By Dr Shahid Qureshi
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Article 1 (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948)
“A report presented by James Zogby of Arab Americans News on 26th January 1996, shows that there were at that time 164 recorded incidents of terrorism in the US, since 1982. Following table shows the real picture but Muslims are still labelled as terrorists, fundamentalists, fanatics’ etc.
A question arise here do we treat everyone equally, fairly and with respect. For example widely used terms like ‘Muslim terrorists, Islamic Fundamentalists are created by the biased media, and racist academics, picture in reality is very different.
164 TOTAL NUMBERS OF INCIDENTS OF TERRORISM IN AMERICA BETWEEN 1982-1996
Puerto Rican nationalists 77
Animal rights and environmental groups 31
Left wing organisations 23
Jewish extremists (what the FBI called) 18
Anti-Castro Cubans 12
Arabs or Muslims (over a period of 14 years) 3
“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks”. Article 12 (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948)
Once around 1999 an American Muslim businessman happened to be driving past the Washington DC home of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. A home improvement contractor, he was in the area in the normal course of his work. He noticed a car with District of Columbia licence plates, which appeared to be following him. To confirm his suspicions he took several detours from his main travel route. The car followed him wherever he went, even when he reached an automobile sales lot. He stopped and the other car pulled into the lot behind him.
He got out of his van and ‘politely asked the driver if he was following me’, the Muslim businessman reported later to the Washington-based Islamic advocacy group CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations).
The driver told him ‘that he was a Special Agent of the United States, Secret Service and that he was in fact, following me … He than indicated that he was following me because I had driven front of Secretary of State Madeline Albright’s home. He said that I “fit the description” because I appeared to be of “Middle Eastern origin, with a beard, driving along white van”… He then indirectly advised me not to return to the area near Secretary Albright’s home. He said something like “If I were you, I would [not return to Georgetown] you know what I mean! ”
Watchful security agent! He was only doing his work. The Muslim-American had a ‘Middle Eastern’ look and a beard too. He fitted exactly the American profile of an ‘Islamic terrorist’, the stereo type new enemy after the fall of the Soviet Union. No dutiful security man could have taken the slightest risk with a potential ‘Islamic terrorist’ driving by the home of Madeleine Albright.
Muslims found themselves drafted as a useful ally in the West’s battle for world domination. Given whatever they had been told about the anti-religious nature of Communism, Muslims had a strong motivation to fight and oppose that Godless ideology; although not long ago, the Empire had got it ‘abrogated’, Jihad against the Communist challenge to western domination seemed perfectly noble and holy.
But if Jihad against the Soviets was noble and holy, it was not, if it could turn its attention also towards the Zionist occupation of Palestine. The Israeli principle of handling terrorism was simple: paint Muslims as terrorist and do not allow anyone to question whatever you did in the name of fighting terrorism.
The Israelis had started ‘to educate governments and public opinion in the West about the nature of terror” excluding of course their own as early as the late 1970s. But the practical recommendation about the imposition [by the US] of economic and military sanctions against states that sponsor terrorism was publicly issued in 1985 by an Israeli conference on international terrorism held in Israel.
Combating Islam in the name of fighting terrorism also required creating an ‘Islamic terrorist’ profile which is not so difficult. An explosion takes place. Some newspaper, wire agency or television station says they had received a telephone or fax from a never-heard -before ‘Islamic Jihad outfit’, claiming credit for the operation and threatening to return with more terrible punishment, if enemy did not mend its ways. That was ‘proof’ enough for the media to gulp the lie and go on repeating it until it become a gospel truth in the public mind.
It helped immensely when someone came forward to explain the reasons – and in a sense justify – what had happened without having the slightest clue as to who was the author of that shadowy violence and who might not necessarily be a Muslim.
The sting operation to frame the blind Egyptian Shaikh ‘Umar Abdur-Rahman and a number of other young men in the bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York went on so well in terms of creating an impression on the general public mind that few cared to investigate the involvement of an Israeli woman, JOSIE HADAS; or question the legality of the FBI and an Egyptian agent, setting up the sting operation and even knowingly letting the explosion take place although they were the actual authors of that terrorism.
In June 1999, Faisal Kutty, a Canadian Lawyer and member of Human Concern International (HCI) an Ottawa based international relief and development organisation said, ‘that HCI, was accused of supporting international ‘terrorism’ .The charge came by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) against this respected Muslim charity which shocked the Muslim community in the country. The group founded in the early 1980s provides humanitarian assistance to the Muslim world’.
The allegation came to light after Human Concern took the government to court for blacklisting it. The government refused to make public any evidence, citing only ‘national security’ and threat to ‘international relations’ for the treatment.
The government also field an affidavit of Janet Zukowsky where she swore ‘that the integrity of Canada’s ODA [official development assistance] program could be compromised by the continuing of funds to this organisation’ – the same official who had advised a prospective board member that HCI was an ethical, honest and responsible group.
Since 1980 HCI has worked with the victims of war and natural disasters in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Guyana, India, Sudan, Somalia, Bangladesh Palestine and Kosovo. More than 20,000 Canadians donate approximately 1.8 million dollars yearly to its projects. According to internal CIDA documents ‘on site inspections of HCI’s projects in the Middle East had shown that they were well managed’.
