coups by highly motivated young officers, who were not only rebelling against imperialism of the West but were attempting to change the systems. The harbinger of this change was Jamal Abdel Nasser. The nationalization of the Suez Canal, taking a cue from Mohammad Musaddeq of Iran was a landmark in history. Nasser joined hands in his anti-imperialist zeal with the leaders of the non-aligned countries: Nehru, Sukarno, Tito and Nkrumah, which boosted his prestige worldwide, while at the same time accepting military and economic aid from the Soviet Union.
Arab nationalism appeared on the horizon, given impetus by Nasser and the Bathists in Syria (Michel Aflak), which became the main driving force of politics in that region at that time. When Shukri al-Quwatli, the elected president of Syria, at his own initiative united his country with Egypt forming the United Arab Republic, it appeared as though the process of Arab unification had begun. When the six day war occurred, all the dreams of the anti-imperialists and the Arabists were shattered.

Although Nasser was a great visionary, he was a poor military strategist. He and his sleepy generals had no idea what the post-WW1 military operations entailed. The humiliating defeat suffered by Egypt, Syria and Jordan changed the military equation forever and the Arab (Muslim) world sank into deep depression --- the first of the two deep depressions of modern times.
The post-six-day war era:
Realizing the inability of the Arab armies to liberate Palestine --- after all it was the Arab governments which had exhorted the Palestinians to leave their homeland before quixotically attempting to march into it --- the Palestinians took their destiny into their own hands. The PLO was born. Although the Fatah, led by Yasser Arafat was the main constituent in it, it was a secular organization with Christians like George Habash and Leila Khalid playing significant roles in successful anti-Israel operations. The high jacking of airliners and the Munich operations occurred. The PLO became a deciding factor in the politics of Jordan and Lebanon. Israel’s invasion of Lebanon took place. This was the time when all the Palestinians had to do was to say peace and Israel would have agreed to their main demands based on two states solution. Sadat and King Husain dropped out of belligerence and separated themselves from the Palestinian issue on the promise of American aid. With Yitzhak Rabin as Prime Minister of Israel, overtures for peace began and Yasser Arafat was allowed back in Ramallah to manage the Palestinian municipalities.
In the meantime however, the Israelis stumbled upon an exciting discovery. The Palestinians, they found out, were orphaned and had nowhere to go and therefore there was no compelling reason to accede to their demands; the Jews did not have to part with an inch of Palestine. Peace talks were good for Israel’s image. If they made any offers in the “peace talks” whether in Camp David, Madrid or Oslo, all they had to do was to go back, shell a refugee camp, change their government, bring the cursor back to zero and wipe the slate clean, a repetitive act in the play. They could also continue building new settlements on the occupied territories with the American veto in the U.N. at hand to realize the dream of “Greater Israel”.
While this was going on, the Muslim world was witnessing a sea change in its outlook. A Shia cleric by the name of Ruhollah Khomeini had stirred an Islamic revolution in Iran and Muslims all around the world were fascinated with it. Exasperated by the fruitlessness of secular politics, Palestinians also turned to Islamism as the solution to their problems and Hamas was born, overshadowing Fatah and other Palestinian organizations.
The Soviet Union collapsed, bringing the Soviet aid to the oppressed nations of the world to an abrupt end, leaving them at the mercy of the hegemonists.  George H. W. Bush took almost all the Arab countries to war against Saddam Hussein, promising them a “New World Order” in which justice will prevail. In fact, what followed would be injustice all around and a total betrayal. This was the background in which Nine-eleven took place. To my mind, given the background, nine-eleven was destined to happen. If you trace the line of causality backwards, there is no single event at which you can stop your finger and say: this is what did it.
Post-nine-eleven era:
The attack on World Trade Center, gave George W. Bush an opportunity to go back to Iraq to finish the job his father had left incomplete and also topple the Taliban government in Afghanistan, with Tony Blair as his second fiddle. In doing so, he converted three countries: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan into an arena of stubborn political chaos from which there would be no respite in the foreseeable future. Was this a punitive act against the atrocity or an ethno-religiously motivated contemptuous act of a born-again Christian is anybody’s guess?
In December 2010 in Tunisia, a street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi died by self-immolation on a street of Tunis in protest against official harassment. This provided the spark for revolutionary uprisings in most of the Arab World. The regimes in Tunisia and Libya were overthrown. Bahrain was in turmoil. The kings and the Sheikhs from North Africa to the Persian Gulf panicked and offered the civil servants and workers hefty pay increases to stem the tide of unrest. However, in Syria the regime decided to fight back rather than give in to demands with help from Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah. The conflict still continues with most of the country converted into a demolition site, a smear on the map which is spreading to blot out civilization in much of the Middle East. In Egypt, protests in Tahrir Square organized by the student elite forced the dictatorship to quit. Elections, which followed, brought Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to power. This was not acceptable to the secular bureaucracy and the military-appointed judiciary nor was it acceptable to the U.S./Israeli interests. A massive amount of money and intrigues went into play, reminiscent of the dismissal of Musaddeq in 1953 by an M16-CIA operation. Morsi was deposed and a new military dictatorship friendly to Israel came into power. This marked the end of the Arab Spring and plunged the Arab/Muslim world into the second era of deep depression.
The post-Arab spring era:
In the aftermath of the demise of the Arab Spring the world is awakened to a few hard realities:
·       There is no such thing as an Arab nation. The dream of Quwatli, Aflak and Nasser has been shattered.
·       Sectarian schism within Islam is a potent destroyer; even such revolutionary regimes as Iran can easily fall back to the old ways of the Safawis. Iran and Hezbollah’s role in fighting to prop up a dictatorial regime in Syria, instead of facilitating a smooth transition to the people’s rule has disappointed even their most ardent supporters.

