Sunday, September 19, 2004

Double Talk, Double Standards

Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi,

There is no humiliation and provocation worse than applying different standards of justice and morality — one for the rich and powerful and another for the less fortunate. You add insult to injury when you justify the unjustifiable by framing the issues. This is an ancient art. In recent history, the Nazis, Communists, Zionist (and now neo-conservatives) were masters of this.
When the Zionists talk about the right of return, they don’t mean for all — only the chosen ones. Those who left four thousand years ago have a right to reclaim lands, farms and houses now occupied by those who lived there in the intervening centuries. Talk about the same rights for those who have been recently kicked out and you are sued for anti-Semitism and inciting hatred.
In the “war on terror,” the Russians continue their unspeakable atrocities in Chechnya as do the Israelis and Americans in countries which they occupy. On the other hand, when the driven-to-insanity victims retaliate with the only means available to them, they are labeled “savage terrorists.”
Israel is expanding its settlements and building a dividing wall in defiance of the Security Council, the International Court of Justice, road map to peace and the Israeli Supreme Court. Still, Israeli and American “framers” call the wall “defensive,” the expansion “natural growth,” and the raids on civilians “retaliation,” and to hell with international laws, world opinion and common sense.
When American religious leaders, including presidential advisers, insult Islam, call for war on Muslims, and collect billions to help Christian revolts in Muslim countries, it is their constitutional right. But when Muslims support Islamic charities and causes, and when our extremists express their frustration, anger and desperation, it is inciting hatred and support for terrorism. Worse, we are all held responsible and punished collectively.
During World War II, the French resistance against the Nazis was accepted as necessary and right and justified as both. But when Palestinians, who have no other course of action, react to Israel’s state terrorism with suicide bombs, the Palestinians are guilty of savagery.
A Pakistani nuclear bomb is called Islamic, and the “alleged” Iranian quest for nuclear power is regarded as a threat to world peace and security. But Israel, which the world voted the most dangerous state, is not even mentioned as a nuclear state and its bomb is not called “Jewish.”
These contradictions and this selective application of justice have convinced many Muslims that the West is on a new crusade. The law of the victor is therefore met with the desperate resistance of the proud but injured underdog. Your terrorist is their Mujahid. Your “war on terror”, is their “Zionist-Christian Crusade.” And your liberation is their neo-colonization.
The conflict of civilization, thanks to the US and the UK, is therefore guaranteed. The other side has nothing to lose. The question is: For how long can such prolonged bloody conflict be sustained?

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