Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Powder Keg of War

By Risama, with Umm Zaid

"There go dem crazy Moozlims again! Getting all riled up over the Kore-ahn!"

Really?

Is that the only reason why Muslims in Afghanistan might have rioted? I don't know about you but hearing about a Qur'an being flushed down a toilet didn't really surprise me. How could it when we already know about allegations of sexualized abuse at Gitmo? Or what about G.I. Jane and her cohorts' idea of fun--random acts of sado-maschocism? Whether the story of the desecration of the Qur'an is true or not, we know that these things are taking place in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo. So why is the American media treating these riots as if the possible desecration of the Qur'an is the only thing that could possible have Muslims in some countries (particularly Afghanistan) ticked off?

Because, see, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, is saying that he believes the allegations of the desecration of the Qur'an are not the primary reason for the rioting in Afghanistan. Myers says that a report from U.S. Army Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, who is the commander of the Combined Forces in Afghanistan, indicates that the political violence has nothing to do with the Newsweek blurb. Instead, both are saying (as are many others) that the violence has more to do with the ongoing political reconciliation process than the allegations from Newsweek.

So, the question really becomes why isn't anyone in the American media reporting on myriad of other reasons why the Afghans might be rioting? Why isn't anyone reporting on what General Myers, and General Eikenberry, who's actually on the ground over there, believe is going on? Not a single major media outlet has reported on Eikenberry's report or Myer's comments. Not a single one. How ironic is it when a branch of our own federal gov't is willing to report on these developments, but the corporate, profit driven media is not?

Why doesn't anyone point out that all the other protests around the world were peaceful? How is it that one instance of violent rioting in one place -- Kabul, Afghanistan -- is being represented as "unrest" and "violent rioting" all over the Muslim world, when no reports of violence have been connected with any other demonstration?

And why is the nature of Newsweek's retraction being misrepresented by the media? Newsweek is saying now that some say the allegations are not credible, and that their source may have misquoted which report he read it in, not that he didn't read it, and not that the government did not publish the allegations in any report. But that's not what CNN, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and the rest of them want you to believe. They're making lots of money off of the false image of Mozlems around the world going berzerk over this story and killing one another. The truth might hurt their bottom line and other things -- just as it did with the false allegations of WMD that they all faithfully and unquestioningly reprinted in the fall of 2002 and the spring of 2003.

So why are people calling upon the editor of Newsweek to resign for allowing this story to go to press? They claim it's because the story was directly responsible for the deaths of 15 Afghans during rioting, but no one calls for the editor of Newsweek or any other publication to resign after they reprinted the false allegations of WMD made by the Bush and Blair administrations that caused some Americans, Britons, Australians, and others to support the 'Iraq invasion and has led directly to the deaths of more than 1600 American soldiers, 180 coalition troops, 236 foreign civilians, and an estimated minimum of more than 21,000 'Iraqis, as well as the wounding (physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally) of more than 12,000 American soldiers and untold numbers of 'Iraqis.

Furthermore, this is not the first time that allegations of the desecration of the Qur'an by US forces in charge of Muslim prisoners has surfaced. Similar allegations have been reported in the American and Muslim media since at least March of 2003. Yet there have been no other reported large scale demonstrations and no violence directly attributed to these previously reported claims.

Everyone else around the world, particulary in the Arab world, is seeing the daily carnage in Iraq. Muslims are being fed a steady diet of murder, bombings, rapes and explosions. While our American media is scared to show the hundreds of flag-draped coffins of our American dead, many around of the world are hearing stories of gang rape, mosque desecration, child prostitution, and every other horror story you can imagine.

Yes, desecrating the Qur'an is a tremendous sin but the American media cabal must be foolish if they think that that is the only thing that has any Muslim anywhere rioting. Automatically, the accusations are being made that Muslims place religion above human rights. I do believe that with so much anger and injustices left unchecked, people who are disrespected and abused on a daily basis will rebel in the most violent and desperate of ways (ex: the widespread rioting and looting that occurred in Los Angeles and elsewhere across the United States after the Rodney King verdict, rioting that left 58 dead and more than 2300 injured in Los Angeles alone).

The possible desecration of the Qur'an was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back for a group of people in Afghanistan. If this imperialist attack against "Third World" lands continues unabated, so will the growth of senseless acts of violence from those who are so disenfranchised, frustrated, and desperate that they end up destroying their own communities and hurting, even killing, innocents.

It all makes me think of a verse of the Qur'an:
"O you who believe! Be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice.Be just: that is next to piety, and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do."(Al Ma'idah, 8)

It would be wise for us to reflect on these words.

1 Comments:

Blogger altaf said...

Salaam thanx for this and your other post on "who defines a Muslim" - both great...

This desecration of the Quran should be understood as a form of torture of the Muslim community as a whole. There are some "liberal/progressive" type Muslims who are going about also claiming that Muslims don't protest about anything else... just plain nonsense.

And that we "don't know if it really happened" ---

Of-course it happened...

Click here for info. on previous reports of desecration

And our, Muslim relationship with the Quran is profound, of-course we will be deeply upset... and when confronted with such arrogance, there is no need to just sit by with humility...

The objective of torture is to destroy the individual and community spirit - protests, and speaking up is one way to let the torturers (in this case US imperialists) know that their acts won't silence us... inshallah.

Altaf

3:30 AM  

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