The stereotype of Islam being a “flawed” religion and Muslims “terrorists” in an existential war against the West (actually Christianity) has a very long history. This belief has been used to justify both attacks and colonization from the Crusades, to the colonial period, to the ongoing use of Muslim nations as pawns on a geo-political chessboard, largely based on a desire to control and exploit the riches of the Muslim lands. This hateful bias was brought into the modern era in part by attacks by extremist groups, but also by the West, particularly the United States, breathing new life into hateful stereotypes, and using the politics of fear to create an ever-ready threatening monster. Today, Islamophobia is not an individual, or even cultural, disability; it’s national policy. An important point that Dr Khawaja makes in this essay is that the rule of law is breaking down. Or perhaps it is totally broken. We are learning the sad lesson that if laws, agreements, and conventions are not honoured and enforced, they are not worth the paper they are written on. In fact, they may well be harmful. The repeated disregard of the rulings of bodies attempting to address injustice and violations of human rights and protections, undermines the force of law. It paves the way for chaos. We can see this happening in the United States where there is a snowball effect of loss of rights and standing of some peoples is spreading to make more and more people “less than” and expendable. This is happening with the impetus of a self-claimed nationalist president, Donald J. Trump, and his campaign to make America white again.
Injustice to and violence against one always impacts the whole. Sadly, it seems that people refuse to learn this lesson of history and repeatedly allow themselves to be drawn into fear and hatred to justify the denial of humanity to others.
The Global Conventions Have Betrayed Humanity
The United Nations Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Conventions, the Declaration of Human Rights, the Human Rights Commission and numerous other paper-based laws and conventions are, often, a distraction from the prevalent reality of raging global conflicts, needing urgent and forceful action for peace and human security. The workings of countless international institutions appear to have diminished the hope for systematic global law and order. While mankind bleeds globally, the institutional leadership formulated by a certain class of people relies on false statements to console humanity with platitudes that ‘all is well’. The institutional culture of governance is no different than that in the previous century of mediocre politicians. In the 21st-century knowledge-based, rational society, politics is nothing except conflict management, protection of human rights, peace, human security and human progress. But cynicism about politicians and their role in societal peace and progress is becoming endemic. Most politicians are like actors, pretending on screen for the good of the people. Thomas Paine rightly pointed out in ‘The Rights of Man’ (1792) that “[M]an is not the enemy of man but through the medium of false system of government – the wisdom of a nation should apply itself to reform the system – revolution by reason and accommodation rather than convulsion.” Twenty-first century politicians are detached from the thoughts and concerns of the real world; lacking understanding and imperatives of the sanctity of human life. The global order needs a navigational change. Politicians do not see themselves as citizens but a class of people who rule society. Once elected, their agenda contradicts the principles of human life and priorities.
Two World Wars devastated humanity and the planet because of the failure of global institutions and leadership. It is estimated that 65 million people were killed during the Second World War. The account of the First World War is not recorded correctly except there being several millions lost in the planned savagery – man against man. War negates human nature and societal peace and harmony. H.G. Wells manifested the declaration of human rights in 1939 and wondered “What are we fighting for?”
The 1928 Paris General Treaty (Kellog-Brand Pact) signatories renounced the use of force – war — as an instrument of national policy and agreed to settle conflicts by “pacific means.” In 1925, Geneva Protocols prohibited the use of poisonous gases as crime against peace and waging a war of aggression. The commencement of the Second World War witnessed betrayal of all the peaceful principles. The 1949 Geneva Convention called for respect of human rights and integrated human rights with the law of war. Many conventions described the rules, but nothing sensible was practiced to support the good conventions. Living history tells how the world was engulfed with the insanity of planned wars, and how the European-American coalition advanced killing machines deliberately massacring millions and millions across the global landscape. Have we, the THINKING PEOPLE of the globe, learned anything useful from the record of history? Have we paid heed to ensure the practice of the rules and laws of peace and war? In an endless and self-repeating political treachery, the tragic tensions of history are intensifying global affairs. Unless humanity is actively organized for peace, the coming of the Third World War is reasonably predictable.
Read More: World Affairs and Insanity as Entertainment
The Bogus War on Terrorism
For almost two decades, the United States, in alliance with NATO, is fighting the war on terror. Why did America invade Iraq and Afghanistan when these countries never invaded America nor did they pose any threat to its security? There is a critical crisis in THINKING and IDENTITY across the United States. Frank Scott (“Who Are We?”) offers a rational context to Who Are We?
