By Latheef Farook -
Two weeks ago American soldiers in Afghanistan burnt copies of Holy Quran and triggered off countrywide violent riots killing dozens of people.US President Barack Obama to apologize.
In January this year American soldiers urinating on the dead bodies of Afghan civilians sparked worldwide outrage. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regretted.
Just before that there were footages of American soldiers collecting body parts of Afghan civilians they killed as souvenirs. These are some of the atrocities committed by American and NATO soldiers in Afghanistan and other Muslim countries – Iraq, Libya and many more.
As I stated earlier following the collapse of former Soviet Union in 1989 the US substituted the Red Communists with Islam and Muslims as their new “public enemy number one” and began the carefully orchestrated campaign under its agenda for global domination. The 9/11 tragedy in New York was cleverly exploited by former US President George Bush to unleash this ferocious global campaign under the guise of fighting war on terrorism.
In this global campaign forces which rule the world- Zionist Jews, Christian Zionists, Evangelical Christians, Born Again Christians, RSS and its affiliate Hindu extremists, communists, so called secular Muslim dictators and all others- remain hand in glove.
The result is the ever increasing incidents inciting ill-feeling between the Islamic world and the Christendom with average Christians and Muslims becoming victims.
During my visit to Finland a few years ago,a Finnish friend of mine in his mid thirties, asked “what is Islam”. Such ignorant people become easy prey. For example 15 Danish dailies reprinted in February 2008 the caricature insulting Prophet Mohammed ( PBUH).
This caricature to stir up racial and religious antagonisms was first published in January 2006 in the far rightwing Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. The journalist who triggered off the controversy over the cartoons is an Islam-hating Ukrainian Jew, operating under the name of “Flemming Rose” with close working relations with the Israel’s far right forces.
There were violent demonstrations all over resulting in deaths and destructions besides the torching of Danish diplomatic missions in Damascus and Beirut. Adding insult to the injury as protests spread worldwide, newspapers across Europe from Norway, France, Germany, Spain,Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Iceland and Hungary published these caricatures demonstrating their outright contempt for Muslims who constitute almost a quarter of the world population.
Danish government which first defended the publication and refused to meet delegations from Muslim countries thought of reconciliation only when Danish embassies came under attack and the economy started to bite with the boycott of Danish goods by Muslim countries. The World Socialist website noted that: “the basic lie and justification for publishing these caricatures is the claim that the conflict is between free speech and religious censorship, or between Western enlightenment and what they describe as Islamic bigotry. The truth is that this organized anti Muslim campaign has been exploited to prepare public opinion for new wars against Muslim countries”. Protests and demonstrations in the Muslims world were featured by the Western media to create an intended fear and apprehension against Muslim countries and Muslim minorities in Europe.
Columnists James Petras and Robin Eastman pointed out that ‘the centre piece of the explosive confrontation between the Muslim world and the US and Western European regimes and publishers are rooted in Israeli efforts to polarize the world in its favour and to promote isolation, economic sanctions and/or a military attack on Iran’.
The hatred towards Muslims is so deep rooted that Western countries insisted on the release of an editor jailed in Belarus for reproducing these cartoons as key to improving ties. Yielding to pressure Belarus did release the jailed editor. Added to this, Germany’s Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble insisted that European newspapers should reprint these Danish cartoons as a show of support for press freedom. It was astounding that such a statement coming from the interior minister of a country that consciously restricts press freedom to question the Holocaust leave alone Jewish crimes in Palestine.
Some enlightened commentators have described this as continuous escalation of a European policy to demonize, isolate and use the Muslim population as a scapegoat for the growing social misery affecting the poor masses in the West. Under the guise of fighting terrorism, governments throughoutEuropehave been implementing repressive measures that target, in the first instance, Muslims and other immigrant populations.
Among the European politicians who have sprung to the defense of the Danish government and their media outlets was French President Nicolas Sarkozy who authored the state of emergency that gutted civil liberties in France. The government of Sarkozy and that of Jacques Chirac set the precedence for such anti-Muslim attacks by imposing a ban on Muslim girls wearing head scarves in the public schools.
Meanwhile the government in Germany headed by Angela Merkel has likewise called for stronger measures to evict foreigners from their soil stating that multi culturalism has failed.
Almost a week before the publication of the cartoon, there was an uproar in Britain when the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams stated on 7 February 2008, that the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law in the UK “seems unavoidable” arguing that it would help maintain social cohesion. He said “there’s a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Islamic Sharia, as we already do with some other aspects of religious law.”
Dr Williams who wanted to initiate a healthy discussion on Sharia, pointed out that already the Orthodox Jewish community operates their own courts in UK.So why not Sharia law be allowed to be practiced by Muslims in UK. Dr Williams is a well known enlightened scholar and some have described him as one of the finest minds of the UK. His proposal was bound to contribute to better understanding between average Christians and Muslims, and this indeed, is the need of the hour, in the larger interest of the humanity.
Instead there was widespread criticism calling for his resignation stating that he should not head the Anglican Church. Some described him as a “disaster and a tragic mistake” while enlightened people regarded as “disgraceful” the way the Archbishop was ridiculed and lampooned especially by the so called pro-Jewish British free media.
The most senior woman priest in the Church of England, the Dean of Salisbury the Very Reverend June Osborne, said that Dr Williams was right to discuss Shari law. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) welcomed the Archbishop’s “thoughtful intervention” on the discussion of the place of Islam and Muslims in modern Britain. The Lord Chief Justice of Britain too sided with the Archbishop of Canterbury .
