Terror begets Terror, Justice begets Peace


The whole world is still in shock over the grand terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. The annihilation of so many innocent people and the phantasmagoric scenes of people fleeing the infernal fire and falling to their death from the upper floors of the doomed skyscrapers make our revulsion at what happened absolute and complete.

None the less, it would be a serious mistake to allow ourselves to be carried away or confused by the concomitant hyper-hysteria so readily fostered by most of the media and parroted relentlessly and mindlessly by unprincipled politicians who worship political correctness at the expense of morality.

Thus, the world is tormented by an interminable stream of remarks and statements which all have ignorance as their common denominator. President Bush started the charade soon after the events by claiming that the perpetrators, presumably the Bin Laden group, were after “our democracy and freedoms.” Others, who were not as circumscribed, spoke of “Muslim terrorists” seeking to “destroy western civilization.” Still, others, including some prominent European statesmen, exhorted fellow westerners to “have faith in the superiority of Christian civilization over the inferior Muslim civilization.”

One would hope, of course, that these statements were merely transient defensive reflexes prompted by the mega-terror in America. Otherwise, Muslim-Western relations would suffer tremendously and become much more complicated if, indeed, it became clear that repugnant remarks as such were reflecting underlying currents in contemporary western consciousness.

Then, the “clash of civilizations” would become the easiest way to deal with an extremely complicated subject such as world terrorism.

Of course, it would be utterly stupid to even presume that Bin Laden and his group, supposing they perpetrated the heinous crimes, did what they did because they “wanted to destroy our democracy and freedoms.”

That is a brash insult to people’s intelligence; it is also an irresponsible and erroneous reading into the tragic events in New York and Washington. For sure, the American people and the world at large deserves a better explanation, an intelligent and veracious assessment of what happened.

That, however, would require honesty, rectitude, courage and statesmanship, the kind of attributes that are conspicuously absent among many contemporary politicians, especially in the imperial west where might is right and political correctness is the new golden calf.

But if political correctness is the new religion in Washington, London and Paris, political correctness will also be the ultimate ideology among many of America’s victims-enemies. In a world of wolves, one has to be a fox, or a venomous cunning stake in order to survive and avoid being crushed and devoured by the strong and the powerful.

Let us be honest about this. If the US gives herself the right to exterminate, directly or indirectly, hundreds of thousands of innocent people around the world , because it feels it is politically correct to do so (as former US Secretary Madeleine Albright once said), by the same token, others will give themselves the right to murder innocent Americans.

Innocent Americans, after all, are no more and no less innocent and no more and no less human than the countless victims of America’s greed, hegemony, and evil. We are all God’s children. There is no such a thing as “children of a lesser God.” There is no lesser God.

I am in no way suggesting that the incineration of some 6000 thousand humans at the WTC was justified by the silent and not-so-silent extermination of hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims in Iraq and Palestine and elsewhere by America or as a result of American policy.

For I know that killing innocent people is inherently wrong. I know that no soul ought to be responsible for or bear the consequences of another soul’s evil. I know that the Quran says that killing a single innocent soul is like killing the entire humanity, and reviving a human soul is like reviving the entire humanity. I also know that our Prophet Muhammed (puh) said that “one is in safety from the danger of hellfire as long as one doesn’t commit murder.”

I understand that many people in Washington and London (and elsewhere) don’t share these values. The death of the estimated one million Iraqi children by the Anglo-American blockade on Iraq in the course of the last decade is a stark testimony to Anglo-American criminality and callousness.

The enduring silent genocide against the oppressed Palestinian people at the hands of the American-financed and American-armed apartheid regime in Israel is another scandalous testimony to America’s evil and terror against other peoples.

Yes, nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies the evil crimes in America. I say so not because of the political expediency of the moment, but rather because it is inherently morally imperative to call the spade a spade, regardless of the identity of the victimséand the perpetrators.

But evil leads to evil, and terror leads to terror, and the death of the innocent in one part of the world leads, inevitably, to the death of innocent people other parts of the world.

The mega-tragedy in the United States brought many of us to tears. We are all humans, and humans react more or less similarly when tragedy strikes. We do hope that the world will be wise enough, human enough, courageous enough, to turn this tragedy into a new beginning for world peace.

But if the world truly wants peace, the world must first work for justice. Just follow the timeless principle. May God grant us hope where there is despair, wisdom where there is foolishness, and understanding where there is confusion.