By: Dr. Maimul Ahsan Khan
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draft-chapter of an upcoming book and no one should cite/quote anything from
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“This is not a just peace, but it is more just than continuation of the war. In the situation as it is, and in the world as it is, a better peace could not be achieved.” – by Alija Izetbegovic just after the signing the accord, Dayton Peace Treaty, 1995
Conflicting Perception of Right and Wrong: Paradigm Problems
After September 11, 2001, mainstream Americans have realized that they don’t really understand Muslims and Arabs. The US government has started to tell its citizens that not enough number of Americans speaks Arabic language and that is why there is a problem of communication between Americans and Arabs. But problem is not of literary language, but the perception of life and death, religion and culture, ways and means of livelihood.
If ten percent of Americans face economic hardship in their life, then ninety percent Arabs have been suffering endemic economic problems in their life. Muslims and Arabs in general take most Americans as extremely promiscuous in their sexual behavior unacceptable for any “decent human being.” On the other hand, Americans think that most Arabs are polygamous and abusers of their Muslim women. Moreover, both sides actively propagate “formulas of sexual relations” to solve the problems of their perceived enemies in culture and way of life. Both sides have their own conflicting approach to consumerism.
President George W. Bush has declared many times that the Arab and Muslim terrorists had attacked in the soil of America to destroy American way of life and freedom. The terrorists being the fringe group of Muslim societies could hardly think that destroying some American buildings or killing some innocent Americans they would be able to pose any serious threat to American way of life and liberty. It is indeed a very difficult task to ascertain exactly what was the motive and intention of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. But the US administration took it as a declaration of war on American and sought revenge of all kinds in the Muslim world. The idea is that instead of fighting terrorists in the boundaries of the US, it is better to destroy Muslim terrorists in their homelands. It sounds very attractive, prudent, and wise strategy. But such a strategy has serious loophole provoking 1.3 billion people to join in radical ranks to fight enemies in religion, culture, and so forth.
There is no hesitation in the mind of the US government to name Muslims as it enemies when Muslim don’t want to agree with US policies. But Arabs and Muslims wonder why they have to agree with the US policies. Muslim masses did not have any say in formulating domestic or foreign policies of their own governments for a long time and they had serious grievances against Western policymakers incapable of appreciating Muslim predicaments around the world. Now all of a sudden Muslims were told that thy had to obey American instructions fully to combat “enemies of humanity and civilization.”
In the ideological battles between the American government and Muslim masses, the identity of “enemy-terrorist” has been lost long ago. Because of “ill-fated” Muslim governments and their unwise and subservient position in global and regional politics, identity of “enemy-combatant” was suppressed. Moreover, if you wish to fight your enemies in somebody’s house you need to get some kind of permission from the inhabitants of that house. The US government could not define its “Islamic terrorist enemies” for Muslims in any convincing way and had ignored completely Muslim public opinion around the world.
For most Muslims, “Western modernization” programs in the Muslim world fall short of any genuine democratization and many Muslims strongly believe that Westerners have either been suffering from colonial mentality or perverted promiscuous sexuality or vulgar consumerism. On the other hand, Westerners accuse Muslims for being polygamous or abuser of their own women folk. With such a dramatically opposite perception of right and wrong, no amount of Arabic or English language knowledge would be helpful to mitigate any conflicting issues between the US and Arabs. Most attackers of September 11 were well verse of English language and Western culture than any group of Arabs and Muslims living in the Muslim world. Issues of conflicts here are not of literary character as many official spokesmen tend to believe or explain.
If a Muslim would preach “Islamic polygamy or Quranic criminal justice” to solve all sexually related problems, crimes, and diseases in any Western country, he or she might be persecuted for violation of the law of the land. But in most Muslim countries “Muslim secularists” insist both at official and unofficial levels that “Western promiscuous sexual way of life” would solve all problems and crimes in the Muslim societies. Leader like Saddam and his sons had become the symbol of that “persistent Western behavior” in traditional Muslim society like Iraq. Saddam was fighting for a “Western way of life” to defeat Islamists, shias, and many diverse religious and political forces in and around Iraq.
No type of Islamists or radical Islamic group, including Al Qaeda never had been supportive to Bathism of any kind. Organization like Al Qaeda was a serious enemy for Bathism both in religious and political terms. There was no way for Ayatullahs or any Usama-like groups that they would subscribe something common ideologically with Bathism or Arab nationalism of any kind. But because of so-called American pragmatism, the US administration has served itself as an ally of all conflicting parties in the Arab and Muslim world at different times. Both Usama and Saddam were great allies of the US administration in the wars against the Soviets and Iranian Ayatullahs respectively. To topple Saddam from the power, Washington took active help from Iraqi Ayatullahs, but failed to save the life of Head Iraq Shia leader, Ayatullah Hakim. Apparently the US had no choice but to join all these conflicting parties in the Muslim world and do not have any capability to save any Muslim leaders and politicians fighting against “Evil forces” there. How come the wealthiest and mightiest country in the world is always find itself in “extremely helpless situation” in dealing with the weakest countries of the world, the Muslim states and every time is under “compulsive syndrome” to change sides?
