Terrorism and Islamophobia

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By Senator Rehman Malik

With every passing day, the world is getting a clear picture as to why only Muslim countries are under the menace of terrorism. There are 50 Muslim-majority countries with 45 Islamic countries and Islam has 1.8 billion adherents, making up about 24 percent of the global population. The statistical record of worldwide terrorism shows that almost every Muslim country has become the victim of terrorism irrespective of the fact whether it is in East Asia, South Asia, North Africa, the Sahel, or the Middle East. The question arises why it is so and why the West has been gunning for Muslim countries? Let me take the readers back in history and remind them what then US President Jimmy Carter (1977 to 1981) told Alexei Kosygin, then Premier of the Soviet Union (1964 to 1980); our actual enemies are the Muslims and there will be a war of civilisation. This is how planned propaganda started against Islam and its followers. The phrase of Islamophobia was floated after creating the impression that Muslims are extremists and breed violence. The incident of 9/11 in fact stamped the Muslim world as terrorist while there is no plausible explanation as to how the 9/11 accused remained in the US system and how were they ignored by the US security and intelligence system. It is still a mystery; how could two planes be flown into the famous twin towers of the World Trade Centre and how could they collapse this way? The accused were declared from the Middle East and none from Afghanistan or Pakistan was found involved; even then the US attacked Afghanistan and Pakistan was forced to allow its soil for logistics and be part of the ‘War on Terror’ that ended without any result, bringing further instability to Afghanistan and peace in the region.

In any case, Taliban leader Mullah Omar had offered to hand over Osama Bin Laden (OBL) to a third country for a fair trial but the US declined. The world witnessed how Abdul Khaliq, brother of Hamid Karzai was brought in and after his killing, Karzai was presented as a hero and installed as President and the war continued till today. It is worth noting that despite the spending of trillions of dollars, nothing was achieved out of it except destabilisation, destruction, and deaths.

The entire Muslim Ummah is suffering and will continue to suffer in different forms and shapes like Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Turkey, Saudia and Yemen border conflict, Indonesia, Algeria, and Niger.

US President Joe Biden

Has someone in the West demanded a UN commission for investigation into the strange and fast emergence of anti-Muslim Daesh which is now operating from Afghanistan and committing acts of terrorism in Pakistan with the connivance of RAW? In fact, Islamophobia is a term that has been created on purpose because Islam is currently the most dominant religion in Middle Eastern nations as well as the fastest increasing religion in western countries as well. Most importantly, this is the religion to which 80 percent of global oil reserves belong; that is one of the other reasons to create Islamophobia to make a conducive environment for military interference by creating fear and hate against Muslims around the world which is going on.

Two years ago in March 2019, I had written an article on Islamophobia, after a White terrorist, after carrying out an attack in a mosque of New Zealand was highlighted as a “Shooter” by western media instead of “Terrorist”. The statements by different world leaders surprised me to wonder if these leaders have different meanings of terrorism—a different code for Muslims to demonise them and a different label for non-Muslims. We have seen that an isolated engineered act of terrorism by “a hired Muslim terrorist” would be used to condemn the whole peaceful Muslim community but this has never been the case with any act carried out by a white person involved in an act of terrorism. Needless to say, all such attacks are carried out with a predetermined agenda and are thus equally liable to be condemned in the same fashion. In spite of rapidly increasing white supremacist terrorism around the world, US media and political elites spend a considerable amount of time discussing alleged “Islamic terrorism” alone, which only adds fuel to the already increasing more propaganda of Islamophobia. This is well-thought-out propaganda created by the West in order to develop zero-tolerance and hatred against Muslims among people.

The fight going on in Afghanistan is Muslim to Muslim and giving a good opportunity to the west to call Muslims extremists and promoters of violence. If the US was sincere to end the Afghan internal conflict then it should have ensured the end of violence and a civil war-free strategy before an exit.

It looks like the West may consider bringing its forces back to Afghanistan and it will begin another round of war and Pakistan will again be under the pressure of the ‘Do More’ syndrome as the UNSC recently presided by India and statement through the representative of Afghanistan has once again levelled their stereotype allegation of sponsoring of Taliban and alleging Pakistan for allowing Taliban sanctuaries which is totally a blame game by India whereas Pakistan is already facing the spillover of an internal fight in Afghanistan and Pakistan is the target of terror outfits like Daesh and other militant factions, as evident from the attacks on 14th July on Chinese nationals and attack in Quetta on 8th September.

These attacks are going to increase in Pakistan and our only fault is that we want a political solution in Afghanistan and moreover the west is upset because of our nuclear power. The indicators are that the Muslim bloc will continue to be in trouble as part of the west policy. The war in Afghanistan is not because of Pakistan but because of the attack of the US on Afghanistan. Trouble in Afghanistan means trouble for Pakistan and now FATF may bring a new charge sheet alleging so-called support of Taliban and terrorist sanctuaries as UNSC under the Indian presidency has already levelled these charges against Pakistan whereas Pakistan representative was not there to have defended his country though Mr Munir Akram had demanded his presence as right. Interestingly the upcoming meeting of UNSC is being presided over by PM Narendra Modi and he is bound to spit more venom against Pakistan. The major attacks from the West and India will be on Pakistan and nobody is going to ask PM Modi as to why has the Kashmiri Muslims are in captivity under curfew for the last two years as these Kashmiris are Muslim.

I hope the UN secretariat will place the following questions in the forthcoming meeting:

• Who attacked Afghanistan for the first time and subsequently created

Jihadis?

• Who and how Jihadis were recruited, trained, and launched in the

Afghan-USSR war?

• Who sponsored and financed Osama Bin Laden (OBL) and his associates?

• Who created ISIS/Daesh and what were the means of financing and strengthening a lethal terrorist

organisation?

• Who created the concept of the Arab Spring to destabilise the Middle East?

• Who organised the coup in Turkey to overthrow an elected democratic government?

• How and who planted terrorism in Nigeria?

• Who is supporting Boko Haram in Niger?

• Who created unrest/terrorism in Niger—a poverty-ridden country?

The above questions are very necessary to be answered and these are very pertinent for the future peace process of the world. It is strange that all the holy four Divine books Quran, Torah, Zabur, and Injil teach faith in the oneness of God. If all the major religions have one faith and one God then why has the world failed to create peace and harmony in the world through interfaith harmony?

The views expressed are solely mine and do not necessarily represent the views of my party.

(The writer is a PPP Senator, former Interior Minister of Pakistan, and Chairman of think tank “Global Eye” and Senate Standing Committee on Interior. He can be reached at: rmalik1212@gmail.com, Twitter @Senrehmanmalik)