Who is really responsible for Black Tuesday?
By Salim Bokhari, The News International, 12 September 2001
Beyond what one witnessed on September 11, with a great sense of shock and grief, there is so much more than what the Western world, its allies and their print and electronic media are trying to project. No doubt no civilised citizen can endorse what has caused such an enormous loss of human life, yet it will be unfair to see these events in isolation and shift the blame to what the British Prime Minister Tony Blair rather naively termed as "Islamic fundamentalism' while addressing the House of Commons on Friday.

But in his wisdom, he never thought of Zionist fundamentalism or Hindu fundamentalism responsible for killing tens of thousands of innocent and unarmed Muslims as well as Christians. Is this what they claim Western morality? Is it a demonstration of being honest and independent in approach?

The events of New York and Washington must serve for the First World as an eyeopener whether they should still encourage Israel and India continue killing innocent Muslims and Christians? Islam is a religion of peace and harmony and preaches mutual coexistence. It allows retaliation only when believers are attacked.

The world community in general and the Western world in particular must take stock of and visualise the devastation of the tens of thousands of innocent lives in various parts of the world. Reacting strongly to the sobs and tears of wailing women of New York and Washington is both justified and understandable. But have the Western nations ever reacted in an identical manner to similar sights in Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya or elsewhere in the world? The answer is a big no. The question is why?

Today all fingers are being pointed at Afghanistan and Pakistan in general, and Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden in particular, besides blaming Islamic fundamentalism for being responsible for terrorist attack against the United States. However, no direct evidence could be produced against either of the suspects.

There is a dire need to peep into the past for an independent and objective analysis of facts. Today Saddam Hussain is being painted as the greatest terrorist in the world. Should one question, the champion of human rights, the United States, as to who strengthened Saddam Hussain militarily against Iran? After using him for nearly 10 years to undo the Islamic revolution, he suddenly became a bad guy only because he refused to take dictation from Washington or became a custodian of independent national policies.

Pakistan was sanctioned to eyeballs for conducting nuclear tests by the United States, which itself produced it before any other country on the pretext that nuclear warheads must not go into unsafe hands. History will bear witness that, if, at all they had ever been in unsafe hands, they were America's hands, which decided to even use them in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing scores of innocent people of Japan.

Another example of double standards is that if United States, Britain and France attain nuclear expertise, it is either scientific advancement or technological achievement. If India does so in 1974, no birds flutter. But when Pakistan goes nuclear, it is branded as 'Islamic Bomb'.

Take yet another example of West's hypocrisy and double standards. As long as it suited them, Afghans attained the status of freedom fighters as long as they fought the former USSR, while Palestinians and Kashmiris, engaged in similar struggles were labeled terrorists.

Needless to mention that atrocities committed by the Americans in Vietnam for nearly two decades were such that after 30 years, the then American President had to stand in Hanoi and apologise to the Vietnamese nation for their acts of tyranny and aggression.

America and West's hearts bled when Iraq invaded Kuwait and large number of troops and war machines were swiftly shifted to that Gulf state. The Operation Desert Storm was not launched to serve the Muslims of Kuwait but because their interests were at stake and they wanted to get hold of oil resources of Arab lands.

If the Chinese authorities take action against its own people in Tiananmen Square, it is treated as blatant violation of human rights. But then how about killing people in Seattle, who were demonstrating against the WTO policies? If one takes an independent view of harsh realities, it is abundantly clear that the recent events are a backlash of the US policies against the Muslim world. Several examples can be cited of callous attitude of the American leadership towards Muslims across the globe.

Bosnian people were allowed to suffer untold human miseries at the hands of Serbs. It took nearly three years before the First World could take effective measures to stop a complete elimination of the Bosnian people. Americans influenced the United Nations and NATO could only extend lip service instead of putting a stop to Serbs aggression. History was repeated again in Kosovo, where the Serb forces were given a free hand to kill a large number of Albanian ethnic minority. It took NATO a long time under the aegis of the United Nations.

The US policies in the Middle East, extending an outright support to Israel in denying the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, is another major reason for generating hatred against America in the minds of Muslims across the world. America's latest flirtation with Indian leadership has also added salt to injury for Muslims in this part of the world.

Any future action against Afghanistan will certainly add to the list of the US-haters in the Muslim world. Therefore, it is the need of the hour that the American leadership rethinks its strategies and takes such actions that suits its role as the only superpower of the world today.

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