Muslim world turned into a tinderbox

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: Conflicts And War, George W. Bush, Iraq, Uzbekistan Views: 4457

Iraq. Uzbekistan. The Qur'an. These issues in the news expose American double standards, hypocrisy and outright lies.

They also help explain how George W. Bush has turned the Muslim world into a tinderbox.

It is his policies, not a News- week item on the desecration of the holy book at Guantanamo Bay, that sparked the anti-U.S. protests that killed 17 people. What the magazine reported, albeit sloppily, is not new.

Four Britons, one Moroccan, one Kuwaiti and at least one Afghan released from the American base last year have said, separately, that the Qur'an was routinely stomped upon, ripped apart and strewn about toilets.

They spoke of three hunger strikes in protest.

The International Red Cross has confirmed it repeatedly told the Pentagon, starting in 2002, that detainees were complaining of Americans using the Qur'an as a tool of torture.

Whom are Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and others fooling, other than their pliant half of the American electorate, with phony pronouncements about how America would never tolerate such criminality?

The Qur'an episodes are but one part of a broad offensive of violating the religious sensibilities of Muslims in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Some had pork or alcohol forced down their throats; they had tape placed over their mouths for reciting the Qur'an; many Muslims were forced to be naked in front of each other, members of the opposite sex and sometimes their own families," said The Times of London.

Physicians for Human Rights also cited forced nudity, masturbation and other transgressions of religious and cultural norms.

The perversions recorded in the infamous Abu Ghraib photos, for which Lynndie England and eight others are being prosecuted, were not the work of an isolated few but part of a widespread program to break down the inmates. Yet here is the administration asking Newsweek to "repair the damage done by its reporting."

Who will fix the destruction unleashed by the administration when it sent the U.S. war machine abroad; killed, maimed or uprooted hundreds of thousands; violated the property, privacy, dignity and religious values of thousands picked up at random, including women and children; and psychologically tortured inmates and shipped others for physical torture to Egypt, Syria, Uzbekistan and other regimes it is in cahoots with?

It was no surprise, then, that Washington's initial response to the killings in Uzbekistan was to join Russia and China in soft-pedalling the biggest state crime in Asia since Tiananmen Square. It echoed Uzbek tyrant Islam Karimov who dismissed the popular uprising against his reign of terror as the agitation of "Islamic terrorists." 

Karimov is Bush's man. For providing a military base, not just for the war in Afghanistan but as the last outpost of an oil-rich region, he got $500 million. And a licence to brand opponents as Muslim militants.

So, even as Bush hails democracy in Georgia, Ukraine and the Baltics, he's mute on Uzbekistan. (But why is Canada?)

Meanwhile, Iraq - the main theatre of American endeavour - is beginning to look like Algeria in the 1990s.

That was a time of a brutal civil war, triggered by the cancellation of elections there. Civilians were routinely slaughtered and the military regime sat back and stopped counting the dead.

The American liberators of Iraq never started the count. But they have presided over the same number of dead, as did the junta in Algiers: about 100,000. 

As the insurgency gets bloodier, the American response has been to take maximum steps to minimize their own casualties and let the Iraqis take most of the hits from the terrorists. And to double up the propaganda.

The July 1 handover of power to the Iraqis was to be the turning point to peace. Then the fall assault on Falluja, the second one in eight months, was going to do it. Then it was the Jan. 30 election. Then the formation of the new government.

In reality, the insurgency kept escalating and is worse than at any time. And the Americans have no clue how to contain it.

When there's a lull in fighting, they say the rebels are in retreat. When the going gets bloodier, they say the rebels cannot possibly keep it up.

Iraq may or may not be another Vietnam. But can anyone recall a time when an American president made such a mess on so many fronts?

Haroon Siddiqui is the Toronto Star's editorial page editor emeritus. [email protected]

  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: Conflicts And War, George W. Bush, Iraq, Uzbekistan
Views: 4457

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Older Comments:
Bush is a monster and a fraud. Not all Americans agree with his failed forign policies.

Every time Muslims are hurt, they did nothing but to yell that they did this and they did that. From centuries they have been making and implementing extremely poisonous plans against Muslims, like a planned massacre and elimination of the remaining Muslims from Spain, the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the balkans, etc. Funny part is that everyone is quiet when the killing is going on for years. After the cleansing is complete, they start aresting the criminals, just to show the world that we are doing justice. Muslim massacre in the balkans went on for eight years. Now there are trials of war crimes. During those eight years everyone including UN was quiet.

It is about time that Muslims wake up and do something to take control. Muslims should study the Jews how they have empowered and control the whole world. Muslims should learn techniques from them. All Muslims do is mourn for the damage done and collect their dead bodies or their scattered pieces spread by Christian and Jewish weapons of mass destruction. Instead, Muslims should take the Judicial System in their hands, take finances in their hands and learn to control. Prepare those who can do this. This can happen when slave kingdoms like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are gone. Muslims should stop killing innocent people and fight legally. Killing will not produce any results. If Muslims do the same as those murderers, there will be not difference between Muslims and those evil, wicked people who call others terrorrist while they themselves are terrorrist.


Ameen to the du'as in the last comment (shama khalil).
I totally agree with the writer.

My question that I have not been able to find an answer to so far is: what can us 'ordinary' Muslims do without being labelled "extremists" or some other such garbage phrase by our families, friends and media/rest of the world.

No, I'm not talking about writing to "our lawmakers and leaders" or calling into radio shows. I am talking about actually DOING something.

Anybody remotely religious that wants rights for Muslims NOW and is willing to do something about it is called a "fundamentalist", "Islamist", "militant" and a number of other idiotic American/Bush/Western-type labels for "those ragheads and camel-jocks".

Insha'Allah, go to and type in International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a not-for-profit pacifist-type organization in and for Palestine and against the Israeli occupation.
It was started by Palestinians but is now mainly filled with volunteers from all countries like Japan, Italy, Sweden, US, UK, Australia, even ISRAEL and many more!

Find out more about it Insha'Allah. If we can all join and/or start groups like these all over the world, Muslims (and all others) would be much better off.

I am waiting patiently for Iraq to be divided into three parts, as the hadith states. Then.....only a matter of time. Their time is near. Like a glittering star that shines on his cheek, he is of Ahul Bayt. wa ma taufeek illa billah.

The author has brought out the fact in his article. Many among us know it.

It is a pity that some of our own people ( so called muslim countries ) are actively taking part in destroying us.

Alas!! the American public is blind, deaf and dumb, who had voted the cruel, unworthy regime to power again.

Let us pray for those who are suffering at the hand of these people.