The United States is attempting to render the very idea of an Islamic social system untenable, by its “war on terror” –” creating secular states in the U.S. global market system of monopoly capitalism, with Islam relegated to a simple set of in-house rituals behind closed doors in its project. This oppressive tactic is reminiscent of the (not so) Cold War, or the war on socialist thought, where socialist leanings or social analyses were driven into the universities, only to be tolerated in academia, and driven out of the churches, unions and mass media.
The true U.S. desire is to eliminate Islam as a social force of historical human agency. This war, it cannot be ignored, is being waged by capitalist, wealthy elites who consider themselves to be Born-Again Christians. Their agenda is still, as in the Cold War, to “save” the world for U.S. capitalism… economically and socially, as well as ideologically; thus, the attack on Islam and its public faces of charitable organizations, political movements and overall resistance to oppression. As in the war against socialism, U.S. terrorism eliminates middle-grade opposition, leaving only capitulationists or a military opposition, which is thus labeled as comprised of intolerant extremists.
In this time period of the release and dissemination of Mel Gibson’s movie of “The Passion”, though I, as a Muslim, do not agree with the story line, I can certainly appreciate any story of persecution, torture and state-sanctioned murder, given two and a half decades of the study of war crimes. Through the mythical, traditional image of the beaten, tortured, crucified Prophet Jesus (alaihi salaam), the Prophet (alaihi salaam) becomes the historical everyman of torture and of “man’s inhumanity to man”. And the reasons behind the Jewish Pharisees’s mythical killing of the Prophet (alaihi salaam) are manifestly similar to the reasons behind the Born-Again Christian’s torture chambers.
A. As the Israeli scholar, Dr. Neve Gordon, so poignantly wrote, (I am
paraphrasing here), “torture is for keeping you quiet, not for making you talk”. The current U.S.-managed international torture system’s primary objective has been to silence those who espouse an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the Israeli occupation of Palestine, or of U.S. troop presences in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, or of U.S. support for minority, oppressive regimes in the Muslim, or Arab, world. How dare the periphery complain about the center? Suffer ye, all who dare to open their mouths, or who have the potential for opening their mouths.
The mass arrests, even of children, in occupied Iraq and Palestine, are indicative of the U.S. counterinsurgency methods from the Cold War, confessed to by Guatemalan genocidal generals, and known as the ten percent formula. If you kill 100, the probability exists that you have killed ten insurgents; if you arrest 1,000, the probability exists that you have arrested 100 real opponents. It is an immoral fishing expedition on human bodies, designed to send shock waves of terror through the targeted community or society, in order to silence opposition, real or potential, to the policies of the would-be rulers.
The message of Iraq and numerous Abu Ghraib’s is that opposition to the U.S. “war on terror” is costly. It is costly because the self-proclaimed “war on terror” is, first and foremost, a war of terror… a license to kill, a “wanted, dead or alive” policy reifying the U.S., more than ever, to the self-fulfilling prophetic tradition of the world’s international police force on behalf of monopoly capitalistic Born-Again Christian material interests and value promotion.
The U.S. is on a desperate fishing expedition, trying to terrorize Muslims into inaction in regards to political, social, economic and religious opposition to monopoly capitalist born-again Christian agency. According to Western literature, perspectives and propaganda, there has been a rise in “militant Islam” over the past several decades, particularly since the Iranian Revolution. This erroneous, out-of-context thesis neglects, amongst other phenomena, the rise in imperialist, anti-Muslim violence, viewing Islamist movements as fomenters of, rather than possibly reactors to, injustice. One might ask what came first, the chicken or the egg, but to address any “rise of militant Islam” out of the context of Bosnia and Hercegovina, Chechnya, Palestine, Iraq, the Iranian Revolution, Kashmir, Aceh, the Uighurs, Afghanistan? The list goes on, by the way. And who can forget or ignore the anti-hijab laws, the Patriot Acts, and the many falsely-accused charities? The thesis of professed freedom of religion in the West has turned into the thesis of the freedom of born-again Christianity and forced secularization of any and all non-BAC spheres of human agency and influence.
The “renewed” emphasis on Islam and the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the sound social policies of the rightfully-guided Caliphs, particularly Umar (ra) are, partially, at least, (perhaps flounderingly, in some cases, but) our agency-driven recognition of the bankruptcy of many Westernized, secularist policies, from Indonesian “Marxism” to Baath “socialism” to Turkish militarized secularism to Nasserite pan-Arabism. Since the prolonged oppression by Turks during the Ottoman Empire, both in and out of the Arab world, as well as due to the result of many sinful, power-hungry and unIslamic imperialist policies, and the subsequent disintegration of the Caliphate and the undue influence of the disease of nationalism, striving to (re)introduce Islam into social structures and policies as their foundation has been the most suitable call for jihad, or struggle, in the social realm.
Such striving has not been without merit in the individual sphere of action, either. In a forthcoming article to be submitted to MMN, I will argue that Muslims need to clean up our own patterns of sinfulness and oppression, and submit to Allah’s will, in order to live a better destiny, by Allah’s grace, and blessed human agency. Individually, many Muslims have realized, and are realizing, that until we are Muslims in more than name, i.e., praying, rejecting shirk of all forms, propagating Al Maun, or the small kindnesses, like in the Sura by that name, we will not be straight with Allah (swt) and will continue to lose and to suffer, in our personal as well as social lives, in the dunya and in the hereafter.
