Between terror and the war on terror
ANOTHER terror attack, this time in the heart of Europe and at the seat of the EU's political and economic power, and another mad rush to blame it all on Islam and Muslims. Even as their faith is put in the dock all over again, Muslims and their friends and supporters everywhere are falling over themselves to condemn the slaughter of innocents in Brussels in strongest terms. They go to elaborate lengths to insist that their noble religion and its teachings are innocent of the actions of a bunch of coldblooded killers.
Of course, they are. No religion sanctions bloodshed. Especially a faith that proclaims that taking one innocent life is akin to killing all humanity and saving one innocent life is like saving all of humanity can have nothing to do with the violence and carnage that is unleashed on cities, from Brussels to Baghdad and from Paris to Peshawar.
And perhaps by every time rushing to condemn the terrorists and their actions as 'un-Islamic' and in desperately trying to distance themselves and their faith from them, Muslims are unwittingly serving the designs and agenda of the fringe.
Cynical, shameful acts of violence like these targeting totally innocent people cannot be the actions of sane, reasonable individuals, let alone those of believers. So let us not even try to explain or rationalise them. Islam and Muslims cannot be held to ransom or responsible for the actions of a lunatic bunch, just because they carry Muslim names. Period. We do not have to hang our heads in shame over the attacks in Brussels or Paris, just as we do not have to be apologetic or defensive about the actions of their fellow travellers in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere. If it's any consolation, more than anyone else, it is the Muslims who have suffered most at the hands of these fiends.
The chief victim of groups like Daesh (Isis) is not the West or Christians and Jews but ordinary, innocent Muslims who have been dying in their hundreds - from Somalia to Syria and from Libya to Lebanon - on a daily basis. It is the Islamic world that has been bleeding nonstop as Muslims are hopelessly caught between the tyranny of terror of groups like Daesh and Al-Qaeda and the ' war on terror' unleashed by the West.
Incidentally, if it pleases Messrs Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and their kind, the fringe views the vast, overwhelming majority of Muslims - who are revolted by its morbid bloodlust and casual, intolerable cruelty - as beyond the pale of Islam. So this vicious, self-sustaining cycle of hate and violence is mutually aided and abetted by the extremist fringe that claims to speak in our name and those who are born with the belief that the whole world is their fiefdom to rule and ravage it as they please. And Muslims find themselves at the receiving end from both sides, as they once again are in Europe and around the world.
Predictably, Daesh has been quick to claim responsibility for the Brussels attack. Any fool could have sent that tweet though: "F*** Belgium. Belgium wanted to bomb the Islamic State. Now enjoy what your hands have sown! We have come to you with slaughter."
More predictably, the attacks have provoked a massive and overwhelming political and security response from governments of the 28-member European Union. Border controls are back across the once borderless, seamless continent. Security is at its highest at airports and in public places.
Needless to say, Muslims will feel the maximum heat with a surge in Islamophobia and hate crimes. Desperate Syrian refugees trudging across Europe right now in search of refuge could find doors shut in their face. There has already been a nearly 300 percent spike in attacks on Muslims across Europe in the wake of Paris attacks. Islamophobic groups and right-wing parties like France's National Front and Britain's UKIP get a new lease of life. The surprising rise of a bigot like Trump across the pond in United States is part of the same phenomenon. In their response to Brussels, both Trump and fellow Republican Cruz have called for increased surveillance of Muslims.
So whoever be the forces behind Brussels and Paris, they cannot be the friends and well-wishers of Muslims. They are perhaps the worst calamity to hit the world of Islam in a long, long time. They have brought nothing but shame and misery to the believers everywhere. Which may be why many Muslims believe that Isis is a progeny of CIA and Mossad. Many believed the same about the now largely defanged Al-Qaeda.
Daesh may not have been the creation of Western agencies but it is certainly a result and product of Western militarism and mindless wars of hegemony in the Middle East.