Saturday, 26 January 2008

Instrument of Injustice

In recent years United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC) has been on the news to become synonymous with three issues: the war in Afghanistan, the Invasion of Iraq and the nuclear programme of Iran. Although I am sure UNSC undertakes a lot of other very important tasks, it seems on the surface to be driven by a specific group of nations united by a common agenda.
Invasion of Iraq proved UN to be almost ineffectual on the face of powerful nations not adhering to their commitment to the UN. US for example have defined its responsibilities in terms which suits them while also proved to the UN to be indispensable regardless of what she does. With Iran, US proved UNSC to be an organisation which ultimately will come to take US agenda as one of its own, be it somewhat watered down. The latest round of sanctions planned on Iran is just yet another example of such thus making UNSC an instrument of injustice which causes hardship in the life of ordinary people in relatively less militarily powerful nation.
One of course may feel that I have been little harsh towards the UN and have been ignorant of the important role she has played over the years to keep the order of our world. For this reason, it is must that I shall put some fact in the lines below to support my assertion. Here, I only intend to take the matter relating to Iran for today.
What are the issues involving Iran? A rogue state contempt to kill? A nation lead by fanatics? A power determined to destroy our world through funding extremists terrorists? Let us look at some facts to find the answers. But first we must look at the issue of nuclear proliferation and Iran. It is alleged that Iran is content to make bombs using nuclear technology which they must not be allowed to. Although Iran screams loud and clear to claim that their technology is for peaceful energy production purposes and shows no clear sign of making any bombs, US and some European countries continuously been raising their suspicion and demanding that Iran stop enriching uranium. Iran’s understood refusal gives reason to these nations to call for sanction and use their influence to use UNSC to pass resolution to this end.
Question is though how is it logical for nations already equipped with lethal weapons that includes powerful nuclear bombs decide Iran not having the right to poses the nuclear technology and know how for the purpose of producing electricity? Why should they be allowed to raise suspicion on an independent nation who has neither shown any sign of producing such bombs nor has acted aggressively? Every nation should have the right or no one, to develop nuclear technology. Even if we assume that Iran is going to make bombs, why must the nations causing chaos and carnage over centuries all across the world possessing nuclear bomb should have the authority to demand Iran must stop possessing nuclear enrichment technology just because they suspect them to be making bombs? Does that sound fair? Or Just? To me it sounds plainly illogical and clearly prejudicial.
Of course one of the reasons used to support the arguments to stop Iran from having nuclear technology is that Iran is an ‘unstable’ nation whose leaders must not be trusted or relied upon. This assertion is demeaning and must be seen as insulting to the people of Iran. The people of Iran in respectable numbers , far more than many so called western nations, turn out to vote to elect their leaders. The leaders of Iran are elected by their people legitimately to lead their nation. No one must have the right to question the wisdom of a people who have a history of civilisation unique to many nations.
For fear of lengthening my lines, I shall refrain from many more arguments which can be placed powerfully to prove the prejudice and hostility shown unjustly towards Iran. What I shall say to end however is that Iran is on the wrong side of a self proclaimed ‘force for good’ who take it upon themselves to discipline whichever nation step outside the limit set by these imperial arrogant powers with a desire for global domination. They chastise to further their own ‘interest’ at the core of which is to ensure the superiority of US and her allies at the expanse of all others. Iran is a bad apple strategically placed to challenge the supremacy of a major ill of our world, Israel. Sadly, UN has proved itself to be a force, an instrument of these nations to use to legitimise their actions. This way, they use UN and various organs of her to cause suffering, injustice and carnage around the world. UN is no longer a force for good guarding the peace and stability of our world. In fact, UN now is an instrument to legitimise injustice, a weapon of oppression and global dominance for a few.

Published in the Daily Star in Bangladesh on Wednesday, 30th January 2008:

