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Fwd: Myth of the Violent Muslim - a good article by Gwynne Dyer

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  • Razia: Razia
    These Two messages are from Ms. Razia I am sure you all will find them interesting!! !Razia wrote: Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2003 11:03:50
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2003
      M Muneer Khandwalla
      These Two messages are from Ms. Razia
      I am sure you all will find them interesting!!

      Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2003 11:03:50 +0300
      From: Razia
      To: Razia Mohamedali@...
      Subject:�1. Myth of the Violent Muslim - a good article by Gwynne Dyer
      2. Who are the Extremists.
      Myth of the Violent Muslim

      By Gwynne Dyer
      Syndicated Columnist

      Sitting in Cairo in a flat borrowed from a friend. Turn on the TV and
      catch the news on BBC World: six stories in 15 minutes. Iraqi guerillas blow
      up a couple of pipelines. European hostages released by Muslim guerillas in
      Mali. Nigerian peacekeeping troops in Liberia. Rioting between Muslim sects
      in Pakistan. Iceland resumes whaling. Islamist terrorists arrested in
      Indonesia. End of world news.
      Four out of six: that's how many of the stories were about Muslims who
      do violent things. That would make sense if two-thirds of the world's people
      were Muslims, and most of them were violent. Because only one-fifth of the
      world's people are Muslims, and many of them don't even spank their
      children, it calls for an explanation. Especially because the international
      news is like this most of the time.
      BBC World is not particularly bad. In fact, from Minnesota to Moscow to
      Manila it is the preferred source of TV news for people with an interest in
      the world, a knowledge of English and access to cable. It is serious about
      delivering "balanced" news to a multi-national audience, and yet it is doing
      an absolutely terrible job. Why?
      Consider the four "Muslim" stories among the BBC World six I listed at
      the top of this article. The Iraq story is legitimate. When the world's
      greatest power is sinking into a political and military quagmire, it is
      going to get coverage. But why Muslim hostage-takers in Mali rather than
      politically motivated kidnappers in Colombia? Why sectarian clashes between
      Muslims in Pakistan rather than inter-caste violence among Hindus in India?
      The story of suspected terrorists arrested for the Marriott hotel
      bombing in Jakarta is of legitimate interest, but there's a lot less
      follow-up when suspected Basque terrorists are arrested in Spain, or when a
      resurgent Sendero Luminoso blows something up in Peru. The BBC is not
      anti-Muslim, but it is responding to a definition of international news that
      makes "violent Muslims" more newsworthy than violent people in other places.
      It is largely a Western definition, following an agenda set mainly by
      the dominant U.S. media. It is rooted in Western perspectives on the
      long-running Arab-Israeli conflict, and has been vastly strengthened by the
      Islamist terrorist attack on the United States two years ago. It is also a
      steaming heap of horse-feathers.
      I am not preaching pious nonsense about Islam being a "religion of
      peace." The only peaceful religions are dead religions. And I am not denying
      that the Muslim world has a big historical chip on its shoulder. Having run
      one of the most powerful and respected civilizations on the planet for the
      first 1,000 years after they burst out of Arabia and conquered large chunks
      of Europe, Asia and Africa, Muslims have spent the past three centuries
      being overrun, colonized and humiliated by the West. But the image of
      Muslims that the rest of the world gets through international news coverage
      is deeply misleading.
      For the past month I have been wandering around the Middle East with
      eight other members of my extended family. For some, it was their first time
      in the region; others of us have lived here or visited often enough to be
      able to lead everybody astray. And we gave less thought to our personal
      safety -- and much less to petty theft -- than we would have done on a
      comparable trip across America, or even through Europe.
      I won't go on about how kind and friendly most of the people we met
      were, because most people are like that everywhere. I would point out that
      every single person I discussed current events with was against the U.S.
      invasion in Iraq, but that I nevertheless encountered no personal hostility
      although I am easily mistaken for an American. (Would an Arab doing a
      similar trip around the United States have the same experience?)
      If Iraq gets completely out of hand, the patience and tolerance that
      still prevail at street level in the Muslim Middle East will be severely
      eroded, and even Asian Muslim countries may end up taking sides against the
      United States and Britain. But for the moment Samuel Huntington's nightmare
      vision of a coming "clash of civilizations" is still a long way off, and the
      most striking thing is the sheer ordinariness of daily life in the Muslim
      world. Don't be misled by television.
      Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are
      published in 45 countries.
      2. Who are the Extremists
      Writing in the Daily Mirror, John Pilger identifies the root cause of
      the bloody bombing of the UN compound in Baghdad, which Washington and
      London have blamed this on 'extremists from outside'. : Pilger :22 Aug


      Who are the extremists?