Highlighting this hostile mindset almost a week and half later Mohamed Al Fayed, the then owner of the well known Britain’s luxury department store Harrods, said that “dark forces of the Establishment, would not accept a marriage between his son Mohamed Dodi, a Muslim, and Princess Diana, a Christian. He accused Prince Philip, Prince Charles ,disgraced British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Diana’s sister Sarah McCorquodale of involvement in the conspiracy to murder Princess Diana only because she was about to marry Muhammad Dodi. Accusing a host of others as being part of the alleged conspiracy and the cover up, Mohamed Al Fayed said that Diana was pregnant and she and Dodi were victims of a complex conspiracy”.
Television commentators said that speculations were that the child of Diana and Dodi will be a Muslim. This was a nightmare scenario for the establishment which does not want a Muslim step brother or sister to the future King. Thus the alleged conspiracy to eliminate Diana and Dodi and wipe out the entire issue.
Princess Diana’s previous heart surgeon lover Dr Hasnat Khan told the inquest into her death in a highly personal statement that “he received a lot of anonymous threats through post during their two year old affair and marriage to her “would be hell”. He received envelopes containing cutout pictures of him and Diana together with a noose around his neck. This went on and on causing him severe stress. Earlier there were media reports warning him to keep away from her, only because he was a Muslim. Hatred towards Muslims was so intense that during her testimony Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell said Diana’s mother Frances Shand Kydd “called Diana a “whore “for dating a Muslim.
This is not something new because British Prime Minister of the Victorian age Mr. Gladstone , holding up the Holy Quran, told the House of Commons that: “So long as the Egyptians have got this book with them, we will never be able to enjoy quiet or peace in that land”.
Earlier in August 2007 Geert Wilders, the Chairman of the Netherlands far right Freedom Party, called for the banning of the Holy Quran stating “ Not one more Muslim immigrant should be let in and there should not be even one more mosque in Holland”. Continuing his hate campaign on Thursday 27 March 2008, he launched his racist movie titled “Fitna”, insulting Islam and inciting hatred provoking even the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to describe it as” offensively anti Islamic”. The Dutch government too distanced itself from the movie and in a televised speech the Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende rejected Wilders’ views and was pleased by the initial restrained reactions of Dutch Muslim organizations.
The Geneva based World Council of Churches, WCC, which groups over 560 million Christians around the world, stated on 3 April 2008, that this film which does not represent the views of the Dutch people or Christians regarding Islam, is an insult to all religions and an attempt to incite hatred. The WCC added that “it is reprehensible that what is sacred in our religions is ridiculed and our faith offended “.
The church official gainsaid attempts to use the West’s freedom of expression to justify anti-Islam campaigns stating that” the freedom of expression comes with respect and responsibility. It doesn’t mean insulting the sanctities of followers of other faiths”. The WCC coordinator for Christian-Muslim relations Rima Barsoum, described it is an affront to all faiths, not only Islam, as it insults the faithful who believe that religions are all about peace, fraternity, love and co-existence. She added that “Muslims have become part of the European social fabric. Islam is part of Europe’s multi-faith reality and therefore European society must accept this and show respect to its Muslims”.
However a Dutch Court acquitted on Thursday 23 June 2011, Geert Wilders on all five charges of inciting hatred against Muslims.
Many anti Muslims activists remain active. In 2005 Roberto Calderoli, the coordinator of Italy’s Northern League called for declaring Islam illegal, while Boris Johnson, British member of Parliament, demanded passing a Racial and Religious Hatred Bill ” banning the reading — in public or private — of Holy Quran, prompting a Muslim delegation to seek assurances from the Home Office that no such ban would occur. This assurance was given. Such efforts were made inNorway,Germany,Denmark,Switzerland,FranceandUnited Statesand in 2006 a movie, V for Vendetta, portrayed a futureBritainin which the Quran is banned.
The question is what prevents the European governments which imposed a strict blanket ban on any criticism of the holocaust, despite its so called freedom of the press, from imposing similar restrictions on reports and films insulting Islam and inciting hatred.
The West also picks up outcasts from among the Muslims to honor them and thereby insult Muslims. For example Salman Rushdie became an instant hero to the West when he ridiculed Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his novel Satanic Verses. Former President George Bush Sr, dismissing global Muslim sentiments, provided Salman Rushdie a hero’s welcome at the White House while Salman Rushdie was awarded a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday honors on June 2007.
In the same way Taslima Nasreen,a Bangladeshi, who critized Islam as a publicity stunt drew the wrath of Muslims some of whom demanded her execution. But she became an instant star to the West and darling to Brahmin controlled Indian media and Hindu extremists. The Indian media hailed her as the role model for so called liberated Muslim woman while the west rolled red carpets to receive her. Former French President Francois Mitterrand, in an act of outright contempt to the feelings of Muslims, received Taslima Nasreen at theElyseePalace. Her only qualification was she criticized Islam.
On Tuesday 3 June 2008 French actress Brigitte Bardot, known in the 1960s for her nude postures which earned her the title “ goddess of sex” and now an animal rights campaigner, was convicted by a Paris court and handed down a $23,325 fine for provoking racial hatred by her writing stating that Muslims are destroying France. Incidentally, it was this same Bardot who talks so much of animal rights who had a donkey of a neighbor castrated when it strayed into her garden and frolicked with her she-donkey.
This campaign continues unabated as shown by the burning of Holy Quran and urinating on Afghan dead bodies.
Commenting on this former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed said, NEVER in the 1,400-year history of the religion has Islam and its followers been so humiliated, denigrated and oppressed as they are today. The progressive religion that had propelled Muslims to become a major civilisational force with an empire spanning from Spain to China, is but a caricature of its former self. As Muslims we are all angry that our religion, the religion of peace, is being portrayed as a religion that promotes violence. But there seems to be little that we can do”.