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Modern Concentration Camp

I watch with greatest sadness and to some degree anger the plight of innocent men, women, children, elderly and other vulnerable individuals made to suffer from an illegal occupation. The illegal occupier, committer of grave war crimes, defeating all sense of civility and defying all levels of morality, Israel imposes blockades on a small piece of Land, Gaza, forcing its population to live under the most inhumane condition. The treatment of the people of Palestine in general and the Gazans in particular is nothing short of the treatment experienced by the helpless Jewish people in Nazi Germany’s concentration camps. The strength of feeling felt inside me learning about the horrors of the concentration camps, I thought was heavy, almost unbearable. However, the horrendous conditions in Gaza beats all imagination and makes me wonder how low can any collection of human kinds can go.
Of course Israel should expect to live in peace and harmony and feel secure within its borders. Of course Israel should have the right to defend itself against aggression. But what must also happen is that it should expect others to expect the same. All nations take pride in their nationalities, all states wish to live in peace, harmony and security within their borders and retain the right to defend themselves against aggression. And it seems this is where the problem is. Hamas, a resistant movement, not afraid to exercise its rights and stand for its people, retaliate against the mighty Israeli war machines causing fear at the heart of the Israeli people is utterly hated by the Zionist xenophobes. They take every opportunity to strike on Hamas in whatever shape and form they can. But every time they fail to break them, in fact the attacks by the war mongers and war-criminals in Tel Aviv only strengthens the resolve of the movement and empowers its leadership with increasingly popularity. Failing in almost all of its attempts, Israel successfully plotted to break the unity among the Palestinians and now trying its latest tactics, to starve the people for their political support and exercising their democratic right by supporting Hamas.
Today however, I shall not spend any longer looking at the issues with Israel. For Israel is not the only party in play at the scene. The concentration camps in 2008 may have been caused by the illegal state of Israel, but the ‘custodians’ of our civilisation and the bearer of ‘justice’, ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ have failed the people of Palestine too. In fact, the custodians, now the so called quartet, shamelessly sided with the butchers in Israel and the plotters in Palestine. Instead of bringing peace, they have assisted to bring about ever more carnage and chaos giving legitimacy to the continuing concentration camp in the once beautiful lands of Palestine. I shall seek to briefly look at the duplicities and inconsistencies of these states who are the source of power behind Israeli might.
To understand the role played by the global community, we must first understand the issues and the conditions on the ground. In a nutshell, the whole matter took a dramatic turn when the popular Hamas Movement came to dominate the PLA through a landslide victory burying the previously dominant force, Fattah of the late President Yasir Arafat. Many quarters for their own vested interested failed to come to term with this outcome and began look for ways to deny Hamas its rightful share in the governance of Palestine. But the matter did not end there. The most dramatic episode began when Hamas decided to go it alone and take over Gaza sending Fattah into a kind of exile into the West Bank.
Meanwhile, reacting to the rise of Hamas to the political institutions of the Palestinian Authority, israel and the most powerful nations decided to take a tough stand to punish the people of palestine for their democratic choice in the first ever true election. US and the European Union stoppped their fund and diverted some of it to their puppet agencies. The legitimate government of popular Hamas forced to fail in its effort to bring about stability and normalise the situation. However, all this failed to stop Hamas from increasing their popularity and influence. They did not fail under pressure from the major donors, and continued to serve their nations despite the absence of the economic lifeline. In between, efforts being made to save face of the ‘partners’ through attempted deals between Hamas and Fattah, but all of them ultimately failed.
The issue at stake is the issue of freedom, justice and ‘democracy’. Hamas, whatever one may feel about them, certainly has the legitimate political right to claim stake in the governance of Palestine for so long as the people of Palestine supports them. No one must act to deny such right to Hamas. The Palestinian people have the absolute right to decide who should lead them, yet again no one must act otherwise. The Palestinian state has the right to claim its sovereignty and reserve the right to retaliate against any aggressions and incursion and no one should meddle with it. These are issues of justice, fundamental rights of a nation, a state and her people. To deny such rights is to deny justice, humanity and civility. Such forces must be resisted in the most appropriate mean.
The US, the European Union, Russia and others who uses the issues of Hamas and likes as an excuse are nothing more than mere collaborators of Israel. More than once they have most spectacularly demonstrated their inability to live peacefully and often violates their own slogans of peace, justice, equality and democracy. US for example invades nations, ousts regimes, sponsors terrorists and funds illegal entities to further her desire to impose her will over the global community. Most strangely, she does all these in the name of Democracy and Freedom. When US and EU together forms the lifeline of Israel’s economy, defence and various other strategic areas, it is hard to have confidence on them to bring peace in the Middle East. Their insincerity and duplicity have been further emphasised in the appointment of the most biased and one-sided leader of recent Memory, Mr Tony Blair.
Of course there is the issue of attacks from Hamas, but this should not be made a condition for Israel to give People of Palestine their legitimate rights. Hamas operates its legitimate resistance movement under the illegitimate occupation of Israel. For the global community to ask Hamas to act first is to give Israel best reward for the most atrocious acts, the gravest of war crimes. The genuinely committed peace negotiators must first force Israel to withdraw from the occupied lands, seriously negotiate on the future of the both states and only than ask for peace and security and not before that. Israel must be made to pay for her crimes, criminals must be brought to justice and Palestine must be allowed to operate freely, viably and independently.
We the global community must show our commitment to peace and justice. We must demonstrate our determination to support the oppressed and must speak for them. Let us demand to our governments to stand for justice, to stand for Palestinians and to stop cooperating with Israel until her war machines stops killing innocent people.

