Last week, we once again heard the familiar cry that the current U.S.-led “war on terror” is actually a war between the Christianity and Islam. However, this time the message wasn’t revealed to the world via an inaudible videocassette broadcast by Al-Jazeera. Nor was the claim made by the world’s most wanted man, Osama Bin Laden. In actual fact, this ‘End of Days’ declaration was made by senior Pentagon intelligence official, Lieutenant General William Boykin.
Boykin, who is deputy under-secretary for defense and war-fighting support, called the U.S. army a “Christian” army and referred to Muslim fighters as “satanically inspired”. “We in the army of God, in the house of God, kingdom of God, have been raised for such a time as this,” he said. Boykin referred to Muslim fighters as America’s “spiritual enemy” that, “will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus”. NBC News broadcast videotapes of Boykin, an evangelical Christian, giving a number of speeches while wearing his military uniform at Christian functions around the country.
In another speech, Boykin suggested that God appointed Bush as president. "Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. Why is he there? And I tell you this morning that he’s in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this."
Not satisfied that he had done enough to win the hearts and minds of Muslims around the world, Boykin labelled Allah as nothing more than an “idol”. Recalling a Muslim fighter in Somalia who said US forces would never get him because Allah would give him protection, Boykin said, "Well, you know what I knew, that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol".
What is most astonishing about this whole public relations disaster is the complete lack of condemnation from world leaders and internationals organizations. Not a word of censure from the United Nations, the European Union, Russia or even America itself.
The only thing I would say is there is a very wide gray area on what the rules permit," said Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. "At first blush, it doesn’t look like any rules were broken," Myers added.
At a Pentagon briefing, Donald Rumsfeld declined to answer when asked whether it was appropriate or advisable for a high-ranking Pentagon official to make such remarks in public, and did not say whether he would investigate. "We do know that he is an officer that has an outstanding record in the United States armed forces," Rumsfeld said. "There are a lot of things that are said by people in the military or civilian life, or in the Congress, or in the executive branch that are their views. And that’s the way we live. We’re a free people," Rumsfeld said.
Indeed! One individual who will be extremely pleased at Mr. Rumsfeld’s endorsement of this absolute freedom of speech, will be Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. A few days prior to Lt. Gen. Boykin’s offensive comments, Mr. Mahaithir came under the severest of condemnation from all corners of the globe for his comments on Jews at the Organisation of Islamic Countries conference. Mahathir did not claim they were followers of Satan or that they worshipped an idol. He did not state that there was a universal war between Muslims and Jews. He did not even declare that Allah had appointed him as Prime Minister of Malaysia. Yet, the UN, EU, United States and Russia all rushed to unequivocally condemn him of anti-Semitism.
"We view them with contempt and derision," said the US State Department. "Gravely offensive and …strongly counter to principles of tolerance, dialogue and understanding," said the foreign minister of Italy, the current chair of the European Union. Malaysian diplomats in London and Berlin also received a dressing down.
What was it that Prime Minister Mahathir said that caused such harsh words? "We are up against a people who think. They survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back but by thinking," Mahathir declared. "They invented Socialism, Communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have now gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power."
This is not a hidden secret. It is well known that the Neo-Conservatives in the U.S. today wield the most influence in Washington. It is also well known that the vast majority of these Neo-Cons are Jewish. They will openly and proudly admit this. And why not? Anybody who is intelligent enough to rise to the top of the class deserves to be there. The fact that these people happen to be Jewish is something they should take pride in. Every Muslim in the world today reflects with pride the era when the greatest scholars of science and mathematics in the world were Muslims. What Mahathir was basically stating was that despite having been a marginal and persecuted community, the Jews have survived – by use of brains not brawn.
Muslims around the world are reproached everyday for calling for more resistance operations against the illegally occupying Israeli army. Mahathir Mohamad called for the opposite –” he damned militant violence as futile and counter-productive. "Our only reaction is to become more and more angry. Angry people cannot think properly," he said. "And so we find some of our people acting irrationally. They launch their own attacks, killing just about everybody including fellow Muslims to vent their anger and frustration." So for calling for an end to the violence in Palestine and for Muslims to use their brains instead, Prime Minister Mahathir earned the wrath of the international community.
This consistent double-standard whenever Muslims are involved only serves to increase the divisions between Muslims and the West. Lt. Gen. Boykin’s comments, which he refused to withdraw, must be condemned in the strongest terms as Islamophobic and anti-humanity. If the leaders of the Western world continue to maintain their inexplicable silence on this issue, more and more Muslims will begin to see the words of Osama Bin Laden as prophesy coming true today.