When Ariel Sharon declares that Israel has every right to attack anywhere in the Arab and Muslim world to safeguard his country and government, then Arabs retaliate by saying that they have every right to use any means to hit back the aggressor or enemy. This dangerous strategy of Ariel Sharon has started in 1982 when he attacked deep inside of Lebanon and justified that pre-empted military attack for security reason of Israel. Ultimately that strategy have paid very well to Ariel Sharon and made him Prime Minister of Israel in 2001. But did this military strategy of Ariel Sharon made Israel more secure and safer? Why Ariel Sharon had to attack Syria on October 5, 2001? American support for such military attack is now very simple: Israel has its right to defend itself and reserves right to attack militarily any Arab or Muslim country to ensure Israel’s safely and security. If this is the acceptable paradigm for national security for every state, then there is no place for international law and institutions, and the organization like UN should be abolished.
At different stages of history, especially during 1960s and 1970s small African countries like Libya and Uganda characterized the UN as a tool in the hands of Western powers to exploit smaller countries of the world. Anti-UN ideas were defeated by the strong support for the “Universal principles of Human Rights” for all.
Most Third World countries has been facing challenges in reforming existing legal and economic systems and Muslims were blamed for stagnation because of absence of “religious reformation” in the Muslim world. Religious reformation is the West has give birth to a rise of Protestantism in many countries in the Christian world. But Protestantism alone can not explain “religious reformation” or revitalization process in the Christian communities around the world. Many aspects of Christian reformism are deeply related to the basic “Western religious dogmas and world-view” of Christian churches.
“To be sure, many of the trends in Western civilization worked adversely to Protestantism, as they did to other forms of the faith. Some of the programmes for the reorganization of society, such as anarchism and Marxist socialism, were frankly anti-Christian. The drift of intellectuals away from the faith was seen in traditionally Protestant peoples as well as those of Roman Catholic and Orthodox background. ….The reason for the greater success of Protestantism in the nineteenth century were complex. Some of them are in part conjectural or at lest debatable. One of them obviously was the fact, to which we have already called attention, that it was the predominantly Protestant Great Britain and United States which had the largest increase in wealth, population, and territory.” 
Dramatic increase in wealth and territory of most Western powers and governments has resulted from industrial revolution and colonized systems introduced and sustained by them. All Third World countries, including Muslim states, are the biggest losers of that worldwide phenomenon. As winners of that worldwide colonial process, Western powers did not play any overt ideological game up to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. With the emergence of the Soviet Union and its role in World World II, rivalry between two superpowers had received more apparent ideological features. The features of Cold War made the reformative Christian legacy an active agent of ideological war against the Communist world. By that time Christianity had lost its domineering feature in public life of Western societies.
Since Christianity lost its appeal as a state ideology to most Westerners, colonial powers could not play “Christian card” aggressively in politics of Third World and Muslim countries. Muslims had to use “Islamic card” vigorously to defeat Western colonizers in their lands. Using the features of industrial revolution and colonial system, Westerns got upper hands over Muslims and Arabs at all levels of international and regional politics and economic diplomacy. But that conflict did not have much ideological bearing for the Westerners and during the course of Cold War era Muslim world was divided over the issues of communism and socialist pattern of governance.
From the period of Christian reformism to the Bolshevik Revolution, Christianity had lost its domineering role in public affairs of the West gradually. It did not happen just because of some new articulation of Christian ideas of God and church. Religious reformative process cannot succeed in any sociopolitical and economic vacuum; it proceeds from one step to another. Some religious reform succeeds in the face of great lose of the followers within their own communities. Religious reformism within the Christian communities is not an exception to that general rule. Step by step Christian religious reformism has passed through different stages to empower Westerners and defeat others in ideological battles and trade wars.
“They were in territories which had not been submerged by the Moslem wave which had reached a fresh crest in fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Moreover, they were in the regions from which the discoveries, growth in commerce, and colonial empire-building were to come during the same era….Thus Spain was the earliest to feel the full impact of the Catholic Reformation, and the height of the Spanish reformation coincided with the period when that real was the foremost European state in military might and in territorial expansion in the New World….in France the Catholic Reformation reached its crest about the time when French hegemony was attained in Western Europe, in England the Protestant Reformation roughly paralleled advances in commerce, the beginnings of overseas colonization, ….in Russia the most stirring religious movements were when that country was recovering from its Time of Trouble….” 
Describing Christian religious reformation as a rosy and easy, many Western and Muslim secular observers demand a quick and dramatic “Islamic religious reformation” in the Muslim world. The fifteenth century was very important for Christian reformation and we can regard the Spanish Inquisition against Jews and Muslims also a part and problem of Christian religious reformation. Forceful conversion of Jews and Muslims into Christianity did not bring any real success for Christians. But Muslim dominated Spain had lost all its Muslim population and today Muslim population constitutes about 1% per cent of total Spanish population there. On the other hand, a Christian can compare Muslim occupation of Constantinople with the Spanish Inquisition.