·       The Salafi/Takfiri groups are the Nihilists of modern times.

·       Israel exists because the West wants it to as a proxy to its “interests”, whatever they may be! Judaism is not an issue; it is geo-politics. The West, in order to project its power onto the three other “barbaric” continents, needs to establish vice regencies on site --- a prospective additional candidate is Kurdistan.

·       The U.S. and Israel have a clear strategy: keep conflicts alive wherever they are raging in the Muslim World; keep Egypt and Jordan thoroughly neutralized; keep the Gulf princes maintain their debauched lifestyle and direct them to the casinos and act swiftly when any force emerges which could pose a threat to Israel or any other vicegerent such as the Kurds.

·       In order to conquer the East, the most potent weapon the U.S.A. could use was bribery. This worked wonders in Afghanistan and changed defeat into victory in Iraq. It saved trillions of dollars in military expenditures and thousands of G.I. lives.

How to Counter the West’s strategy:
As I have said in the beginning, there are three elements in the dynamics which could be inflected.

The question of competence is difficult but not impossible. Although we disagree with their dogmatic stances and the methodology of cruelty, the Taliban and recently the ISIS have demonstrated that there is a capability out there of highly effective centralized organization. It is not known if it will remain as effective if you subtract the highly objectionable dogmas from their mode of operation but it is obvious that if they insist on adhering to them and resort to cruelty, they have no future in the political arena. Even if they come to power somehow, people will sooner or later reject the doctrines they impose.
One phenomenon, which is difficult to digest, is the apparent monolithic ideology of the ISIS. If what is being said of them is true, the group has among its cadres many youth from the Western countries, who are educated under the western educational systems and are used to the western lifestyles. It is also alleged that the group consists of many former Bathists and members of the Iraqi army. How then can such diversity create the alleged doctrinal rigidity?
The establishment in Iran is diverted from the track laid by the fathers of the Revolution. A sectarian civil war in Islam is in nobody’s interest. Iran had in the past supported the oppressed Muslim peoples in Kashmir, Palestine, Bosnia and Kosovo and had won admiration of all the Muslims on earth.

However, its support of the dictatorship against the people of Syria, who fought the regime under the leadership of such non-sectarian organizations as the Brotherhood, has dismayed people and when Iran was joined by Hezbollah and the Shia volunteers from Iraq it became a sectarian conflict by strengthening the Takfiri elements in the opposition, who until then were minor players.
Nobody needs to be told that the House of Saud is not exactly what we want to see as “protectors of the Haramain”. Their money, invested in madrasas all over the world, including Europe and America has turned out clerics and students who have spurned reason and logic and laid obstacles in the acquisition of knowledge and scientific progress, an affront to the instruction of the Prophet (S).

Hence, both Iran and Saudi Arabia must exit from playing politics in the Muslim World.
When the dust of the Gaza conflict settles, there will emerge road signs in the region for both the Jews and the Palestinians. For Seventy years the Jews have managed to hold the whole world hostage reminding it of the Holocaust and extracting sympathy and support from the guilt-ridden Europeans. The effect is now wearing off and they are being judged by what they are doing to others. Research shows that the public opinion in Europe is turning against them. In America a majority of young people is becoming pro-Palestinian. The day will come when the public opinion in America will force the politicians on Capitol Hill to think that the vote bank in Brooklyn is a liability rather than an asset. However, this will not happen without a concerted effort on the part of Palestinians and their supporters. In various cities in North America and Europe, people who demonstrated in favor of the victims of Gaza were mainly non-Arab and non-Palestinian. This is a window of opportunity for all. We will miss this to our peril. The Jewish organizations in America are spending billions of dollars to counter this trend in public opinion.