“Under assault by a consciousness control system that insists we are doing quite well even when evidence shows we are on the critical list, we have reason to be confused… If we, the people of these United States, are ever to be a united nation. we have to penetrate the lead curtain of misinformation in which we are imprisoned and begin thinking as a population with a collective destiny which demands collective action. We have a serious social identity crisis and cannot save ourselves by making war against ourselves. But if we want a peaceful world and safe environment, we need to break out of the mental prison in which we’ll remain as long as we are kept separate, and unequal, by the controllers of what goes into our minds under the false label of information.”
Americans and most European masses are indoctrinated that Islam and Muslims are their enemies and somehow the 9/11 attacks have come to revisit the superstitious and unthinkable episode. In reality, the “terrorism” myth was manufactured by the lobbyist-run Western political leaders and groups; it has nothing to do with Islam or Muslims. The myth is self-engineered by the former neo-conservatives of the Bush administration.
History exposes the European transgressors who invaded a morally and intellectually advanced Islamic civilization, and crushed all their material, scientific progress and public institutions with their military campaigns. The colonization scheme of things was not an outcome of the Western democratic values to spread freedom, liberty and justice, but ferocious violence and killing of millions and millions of humans for the European Empires to be built on coloured bloodbaths. The European crusaders crossed the channels and unknown time zones to subjugate the much-divided Muslim people as part of their belief in the superiority of their own culture and values, and that Muslims were inferior to the European race. Therefore, Muslims could be used as subjects without human identity as raw material to build the new Empires. Centuries later, if there were a UNO at the time, it wouldn’t have dared to call the European invaders terrorists because it defied the democratic reasoning as the colonized masses lived in slavery and denial of basic human rights and identity. They were classified as “subjects of conquered race.” In an information age of knowledge–driven global culture of reason, ignorance is no longer an excuse to refuse to learn from living history.
Age of Perpetuated Insanity against Global Citizens
Too many textbooks describe historical conventions, laws and rules of engagements but none of it is practiced when it comes to the reality of war. We are living in an information age, a world of knowledge, but ignorance and arrogance rule where sanctity of human life is not a virtue, often incomprehensible to common citizens. All the legal stipulations appear devoid of power to protect human life and dignity. The protection of human rights is fast becoming a fashionable business exhibited by “goodwill ambassadors”, the movie stars and sportsmen on the screen, and nothing beyond that endless deception to human affairs. The vitality of human rights cannot be imagined by media portrayal of few selected movie stars. Wars are continuously raging and millions and millions are displaced, massacred, charcoaled by chemical weapons and drones but the UN, NATO, global leaders and other emissaries issue statements of concerns when cold blooded murders are unstoppable in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Palestine, Somalia, Libya and Kashmir, challenging the human conscience – if there is such a thing still in existence. These are unforgivable atrocities and crimes against the innocent of mankind. Is there a tangible and reliable global system of accountability to prosecute the perpetrators of wars and crimes against humanity? The ICC is just another name for the few to try relatively less important violators and small nations, certainly not the criminals like George W. Bush, Tony Blair and so many others. All conclusions have consequences and wars are a direct threat and violation of human rights.
Bertrand Russell and Alfred Einstein Manifest (1955) called “a war with H. bomb might possibly put an end to the human race.” In 2017, America tested the Mother All Bombs in Afghanistan. The Human Rights Commission, Geneva is a class of its own, meeting for nine weeks in a year and reading the papers and complaints and doing nothing else. On the 50th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, over 12 million people from across the globe asked the UN Secretary General to fulfil the promises envisioned in the 1948 Declaration. The UN and global leadership lack visionary intelligent commitment and the power to implement anything useful for the protection of humanity. In a world of reason, we need reasoned dialogue and open public discussion on the issues of human rights, protection of civilians in conflict zones and sustainable movement for peacemaking and conflict resolution. It must be explicitly connected to the global citizens. There cannot be any secret game of politics to get elected and be unaccountable to the demands of citizens. The global political leadership desperately needs an inner eye and soul to comprehend the prevalent reality of concerned citizens to ensure freedom from fear and annihilation by the unknown forces of human ignorance and cruelty which held the humanity captive during the two World Wars. Political wretchedness requires rational cure. Time is living; its importance must not be ignored. Being a rational human being, rationality requires objective reasoning in all human endeavors complemented by a defined and working system of accountability. Otherwise, history will not remember us as people of knowledge, wisdom and age of enlightenment but people belonging to an age of unending darkness whose viciousness destroyed their own existence.
A century earlier C.E, M. Joad (Guide to Modern Wickedness), captioned the human tragedy in these words:
“….Human nature is at least in part wicked and in part foolish, how can human beings be prevented from suffering from the results of their wickedness and folly? ….Men simply do not see that war is foolish and useless and wicked. They think on occasion that it is necessary and wise and honourable, for war is not the work of bad men knowing themselves to be wrong, but of good men passionately convinced that they are right.”