      The "liberation" of Iraq is a cruel joke on a stricken people. The
      Americans and British, partners in a great recognised crime, have brought
      down on the Middle East, and much of the rest of the world, the prospect
      of terrorism and suffering on a scale that al-Qaeda could only imagine.

      That is what this week's bloody bombing of the United Nations
      headquarters in Baghdad tells us.

      It is a "wake-up call", according to Mary Robinson, the former UN
      Humanitarian Commissioner. She is right, of course, but it is a call that
      millions of people sounded on the streets of London and all over the
      world more than seven months ago - before the killing began.

      And yet the Anglo-American spin machine, whose minor cogs are currently
      being exposed by the Hutton Inquiry, is still in production.

      According to the Bush and Blair governments, those responsible for the
      UN outrage are "extremists from outside": Al-Qaeda terrorists or
      Iranian militants, or both.

      Whether or not outsiders are involved, the aim of this propaganda is to
      distract from the truth that America and Britain are now immersed in a
      classic guerrilla war, a war of resistance and self-determination of
      the kind waged against foreign aggressors and colonial masters since
      history began.

      For America, it is another Vietnam. For Britain it is another Kenya, or
      indeed another Iraq.

      In 1921, Lieutenant-General Sir Stanley Maude said in Baghdad: "Our
      armies do not come as conquerors, but as liberators."

      Within three years 10,000 had died in an uprising against the British,
      who gassed and bombed the "terrorists".

      Nothing has changed, only the names and the fine print of the lies.

      As for the "extremists from outside", simply turn the meaning around
      and you have a succinct description of the current occupiers who,
      unprovoked, attacked a defenceless sovereign country, defying the United
      Nations and the opposition of most of humanity.

      Using weapons designed to cause the maximum human suffering - cluster
      bombs, uranium-tipped shells and firebombs (napalm) - these extremists
      from outside caused the deaths of at least 8,000 civilians and as many
      as 30,000 troops, most conscripted teenagers. Consider the waves of
      grief in any society from that carnage.

      AT their moment of "victory", these extremists from outside - having
      already destroyed Iraq's infrastructure with a 12-year bombing campaign
      and embargo - murdered journalists, toppled statues and encouraged
      wholesale looting while refusing to make
      the most basic humanitarian repairs to the damage they had caused to
      the supply of power and clean water.

      This means that today sick children are dying from thirst and
      gastro-enteritis, that hospitals frequently run out of oxygen and that those who
      might be saved can not be saved.

      How many have died like this?

      "We count every screwdriver," said an American colonel during the first
      Gulf war, "but counting civilians who die along the way is just not our

      The biggest military machine on earth, said to be spending up to
      $5billion-a-month on its occupation of Iraq, apparently can not find the
      resources and manpower to bring generators to a people enduring
      temperatures of well over the century - almost half of
      them children, of whom eight per cent, says UNICEF, are suffering
      extreme malnutrition. When Iraqis have protested about this, the extremists
      from outside have shot them dead.

      They have shot them in crowds, or individually, and they boast about

      The other day, Task Force 20, an "elite" American unit murdered at
      least five people as they drove down a street.

      The next day they murdered a woman and her three children as they drove
      down a street.

      They are no different from the death squads the Americans trained in
      Latin America.

      These extremists from outside have been allowed to get away with much
      of this - partly because of the web of deceptions in London and
      Washington, and partly because of those who voluntarily echo and amplify their

      In the current brawl between the Blair government and the BBC a new
      myth has emerged: It is that the BBC was and is "anti-war".

      This is what George Orwell called an "official truth". Again, just turn
      it around and you have the real truth; that the BBC supported Blair's
      war, that day after day it broadcast and "debated" and legitimised the
      charade of weapons of mass destruction, as well as nonsense such as that
      which cast Blair as a "moderating influence" on Bush - when, as we now
      know, they are almost identical warmongers.