This author has been, for years, advocating that the Palestinians form a “rainbow coalition” with other ethnic groups such as Blacks and Hispanics but the appeal has fallen on deaf years. Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular have highly insular attitudes, which have given them a bad reputation among Blacks and other minorities. They should realize that the days of Arab nationalism are gone. They are alone in the Middle East. Their only chance is to unite with people across the whole spectrum. If they expect other people to support their just cause, they should show reciprocity and support the cause of all the oppressed people on earth and must be seen to be doing so.
August 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Protesters occupy Israeli arms factory in UK - World Bulletin


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Protesters occupy Israeli arms factory in UK
Protesters occupy Israeli arms factory in UK

The group are now staging the second day of the factory's occupation from the rooftop and have demanded the of closing the factory belonging UAV Engines Limited, a UK registered company owned by Elbit Systems, Israel's largest weapons company.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Pro-Palestinian activists in the UK have chained the doors of a factory believed to be owned by an Israeli military company which manufactures drone engines for Israel shut.

The activists, claiming to be from the London Palestine Action Network, occupied the roof of the arms factory in Shenstone, Staffordshire in the early hours on Tuesday, chaining shut the main gates to the factory before scaling the roof.

The group are now staging the second day of the factory's occupation from the rooftop and have demanded the of closing the factory belonging UAV Engines Limited, a UK registered company owned by Elbit Systems, Israel's largest weapons company and the world's largest manufacturer of drones.

Draping a banner reading "UK: Stop arming Israel" over the side of the building, protesters spent the morning reading out names of those killed since the latest conflict began.

One of the protesters, Sara Cooper, was quoted by Occupy London saying: "By allowing this factory to export engines for killer drones to Israel, the UK government is providing direct support and approval to Israel's massacres."

"The UK government has blood on its hands and must end its support for Israel's crimes against humanity by ending all forms of military cooperation with Israel, starting by closing this factory. We demand the UK government stop arming Israel."

"Israel is only able to murder Palestinian civilians in cold blood and attack UN schools and hospitals because of the huge military cooperation it enjoys with companies and governments around the world. This factory is the clearest example of the vast military cooperation taking place between the UK and Israel."

"Elbit Systems markets its drone technology as 'battle tested', a sickening boast that their drones have been proven to be effective at killing Palestinians. The UK government is importing technology that has been developed during the course of Israel's crimes against humanity."

According to The Guardian, police arrested a man on Wednesday morning "on suspicion of aggravated trespass following negotiation" and have closed the road into village where the factory is based.

Chief inspector Jane Hewett from Staffordshire police told The Guardian: "We have a number of officers in the area who are maintaining order and keeping the peace as well as ensuring the safety of protesters, emergency teams and the wider public.

"We are providing fair and balanced policing at the site and have a number of specialists in attendance including police negotiators who are working to resolve the incident safely.

"This appears to be an organised and planned protest and we are investigating the circumstances of how the protesters came to be on the roof."


A report revealed earlier this week showed the extent to which the British government has been supplying Israel with military equipment ranging from weapons control and targeting systems to ammunition, drones and armoured vehicles which are being used in the bombardment of Gaza.

Documents shown to The Independent revealed that arms export licences worth £42m had been granted to 130 British defence manufacturers since 2010 with the aim of selling military gear to Israel.

Lawmaker Katy Clark of the Labour Party opposition told The Independent: “By refusing to investigate this vital question the British Government are trying to bury their heads in the sand. This is a shameful approach to take and frankly makes the Government look as if it has something to hide.

“The British public have the right to know the level of support which the United Kingdom has provided to the Israeli armed forces through arms sales.”

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) member Andrew Smith told The Independent, “There must be an immediate embargo on all arms sales and military collaboration with Israel. When governments sell weapons into war zones they cannot absolve themselves of responsibility for what happens when they are used.”

To this, a statement read by a British government spokesman replied: “We are currently reviewing all existing export licences to Israel. All applications for export licences are assessed on a case by case basis against strict criteria. We will not issue a licence if there is a clear risk that the equipment might be used for internal repression, or if there is a clear risk that it would provoke or prolong conflict.”

"We are currently reviewing all export licences to Israel to confirm that we think they are appropriate," a spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters. The decision to conduct the review was taken last week, she said.

Almost 1,900 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israeli forces began pounding the blockaded enclave with air, sea and ground assaults on July 7.

Most of those killed were civilians, around a quarter of whom were children.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

AAP anti-graft helpline a call centre for cops - By Yogesh Sadhwani, Mumbai Mirror

AAP anti-graft helpline a call centre for cops

By Yogesh Sadhwani, Mumbai Mirror | Aug 23, 2014, 01.05 AM IST
AAP anti-graft helpline a call centre for cops
Top: AAP volunteers attend a training session on how to help citizens being bribed. (Above) Ravi Srivastava takes calls
Initiative tastes early success with four RPF policemen booked for demanding bribe from sweeper. Over a dozen other citizens being harassed by govt staffers get help.
Namaskar. Aam Aadmi Party anti-corruption helpline," says 60-year-old Ravi Srivastava, while answering calls on his cell phone as he sits outside a coffee shop in Kharghar. One of four coordinators of AAP's anti-corruption helpline, Srivastava answers 60 to 70 calls each day, hears every caller out patiently and, depending on the nature of complaints, passes the messages to his battery of 80-odd volunteers spread across Mumbai.

