9/11: The day racists burn God’s book

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It is said that people in the Arab region never wake up to an old worry; because every morning brings them new worries. That is because of the plethora of disasters, wars, blockades, invasions and sanctions which have targeted this region because of its geographical location, natural resources and rich heritage. The wars, attacks and violation of sanctities which Muslims face in the United States, Europe and the world at large, brings this idea to my mind because the brutality of the enemies of Muslims outclasses itself everyday by inventing battles to undermine Islam and Muslims while using ‘democracy’, ‘freedom of speech’, and ‘religious freedom’, as a cover to justify carefully planned and financed campaigns. Such attacks have been hatched since the dark ages by people who have deeply rooted hatred for us; and it seems that Western racists still have inexhaustible funds of hatred for Islam and Muslims.

What is happening to Muslims throughout the world today is more dangerous than the cold war which preoccupied the world for decades. The West has declared –” through actions, measures and laws – that Islam is the enemy, and that Muslims are the target. Muslims have been blamed for the 9/11 attack, despite the large number of questions raised about the event, its objectives and the credibility of what has been published about it. The only constant element in this event is that its objective was launching a long war against Islam and Muslims and making the 9/11 attacks a justification for every war, law or measure against Muslims. The first response to such a claim is that the law in these democratic countries has essentially changed to allow for arresting and torturing ‘suspects’ without the need for any evidence to prove such accusations or even charging the suspects. Other laws have been passed to allow for treating ‘suspects’ as convicted criminals.

Assaults against Muslims and their sanctities persist because Muslim countries have not taken any deterrent measure. Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard mocked prophet Mohammad and Pastor Terry Jones threatened to burn the Quran publicly on the anniversary of 9/11, while Western ‘democracies’ and ‘democrats’ are encouraging and protecting them under different names like ‘freedom of expression’. What has been said about the unprecedented plan of a clergyman to burn a holy book is unacceptable under any justification; yet, no Western official expressed a real intention or wish to prevent him from going ahead with a hateful racist plan which would offend more than 1.3 billion people throughout the world.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the plan as a ‘disgrace’; but what is the significance of such a statement considering that she took part in honoring another racist, cartoonist Westergaard who offended with his cartoons more than a billion Muslims in 58 countries. Merkel praised the courage of this cartoonist while condemning the plan to burn the Quran as “insulting, disgraceful and wrong”. Based on this precedent, Jones will no doubt be honored in five years times, and maybe a statute will be made of him as Israel has made of mass murderer Goldstein, who committed al-Haram al-Ibrahimi (cave of the patriarchs) massacre in Hebron which claimed the lives of tens of Muslims.

One is justified in raising the question: does the West allow an objective and honest study of the holocaust, or even discuss it in the media? Is not the holocaust a historical event which can be discussed and written about? Don not the laws of ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom of opinion’ throughout the world ban even mentioning the holocaust? Would the West limit itself only to ‘condemnation’ and ‘expressing concern’ if someone intended to burn the Bible or the Torah? Of course, no Muslim would think of doing such a truly disgraceful act, because it runs counter to Islam’s spirit of tolerance and its teachings which respect all religions indeed. The evidence is that Muslims in the United States decided to hold the Eid prayers in the Martin Luther King church as a civilized response to the hatred of Pastor Terry Jones and all the racist forces which encouraged him and claimed not to be able to prevent or stop him. Not stopping him means implicit sympathy with him and blessing of his act despite pretending to condemn him in public; because voicing opposition without taking any decisive action to prevent him is worthless and does not express a true condemnation of this attack on Muslims’ feelings and sanctities.

Compare this disgraceful act by Pastor Jones with the news of ‘trying’ eleven American soldiers who killed Afghani civilians for fun and collected their fingers as a hobby, in the same way some people collect stamps!

Choosing 9/11 for burning the Quran is a new date for Muslims, which is no less dangerous than the 9/11/2001 attack for the United States. It even threatens of leading the world to unprecedented tragedies and dangers, because those who do not value the life, dignity, feelings and sanctities of Muslims do not think of the safety and security of their societies. Turning a blind eye to the racist offences against Muslims and their sanctities today will disturb them in the future and will have an impact on all of them, not only on their Muslim citizens, but on Christians and Jews as well. That is why Western officials have a responsibility to put an end to these campaigns of hatred against their Muslim citizens, not as a favor to Muslims, but as an urgent need to maintain security, peace and coexistence in their cities, villages, universities and institutions. If a small minority of haters have an interest in stirring internal conflict between Muslims in the West and their Christian and Jewish compatriots, Western people have no interest in allowing such disgraceful acts, because they will discover later that honoring Westergaard and ignoring Terry Jones’s actions will have indelible scars and dire consequences, not only for Muslims in the West but for Western societies in their entirety.

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Bouthaina Shaaban is Political and Media Advisor at the Syrian Presidency, and former Minister of Expatriates. She is also a writer and professor at Damascus University since 1985. She’s got Ph.D. in English Literature from Warwick University, London. She contributed this article to Media Monitors Network (MMN).

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