September 11, 2001 and now
The tragedy that struck New York and Washington five years ago, has now spread in almost every home especially those of Muslims in America and all over the world. The reprehensible act of terror committed by a few has been turned into a propaganda campaign against Muslims and Islam. Muslims have been put on the defensive all over the world and new terms such as radical Islam, Islamo-fascism, violent Islam, are in vogue.
Needless to say that the Muslim community has become a scapegoat for the failed policies of our government. Every time an act of violence is committed or a conspiracy is discovered, Muslims are demanded to prove their patriotism, their loyalty and their commitment to civility. Despite the fact, that not a single Muslim American citizen has ever been involved in the 9/11 terrorism related action. The law enforcement agencies have not found any link between any of the alleged hijackers and the American Muslim community in any shape or form.
There are several questions that we must ask in order to understand the real motives of those who have constantly been accusing Muslims of being part of a religion that promotes violence. Three groups are visibly distinct in their outburst against Islam and Muslims. They are the ones who are controlling the airwaves, they are the ones who are spreading hatred and mistrust against Islam and Muslims and they are the ones who are reaping the benefit of the ongoing propaganda against Islam.
The right wing Christian leaders and their followers top the list of those who are heading the campaign against Islam and Muslims. They are no longer an insignificant minority. They have the support of the Bush administration and many in the Pentagon, White House, Congress and other branches of the government share their perspectives on Islam and Muslims. During the last five years, leaders and individuals associated with these groups have appeared on more than 20,000 talk shows, written some 15,000 articles, delivered sermons in more than 200,000 churches reaching an audience of some 50 million people and organized several research studies and seminars on the subject of Islam and terrorism.
Their perspective on Islam and Muslims emerges from their own deep rooted religious convictions that convince them that only those who are born again Christians and only those who accept Jesus as their only savior will be saved as the rest will rot in hell. Many of their leaders believe that Muslims constitute the antichrist forces even though some such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are on record saying that the antichrist is a Jew.
They consider America a new promised land and believe that through the power of America, they can impose their ideals on the world. During the last 100 years, they saw the growth of Islam among African, Asian, Caucasian and Latin origin Americans. They view Islam as a challenge to their growth and ideology. They see the presence of a vibrant Islam as a threat to their designs in America and they believe that Islam must be confronted. Hence, they are at the forefront of the campaign to malign Islam and Muslims. They are the ones who have called Islam a religion of 'terror' and Prophet Muhammad a 'terrorist'. They are the ones who believe that Islam must be wiped out if their version of Christianity has to prevail. Since 9/11, they are the ones who have used all possible channels to spread venomous hatred against Islam and Muslims.
The second group consists of extremist political Zionists who see the presence of Muslims a threat to their ultimate designs in the state of Israel. They are the leading voices in the American Jewish Committee, American Israeli Public Affairs Council, the Jewish Federation and many other similar outfits. They have adopted a three prong approach to discredit Muslims and Islam. On the one hand, they have relied on the support they receive from sympathetic media, and academicians and think tanks, while on the other, they have tried to ally themselves with the right wing Christian to add more fuel to the fire against Islam. While their third approach is to prepare and identify a few Muslims here and there who speak their language and champion their cause. During the last 5 years, these groups have invited in their gatherings several such Muslims to define Islam and attack Muslims. Needless to say that many of these Muslims rely on the ineffectual input of political Zionists for making an argument against Islam and Muslims. Seventy percent of the articles opposing Islam that appeared in major dailies in the country come from extreme political Zionists. On the television network, they outnumber other vicious 100 to 2. They strongly believe that the creation of the state of Israel will ultimately lead to the coming of their Messiah who will enable Jews to establish a world government based on Talmudic laws. They find Muslims especially in America a hurdle in their way.
They don't want to share American democracy with anyone who is opposed to their worldview. They want to stifle even a single voice of opposition to the state of Israel. They are the ones who have coined terms such as radical Islam, Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic terrorism, or Islamic fascism.
The third group comprises greedy businesses and their zealot supporters in politics. They have found an enormous business opportunity in the terror related businesses. The most who have benefited from the terror related preventive actions are security agencies, public relations groups and defense contractors.
They have earned business worth billions of the past five years. They employ scientists, academicians, politicians and journalists to speak their language and mind. These His or Her master's voice speak like an expert and warn people of the dangers of Islamo-fascism and radical Islam or Wahhabism or similar groups. The more they spread the fear, the more they earn through businesses.
Of course, there are two specific groups of Muslims who are playing in the hands of the three groups unconsciously and unknowingly. One comprises those who believe that Islam promotes violence to achieve its objective. The other includes those who are doing nothing but say everything. Ignorant and unaware of the true religious dimensions, they try to pick up a verbal fight with anyone who appears to be appreciating anything western. For them, democracy and human rights are facades as they view Islam totally incompatible with them. Even though their number is not large, they make enough noise to attract the attention of the above three groups who use their statements to justify their politics and strategy to counter Islam.
The response of Muslims is very defensive. Muslim groups, in general, have tried to communicate with the three groups to win some favors. Steve Emerson and Daniel Pipes still dominate the psychology of many Muslim groups and organizations. Some American Muslim groups even have gone further trying to develop stronger relations with the FBI and State Department without realizing that in democracies, it is the people that matter and not the bureaucracies that determine the nature of the state. Not many Muslim groups in America are serious in developing any grass roots campaign to make Muslims an effective part of American pluralism. Muslims might weather the three antagonistic groups, but it would be hard to deal with their own apathy and indifference to their plight.
You have covered many phases in your valuable article but I want to comment on your first paragraph. "The reprehensible act of terror committed by a few has been turned into a propaganda campaign against Muslims and Islam."
It is believed by many intelligent, well read & honest people all over the world, including many within USA, that what happened on 9/11 could not have been done independently by those who are blamed. Those who are blamed are anyway dead & unable to tell us the real story now. Suspicion must fall on those who are clearly the sole beneficiaries of the tragic event.
The persecution of the entire Muslim Ummah of the world on this false charge now brings up the hurt, persecuted & obviously disgruntled Muslim youth to stand up against those who are continuing to kill & oppress the weak and the innocent. Suicide is quite an expensive way to settle scores. Let us not forget; No man wants to die. Then why is this happening? Someone should ask this to those who are ignorant or fooling the rest of us. Why the general public doesnt ask this question ?
May Allah protect us.
Thank you Mr. Abdullah. As always, you nail the problem right in the head.
It would be prudent for all of us Muslims to identify, study, and come up with resources (mainly financial) to overcome these powerful anti-Muslim groups.
Lest our very existence comes into jeopardy by their self-fulling prophecy of WWIII.
islam has been winner and will be the winner in this war, in fact we are have won and will completlly deaf this evil people, believe it or not the power in America is the Jewish and god willing we will shine over them, wait you we to are waiting salam peace and security
Being Christian, I choose to love all people. Just as there are distorted views on Islam, there are also distorted views on Christianity. We humans in our stuggle to be more God-Like, must learn to forgive, must learn acceptance and must lean not on our own understanding but prayer for clarity from our maker.
I am sad for the victims of 9/11. I am also sad for Muslims who face unwarrented discrimination as a result of the henious act on that fateful day. It rock's the very core of our beliefs. That all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their creator.
Although I am of the Christian faith, I know inately that the Muslim faith is built on some of the same sacred priciples. I choose to honor the path of Muslims and pray for a world that we can co-exist peacefully.