      Who can forget the BBC's exultant Chief Political Correspondent Andrew
      Marr, at the moment of "coalition" triumph. Tony Blair, he declared,
      "said that they would take Baghdad without a blood bath, and that in the
      end the Iraqis would be celebrating. And
      on both those points he has been conclusively proved right."

      If you replace "right" with "wrong", you have the truth. To the BBC's
      man in Downing Street, up to 40,000 deaths apparently does not
      constitute a "blood bath".

      According to the independent American survey organisation Media Tenor,
      the BBC allowed less dissent against the war than all the leading
      international broadcasters surveyed, including the American networks.

      Andrew Gilligan, the BBC reporter who revealed Dr David Kelly's
      concerns about the government's "dodgy dossier" on Iraq, is one of the very
      few mavericks, an inconvenient breed who challenge official truth.

      One of the most important lies was linking the regime of Saddam Hussein
      with al-Qaeda.

      As we now know, both Bush and Blair ignored the advice of their
      intelligence agencies and made the connection public.

      It worked. When the attack on Iraq began, polls showed that most
      Americans believed Saddam Hussein was behind September 11.

      The opposite was true. Monstrous though it was, Saddam Hussein's regime
      was a veritable bastion against al-Qaeda and its Islamic fanaticism.
      Saddam was the West's man, who was armed to the teeth by America and
      Britain in the 1980s because he had oil and a lot of money and because he
      was an enemy of anti-Western mullahs in Iran and elsewhere in the

      Saddam and Osama bin Laden loathed each other.

      His grave mistake was invading Kuwait in 1990; Kuwait is an
      Anglo-American protectorate, part of the Western oil empire in the Middle East.

      The killings in the UN compound in Baghdad this week, like the killing
      of thousands of others in Iraq, form a trail of blood that leads to
      Bush and Blair and their courtiers.

      It was obvious to millions of people all over the world that if the
      Americans and British attacked Iraq, then the fictional link between Iraq
      and Islamic terrorism could well become fact.

      The brutality of the occupation of Iraq - in which children are shot or
      arrested by the Americans, and countless people have "disappeared" in
      concentration camps - is an open invitation to those who now see Iraq as
      part of a holy jihad.

      When I travelled the length of Iraq several years ago, I felt
      completely safe I was received everywhere with generosity and grace, even though
      I was from a country whose government was bombing and besieging my

      Bush's and Blair's court suppressed the truth that most Iraqis both
      opposed Saddam Hussein and the invasion of their country.

      The thousands of exiles, from Jordan to Britain, said this repeatedly.

      But who listened to them? When did the BBC interrupt its anti-Christ
      drumbeat about Saddam Hussein and report this vital news?

      Nor are the United Nations merely the "peacemakers" and
      "nationbuilders" that this week's headlines say they are.

      There were dedicated humanitarians among the dead in Baghdad but for
      more than 12 years, the UN Security Council allowed itself to be
      manipulated so that Washington and London could impose on the people of Iraq,
      under a UN flag, an embargo that resembled a mediaeval siege.


      It was this that crippled Iraq and, ironically, concentrated all
      domestic power in the hands of the regime, thus ending all hope of a
      successful uprising.

      The other day I sat with Dennis Halliday, former Assistant Secretary
      General of the United Nations, and the UN in New York. Halliday was the
      senior UN official in Iraq in the mid-1990s, who resigned rather than
      administer the blockade.

      "These sanctions," he said, "represented ongoing warfare against the
      people of Iraq. They became, in my view, genocidal in their impact over
      the years, and the Security Council maintained them, despite its full
      knowledge of their impact, particularly on the children of Iraq.

      "We disregarded our own charter, international law, and we probably
      killed over a million people.

      "It's a tragedy that will not be forgotten... I'm confident that the
      Iraqis will throw out the occupying forces. I don't know how long it will
      take, but they'll throw them out based on a nationalistic drive.

      "They will not tolerate any foreign troops' presence in their country,
      dictating their lifestyle, their culture, their future, their politics.

      "This is a very proud people, very conscious of a great history.

      "It's grossly unacceptable. Every country that is now threatened by Mr
      Bush, which is his habit, presents an outrage to all of us.

      "Should we stand by and merely watch while a man so dangerous he is
      willing to sacrifice Americans lives and, worse, the lives of others."




      M Muneer A A Khandwalla

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