History does not claim that Muslim rulers in Istanbul had converted Christian population into Islam forcefully. Conquering Jerusalem from Christian Crusaders, Saladin did not adopt any forceful conversion policy there in fourth quarter of the twelfth century. Many authors claim that as the Quran prohibits forceful conversion of people of other faiths into Islam that is why Muslim rulers did not try to follow the religious conversion policy of their Christian counterparts. Only religious scripture alone could not make that difference if there was no real difference in sociopolitical and economic systems. Very often, we forget that to initiate and sustain some significant religious reforms, positive economic and legal environment is a must. But it is also true that right kind of religious reforms can accelerate ongoing political, economic, and legal reforms. To claim that Christian religious reforms made the Western world too powerful as we find it today would a very silly and untrue statement.
“The Easter shores of the Mediterranean, where once had been the chief scenes of Christian thought and activity, were ruled by Moslems. Of the five historic patriarchal sees of the Catholic Church, Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, and Rome, all but the last were now under the Crescent. Even in Western Europe, where those who professed the Christian faith remained politically in the ascendant, the threat was sobering. The institutions which had been erected as bulwarks of the faith – monasteries, the clergy, and especially the Papacy – were honeycombed with corruption.” 
Doctrinally Islam does not endorse any form of Papacy or institutionalized clergy; according to the main teaching of the Quran, Islamic societies must be egalitarian with a loose kind of federal or confederate system of governance for all. That is why, until recent time institutional corruption within the Muslim communities was not a great concern for reformers. Moreover, individually many Muslim religious leaders could voice the dissent and opposition to the rulers. Even the colonial rule in the Muslim world did not make Muslim nations completely corrupted. It is the nation-state-system, which brought Muslim societies under institutionalized corrupted system.
Financial corruption is almost a universal phenomenon in the present-day Muslim world. Institutional corruption is so endemic in most Muslim countries that state machinery has become dysfunctional. Not the secular circles, but religious groups have started to voice against the visible corruption of the Muslim elite. Military takeover of state powers in many Muslim countries has been orchestrated with a slogan of anti-corruption drive against seating government. Thus Muslim world came to an age of governance can be called “militarily-controlled democracy.” From Algeria to Indonesia or from Egypt to Pakistan very often we can observe the pattern of “military democracy” upheld by the Western powers. The so-called military controlled Muslim democracy has become so popular that recently some military leaders have started to use the slogan for Islamization of government and public life.
When both secular and religious militarily-controlled regime has failed in most Muslim countries to bring any substantial change in any important Muslim government and public life, then the appeal for “Islamic revolution” has surfaced within religiously oriented Muslim political parties. Westerners were quite unaware about that appeal of Islamic revolution to the minds of many Million Muslims around the world. The 1979 Islamic revolution of Iran was unacceptable and unexplainable to the mainstream Westerners. As a solution to find out an acceptable explanation of the passion of Islamic revolution it was told that shias are mainly revolutionary and sunnis are traditional religious force and do not like radicalism. Attraction for and repulsion to Islamic revolution cannot be explained by shia-sunni dichotomies; the degrees of popularity and unpopularity largely based on the severity of corruption of the seating governmental machinery. For example, after two decades of Islamic revolution in Iran, corruption in governmental and religious institutions is the main cause of protest of student uprising in Tehran.
During the nineteenth century, students of many religious educational institutions had protested against the Ottoman rulers in the present-day Turkey and beyond. Even the Wahhabism itself is an outcome of such anti-governmental protest. Initially those anti-governmental demonstrations against the Ottomans did not have any serious Islamic or religious articulation. The same is true for Iranian protest against the Shah’s rule of Iran. But gradually those anti-Shah demonstrations had received Islamic articulation and objectives. The ruling Iranian clergy and Saudi or Pakistani ruling elite thought that they would not come under similar scrutiny as their predecessors. Now many Muslim countries with meager economic resources cannot afford to continue to have corrupted economic and political system.
Islamic legitimacy has received more prominence than political justification of power. Discredited and corrupted political and judicial systems have crated a greater opportunity to appeal to the causes of Islamization of prevailing rundown Muslim systems. As a result, most Muslim politicians have been increasingly using Islamic justification to popularize their policies. But that does not mean that sociopolitical and economic factors are less important then religious notions for reformation of any state system. “The techniques through which Shari’a was derived from the divine sources and the ways in which its fundamental concepts and principles were formulated are clearly the product of the intellectual, social, and political processes of Muslim history.” 
Economic and political disputes between Islamic and secular political forces within Muslim communities have been playing much more important role than religious disputes. Student demonstrations against government of Islamic Iran have many things to do with rising material aspiration of the Iranian youth. When Iranian government has been discussing to privatize all public universities of the country, the Iranian youth got angry and has demanded more resources for the universities. Similar educational reform policies put forward by the Japanese government did not provoke serious disputes there as Japanese students are already familiar with private university system. Of course, the domineering voice of the Iranian clergy over educational policy of the country is one of the reasons of student protest against the government. Not only in regard to the educational policies, in all other areas of Muslim affairs, no single reason can determine the nature of ideological battle between Islamic and secular forces of a Muslim society.
“The modern history of the Middle East, according to a convention accepted by most historians of the region, begins in 1798, when the French Revolution, in the persons of General Napolean Bonaparte and his expedition, arrived in Egypt, and for the first time subjected one of the heartlands of Islam to the rule of a Western power and the direct impact of Western attitude and ideas. Interestingly, this aspect of the French occupation was seen immediately in Istanbul, where the sultan, as a suzerian of Egypt, was much concerned about the seditious effect of these ideas on his subjects. A proclamation was therefore prepared and distributed both in Turkish and in Arabic throughout the Ottoman lands, refuting the doctrines of revolutionary France.” 
