An Onslaught against Islam? Gauging the Political Environment, INTRODUCTION

An Opinion Piece By Jamila Cassim

The word “Islam” is derived from the Arabic root; which means peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense it means submission to the will of God and obedience to his law (http://www.barghouti.com).

A true Muslim follows their religion by practicing peace, mercy and forgiveness; so how can a religion born out of these principles give rise to a breed of “terrorists”?

The assumption that Muslim’s are terrorists has to be examined against the backdrop of events that unfolded on 9/11- a phenomenon that has given rise to a global “attack” against Islam, even now, more than a decade later.

Oftentimes, on the couch of international onlookers, questions regarding the 9/11 attacks are asked. For instance, a common observance is that events unfolded like the scenes from a Hollywood movie– how were the cameras conveniently “there” to record the actual collapse of the twin towers?  Did it not seem expected? Very shortly after the disaster, the Saudi fugitive Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda movement was named as the man responsible for the attack. Muslim’s worldwide were aghast and the world was in shock.

Most Muslims would agree, post 9/11 has seen an onslaught against Islam. It would be reasonable to assume that the average individual would overcome their anger after a decade. Not so; the Americans and now even the Europeans have joined them; in fact most countries have signed an anti-terrorists pact that allows a host country to extradite a “suspicious Muslim terrorist” to black holes like Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and other areas unbeknown to the victim and their families.

Abu Dharr in his article, Examining US thinking behind 9/11,  (published by Crescent International:2011), claims that what is beginning to come into focus is that 9/11 was created by certain intelligence agencies to become a justification for making  Muslims all over the world guilty of a crime against humanity. In these 13 years Muslims worldwide, particularly in Europe and North America, have been hounded. You can throw a Muslim into prison on suspicions of being a “terrorist”. You can deny a Muslim his civil rights on suspicion of helping a terrorist. You can introduce secret evidence into a court of law with the excuse that you are fighting “terrorism”. You can profile Muslims at ports of entry from many “civilized” countries because an intelligence agency has some unexplainable information about him.

At all airports, Muslims are profiled and checked. This gives rise to a disturbing question: Are all Muslims potential terrorist until proven otherwise? In the USA mosques are vandalized and routinely attacked; American politicians have joined campaigns to whip up anti-Muslim hysteria. Some have launched campaigns to stop the “imposition of Sariah” without the slightest clue about what “Shariah” means. Twenty states have introduced legislations to ban Sariah while three states have actually passed it. Right-wing groups have declared that mosques do not belong in America. Anti-Islamic sentiment has spread to countries like Florida, Massachusetts, Connecticut and California .Islam is projected as a false religion that supports terrorism (Zafar Bangash, Crescent International: 2011).

The war against Islam has been taken to a new level; Muslim countries throughout the world are under siege. George W Bush declared shortly after the 9/11 attacks that this was a war against terrorism. Shortly after his declaration, Iraq was attacked on the presumption that they manufactured nuclear weapons. The war incurred thousands of casualties on both sides, only to discover that there were no nuclear plants in Iraq-so why the war? It is obvious that there are a number of unanswered questions that deserve attention. Furthermore, the last decade has seen many Muslim countries undergoing civil strife and warfare. Thus, in an attempt to investigate the above claims, I will attempt to analyse each country in question in a series of political opinion pieces such as this.

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