Moving from locating WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) to the final pretext of saving Iraqis from Saddam’s violation of human rights will perhaps be viewed as the apex of hypocrisy in human history or in the phrase of Francis Fukiyama ‘the end of hypocrisy’. Hypocrisy can only unsettle the conscience of those who value honesty and believe in the consistent application of their principles.
The reports from the various sources including human rights groups conclusively prove that the US had full knowledge of the use of torture against the prisoners at Abu-Ghraib. Washington Post has reported that the US Justice Department ‘justified’ the use of torture as official policy back in October 2002 for the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay. Therefore, the same policy was applied by extension to Abu-Ghraib, Bagram and other chambers of horrors run by the US soldiers.
So, on what basis did Bush claim that the sadistic images did not reflect America? Perhaps on the same basis that it claimed about Iraq’s stockpiles of WMDs! In fact, those sadistic images reflected the heart of the US; its brutal government, the criminal CIA, the Gestapo style Pentagon, the violent Hollywood films, the epidemic crime rates, the serial killers and the violent gun culture inherited from the Wild West.
Yet, the US was lecturing the world that it came to Iraq not for oil but to prevent the abuses of human rights. The US now stands naked, as its thin veil of being the defender of human rights has been incinerated. Which was always transparent for the Arabs/Muslim masses and the fair-minded people of the world.
With the elapse of a short amount of time the media’s focus on the matter has diminished and the bureaucracy will cause the self-investigation by the US to be brought to a snails pace and eventually forgotten along with their apparent temporary zeal. The zeal has little to do with America’s belief in justice but everything to with the embarrassment that it has caused the pro-US regimes and for placating the anger of the Arab/Islamic world in general.
Actions contradicting ones stated criteria are the quintessence of hypocrisy. Anyone can proclaim lofty moral values but it is the actions that truly demonstrates ones commitment to the principles. The Holy Quran emphasises the inseparable relationship between belief and action in multiple places. It is one of the means of eradicating hypocrisy. There may be the isolated individuals who exhibit lapses but for an upright nation the trait of hypocrisy should be absent from the society in general and its government.
Apart from hypocrisy the entire war on ‘terrorism’ has highlighted the incompatible values between the two different civilisations: Islam and the capitalist West. Of course, if they did not hold different values they would not constitute different civilisations in the first place. One can look at Islam with disdain but very few can deny what it stands for, its laws, values and ethics are clearly laid down in the Islamic texts and the scholarly works containing the detailed legal injunctions covering every aspect of human life.
The same cannot be said for democracy, freedom and human rights. It means different things to different people. Is democracy the rule of majority or the largest minority? Is it a playground for the masses to demonstrate in huge numbers and then simply be ignored? Why does democracy not reflect in the highest political institutions like the Untied Nations Security Council? If democracy is the will of the majority, then is there any limit on how that will is exercised? Can the majority decide to exterminate or expel the minority?
Likewise ‘freedom’ is used as a license to allow adultery, fornication and homosexuality but not polygamy. The US can suspend the values of human rights under the pretext of ‘self-defence’ in Guantanamo Bay, then why cant other regimes apply the same principle, so then who is a dictator and who is not? Conversely, the Islamic penal code of capital punishment is inhuman but not the use of electric chairs to dispense the same punishment in the US.
Let us analyse the clash of values with one of the most contentious issue – women’s rights. The slogan of women’s rights is often used as a political tool to have a swipe at Islam and Muslims. Islam is posing a serious challenge to the Western values from within as it continues to gain new reverts rapidly even in the face of a vicious campaign by the mass media. In the UK for example, the biggest group of reverts are white and educated women, a point that Kilroy-Silk and Richard LittleJohn steered clear of. Demographically, the Muslim populations are increasing due to the stable family structures and strong social values in relation to the native population. Despite being disorganised, disunited and lacking in material resources the Muslims activists have been able to make significant impact in proportion t! o their size and effort.
If the violation of women’s rights as defined by the West had been the real motivation for their propaganda, then one would have seen the consistent application of that principle. Yet, when non-Islamic societies including the West violate the same notion of women’s rights there is never a coordinated campaign against their fundamental values but rather such incidences no matter how numerous are often portrayed as isolated occurrences. Hence, the ulterior motive in raising women’s rights is not to seek for the betterment of womankind but rather to use it to discredit and attack Islamic values and other rival ideologies.