Apparently here all historical facts and explanations are correct. But the Egyptians nor Ottomans were not concerned or did not have time to think about revolutionary ideas coming from French or Frenchmen, as Muslims in general were already deeply perturbed by the foreign military aggression in their traditional lands. Moreover, it was not the lesson of the French Revolution to occupy Muslim peoples and their resources to liberate and emancipate Frenchmen or Christians under the rule of monarchial absolutism. Napolean Bonaparte himself rejected most of the lessons of the French revolution and in bailing out his country from endemic economic crisis and political instability did used his military attack on Egypt. Brief military occupation of Egypt (1798-1802) by Napolean Bonaparte had served him very well and he could emerge as an Emperor of French in 1805. Napolean Bonaparte’s military attack against Egypt and his emergence as an Emperor of French were indeed serious refutations of the messages of the French Revolution. Now Western authors have been blaming Muslims for the refutation of the ideas of French Revolution as Muslims had been fighting against the foreign military occupation.
Napolean Bonaparte did warn the Egyptians that the British colonial empire would occupy Egypt as London did in Muslim India and declared himself as a liberator of Egypt and printed the entire Quran from modern press brought with him from Paris. Many gestures of Napolean Bonaparte to the Egyptians might be genuine. But how Muslims in general and the Egyptians in particular would accept a foreign military occupier as liberator? Muslims have never got any credible answer to this question from any Western military or colonial powers. Muslims needed to know the answer to the question through the dynamics of military and ideological battles against the Western powers. Napolean Bonaparte’s easy military victory over Egypt has failed to give any serious lessons to the Muslim rulers.
The Egyptian military commanders at the time did not understand the formidable force led by Napolean Bonaparte that they had been facing in their own land. Muslim causalities in the warfront with Napolean’s army were many thousand times more than in French army. Since then configuration between Muslim and Western military forces and causalities in any given conflicts have never changed. Muslim armies have always been defeated and humiliated in all battles against non-Muslim armies around the world. But every time Muslim army was defeated, ordinary Muslim folks have suffered from colossal damages of war and a section of Muslim elite have joined their Western counterparts to share the war booties in the Muslim world. And subsequently, with unprecedented sacrifices of Muslim lives and resources, Muslim masses have driven out the foreign military forces from their traditional lands. This cycle of military battles and violent way of settling disputes between Muslims and westerners have ultimately made the Muslim world impoverished and dependent on the West.
Muslim nations could escape from such eventuality if they were united on the question of military attacks and violence between themselves. After the withdrawal of Napolean’s army from Egypt, Muslims had started to resort violence between themselves more vigorously than every before. During the early decades of nineteenth century the Ottoman army fought against the Wahhabis in the Arabian Peninsula. Without the help of the Egyptian army, Ottomans could not crush the Wahhabis insurgencies in and around the holiest mosque of Islam, the Kaaba. But soon after that the suppression of Wahhabi uprisings, the Ottomans plunged into conflicts with the Egyptians army led by Muhammad Ali. The Egyptian army fought relentlessly against the Ottomans a decade-long war during second quarter of the nineteenth century. That phenomenon still exists in the Muslim world. Battles between Muslim governments have created better opportunity for Western powers to win any war against the Muslim armies. Fighting Muslim governmental armies was always easy for Westerners, but to stand against the Muslim popular resistance for a long period of time was and is very difficult task for any particular Western government. This process of violent resistance against Western military occupation of Muslim land has ultimately led the Muslim world to religious radicalism and frequent militant insurgencies against any establishment.
Who is the Enemy of Democracy and Islam?
“Islam does appear to provide a practical political alternative as well as secure spiritual niche and psychological anchor in a turbulent world.” – by Hrair Dekmejian in The Anatomy of Islamic Revival
Both Islamists and Muslim secularists are quick to find their enemies at home and abroad. Warring ideological fractions within Muslim societies see their own perceived ideological state as an enemy for people of other faiths and ideologies. Muslim secularists demand democratic state, but don’t see any place for Islamists in their proposed system of governance. Similarly Islamists call for an Islamic State and fail to give an idea how secular political forces in the country would be accommodated in the system. Very often Muslim secularists and Islamists share the same fear of extinction and persecution leading to their physical elimination from public institutions. Neither democratic nor Islamic system of governance in the Muslim world did receive any strong harmonization process to reconcile political disputes between rival groups.
A typical Western democratic system not necessarily indicates to any definite ideological statehood. All rival political forces under different constitutional systems are allowed to fight for power through elections. The rules for political games are very similar to that of playgrounds, theaters, and circuses. Competing parties are allowed to have plain fields and make use of same rules to demonstrate their capabilities and defeat the rival. Once game is over and the scores are established, rival parties go home with their result and take preparation for the next game. In the West politics is neither a religious war nor battles for existence; it is a process of power sharing at governmental levels.