Barely a week old, the helpline is already popular and tasted its first success on Thursday. A CBI anti-corruption unit arrested two Railway Protection Force (RPF) officials and booked two others for demanding a bribe from a contract sweeper.

Amin Shaikh, a supervisor with a railway cleaning contractor, had approached Srivasatva on August 19 and said that RPF officials had detained one of his sweepers and were demanding a Rs 15,000 bribe to let him go.

"I asked him if he was willing to fight the case out and take it to a logical conclusion," said a proud Srivastava. "Amin was very confident that he did not want to bribe anyone and wanted the guilty brought to book. Next, I put our team of volunteers from around Bandra in touch with him. Within 48 hours we had results." Once Srivastava, who used to work with a PSU, put Shaikh in touch with AAP volunteers, the latter verified his complaint.

Mayank Jain, who heads one of the six teams of volunteers in Mumbai, explained that after Shaikh narrated his problem, it was evident that it was a clear-cut case of bribery and needed to be handled by sleuths. They first approached the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), but were directed to the CBI, as the RPF is a central agency. "I had met the director-general of the ACB before the helpline was launched, and he had promised support in every manner, so it was easy to contact his officials. They pointed out that the ACB only handles state cases and that this case would have to be handled by the CBI. ACB officials were kind enough to put us on to aCBI team," explained Jain.

Over the next 48 hours, the CBI put everything in place and on Thursday night arrested two RPF officials, while two others are absconding.

While there were arrests in only the RPF case, in the past week AAP has been able to help over a dozen citizens who were being harassed by various government departments. "Most calls are to figure out how we work and can help them," said Srivastava. "There were also calls from Nagpur, Thane and Navi Mumbai, cities we do not cater to as of now. On an average, three to four calls everyday are specifically about corruption. In such cases we give the caller two options - whether they want to get agencies like the ACB and CBI involved, or simply want their work done without paying a bribe."

The majority of callers simply want a resolution to their problem and do not want to approach authorities. Jain points out a recent case of a western suburbs resident whose ration card was being delayed despite all the paperwork being done. The caller said that officials were delaying because they were expecting a bribe, but he didn't want to lodge a complaint with the ACB. Jain and his volunteers approached the ration office, met the concerned official's superior and told him about the problem. The complainant's ration card was immediately issued and the concerned official pulled up by his superior.

The helpline aims at eradicating corruption, but the team does not force complainants to take the legal route. The only condition laid down is that callers must identify themselves and be willing to stand up for their rights.

Praveen Dixit, director-general of ACB, is impressed with the helpline. "When they came to meet me, irrespective of the fact that they were a political party, I told them that we would support them in every way. The ACB's job is to help those who are being harassed by corrupt government servants. The helpline is only helping us do our job," said Dixit.
Call 96999-49331

AAP Mumbai has put a simple system in place. Its has a number (96999-49331) which is answered by one of four central coordinators. If a particular coordinator is busy, calls automatically get diverted to another. Once the coordinator identifies the nature of the complaint, volunteers verify the case and initiate action. Often it involves going with the complainant to a government office, meeting senior officials and filing a complaint against a particular official who is demanding a bribe or harassing the citizen.
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Muslim Right and the Anglo-American Left: The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name - By Meredith Tax

Even in India, Muslim Right and Indian Left, are inevitably destined to form a united front against the emergent Hindutva Right. The earlier die-hards from both sides merge their differences and take up the dictum of 'the  enemy of my enemy is my friend', both will exhaust their energies in fighting each other, while the Hindutva will continue to consolidate its stranglehold on India. The hour of decision is NOW.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai
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The Muslim Right and the Anglo-American Left: The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name

An excerpt from ‘Double Bind’ questions the logic of ‘One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter’

August 5, 2014 12:00 AM|Comments:

Protesters and members of the Stop the War Coalition gather at the U.S. Embassy to march to Trafalgar Square on April 1, 2009, in London. ( Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

The Muslim Right is a range of transnational political movements that mobilize identity politics towards the goal of a theocratic state. It consists of those called “moderate Islamists” by the media, who propose to reach this goal gradually by electoral and educational means; extremist parties and groups called “salafis,” who run for office but also try to enforce some version of Sharia law through street violence; and a much smaller militant wing of salafi-jihadis, whose propaganda endorses military means and who practice violence against civilians. The goal of all political Islamists, however, whatever means they may prefer, is a state founded upon a version of Sharia law that systematically discriminates against women along with sexual and religious minorities.

Some in the human rights movement have gone overboard in their desire to defend the victims of state counter-terrorism, and ended up embracing the Muslim Right. A section of the Anglo-American left has done the same, focusing only on wrongs done by the United States and acting on the fatal principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Historically, the left has stood for certain values—at least in principle: separation between religion and the state; social equality; an end to discrimination against women and minorities; economic justice; opposition to imperialist and racist wars. In the last ten years, however, some groups on the far left have allied with conservative Muslim organizations that stand for religious discrimination, advocate death for those they consider apostates, oppose gay rights, subordinate women, and seek to impose their views on others through violence. This support of the Muslim Right has undermined struggles for secular democracy in the Global South and has spread from the far left to feminists, the human rights movement and progressive donors.

