While prisoner abuse reports are horrendous, and especially destructive of America's reputation and respect in the world, the entire war has been mismanaged from the beginning. Those responsible for the Iraq occupation have turned the American military presence in Iraq into a crusade by adopting policies and procedures that expose a religious and racist agenda and prejudice against Islam, Muslims and Arabs.
Religious prejudices against Muslims are inspired by a rhetoric orchestrated by neo-cons and a group of religious radicals led by leaders such as Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, John Ashcroft and Jerry Falwell and endorsed by military officials such as General Boykins.
These acts that have drawn outrage from the world community cannot be seen in isolation from statements that some of the most ardent supporters of the current Bush administration have made against Muslims and Islam. Statements like .. Islam is an evil faith - Prophet Muhammad is a violent leader - Muslims worship evil - Muslims send their children to die for God while Christian revere their Lord who sacrificed his life for others - Such statements create hatred against one-fifth population of the world and in the case of Iraq, where most of the people do not share the religious believes of the occupying forces, has created an environment of crusade.
There are a large number of chaplains in the US army who are supportive of people like General Boykins, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and Franklin Graham. In fact many have baptized soldiers in Iraq during the occupation.
The American Muslim community is rightfully apprehensive of the prevalence of these trends in the army and other institutions of power. It fears violation of its constitutional rights at the hands of those religious extremists who like General Boykins and John Ashcroft regard Islam a problem for American society.
The American Muslim community should join hands with other patriotic Americans in their demand for an open investigation about the prevalence of the culture of hate in the army and other institutions of public policy. The American Muslim community must also make demands for the inclusion of Muslim Americans in a fact-finding mission to Iraq to assess the real extent of hatred against Muslims and Islam.
The incompetence and mismanagement of the Bush administration can no longer be concealed. In April 2003 Sadism regime collapsed and Iraqis were ready for a new deal. However, the Bush administration has given them a dirty deal.
What is at stake is the future of humanity that the religious right is willing to risk in its eagerness to win the White House once again for the current President.
Dr. Aslam Abdullah is the Editor of the Minaret magazine which is a monthly publication from Los Angeles, California.
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