“With a little imagination one may discern the same feature in other aspects of Western culture – in democratic politics and in team games, both of which require the cooperation, in harmony if not in unison, of different performers playing different parts in a common purpose. In parliamentary politics and team games, there is a further cooperation in conflict – rival parties or teams, striving to defeat their opponents, but nevertheless acting under an agreed set of rules, and in an agreed interval of time.” 
Though this democratic culture has become part and parcel of Western politics, but it has never been practiced at international arena to resolve disputes between states. In international relations between the states, military force has remained the most important factor to resolve any dispute. The practice of the principle of “Might is Right” was and is so prevalent that international institutions have failed to make democratic and diplomatic means a viable alternation to military method of conflict resolution. The outbreak of two world wars was the outcome of that phenomenon. But the emergence of the League of Nation and United Nations is also can be regarded as one of the consequences of world war. Turkish involvement in the First World War was one of the last unwise decisions of the Ottomans, who had failed to figure out their military and diplomatic position at the global stage.
Since then Muslim states either are incapable of formulating their own political and diplomatic strategies at global and regional levels or miscalculate their military strength vis-à-vis their enemies. Most Muslim governments don’t have any genuine popular mandate to govern their own people and thus use arbitrary power over state institutions and public treasures. This prevailing situation provides ample opportunities for Western powers and business circles to manipulate Muslim affairs and resources around the world. A genuine interest to uphold democratic institutions and values in the Muslim states by the Western world could make a lot of difference in this undemocratic practice at national and international levels.
“Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld declined on Thursday to criticize a senior Pentagon intelligence official who has told evangelical gatherings that Muslims worship an “idol” and not “a real God,” and instead praised the general’s “outstanding” military record. Lt. Gen. William Boykin of the Army, deputy under secretary of defense for intelligence and war-fighting support, has used speeches at churches and prayer breakfasts to portray the American battle with Muslim radicals as a fight against “Satan,” saying militant Islamists sought to destroy America “because we’re a Christian nation.” NBC News broadcast videotapes of General Boykin, an evangelical Christian, giving a number of speeches while wearing his military uniform at religious functions around the country…. “Well, you know what I knew — that my God was bigger than his,” General Boykin told his audience. “I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol.” 
General Boykin is not only a three star general, he is a deputy under secretary of defense of the US. His statement about Islam demonstrates his anger and hatred against Muslims and Islamic religious beliefs. His views are extreme and provoke the extremists of other side. A neutral reading of his number of speeches delivered in official military dress proves clearly that he holds very extreme views about Muslims and a proven evangelical zealot willing to wage a religious war against Islam and Muslims. General Boykin did declare in public on number of occasions that he believed that Muslims worship “idol or Satan” and Christian God is the only real God. But later on in a written statement he denies to be a Christian zealot or extremist by saying: “I do believe that radical extremists have tried to use Islam as a cause for attacks on America. As I have stated before, they are not true followers of Islam.”  Even the language of apology shows that he is neither sincere nor generous in his so-called apology statement.
“Not long ago Washington was talking about Malaysia as an important partner in the war on terror. Now Mr. Mahathir thinks that to cover his domestic flank, he must insert hateful words into a speech mainly about Muslim reform. That tells you, more accurately than any poll, just how strong the rising tide of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism among Muslims in Southeast Asia has become. Thanks to its war in Iraq and its unconditional support for Ariel Sharon, Washington has squandered post-9/11 sympathy and brought relations with the Muslim world to a new low. And bear in mind that Mr. Mahathir’s remarks were written before the world learned about the views of Lt. Gen. William Boykin “My God Is Bigger Than Yours”. By making it clear that he sees nothing wrong with giving an important post in the war on terror to someone who believes, and says openly, that Allah is a false idol — General Boykin denies that’s what he meant, but his denial was implausible even by current standards — Donald Rumsfeld has gone a long way toward confirming the Muslim world’s worst fears.” 
Since the September 11, 2003, many Western leaders have been engaging in dividing the lines between the moderate and extremist Muslims theoretically and use those lines to crack down “Islamic terrorists.” Western leaders were supposed to be mindful about their own religious fundamentalism first and to figure out the role they have been playing in the rise of religious fundamentalism around the world. Instead of doing that many American politicians and numerous so-called specialists of Islam and terrorism only try to find more “Islamic terrorist-sleepers” everywhere. Many authors like Daniel Pipes asks a vital question: “Do Moderate Islamists Exist?” and find a strong categorical no to that question by blaming Muslims of all kinds for terrorist acts against their enemies. Daniel Pipes, dreaming to find catch “Sleeper-Muslim terrorists” in every corner of the U.S., claims that Islamists with all kinds of terrorist record are hiding at all levels of American society and provides an incomplete list of characteristics of “Sleeper-Muslim Terrorists.” If Daniel Pipes cannot complete a list of Islamic characteristics to be regarded as Muslim terrorist, then who would be able to do that?
Such a conspiracy theory is nothing new. During the Soviet era, Russian Communist leaders used to scare their people by telling that Western capitalists had infiltrated at every stage of the Soviet society, while “communist corruption” was the main reason of the rise of “wild capitalism” in Russia. Many religious leaders in the Muslim world also think that “Westerner conspirators” have been acting against Muslims both within Muslim countries and abroad to destroy Islam. In reality Muslim leaders of all kinds are the main contributors to the good and bad image of Islamic social, economic, political and legal doctrines.