The far left’s embrace of Islamic fundamentalism mirrors distortions about Islam put about by anti-immigrant conservatives—the far right talks as if all Muslims were potential terrorists, while the far left talks as if salafi-jihadis represented all Muslims. Both ignore the fact that the vast majority of Muslims are like everybody else; they just want to survive and live their lives in peace. Very few of them support the interpretations and actions of salafi-jihadis, who no more represent all Muslims than the American Nazi Party or English Defence League represent all Christians.

In 2006, the late Fred Halliday, a socialist public intellectual and expert on the Middle East, listed some ways that left wing movements were giving support to the Muslim Right. He included the Tehran visit of Venezuelan socialist leader Hugo Chavez, during which Chavez embraced Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; the official welcome ceremony given by Ken Livingstone, then Mayor of London, and MP George Galloway of the Respect Party, to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a controversial Egyptian cleric associated with the Muslim Brotherhood; and the alignment of the Socialist Workers Party with Islamists in the Stop the War movement, in which London antiwar demonstrators carried signs saying, “We are all Hezbollah.” He might also have included the fact that the Third European Social Forum, meeting in London in 2004, prominently featured Tariq Ramadan, a professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, while denying a feminist coalition space for a panel on “Unholy Alliances” between the left and the Muslim Right.

A particularly egregious example of this trend is left wing support for “the Iraqi insurgency” which includes groups allied with al-Qaeda and is made up of Sunni militants who practice sectarian violence against Shi’a and plant bombs in marketplaces and civilian neighbourhoods. Although Iraqi leftists and feminists oppose the Iraqi insurgency, both the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition in the United States and the Stop the War Coalition in the United Kingdom have endorsed it on the basis that it is fighting foreign invasion and imperialism. In fact, the insurgency has directed its violence less at the US than at imposing an Islamic state on its own people, targeting women in particular, as Anissa Hélie, a feminist scholar and former coordinator of Women Living Under Muslim Laws, pointed out in 2005:

For example, an extremist group in Iraq called Mujahideen Shura (council of fighters) warned it would kill any woman who is seen unveiled on the street. The recent case of Zeena Al Qushtaini has shown this is not an empty threat. Zeena, a women’s rights activist and businesswoman known for wearing “Western” clothing, was kidnapped and executed by Jamaat al Tawhid wa’l-Jihad, another armed Islamist group. Her body was found wrapped in the traditional abaya, which she had refused to wear when she was alive. Pinned to the abaya was the message: “She was a collaborator against Islam.” Muslim extremists have already moved on to assassinating male and female hairdressers whom they accuse of promoting “Western” fashion. They also specifically target trade union leaders as well as gays and lesbians. Religious minorities are also under attack, such as Christians in the Northern city of Mosul where women from the Christian community were singled out in a rape campaign.

Despite this record, prominent left wing intellectuals in the United Kingdom like Tariq Ali, an editor of New Left Review, continued to romanticize Iraqi sectarian attacks.

With similar political blindness, sections of the international left have continued to support the Iranian theocracy despite its violent repression of the “Green Revolution” of 2009-2010, its attacks on student and women’s organizations, and its suppression of labour unions. In September 2010, for instance, 150 self-described “progressive activists” in the United States, led by former U.S.
Attorney General Ramsey Clark and former member of the House of Representatives Cynthia McKinney, dined with Iranian President Ahmadinejad on his visit to the United Nations to show their support for his allegedly anti-imperialist stand. Unwillingness to criticize the Iranian theocracy has led to a lack of solidarity with the people of Iran, a particular problem at a time of sanctions and talk of war. In March 2012, a United National Antiwar Coalition met in Hartford to oppose the possibility of war with Iran, condemn sanctions, and oppose U.S. wars and interference in other places. By an overwhelming majority, however, the meeting refused to support the human rights of the Iranian people, voting down a resolution that said, “We oppose war and sanctions against the Iranian people and stand in solidarity with their struggle against state repression and all forms of outside intervention.”

And yet, as a spokeswoman for the New York-based Raha Iranian Feminists Group, which supported the defeated resolution, said,

If we don’t support Iranians struggling in Iran for the same things we fight for here, such as labor rights, abolition of the death penalty and freedom for political prisoners, we risk a politically debilitating form of cultural relativism. At best we are hypocrites; at worst we show an inability to imagine Iranians as anything other than passive victims of Western powers. Ironically, this echoes racist and Orientalist stereotypes of the kind that most antiwar activists would hasten to decry.


Some on the far left support the Taliban, the Iraqi insurgency, the Iranian theocracy and even al-Qaida, in the belief that they systematically oppose U.S. imperialism. This idea does not accord with reality.