In a long-winded (hopefully semi-)contextual way, I am arguing that, due to years, decades and perhaps centuries of historical deception, and worshipping the shirk of horribly failed social institutions and systems, such as capitalism and what was erroneously labeled communism, many of us are realizing that Islam as a social system must be implemented, nation by nation, community by community, or eventually in terms of a Caliphate, in order to mercifully cure the ills of child trafficking, hunger, drug addictions, racism and interpersonal violence. True Islamic morals are also the foundations for long-term solutions to world security problems. It is this call, this realization, this desire, which USMCBAC wishes to silence. Terror is the means, torture is the instrument, Abu Ghraib and the Muslim body, one of the many locales; with the Muslim body politic, the ultimate target.
In addition to silencing Islam as a social project and those who advocate it, or potentially could, there are two other main objectives to the USMCBAC torture system. These are:
1. Raising the social and personal cost of being a Muslim, and
2. Degradation of Islam and Muslims.
B. Raising the Cost of Participation in Islam
If you want to be a Muslim, if you want to wear a beard, a toub, a hijab, a jilbab;
if you want to demand halal snacks or meals, or prayer rooms at schools, factories, jails or offices; if you want an Eid stamp; or have Eid al Fitr be a paid holiday; and if you want moral gender relations at your work place, it will cost you.
If you care about the 500-plus gunfire deaths of Palestinian children by Israeli snipers today, as opposed to only about the deaths of Jews in World War Two sixty years ago; if you care about the deaths of 55,000-plus Iraqi civilians and not just about the deaths of 3,000 U.S. civilians; if you care about torture and sexual abuse in Abu Ghraib, it will cost you.
If you want to propose Islam as a social system which is poised to attack the world’s ills, it will cost you.
How interesting have been the family-destroying policies of arrests, murders and tortures. When the FBI conspired to steal my two beautiful Muslim children from me almost two years ago, while on our way to Palestine (Jamileh, Khalil and I), they falsely alleged that I was a “suicide bomber”. The untold pain the Federal government has caused my two beautiful Muslim children and I through these two horrible years is miniscule in comparison to the suffering of separation of other Muslim families. And this, for speaking out on Palestine, researching the gunfire deaths of Palestinian children, and wanting to make salaat with my babies at Masjid Al Aqsa.
To be so naÃ¯ve as to not realize that the U.S. Federal government is not attacking us at the level of our families will simply contribute to the atmosphere of attacks on Islam and Muslims. My case is one of many in the U.S., and is certainly a form of psychological torture, an imprisonment without bars. I fully admit it pales in comparison to the missile-beheadings of families in Fallujah. If you think that this family-shattering and attempted de-Islamization of children is not a calculated strategy, simply look at the case of Al Qaeda suspect, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. Shortly after his apprehension in Pakistan, an unsavory article appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, describing the supposed argument between various sectors of the U.S. administration and the military-Wall Street complex (good cop, bad cop?) whether torture of suspects such as KSM was legitimate, necessitated, moral and permissible or not, and, if so, what kinds of torture were to be allowed, permitted and performed.
The most disturbing aspect of this article, to me, was the fact that U.S. forces boasted that they “had his children”, i.e., KSM’s two pre-pubescent sons were also taken into custody, and were to be used, somehow, some way, in the torture, confession, intelligence-gathering, punishment process of the intelligence agencies.
They are coming for our children, with tortures, corrupt custody battles, disrespect for Islam, sex on television, and many other weapons. The second Bush Administration, through the torture system, keeps raising the stakes of being a Muslim, of participating in a visual way in any society, via Islamic praxis.
C. Another way to destroy Islam as a social force, and Muslim families in the
process, is through fostering and/or not attacking the absolute deprecation of Islam. The torture systems of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are only two examples of the calculated, pain-rendering, militaristic degradation of Islam and Muslims.
The persons who designed the tortures to which we know Iraqis were systematically subjected, through the thousands of digital photos taken by the zealots of pain, were planned and calculated professionally to attack the Muslim social fiber, and family.
The tortures at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere were specifically designed to attack and corrode Islamic morality, through forced sex, rape, nudity, filthiness (eating out of dirty toilets), eating of pork, cursing of Allah (swt), prohibition of prayer, stomping on the Holy Qur’an, attacks by dirty German Shepherd dogs trained by the Nazis, and other deeds designed to hurt believers, and to leave them with massive feelings of survivor guilt, should they be fortunate enough to be released. “How could I, just because my broken leg was beaten, curse and deny Allah (swt)”?, is a question that survivors will ask, or ones like it, for a long, long time, with pain in their hearts. They, of course, are not to be blamed, and must be received in our communities with love and support.
The designers of the tortures, the “intellectual authors”, as they are referred to in Latin American human rights legal circles, knew how to hurt Muslims. Muslims were not made to talk in the USMCBAC torture chambers. They were made to shut up. Besides jailing individual, low-level soldiers who had perpetrated, and documented, the actual tortures, and their immediate commanders, it is the group of intellectual authors of these torture systems who must be held accountable, tried and punished, in the world court system.
This USMCBAC Bush Administration(s) war is not a war against Saddam, nor a war against Bin Laden, nor a war against anti-occupation insurgency. It is a war against Islam, and the Muslim family and social fabric. Oh, where oh where are the Western feminists, the human rights groups, and the peaceniks?