Collaborating with Muslim ruling elite, Westerner leaders have been blaming Muslims for being hostile to the Western and US policies. Many unwise and shortsighted Western and U.S foreign policies are the main cause of the rise of “Islamic fundamentalism” in many Muslim countries. Instead of changing foreign policies, Western leaders tend to get away with their divisive policies against Muslims and condemn the Muslim world for its growing fanaticism and extremism. On other hand, Muslim leaders are not addressing their own societal, political, religious, and economic problems to defuse tensions within their countries.
For Muslims, this is not a new strategy at all; they are very familiar with such a political strategy. Most Muslim secular and autocratic governments charge opposition forces as being unpatriotic and treasonous. Muslim religious leaders also do the same mistake in their judgment of opposition forces. This is a propaganda ploy shared by both religious and secular leaders of many Muslim countries. In the Muslim world, if you don’t support any “Islamic political party” you might be labeled as anti-Islamic, while if you are a member of any religiously oriented group, you would be regarded as fanatic and extremist. Just wearing any Muslim dress might be symbolized as being fanatic or terrorist.
“The four women were originally charged with attempting to overthrow the Turkish government, but the charges were changed to “violating the gathering and demonstration act”. Turkish law upholds a ban on the hijab in universities, higher educational establishments and Islamic colleges. Harassment of women workers who wear the headscarf is also common in public offices, hospitals and government buildings.” 
Muslims have never imagined that they might have to embrace similar eventuality in the West as well. In the West, for a quite while, officially government did not try to divide people in ethnic, religious, and racial lines. Though racism all along remained an underlying social and political phenomenon in many Western societies, including the US, yet legally a remarkable achievement has recorded in the recent history. Under the constitutional equality, all minority groups have been allowed to voice their grievances against official and institutional discrimination and racism.
Most Muslim societies do not have any apparent problems with racism as religious and political philosophy. But institutional discrimination against the political opponents is a common place in the Muslim world. Along with endemic economic problems and state-sponsored corruption, now minorities have been facing many difficulties unknown in the past. Secularism in the hands of Muslim nationalist governments has failed to bring any remarkable success in any Muslim country. In contrast to that, secularism in many Western countries has contributed positively in bringing together peoples of different faiths and ethnicity to the common places of productivity and consumption.
Muslim secularists have failed to popularize a Western-type democracy in the Muslim world because they characterized Islam as an anti-democratic religious and political ideology. Under President G. W. Bush, Washington has undertaken an aggressive policy to sell American democracy to Muslims and Arabs, and leader like Rumsfeld has given full power and opportunity to do the marketing for democracy in militarily occupied Iraq. As a public relations ploy Washington was careful not to level Islam as a terrorist ideology and all Muslims as fundamentalists. Military occupation in Iraq was not officially characterized as religious battle against Iraqis or Arabs, but unofficially it has been viewed as a result of conflicts between Islamic and Christian doctrines of God and religion. Leaders like Pat Robertson and the Rev. Jerry Falwell always say that Muslims want to destroy America because it is a Christian nation. Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin has just joined them officially in uniform with his speeches to Christian audiences.
During the entire colonial ear EuropeanChurch leaders had viewed the Prophet of Islam as a false religious leader and described the Quran a book full of stolen storied from Bible and other religious scriptures. After the military departure of European colonialists from the Muslim world, Christian church has stopped such overly anti-Islamic propaganda and accepted the Prophet of Islam as the true founder of Islam and the Quran as a recognized holy book of Muslims at least in a subtle way. The process of that apparent reconciliation between former European colonialists and colonized Muslim population had undergone many ups and downs. The Cold War had put a dusty and think cloud over that fragile reconciliation process and with the ferocity of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians “crusade” mentality has surfaced again in the Middle East. During post-Cold war era, most Europeans leaders became very reluctant to be exposed as direct or indirect parties to Arab-Israeli conflicts.
Unlike the Europeans and Russians, Americans got directly involved in Muslim affairs without any necessary home works to be done for the job. Moreover, American direct involvement in Muslim affairs around the world is of very recent origin. A very few Americans had direct encounters with Muslim masses. American leaders had only direct contact with ruling Muslim elite, who is incapable of presenting Muslim case to Westerners. Moreover, being placed in vantage position, Muslim rulers did not feel any necessity to represent Muslim peoples in any credible and genuine ways. For the European colonialists, Muslim peoples and lands were the softest targets for the implementation of colonial rule and Americans had found Muslims even far more vulnerable during post-Cold war period and thought it would be easier for Washington to dictate it policies to the Muslims around the world. Observing the helpless condition of Arab governments in the face of the emergence of Israel as the strongest army in the Middle East, an American mind would like to see Arabs to follow American foreign policy without raising any serious question to it. In a horrible situation like that even the Israeli pilots have raised the question of legality and morality to their military mission to destroy houses and killing of innocent civilians as collective punishment. 
For most Arabs, military might of the Israeli army is indeed a formidable force, but for the Palestinians it became an imperative to fight the Israelis to safeguard their lives, liberty, and dignity. At the beginning the Israel-Palestine conflict had very little to do with religious issues; it its core it was a territorial dispute. The same is true with India-Pakistan conflict over Kashmiri territories. Religious explanations of such conflicts help the conflicting parties to generate public support and sacrifice for their causes.