The main financial support for salafi-jihadi groups comes from various sources in Saudi Arabia, arguably the most reactionary country in the world and a staunch ally of the same U.S. imperialists that jihadis say they are fighting.

Even if the Muslim Right were a reliable foe of U.S. imperialism, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is a very poor strategy for left wing survival. Wherever Islamists have gained power, they have wiped out the left—see Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Sudan, and, of course, Afghanistan. Women Living Under Muslim Laws, an international network with over 25 years’ experience documenting Muslim politico-religious forces, made this point in a 2005 appeal to the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre:

Fundamentalist terror is by no means a tool of the poor against the rich, of the Third World against the West, of people against capitalism. It is not a legitimate response that can be supported by the progressive forces of the world. Its main target is the internal democratic opposition to [its] theocratic project … of controlling all aspects of society in the name of religion, including education, the legal system, youth services, etc. When fundamentalists come to power, they silence the people; they physically eliminate dissidents, writers, journalists, poets, musicians, painters like fascists do. Like fascists, they physically eliminate the “untermensch”—the subhuman—among them “inferior races,” gays, mentally or physically disabled people. And they lock women “in their place,” which as we know from experience ends up being a strait jacket. Like fascists, they support capitalism.

A variant of the “enemy of my enemy” theory invokes a crude version of Marxism to explain that, since U.S. imperialism is the principal enemy of the world’s people, we should defeat it before worrying about other enemies. According to Vijay Prashad, a professor at Trinity College and author of The Darker Nations: A History of the Third World:

In today’s world, the principal contradiction, the Large Contradiction, is between imperialism and humanity. … The Lesser Contradiction is between the left and the reactionaries, who are not identical to imperialism. Indian Hindutva, American evangelicalism and Zionism are reactionary, but not part of the Lesser Contradiction.

Those forms of reaction are ensconced in the Larger Contradiction, since they are handmaidens of imperialism. What I refer to as the reactionaries of the Lesser Contradiction are organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and so on. … These other groups are antagonistic to imperialism, and are from this standpoint able to capture the sentiments and politics of the people who are anti-imperialist nationalists. We are divided from them, but not against them in the same way as we are against imperialism. To make these two contradictions the same is to fall into the liberal error of equivalence.

One of the problems with this approach is that while the left is battling the Large Contradiction the Lesser Contradiction is likely to sneak up on it, as WLUML demonstrates, citing an Erich Fried poem to this effect: “Totally caught into my struggle against the main enemy/ I was shot by my secondary enemy./ Not from the back, treacherously, as his main enemies claimed/ But directly, from the position he had long been occupying/ And in keeping with his declared intentions that I did not/ bother about, thinking they were insignificant.”

Salafi-jihadis speak of establishing a new Caliphate or pan-Islamic empire, in which only practicing Muslims would be full citizens and non-believers would either be wiped out or live as second-class subjects. How can any group that is trying to establish an empire of its own be called anti-imperialist?


Salafi-jihadi spokesmen continually compare the “defense of Muslim lands” to the national liberation struggles of the 1960s and ’70s, particularly that of South Africa. Their mantra is, “Today’s terrorist is tomorrow’s freedom fighter.” But the aims of yesterday’s national liberation movements had almost nothing in common with those of today’s jihadis. Not only were these national liberation struggles trying to establish modern, independent nation-states, free of colonial domination; many of them, at least in theory, also had explicit goals of economic and social equality for all. They were not aiming for a pan-national empire ruled by a hierarchical religious authority, offering forced conversion, unequal citizenship, or death to “infidels.”

Muslim cleric Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi meets Mayor Ken Livingstone as he attends the ‘A woman’s right to choose’ conference on July 12, 2004 in London. (Photo by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images)

Why then is this comparison with national liberation struggles so frequently made? Partly to attract support from the left and partly to drape “defense of Muslim lands” in the mantle of a human rights struggle, since the right to national self-determination is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But it is obvious that the goal of a pan-Islamic state ruled by a version of Sharia law directly contravenes most of the articles in the Declaration including Article 7 (“All are equal before the law”), Article 18 (“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”) and the provisions for women’s equality. There is no basis in theory or practice that would allow a human rights organization to endorse “defensive jihad” without betraying its own principles.


Since the French and Bolshevik Revolutions, if not before, the left has had a tendency to see terrorism either as a legitimate expression of popular grievances or as necessary to protect the gains of the revolution. The communist left was understanding about Stalin’s terror, and parts of the New Left were willing to excuse China’s Cultural Revolution and terror by the Khmer Rouge, Sendero Luminoso, the Tamil Tigers, and the Colombian FARC. Today some on the left are equally forgiving of terror by the Muslim Right, seeing it as insignificant compared to wars and drone killings. Such left wing defenses of terrorism have three ideological roots: The belief that terror is an attack upon the power of the state, when it is usually an attack upon civilians; the belief that the end justifies the means; and the belief that only violence can defeat violence.