Despite the constant lectures from the West about women’s rights it is Islam not the carnal driven capitalism that places real value on the honour of a woman. The degenerate behaviour of their soldiers at Abu-Ghraib was expected as their sexual instincts are constantly being agitated by the porn-obsessed society that is constantly pushing the boundaries of their sexual practices. Ironically, it is the same society that is calling for individuals to restraint themselves under the ill-defined and vague notion of women’s rights.
Therefore, they relate to the opposite sex primarily at the sexual level and consequently exhibit primitive behaviour towards them, where the woman becomes an object of pleasure. So, it was easy for the US soldiers to commit rape in Abu-Ghraib and in other parts of the world like Japan, Vietnam, Philippines and S. Korea. But how many of the western prisoners taken captive by Saddam’s men, the Iraqi resistance fighters and the Taliban were raped? Even the secularised Arabs/Muslims displayed honourable traits.
The average marine exhibits certain amount of restraint in public only due to the fear of the law rather than having a deep conviction in the principles of women’s rights. A study by the US Department of Justice revealed that between 1993-95 there 1.3 million rapes and sexual assaults experienced. The survey also revealed that date rape or acquaintance rape is constantly on the increase. So, their own statistics reveal that given the opportunity they would commit rape. Ironically, these types of people have marched into Iraq upholding the flag of women’s rights! Despite their stark statistics the Western values and their track record are never questioned.
One cannot build real respect for women on the basis of the superficial rhetoric of woman’s rights. Which mechanically aims to reduce the inherent gender differences and facilitate commercial exploitation of her body in the name of ‘freedom’. Note, as part of women’s rights one of the measures of sexual emancipation in the Muslims countries is determined by the level of nudity and sexual promiscuity prevalent amongst the women. The end result is creating a chaotic world where divorce rates, broken homes and sexual crimes are constantly on the increase.
Relationships between the sexes are complex and cannot be viewed from sexual angle alone. Even on the subject of sexual relationship, to a rational mind of the humanists incest can be argued and justified, hence not surprisingly the number of websites catering for such sick tastes has been increasing. They criticise religious texts primarily targeting Islam along with other mainstream religions but do not provide an alternative except their constant rants and criticism for being in the 20th century. Elapse of time justifies everything, perhaps one day they will advocate breathing in other gasses not the old fashioned Nitrogen and Oxygen!
The clash of values was further illustrated by the US as it proceeded to lecture the world about how sorry they felt about the entire episode at Abu-Ghraib and then dispensed the laughable light sentences to the few culprits. The punishment given for the crimes usually reflects the values of a nation. A crime is deemed to be a minor one will be awarded light sentences and vice versa.
Considering the following point can expose the farcical nature of the entire thing. Given the choice between facing the abuse and torture in Abu-Ghraib subjected to the arbitrary jurisdiction of the torturers (US soldiers) or serving a maximum of one years prison sentence under the full protection of state law with your ranks being reduced or discharged from the army – there is no doubt most people with a degree of sanity would choose the latter option. Hence the two are not equal by far and justice is based on adequate compensation, like for like or an eye for an eye.
Similarly, the issue of male rape (sodomy) was glossed over. Homosexuality has been legalised in the US and parts of San Francisco have been turned into a gay theme park in line with US tradition, thus for them sodomy as a crime has little significance. Jerry Springer has come along and commercialised such crimes and worse as entertainment for public consumption. Therefore, the light sentence was expected because of the values that the US represents and more so in this case the victims being Arabs/Muslims. Who are already guilty by its doctrine of pre-emptive strike or commonly known as shoot first ask later.
The ‘Islamic’ moderates have become relatively silent as embarrassed by the incident of Abu-Ghraib, a product of the apex of democracy, confirming what the radicals were saying about the US. Lets hope that they are beginning to realise the implication of promoting US style ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’! Perhaps they will come to their senses and realise that one cannot gloss over the differences nor can they continue to misinterpret the Islamic texts to pretend that there is a convergence of values. The clash of values between the two civilisations is very stark and inevitable. But the clash does not have to be a confrontational one.