Friday, 18 January 2008

To Be a Muslim

Part Two: The Facts contextualised

The issues that muddled the debates in so far as Islam and muslims are concerned is around the matters related to terrorism, violence and intolerance. For me each one of these areas are of specific strength to Muslims as a nation and Islam as the faith. Islam, of all the religions, condemns violence, intolerance and terrorism in the strongest terms. Never in Islamic history will one find little glimpse of atrocities committed by people inspired by islam. For islam is a religion of peace which accepts reality, offers remedy to problems and ensures safety and security of people, whether muslims or otherwise. Yet it seems almost extra ordinary that muslims find it difficult or necessary to be apologetic to respond to the queries posed to them on the issue of terrorism, violence and intolerance.
At the heart of the terrorism, intolerance and violence that we know today is not the faith of Islam, or indeed none of the major faiths but the policies and practices of the various nations claming to be part of the civilised nations. It is not islam that offers justification to the inhumane acts of killing across the world, it is the unjust, illogical and immoral decisions, acts and policies of Washington and their allies and subordinates. People made subject of unjust, inhumane acts, tortured using the dictatorial regimes, deprived of their most basic rights, denied humanity who fight seeking freedom and justice. Take a few of the many examples we can find in our current world.
Chechnya is a unique entity forcedly made part of the Russian Republic where civilians in thousands been massacred and made to leave their homes while the western world remained almost silent. To make it much worse, Russia failed to live up to their own commitment made on treaties signed with the Chechen leaders. So when the global community watched standby, surely the people who were dying would not let it happen without some form of resistance. In the process they commit crimes, kills civilians and others acts which goes beyond any humanly acceptable reason. Of course these acts should be condemned but it is not their faith that forced them or made them to commit such heinous crime but the barbarity that have been made to befall upon them my stronger opponents. Why should these people be classified as terrorists? Or even worse, blamed to be inspired their faith to commit crime? Same can be applied to resistance movement in others parts of the world such as Kashmir, Philippines and Palestine, to name a few.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

To be a Muslim

Part One: Era of Indignation

The horrific attacks on the twin towers committed by murderous terrorists changed the dynamics of our world in many ways. However, the major burnt in the aftermath of these horrendous acts of barbarism is being felt most strongly by Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslims worldwide. All of a sudden everywhere whether media or government Muslim and Islam has become perhaps the most commonly used phrases which triggers certain fear. The negativity attached to the identity of being Muslim is most remarkably demonstrated by the recent rumours concerning the religious identity of Barrack Obama. This latest saga exposes the hatred that even leading politicians nurtures in the us and most certainly in most part of the ‘civilised’ world.
In our post 9/11 world, almost every major discussion includes in one form of another the issue of Islam and Muslims. Thanks to these discussions now we are also being ‘honoured’ with various categories: muslims divided into subsections namely orthodox, conservatives, ultra conservatives, wahabis, extremists, Islamists, Jihadis, moderates, liberals etc. policy makers, thinkers and others use these newly invented, re-invented words as they deem fit to suit their positions. Most strikingly, most of these categorisations and specifications have either being developed by non-Muslims or muslims who are shamed to live according to Islam. It almost feels like that in most cases non-muslims offering great favours to muslims by explaining what islam ought to be to them. To me these acts are perhaps the most insulting, demeaning and outrageous. I will even go as far as saying these attempts defy commonsense, run contrary to the generally accepted standards of civility, equality and democracy that for so long we have been holding firmly close to our hearts. Yet it seems that with regards to muslims and islam these standards are not applied.
The environment of fear, guilt and uncertainty created around the world for muslims has lead to confusion, panic and in some cases desperation. All sorts of proposition have been made and circulated. All kinds of reactions been aired and penned. What to me seems missing however is a confident, Muslim-like response which seeks to challenge the dark forces which erred the senses of many decent human beings all across the world. In most cases, responses from muslims have been either too arrogant, naïve, reactionary or at best apologetic. The response from the quarter, however small, that belonging to the western societies but not muslims often sounded confusing. In part two, I set to look at some possible responses to counter this era of indignation for the muslims.