“It is hard to know what is more alarming — a toxic statement of hatred of Jews by the Malaysian prime minister at an Islamic summit meeting this week or the unanimous applause it engendered from the kings, presidents and emirs in the audience….When Israeli officials noted that such talk brought Hitler to mind, the assembled leaders were mystified….Sympathy for the Muslims’ plight must not be confused with the acceptance of racism. Most Muslims have indeed been shoddily treated — by their own leaders, who gather at feckless summit meetings instead of offering their people what they most need: human rights, education and democracy.” 
As Muslims Malaysian are probably the most moderate people and compare to many other Muslims, they were well served by their leaders for last few decades. Along with many other Muslim nations, Malaysians got so angry and surprised that most Westerners don’t understand the agony and sufferings of the Muslims around the world. It is true that many religious circles within Muslim communities have mystified many Islamic doctrines to be used against their perceived enemies. Religious leaders of non-Islamic nations also can be blamed for such indoctrination process within their communities. Moreover, racism, anti-Semitism, and Hitlerism are much more prevalent in other nations than in the Muslims. Muslims are deprived of human rights, education, and democratic rule, and as a result there is now a serious backlash of Muslim nations against the West. Muslims don’t believe that Hitlerism or Stalinism can inspire them or can bring any benefit to their struggle for emancipation, they rather feel strongly that many Western leaders such as Rumsfeld and General Boykin are real shadows of Hitler and Stalin. In fact, after American-led military action in Iraq in 2003, some German and Canadian leaders compare President G. W. Bush with Hitler.
For many Muslims, quality of leadership of President G. W. Bush and Saddam Hussein is not of that sharp contrast as many might have thought in the West. But there is a great distinction between the two. G. W. Bush could not take his presidency granted or made it as a life-long gift from God. But G. W. Bush and his folks at White Houses could claim that as a devoted Christian he was destined to lead wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other Muslim countries. How different is that ideological stand from the religious stand of Usama against the U.S. and Israel?
We are not asking right question to find out pathways for Muslim states towards democracy and rule of law. Very often Westerners and Muslim secularists try to impose or replace a system by another imported from outside. The very virtue of the democratic rule is that in the name of democracy no system of governance can be imposed on any country or people. Islam as a religion does not allow anybody to force others to accept any religion, including itself. But Muslims very often does not want to grant right to its own co-worshippers to reject this or that branch of religiosity. But the fact remains that a Muslim cannot be a shia and sunni at the same time. Rejection of either or both cannot make a follower of Islam less Muslim than a Shia or Sunn. But the problem has not been resolved once for all and disputes over different “Islamic political ideologies” still remain within the domain of religiosity, while some of these political issues needed to be transferred in the areas of legality and other to be kept in the domain of morality.
“If Scandinavians can combine liberal democracy with socialist principles, and the English can combine a formal Protestant theocracy with a practical liberal democracy, can Muslims combine liberal democracy with Islamic principles? Can islamocracy be a new vision of governance?… What is the difference between Islamocracy and Islamic theocracy? We view the concept of “Islamocracy” as a synthesis between Islam and democracy. The segment “Isla” is from Islam. The segment of “ocracy” is from democracy. The letter “m” is shared by the words Islam and demos. The phenomenon of islamocracy has been evolving for centuries. Today the Islamic Republic of Iran as a system of government has received less attention from democratic thinkers than it deserves. It is true that the theocratic element is still top heavy, and the powers of the clerics excessive; the Islamic Republic’s system is still a fascinating combination of mass electoral politics and theocratic governance. Is the theocracy in Iran getting democratized?” 
The so-called Islamocracy is viewed as Islamic democracy. In the past we heard a lot about Islamic socialism in the writings of Muslim intellectuals, who have failed to bring any long lasting substance to human rights and rule of law. As a result, Islamic socialism has created more problems than it solved. The socialist pattern of government and economy put many Muslim countries in shamble and disarray.
The Scandinavian or Canadian system of democracy does not propagate any overly socialist principles of governance and economy, but accommodate some positive aspects of socialism in distributing national wealth and public good among citizens. For example, in a Scandinavian system the ration between the highest and lowest wage is strictly controlled, and thus gap between the rich and poor is very low. On the other hand, such a ration is not controlled at all in most developed countries, and now the highest paid jobs in the US has crossed a ration of earning one thousand times in relation to the lowest wages. Muslim countries cannot afford to follow the American system of distribution of national wealth and public good because the system of trickled down economy would not give any substantial economic benefit to the impoverished Muslim masses around the world. But that does not mean that Muslim nations should and can follow a socialist command economic system, which has already been proven unworthy to be practiced to bring emancipation to masses.
Most democratic slogans in the Muslim world still remain rhetoric in the speeches of politicians, who maintain their exploitative economic agenda to be fulfilled for their vested interests in the resources of Muslim states and peoples. At present countries like Pakistan, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Iraq are the test cases for Islamic and Western democracy. Monarchial regimes in the Arab world have to decide quickly how they would minimize their role in government or to embrace a revolutionary situation leading to the collapse of absolutist governmental power. Mixing or combining Islamic principles with Western democratic values is indeed a very challenging task to be accomplished.
