Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Religious Indifference

21 June 2011

Soon after the royal wedding between Kate Middleton and Prince William, President Obama dropped a bombshell. Not wanting to steal their thunder, on 2nd May the Commander in Chief gave the order for the CIA and the US Navy SEALS to capture the world’s most notorious terrorist, Osama Bin Laden. The capture was riveting - the stuff of movies. Executed with military precision, America’s security forces descended upon Bin Laden’s compound with stealth black hawk helicopters and within 40 minutes took custody of his body. Soon after the assassination, Obama was quick to reassure the Muslim world that Bin Laden had been buried at sea according to Muslim rites.

Who cares about a man whose acolytes brutally killed Daniel Pearl in February 2002, while filming the barbaric deed? With no regard to Jewish custom, they slit his throat, beheaded him and cut him up into ten pieces. Why give a toss about a war criminal who master-minded the deaths of thousands of people indiscriminately? Bin Laden’s fanatic Al Qaeda followers have killed thousands of Christians, Hindus and Muslims alike, held many Americans hostage, and tortured them with no regard to their religious beliefs.

The Arab uprisings from Tunisia to Yemen have shown Muslim dictators at their ruthless best, violating the religious rites of their own citizens, with an unspeakable brutality that defies belief. Muhammar Ghaddafi allegedly commanded the men in his army to use Viagra to rape Libyan women, continuing the age old tradition of using rape as a weapon of war to humiliate and subjugate women. Such barbarism is the surest sign that these countries are still trapped in the pre-enlightenment age, reluctant to modernise their archaic political, religious and cultural systems, for reasons that are obvious.

Ghaddafi’s fellow Islamic Republic leader, Syrian president Bashir Al Assad, has driven masses of his own people across the border into Turkey; had his police and security forces torture and violate protesters in ways unimaginable; snipers shoot at people returning from mosques on Fridays, carrying corteges of dead bodies, with no regard for the sanctity of Muslim rituals. TV images show murdered protesters lined up in cold storages meant for food and raped and screaming women flee with their families across the border into Turkey and Lebanon. The result is 1 400 Syrians allegedly killed; 10 000 in detention; and a refugee camp holding 10,000 Syrians.

In the meantime, international outrage has been much milder than the outpourings of hate and condemnation against Israel when they obstructed the Flotilla Mavi Marmara from entering their shores. The United Nations, NATO, the European Union and even the USA are clearly too terrified to act against a country whose closest ally is its volatile neighbour, Iran. Syria’s unwavering support for Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza means that any attack on it will have unpredictable consequences in a region that is as explosive as the terrorists they support.

The pro-democracy protests have caught the Left and international human rights agencies unawares because their obsession with Israel has blinded them to the human rights violations perpetrated by its neighbours against their own citizens. That a Saudi Arabian woman, Manal Al-Sharif, is arrested for daring to drive, is the surest sign that Israel is surrounded by a bunch of primordial fascists who consider ‘driving women’ as an act of rebellion.

These pre-enlightenment Islamic Republics get away with murder because they have oil, nuclear capabilities, links to terror networks, and hold the world to ransom as and when they wish. Compounded by deeply entrenched misogynist patriarchal cultures, their alliances spread over both sides of the ideological divide. Just as the Ghaddafi family bankrolled the UK’s London School of Economics (LSE) with 2.2 million pounds, so the Saudi Royal family has bankrolled the UK’s School of Oriental and Asian Studies with enormous amounts of funding – approximately 755 000 pounds between 2006 and 2010. Sir Howard Davies, the Director of the LSE, in March 2011 admitted to taking money from these dictators and was compelled to resign.

These two schools are famous for their Leftist politics and have nurtured some of the world’s foremost public intellectuals and academics, many of whom are unthinkingly anti-Israel and anti-semitic and vehemently oppose the only democracy in the Middle East, while they are quiet the rest. We now know why. Silenced by filthy lucre, they have been found wanting and have much to answer for.

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