Today, Tuesday, September 11, 2018 marks the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States of America. The unfortunate incident, which claimed the lives of over 2000 people, changed the way the US and the world perceive the Muslim world, who are also commemorating the beginning of the 1440 AH Islamic New Year, popular known as the Hijrah.
The unfortunate event of 9/11 undoubtedly divided our world into two axes; the so-called “free world” (led by the US) and the purported “terrorist world” (Muslims), and no Muslim wants to be against the “free world” for fear of being tagged “terrorist”.
The incident changed the glorious narrative of of Islam as a religion of peace, because the attackers, according to the official report, were 19 fanatical Arab hijackers loyal to the late Osamah Bin Laden, the then leader of the Al-Qaeda Network.
However, many renowned analysts do not accept the official report, as they believe it was an inside job. For example, John Kaminski in his dissertation “The Day America Died” proved that “many American leaders not only knew the tragedy was about to happen and did nothing to stop it, but actually participated in the planning and execution of it…”
Be that as it may, on behalf of the Muslim world, I join the good people of the United States of America to mourn the dead and I strongly condemn the attacks and the attackers. Likewise, on behalf of the rest of the world, I rejoice with the over 2.1 billion Muslims across the world on the occasion of the Hijrah, which symbolically represents migration from bad to good; oppression to kindness and protection of innocent lives from being unjustly persecuted on the basis of religion.
Indisputably, in Islam, the human soul – irrespective of religion, race or ethnicity – is precious in the sight of Allah. Hence, it is forbidden to spill it unjustly, even if the perpetrators scream Allahu Akbar or claim to have done such in the name of Allah.
It is equally important that the peace-loving Americans and the world also condemn the US government’s selective war on terror which exclusively targets Muslims. The attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and the US proxy war in Syria have wreaked devastating havoc on the Muslim world.
As part of his war on terror, I still vividly remember how the former President George Bush Jnr. invaded Iraq in 2003, barely two years after launching “Operation Enduring Freedom” which toppled the Taliban government in Afghanistan.. Bush Jnr. used what a Nigerian writer and terrorism expert, Abayomi Mumuni termed “State Terrorism” in his book, “Global Terrorism and its Effects on Humanity” to attack Iraq with the support of Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister; the same tactics the State of Israel has been using to terrorise the Palestinians on their land for decades, right under the watch of the US, UN and the international community.
In the two wars, which have cost the two countries (US and Britain) trillions of dollars despite losing their finest armies in the decade-long battle, the US-led coalition soldiers killed hundreds of thousand of innocent Iraqis and brought an end to Saddam’s reign and then, his life. Unfortunately, it became very clear, ten years after the controversial war, that Saddam never had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), as the people of the world were made to believe by the former leaders.
The once relatively peaceful Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria have now become theatres of war, courtesy Washington’s selective and subjective war on terror. The spate of suicide bombings in these countries (including Nigeria which experienced the first in 2011 at its Abuja police headquarters), have increased at an alarming rate since the 9/11 incident.
The US’ double-standard foreign policy and unflinching support to the State of Israel have destabilised the peace process in the Middle East, a region mostly populated by Arab Muslims.
Interestingly, the same Police State is the supplier of billion of dollars in arms to the ones claiming to be fighting terrorism and the ones accused of financing terrorism.
This ugly scenario played out during the now six-year Syrian civil war and the on-going Qatar-Gulf crisis. Until recently, the United States has trained, equipped and funded rebels fighting embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.
17 years down the line, it will be right to conclude that the US-led war on terror is far from being won. Rather, it has escalated its spread to all parts of the world. It is now glaringly clear that we were all wrong in believing that the death of Osamah Bin Laden and other US-designated terrorists would have brought about relative peace to the world.
The carnage we are witnessing now from religious terrorists such as Daesh (ISIS), the Buddhist 969 Movement and the Right-Wing terrorists are worse than what life was before 9/11. Rather than fighting terrorism in a comprehensive manner, Trump’s country was building its hegemony all along, creating zones of blood and gore all over the world, bleeding others to create and sustain American neo-con consumerism; promoting democracy in some, subjugating it in others; calling for the rule of law in some and jettisoning it in other places, all in its selfish and personal interest.
The current global terror is a product of certain inadequacies and flagrant injustice in different regions of the world. In a country like the US, President Trump needs to look beyond the so-called “radical Islamic terror” and go after the white supremacists who have terrorised more Americans than any other terrorist group.
In fact, several research have shown that between 2000 and 2014, the Right-Wing ‘lone wolf’ terrorists in Europe killed and injured many more innocents than “radical Islamic terrorists”. It is also on record that the same group, otherwise known as the white supremacists in the western media, have attacked more Americans than the so-called “radical Islamic terrorists”. Hence, if we must tame the hydra-headed monster called terrorism, it requires justice and honesty devoid of personal hatred for any religion.
In Nigeria, terrorism can only be curtailed if government addresses the challenge of churning out idle hands, which have evidently become the devil’s workshop. If the youths are empowered and gainfully employed, there will be no one left to carry out dirty jobs for disgruntled elements who may hide under religion, politics, agitation, militancy or uprisings. This is the appropriate approach, and it must be supported with continuous enlightenment and deradicalisation programs.
Unbridled, clandestine and deleterious political and economic agenda unleashed on the developing countries have also helped fuelled agitations, and when the people become exposed to the cause of their sufferings, they naturally fight back. The beneficiaries of the present political order need a rethink and must come up with political and economic blueprints that address the general needs of the people, rather than protect the loots of the corrupt, while suppressing the sincere yearnings of the masses for their rights.
We must all remember that when colonialism ceased, liberation movements also came to a natural end. Logically too, it is certain that when justice is done and human needs are adequately addressed, terrorists’ agitations naturally wane and their sources of strength eventually collapse.