The anonymous-terrorists did it again, this time in the heart of the great city of London. The shocking images of the blast are sweltering one burning question in my mind – is the US-led ‘War Against Terrorism’ gaining control over the terrorists or the situation is progressing conversely.
Almost every single nation, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, from West to East, stood-by with United States and condemned the 9/11 attacks in United States. Every country pledged its support to US to hunt down the culprits and bring them to justice. US blamed Osama Bin Ladin and his Al-Qaeda network and asked the world to support US in launching attack on Afghanistan to capture the wanted dead or alive. Most the Muslim states willingly or unwillingly and despite of having strong resistance for their own people preferred to be with US. Particularly, Pakistan and other prominent Islamic States of the Arab region not only helped US but also provided access to their territories for US forces to launch and operate combats against another poor Muslim nation – Afghanistan.
The US-led coalition forces exhibited the use of the most powerful weaponry and state of the art technology from air to ground in Afghanistan. Result, in the last four years, unaccountable deaths of poor Afghanis and millions became refugees in neighboring countries and even undisclosed loss of US-led army personnel in the battle, yet, US-led forces were unable to trace-out Osama Bin Ladin and his top buddies.
The mission in Afghanistan had not been accomplished but the bush administration planned to attack Iraq with self-announced decree to remove Saddam Hussain, his regime and destroy his weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Tony Blair fully backed President Bush and United State’s unilateral decision of war on Iraq. Prime Minister Blair dragged English troops into Iraq. More than 3 years gone, according to one report more than 1500 US soldiers have been killed so far. Suicide bomb blasts, killings and kidnapping are the daily business in Iraq. So far, the world is watched so much of the extreme images of horrendous scenes of terror on their Televisions that now the news of terror in Iraq became a common item on TV. The entire country has been collapsed. One cannot imagine, in the present situation of Iraq, US-led forces could ever bring peace and stability in Iraq.
The world has witnessed appalling events of terror in other parts of the world. Bali bomb blast, Madrid train blast and now blasts in downtown London. The people are paying the price of their sins which they never committed. These may be the worst terror attacks the world has observed since World War II.
In this game of terrorism and counter-terrorism, the world has also seen the worst crime of human abuses and torture. In Abu Guraib prison (in Iraq) and in Guantanamo Bay are some of the horrifying scenes of human torture, some of which has been shown through the media.
Another strange fact is that in this terror and anti-terror campaign the people have lost their personal freedom. As most of terror and anti-terror war is surrounded among Muslim countries now secret US agencies have more access to Muslim States than ever before, like in Pakistan. Separate cells have been established at the international airports to scrutinize individual travelers. New anti-terror laws have been introduced to detain any individual for any period of time without disclosing their offense. On other hand, in other parts of the world especially in the West, the Muslims are being framed as a community of radicals and fanatics.
Unfortunately, the people, from East to West, are going through the era of terrible uncertainty, fear and insecurity. The on-going conflicts are generating more divisions and divided thoughts globally. In the west, Islam is being portrayed as the religion of violence while in the Islamic World hatred is being generated against the West. The geopolitical issues are being vocalized as the clash of civilization or war of religions.
This is the time when one has to put sentiments and emotions aside and examine the events and their impact by appraising the beneficiaries. One has to consider the ground realities and core reasons of the issues and not the speculations of the media or discriminatory statements of political gamblers. This is the time when people from every nation and faith must think who could possibly achieve anything out of these terrible human tragedies.
In his message of condolence on London blast, Prime Minister, Tony Blair said, “We know that these people act in the name of Islam, but we also know that the vast and overwhelming majority of Muslims, here and abroad, are decent and law-abiding people who abhor this act of terrorism every bit as much as we do.” On the face value the message looks very decent but one must think why did Blair brought Islam and Muslims into the incident right away and left the impression on common people that these blast must be linked somehow to Muslims while there has not been a single shred of evidence found against any group or individual? Who did Tony Blair point out when he said, “We will show, by our spirit and dignity, and by our quiet but true strength that there is in the British people, that our values will long outlast theirs.” One must ask Mr. Blair who he referred as “their”? And he must also answer, who have killed millions to impose their “values” and “way of life” abroad (during the dark era of colonialism)?
It is very important to remember here that there is a large volume of Muslims living in Briton. Majority of them were born in Briton. Even a well-known English cricketer Naseer Hussain is a Muslim. These English Muslims are the part of western society and they are as much loyal to their country as others. Just after the London bomb blast, all the major Islamic councils, groups and Islamic leaders loudly condemned the incident and showed their grief side-by-side with the others. Similarly, Muslim associations and councils in other Western countries especially in US and Australia, without wasting time and without any “ifs” or “buts” have strongly condemned London bomb blasts. In Australia the Islamic Council has strongly condemned in the incident and prayed for the best wishes of the victims. In US, the local and national representatives of the American Muslim community met with the British ambassador in Washington, DC and offered their condolences for the deaths and injuries suffered in London bomb blast.
No doubt the political and geopolitical issues of the Muslim World especially Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya and now the occupation of US-led arm forces in Afghanistan and Iraq are the matters of great concerns for the Muslim world. In all these conflicts US and its western allies are deeply involved. Therefore, the retorts from the sufferers would naturally be against the US and its allies. The mayor of London when he appealed to Tony Blair not to support the war in Iraq said, "An assault on Iraq will inflame world opinion and jeopardise security and peace everywhere. London, as one of the major world cities, has a great deal to lose from war and a lot to gain from peace, international cooperation and global stability”.
A well-known English politician and Senator Galloway, commenting on the London blast said that Londoners had “paid the price” of the increased likelihood of terrorist attacks for the UK government’s role in the attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Galloway’s views cannot be framed as reason, as, yet, no one has been identified as the culprits, however, his statements point to one strong reality that these clashes are the ultimate consequences of unresolved issues in the Muslim World.
One must understand that the ongoing clashes in Afghanistan, Iraq and in Palestine are the consequences of trying to control the other nation by power rather than resolving their issues by political and diplomatic means. These conflicts are not the clash of civilizations or religions. These are the backlashes of unresolved issues. One cannot think of other solutions apart from the immediate ending of the occupation of US-led forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and a peaceful solution of Palestine that should be acceptable to the people of Palestine, this will ultimately brining peace and stability in the Muslim World and across the globe.