Mohamed Khodr’s Column
America and the West have finally exposed the reality of 1.5 billion Muslims. Prior to 9/11 there was always that perception that one should not totally alienate and anger one third of the world’s population lest their “Muslim” conscience be awakened and they declare a “Jihad”, a Holy War against Western domination, imperialism, exploitation and injustice. Such fears kept the United States and Europe walking a fine line between the reality of their “national interests”–read as Screw the Muslims–and their clever and manipulative superficial attempts to pacify the “Muslim lion” with support of an “Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process”, defending “Muslims” in Kuwait, Kosovo, and Bosnia, ignoring the massive human rights abuses by their “Muslim puppet clients”, and throwing the “Muslim” world an occasional aid bone or a generous American abstention of a U.N. Resolution condemning Israel for killing Palestinians with an American F-16. In short such an outreach to the Muslim world can be encapsulated by Clinton’s “I feel your Muslim pain” strategy. Such a strategy has been in place since the end of World War II and the founding of that nation that embodies all the western values of—democracy, freedoms, justice, equal rights, the sanctity of life, liberty, pursuit of “western” happiness and respect for human rights–Israel. For almost seven decades the West pacified the “Muslim” world for its oil, natural resources, and “War on Communism”. Meanwhile, Israel during that time “annexed” Arab land inch by inch while the West usurped the “Muslim” conscience and faith inch by inch intoxicating the Muslims with the lure of alcoholic materialism and cultural indoctrination. The Muslims were hypnotized into a quiet dormancy of subservience, acceptance, and an impoverished illiterate existence. Islam as a message of worship, salvation, hope, peace, democracy, and tolerance was deprived of its glory and history while its followers lived in suspended animation under a western colonial and cultural anesthetic. Muslim leaders believed their own media’s glorification as infallible all knowing, all capable protectors of Islam, its people, and its shrines; that is in between their trips to western capitals for some “juice” and “flesh”. Muslims abandoned their faith, their unity, their prayers, and began praying toward world banks and the mighty dollar. They sought military and financial security not amongst themselves or their people but changed their Qiblah toward the East, toward Washington D.C.
Then came Bin Laden’s men and the method of their madness to terrorize the West into abandoning the “Muslim” world. Ironically, even the allegedly learned “Sheik” Bin Laden who claims to understand Islam better than the 56 unlearned Muslim leaders and their robotic followers terroristically and stupidly misinterpreted Islam and its divine call for “JIHAD” by murdering in cold blood thousands of innocent American civilians. Thus the “un-learned” and allegedly “learned” Muslims in their ignorance have killed innocent Muslims and non-Muslims and in the process have damaged the greatest universal gift of love, peace, and salvation to humankind—Islam.
Thus Bush, Blair, Sharon and their “axis of evil” allies in Russia, China, and India seized the opportunity to proclaim publicly to the world their strategy to “cleanse” and “reshape” the Muslim swamp of “violence, terrorism, intolerance, ignorance, and of course the ubiquitous Anti-Semitism”. No need to be shy or embarrassed anymore of “colonialism” upon the Muslim world. Now “Colonialism” is good akin to “Greed is Good.” The new world order of “Colonialism” finally came out of the closet.
What was the Muslim world’s response to this American led “reprisal” against “Islamic terrorism”? A shameful, disgraceful, embarrassing, humiliating (I’m running out of words): “we’re with you, tell us how we can help you kill “bad” Muslims in all 56 nations, what do you want us to do we’ll do just let us stay in power, we both can benefit–you kill your enemies we kill ours, we’ll even pay for your missions, how high do you want us to jump, how low must we bow, we’ll even blow up mosques and Islamic schools, we’ll kill and imprison our Muslim scholars——–please, anything you want, you want permanent bases to extract Caspian oil and gas, you got it, you want us to lower the oil prices, you got it, you want us to shut up about Israeli’s daily murder of Palestinians, we will, who gives a damn about Arafat and his Palestinians they’ve been a headache of destruction forever; oh, you want to blow up the Al-Aqsa mosque for a Jewish Third Temple, we’ll even help, we don’t even care anymore about the Chechens, Kashmiris, Iraqi’s and Iranians, they mean nothing to us; yes indeed Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Bashar Al Assad, Khameini, Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and all American Islamic charities are terrorists.”
The B.S. (Bush–Sharon) strategy worked. A triumphant Bush with over 80% approval rating is untouchable–the Dr. Strangelove of American supremacy, the Caesar of America’s empire; with Sharon the Nero of Ramallah. Damn the U.N., Damn those European pests, Damn Justice, Damn Truth, Damn the Future–the moment is NOW–and above all Damn the Muslims.