By taking the matter to the courts, HCI is merely asking for fairness and equal treatment. If government officials have any legitimate reason for withholding funds from Human Concern has the right to know. More importantly, why CIDA tarnishing HCI’s reputation? It is a rule of fundamental justice that decision-making bodies act impartially and fairly on available evidence not on bias and speculation.
If HCI is a ‘security concern’, why have the authorities presented no evidence, and taken no steps to shut it down? Until and unless the government presents evidence for it blacklisting, many will ask whether this is discrimination.
Four members of the parliament have already taken up the issue. Dan McTeague says that the matter raises concerns about discrimination for religious reasons. ‘It is one thing to be blacklisted. It is another thing to be blacklisted without any explanation whatsoever’, says the Liberal MP.
Faisal said that, ‘undoubtedly, terrorists and their supporters must be stopped in their tracks, but innocent people should not be harmed in the process. The only way to ensure this is to have more procedural safeguards. It has become too easy for governments to hide behind the veil of ‘national security’. The evidence used in such proceedings must be made public and must be credible and tested.
The British writer Michael Ignatieff had identified the problem rather in the 1990s. He had then put forward, what now deserves to be called; the Ignatieff equation. It was like this: Muslim equalled Fundamentalist equalled Terrorist. Sure, it is a lie, which even its authors would not dare claim to be true, but it mattered little if that lie happened to become the defining principle in the policy of a country or countries.
QADYANI (aka . Ahamdiya) SOLUTION: How to deal with Islamic Jihad
It used to be called jihad; it was given the name ‘Islamic terrorism’. The ideologues of colonialism had the greatest problem with two things: the Book and the Sword, the Quran and the Jihad; and they made little secret of their cherished design to steal or blunt these two greatest ‘weapons’ in a Muslim’s armoury.
They felt that as long as Muslims continued to hold the Quran as their absolute frame of reference and are willing to lay down their lives in the way of God, it would be very tough trying to cow and control the Islamic world. It would be a great help, suggested a German expert, if we could push the Quran inside and bring the Muslim woman outside. All orientalist engineering has since been geared towards achieving the twin objectives. What about Jihad?
The inventive boys of the colonial dirty tricks department came up with a brilliant idea. Why not give Muslims a modern, new surrogate prophet and let him deal with the question of Jihad. And they did.
They picked a half-educated, retarted a sycophantic Monshe (petty clerk), Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiyani (1838-1908). They made him believe that he was an inspired person and let him acquire the profile of a polemicist, who defended Islam in the face of Christian missionary attacks, and then graduated him from being a religious reformer to messiah, a resurrected Jesus and finally, a shadow prophet.
The shadowy prophet declared that Islam consisted of two parts: one, obedience to God and two, obedience to the British government. He duly announced that ‘there is no Jihad of the sword after my coming’, and ‘should any one called himself a ghazi [Islamic soldier], he would be regarded as an enemy of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). ‘An enemy of God, he said on another occasion.
In December 1888, he published an advertisement (sic) that God had deputed him as a renovator (mujaddid) of Islam. Three years into ‘mujaddidship’, in 1891 he announced the demise Jesus and declared that he was the ‘Promised Messiah’ that, as mentioned in ‘Bukhari’, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had decreed ‘the postponement of Jihad’.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad did not ‘postpone’ war. He had abrogated ‘the jihad of the sword’. However, the Hadith narrated by Abu Hurayarah, in Bukhari (and Muslim) reports the Prophet saying that definitely shall the son of Maryam descend unto you as the Just Ruler; he will break the Cross and Kill the swine and end the war (Harb).
Mirza was neither the son of Maryam nor some one who did or even attempt to do any of the things, which the ‘Promised Messiah’ was expected to do. He did not abolish war (by establishing justice) he abolished Jihad. He did so even before he had declared himself the ‘Promised Messiah’.
‘Since 16 years, I have been regularly emphasising that the obedience of the Government of Britain is obligatory [fardh] upon the Muslims of India and that Jihad is ‘haram’ (forbidden), he wrote in February 1899 which meant that he forbade Jihad in 1883, eight years before his ‘Messiahship’, Why?
He admitted he could ‘pursue his mission neither in Makkah, nor Madinah; neither in Syria, nor Iran or Kabul save under this Government for whose good fortune we pray’. On 24 February 1898, Mirza sent a fawning petition to the British Lt-Governor of the province, he referred to his loyal services to the government of Britain and reminded him that he was their ‘their own plant’ (khud sakhtah pauda) and, then went on to request that his followers be given special consideration by officials.
Mirza’s ‘khalifah’ and son, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, wrote proudly in the cult’s paper Al-Fazal dated 1 November 1934 that: ‘The whole world considers us to be the agents of the British. That is why a German minister who attended the opening of an Ahmadia building in Germany was asked to explain as to why did he go to the function of a community, which was the agent of the British.
(This article was first published in Weekly The Independent in 2005 in series ‘Secret Relations of Pakistan with Israel’)