Most terrorist actions are not directed at the state. Even large-scale attacks on civilians like the July 7 bombing of underground trains and buses in London and the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon are rare compared to terrorist operations at the community level, which are meant to control local populations and are often targeted at women, gays, religious minorities or specific ethnic groups. As Gita Sahgal said in a 2007 speech for Amnesty International:

Most acts of terrorism, in most parts of the world, are well sign-posted by the groups that commit them. They are often carried out by people who know their targets well. Their aim is not only to murder and maim but to intimidate and control. In short, for civilians who are the targets of such attacks, the enemy is not unknown but an intimate one. And the threat of terrorism affects freedom of expression, freedom of movement, the right to education and to health and work as much as it threatens the right to life itself.

The Taliban puts up night letters warning teachers not to teach and children, especially girls, not to go to school. Recently they have issued warnings to barber shops to stop shaving men’s beards. Islamist militants from Algeria to Iraq and Kashmir have threatened women who do not conform to the dress codes they impose or the curfews they enforce. Armed groups may intervene in disputes at community level, providing their own forms of summary justice. The IRA’s practice of shooting offenders in the knee is an example. But such groups usually have a puritanical agenda as well. Their purpose is not simply to attack the forces of the state or an occupying force but to impose control on the population that is supposed to be their support base.

This is the politics of armed gangs who crave not liberation but dominance, whether they are narcotraficantes, self-styled revolutionaries, religious zealots, or all of the above. History has demonstrated that any political project—left or right—that relies on terror will not end by serving goals of liberation. A movement that tries to achieve power by blowing up ordinary citizens as they go to work or to market, or attend a wedding or a religious celebration, is not on the side of the people, and the people know it.

There are those who justify the notion that only equal violence can overtake the strength and violence of the ruling class, using the argument that, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” But saying that the violence of one group is necessary to end the violence of another is like talking about “war to end war”—a World War I slogan. Violence breeds violence and the means shape the end. The feminist movement has stressed that the personal is political. Those who wish to transform society need to do so in ways that mobilize the positive transformational strengths of masses of people, rather than use methods of violence, dogmatism, and authoritarianism.


At one point in her latest book, Leila Ahmed, the Harvard scholar of women and Islam, breaks into an anguished cry:

I continue to believe … that the rights and conditions of women in Muslim-majority societies often are acutely in need of improvement, as indeed they are in many other societies. But the question now is how we address such issues while not allowing our work and concerns to aid and abet imperialist projects, including war projects that mete out death and trauma to Muslim women under the guise and to the accompaniment of a rhetoric of saving them.

It is a classic statement of the double bind, which has succeeded in making discussion of anything relating to Muslim women completely taboo in some circles and, in others, so hedged around by fearful qualifications as to be almost unintelligible.

Any feminist in the United Kingdom or North America who raises issues of gender politics in Muslim-majority countries is likely to be called an Orientalist; compared to Laura Bush, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and IrsHad Manji; and accused of using “good Muslim-bad Muslim” stereotypes. If she is white, she will be told she is colonialist; if she is a woman of color or feminist from the Global South, she will be considered to lack authenticity. She will be accused of “essentializing” political Islam and ignoring differences within it; of lacking nuance and failing to contextualize; of having internalized ideas of Western superiority; of perpetuating binaries such as progressive vs. reactionary, liberal vs. conservative, secular vs. fundamentalist; of being a traitor to her community and culture. She will be beaten over the head with Edward Said, a self-described secularist who must be turning in his grave to see the use his followers make of him. Here, for example, is a recent discussion by Rupal Oza, director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Hunter College, and Amna Akbar, Senior Research Scholar and Advocacy Fellow at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and the International Human Rights Clinic of New York University Law School:

[S]ecular feminists’ concern that “Muslim fundamentalist” religious codes impose and sanction violence on women and queers relies on a myopia that understands Muslim women only as victims of Muslim men and Islam, ignoring the role of imperial violence in defining Muslim realities around the world. … The military, intelligence, and humanitarian arms of the U.S. “War on Terror” rely on the construction of Muslim men and Islam as savage threats, Muslim women as helpless victims and the United States as liberator-cum-savior. … The victim-savage-savior framework produces one-dimensional narratives that marginalize or erase imperial violence and transnational and structural inequalities. In producing human rights subjects in clear-cut codependent categories of victim, savage, and savior, these human rights discourses transform complex social contexts rife with inequalities and violence into neat moral geographies … this limited imagination of victims elides the ways in which imperial, secular violence—the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan or U.S. drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan—undermine human rights and material realities of men and women around the world.