The only threat and potential obstacle to the B.S. strategy were the American Muslims who are financially well to do, highly educated, and are a potential swing voting bloc having accorded Bush 75% of their votes in the last election. To discuss the issue of American Muslims Bush convened his religious fundamentalist Enron war cabinet that included the Attorney General John Ashcroft, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, as well as Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Thomas Friedman, William Safire, Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Cal Thomas, and the Israeli Ambassador. After outlining his concern regarding the American “Mumlis”, Bush was open to suggestions to marginalize this group. The media elite suggested a “floating balloon” trial of bashing Islam, its God, its Prophet, along with the Saudi Royal family and Egypt in the press and seeing what reaction they get from the Muslims. After two months of blasphemous outrageous bashing in the media, the American Muslims were “MUM”. So the Pentecostal Fundamentalist who speaks in tongues, John Ashcroft, said to Bush that despite his random arrest and detention of thousands of Muslims, again the Muslims were “MUM”. However, he suggested that perhaps if he bashed Islam directly as an already vilified Attorney General surely American Muslims would be outraged. He then colluded to do an interview on November 9, 2001 with his Islam bashing buddy Cal Thomas and say:
“Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you.”
Everyone in the government was told to be prepared for a Muslim onslaught of outrage of phone calls, emails, letters, and hundreds of thousands of Muslims marching on Washington demanding Ashcroft’s resignation. Our government has so feared the Muslim “JIHAD” here and around the world that they expected an earthquake of anger. Yet four months later not a Muslim bleep was heard anywhere. If it wasn’t for the protest of an Arab American Christian, Dr. James Zogby, the issue would have died like the conscience of Muslims around the world.
Millions of American “Muslims” were the last hope and bastion of the Muslim faithful worldwide to exercise their constitutional freedoms and rights and defend Islam, defend Muslim lives and land, defend truth and justice, and counteract the oppression of Muslims in Muslim lands. Unlike their Muslim brothers and sisters under cruel autocratic Muslim leaders, these American citizens enjoy freedoms not available in Muslim lands, not even in the protectorate nation of the Two Holy Mosques, Saudi Arabia.
Tragically, we, the American Muslims are infected with the virus of fear, apathy, jealousy, greed, materialism, and disunity within our “Ummah.” We left our oppressed lands not to seek freedom of worship but to seek freedom for our greed and passions.
We have become Americans in every sense of the word. We’ve lost our faith but claim superficial religiosity, we’ve lost our intellectual capacity and ability for independent thought (Remember the first Holy Word to our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh): READ), we’ve joined the masses searching for “sales” of bodies, values, drugs, and stuff. The only strategies we’ve adopted are the strategies of ‘BLAME THE OTHER” and “WE ARE VICTIMS OF…….(fill in the blanks). In a word, we’ve sold the capital of our precious faith and souls for the capital of “isms”.
So why should I care as a Muslim? The American Muslims have adopted all things “American” with one exception: unlike American “tribalism” based on race, religion, color, sex, wealth, and education; we, as Muslims, segregate according to our “national and cultural tribalism” of country, language, residence, food, dress, and friendships. Thus we manifest in America the feuds of our nations and cultures.
So if I can’t “beat them, join them.” Thus last night I called a Muslim friend whom I’ve tried for years to have him join me for Friday prayers and asked if he was going out for a night on the town. He was shocked but delirious by the question. He picked me up and took me to a crowded nightclub. I sat and watched him drink and dance with several young women. He later came to me and pushed me to go to the bar and speak to a beautiful young lady sitting alone. I’ve never done this before. With fear and trepidation I harnessed some confidence and went up to her.
Somehow I uttered words I’ve never spoken before.
“Excuse me, bartender. Give me what the young lady is having and refill her glass.” She said: “Hi, and thank you.” I couldn’t believe this was happening. I said: “Hi, my name is George. I’m from Baltimore.” She said: “Nice to meet you, I’m Jenna.”
Later on we went to my apartment and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.
Lying in bed while she slept the phone rang. I picked it up quickly.
“Hello”, I said in my groggy voice full of a headache.
“Muhammad, Assalaam-o-Alaikum, this is your mother calling from Mecca.”
“OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD.” I lost my voice. I felt like someone slapped me with a ball of ice.
“Assalaam-o-Alaikum, mother. Why are you in Mecca?”
“Muhammad, have you forgotten, you sent me the money to perform the Hajj. This week is the Hajj.”
“I’m ashamed to say I have forgotten that among so many other things.” I hung up the phone and in my utter despair, humiliation, and tears all I could think of is what have I and my “Ummah” of Muslims become. Strangely, all I could think of was the word “JIHAD”, a struggle against one’s worldly passions. I looked at the young beautiful woman next to me and wondered if Muslims have now launched their own version of JIHAD, a struggle against heavenly salvation, against the “STRAIGHT PATH.”.
Muslim Jihad? What a joke.