By Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal
On March 11, 2012, former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney cancelled a Canadian speaking appearance due to security; he is afraid for his life, which, in itself, is indicative of fear. Fear, in turn, is indicative of cowardliness or guilt. In his case, it may be both. When he came to Vancouver last fall, demonstrators called him a war criminal. Not only Cheney, but all three men who formed the infamous war-trio (Bush-Dick-Blair trio) may are in the same predicament. Last year, Blair had to cancel book signing ceremonies across UK and Bush cannot go anywhere without sparking protests and protestors in Ireland chanted “hay Tony hay, how many children you killed today”.
This is perhaps only a mild reaction to what they did during their year of active public life. The least of their crimes is that injected a strong dose of hatred in a large number of people around the world. Their own countries absorbed this in a systematic way and enacted laws which empower officials to carry out acts of vengeance and hatred against Muslims. Elsewhere, they unleashed a new level of hatred against them as well as against a diverse segment of humanity, including sectarian hatred which is now bleeding Iraq and the poison of that hatred has spread throughout the Arab world, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Of all the crimes against humanity they committed before leaving the stage, this is the most terrible in a certain way as it has become a self-propagating crime which knows neither geographical boundaries nor nationalities. The latest manifestation of this hatred comes in the form of the carnage done by a US soldier who walked from his NATO base into the homes of civilians, turning his weapon on the families inside and killing 16 people, nine of them children.
Of course, this will be termed as an isolated incident—an “inexplicable and unfortunate” act of a mentally imbalance individual. But it is not. There are systemic forces behind the emergence of such crimes and Abu Ghuraib is a testimony to that. In fact, the marines and others who serve in Muslim countries receive a systematic brainwashing which turns them into killing machines. This emerged after 9/11, resulting in a level of hatred that can only be called inhuman; it is really below the dignity of a human being to do what numerous US soldiers have done since 9/11.
It can be argued that what happened on that terrible day was in no way within the bounds of humanity and there is no reason to doubt that: it was indeed a crime of unforgiveable nature: those men and women who left their homes on that day never to return alive were indeed victims of hatred unworthy of a human being, but to instigate single acts of violence as facets of demonstration of systemic hatred is a far greater crime.
Three thousand men, women, and children who perished on September 11, 2001 had no idea what was in store for them on that fatal day. But over a million who have suffered violence since that day through institutionalized crimes perpetuated by the trio have a different story. They have lived through horrors of war and sectarian strife on a daily basis for so long that sudden death on a September day would be but a flashpoint in the horrific ongoing ordeal of so many people. This is not to belittle the propensity of that suffering, but to put things in context. When Nazim Shah returned home in Panjwai district from a trip to Kandahar to find his entire family killed, it was something he had already feared. The presence of NATO soldiers in the village, the night watches, the midnight knocks at the doors, and the constant horror of a long and seemingly interminable war have become daily realities for Afghans. This was not the case for the New Yorkers who perished on that day.
The same systematic hatred fuels the New York Police Department (NYPD) which has a program to spy on Muslim businesses, mosques and to monitor Muslim students on college campuses; it is not the work of a lone lunatic or a bunch of individuals working out some fantasy; it is an official, systematic, and strategic process that violates all norms in which America used to take pride: the so-called civil liberties and freedom.
Worse than the crime, the vigorous defense of NYPD and its insistence that whatever it is doing is legal and necessary is indicative of a sick system which Bush-Dick-Blair bequeathed to posterity. It can also be said that this hatred was already in the system, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, merely made it an open policy. The NYPD is perhaps the most Gestapo-like organization to emerge since the Nazis. It has a secret squad called the “Demographics Unit”, which has deployed plainclothes officers, typically of Arab descent, into Muslim neighborhoods to photograph mosques and catalog every place Muslims congregate, including restaurants, grocery stores, internet cafes and travel agencies. The officers eavesdrop inside businesses and file daily reports on the ethnicity of the owner and clientele and what they overheard. The program is not based on any real indication of suspicious activity; it is a routine program. Its goal is to have a complete profile of the Muslim communities in and around New York. Nazis are said to have done the same to the Jews. NYPD keeps files on Muslims, just like Gestapo did.
Because it is a program fueled by hatred, which is in the system, it is possible for the city officials to dismiss criticism of what they are doing and seek protection behind the official. Thus, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his aides have no problem in keeping secret files on innocuous mosque sermons and plans for peaceful protests. They do not feel the legal necessity of explaining why they are violating the rights of US citizens, merely because they are Muslim; no one in the legal system is asking these questions; such is the level of poison which Bush and Dick Cheney were able to inject in American veins.
Elsewhere the story is no different: UK, many countries of Europe, including even Switzerland, are all infected with the same poison. The Muslim populace in these countries is now the target of systematic hatred in numerous ways, which have all been legalized.