The message is clear: stick to U.S. imperialism and shut up about the Muslim Right. While such a message is to be expected from the Muslim Right itself, this is coming from academic feminists and the message long predates Sept. 11. Academic postmodernism reached its zenith as part of the rightward political turn of the 1980s and ’90s, when globalized capital appeared triumphant and all hope of positive radical change faded; it is, in short, the politics of despair. Haideh Moghissi’s critique of this tendency, Feminism and Islamic Fundamentalism: The Limits of Postmodern Analysis, was written two years before the attack on the World Trade Center. Says Moghissi:

[M]y concern here is less with postmodernism as a slippery epistemological stance and more with its effect on our political climate and mood—its well-advertised but fictitious radicalism (which rapidly dissolves into a celebration of cultural difference), its privileging of the “local” (as against “master narratives” emphasizing universal rights) and, consequently, its curious affinity with the most reactionary ideas of Islamic fundamentalism. For the two share a common ground—an unremitting hostility to the social, cultural, and political processes of change and knowledge and rationality, originating in the West, known as modernity.

The postmodernist feminist analysis has a curiously conservative view of Muslim women, with no room for the hundreds of millions of Muslim women who are secularist in the same way Christians, Hindus, and Jews are. Muslims are treated as people who must be protected from cosmopolitanism—this again echoes the view of the Muslim Right. As Sadia Abbas, assistant professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, points out, this kind of feminism ignores the actual views and organizations of women in Muslim-majority countries in order to defend the Muslim Right’s construction of a beleaguered Islam facing off against the U.S. empire:

Does Islam really need that much help? Are arguments between Muslims simply irrelevant? Can coercive practices of subordinating women that seek Islamic authority ever be critiqued when they take place in contexts where Muslims face discrimination, and where there is the backdrop of a brutal and long colonial history? Are secular or reformist Muslim feminists allowed to talk about patriarchal structures that draw upon Islam or are they always to be subjected to disciplining by the metropolitan gaze… within the post-secularist universe there can be no secular or anti-Islamist Muslims or Muslim reformers. There is, in other words, a recurrent invocation of the plurality of Islamicate cultures and yet a continuous subsumption of most Muslims to the most orthodox kinds.

Late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in Caracas, January, 2012. (Photo JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)

Post-colonial postmodernist feminism seldom examines the political questions of alliance and affiliation taken up in this study, or the complicated dialectic between terrorism and counter-terrorism. The analysis has no room for the fact that the supposedly “democratic” and “anti-imperialist” Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was eager to get loans from the World Bank and accept U.S. aid. Actually, the analysis has very little room for the real world at all—its focus is on image, representation and trope rather than relationships between living people. With the exception of wars of empire, real-world political battles fade away; there are no actual Islamist organizations, no political parties, no struggles over particular laws. In fact there are no social actors of any kind except for the U.S. military and its drones, just “narratives,” “categories” and “complex social constructs.” Most of all, there is no way that progressives or feminists in the North can act in solidarity with those in the Global South, for any solidarity can only be construed as imperialist “rescue”.

Yet solidarity is the only way to cut through the knots of the double bind.

Here is a radical suggestion for the Anglo-American left: Instead of allying with and protecting the Muslim Right, how about solidarity with actual popular movements of democrats and feminists struggling in the Global South? How about recognizing that we all face an emerging conservative front in which Washington and the Muslim Brotherhood are more likely to be allies than adversaries, and human rights are of no concern to either?

In order to get its collective head straight, the Anglo-American left will have to overcome its imperial narcissism, in which the United States (with its U.K. ally) is assumed to be the cause of everything bad happening in the world, and the only possible response to its overwhelming power and evil is a pained ironic stance, or, at best, a position of moral witness. Yes, the United States invades other countries and sends drones to kill by night; nevertheless, like the United Kingdom before it, the United States is an imperial power in decline, stretched beyond its means, with severe domestic problems. And while it continues to prop up old-style military dictatorships in the Middle East and elsewhere in pursuit of oil, it is just as happy to ally with the Muslim Right in all its various forms—from political parties like the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat e Islami, to the Pakistani and Saudi governments, the Taliban, and the dictators of Central Asia.

If solidarity with feminists and progressives in the South is essential for any hopeful political project in the North, so is defence of secular space. Since the end of the Cold War, secular spaces all over the world have come under siege by various forms of fundamentalism, and the instrumentalization of religion for political gain has become a problem in regions as varied as Eastern Europe, Central Asia, South Asia, Africa, South America, Western Europe and North America. In all these places, religious identity politics has muddied discussion of class, racism and discrimination against women and sexual minorities. Democratic governance is based on the idea that the authority of the state is delegated by the people rather than coming from God, and separation of the state from religion is essential to democracy because gender, religious minority and sexual rights are issues whenever human rights are limited by religion, culture, or political expediency.

In order to cut through the double binds described above—so we can defend ourselves and others against terrorism and counter-terrorism, empower civil society, promote universal human rights and strengthen democracy—we must think about both solidarity and secularism. These are not the only social remedies needed in a world torn by conflict and poised on the brink of ecological disaster, but both are essential to our ability to move forward.

Excerpt from Double Bind: The Muslim Right, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights by Meredith Tax. Copyright © 2013 by Meredith Tax. Used by permission of Centre for Secular Space. All rights reserved.