“The question now facing Afghans is: how to devise a constitution that combines the country’s deep-rooted Islamic traditions and its aspirations for democracy?… The country will be governed by civil laws as long as they are in keeping with Islam. The draft contains the same language as the country’s 1964 Constitution to guarantee that “in Afghanistan no law will be made which will oppose Islamic principles.”” 
During the post-colonial ear, Muslims had to recognize Islam as one of the vital ingredients of their state ideology. Giving recognition to Islam as a state religion, Muslims wanted to give a loud and clear signal to outsiders, especially to the former European colonialists, that they were no more subjugated by alien military forces. But slogans for “dar al Islam” have created more confusion than they had solved. Creating a country like Pakistan in 1947, British educated Indian Muslims resorted Islam to justify their political power and pretended that they were the founders of a newly established dar al Islam, while as a reality nation-state is very antithetical to the concept of Caliphate. The Saudi statehood had faced similar problem since its inception in 1934. Arguments against and for a Wahhabi state had overshadowed the confusion shrouded the Saudi statehood.
There was and is a serious dilemma in the minds of many million Muslims how to strike balance between the reality brought by nation-state ear and conceptualized universal Islamic brotherhood. In most cases, modern Muslim rulers has been using Islam as a propaganda ploy to deceive their constituents from a fundamental basic right to accept and reject governing policies and their proponents. Taking their ruling status as a life long privilege and “God-gifted” prize, Muslim ruling elite has been violating a very fundamental teaching of Islam, which is very categorical in rejecting hereditary or monarchial and totalitarian or dictatorial system of governance. As a cover up of their religious propaganda ploy, Muslim rulers declared themselves as protectors and custodians of Islam and its cities or holy places. Muslim leaders did promised to their people that Muslim nation states would serve the interests of perceived united Muslim polity prescribed by Shariah.
Muslim nation-states neither have evolved nor created to adapt or adjust religious postulates in a contemporary state system of governance. They were established to defuse unmanageable tension between colonialists and aspiring Muslim leaders to be the masters of their people. Ideologically Islam does not allow Muslim rulers to be the masters of their people; rulers were told to be the servants of the people. Here again reality of nation-state system of governance sharply differs from pious religious desire to be freed from all bondage imposed by a group of people over others. The tension and conflict between religious commitment to universal Islamic polity and divisive character of nation-state uphold by ruling elite is so intense that political life of many Muslim countries has been becoming a source “religious ideological inferno” for all living there.
“Despite the supposed religious unity of all Muslims and the consequent theoretical universal application of Shari’a throughout the Muslim world, the Muslim peoples are now organized in nation-states and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.” 
Apart from political deception and religious pretension of modern Muslim leaders, much talked Islamization process stumbled with endemic corruption and economic crisis. So many Muslim governments and institutions made the Muslim governance costly and unmanageable state machinery led governments to resort violence against one another. Domestically that policy led to a creation of police states in the Muslim world. Without solving the autocratic character of Muslim states, Muslims were advised to separate state organs form church. Muslim masses did not understand what does it means to have a secular state. Does it mean that government can ignore more vigorously the demand of the people to make governmental authorities honest and dedicated to the causes of the people? For the Muslims, only way they could keep some influence over their state policies is to keep the ruling elite in the line of Islamic obedience to decency and humility. This is one of the reasons why Western secularism has never witness any remarkable popularity in any Muslim country.
Not the conflicts between Islamism and secularism were the major issues in the Muslim polity, dichotomies over the issues of the public law of shariah and individual rights needed to be addressed first. To resolve this problem some Muslim authors try to draw some definite separating lines between the doctrinal legal issues from changeable Shariah prescriptions. But keeping the domain of the Public law of Shariah wide and rigid, no dividing lines between different schools of law within Muslim communities would help to resolve this problem. Mistakenly, it is widely believed that democratization and Islamization are the process diametrically opposite to each other. That is the key source of tension within the Muslim states and beyond. Misgivings and grievances of Muslim peoples against the former colonialists and Westerners are much deeper and wider than one can perceive in the West.
“I wish I could say that general understanding of the Middle East, the Arabs and Islam in the US has improved, but alas, it really hasn’t. For all kinds of reasons, the situation in Europe seems to be considerably better. What American leaders and their intellectual lackeys seem incapable of understanding is that history cannot be swept clean like a blackboard, so that “we” might inscribe our own future there and impose our own forms of life for these lesser people to follow. It is quite common to hear high officials in Washington and elsewhere speak of changing the map of the Middle East, as if ancient societies and myriad peoples can be shaken up like so many peanuts in a jar. But this has often happened with the “orient”, that semi-mythical construct which since Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in the late 18th century has been made and remade countless times. In the process the uncountable sediments of history, a dizzying variety of peoples, languages, experiences, and cultures, are swept aside or ignored, relegated to the sandheap along with the treasures ground into meaningless fragments that were taken out of Baghdad.” 
Sudden collapse of Muslim government or military regime is nothing new in Muslim history. In 750 c.e. the Abbassids being fearful of political instability had moved the seat of Caliphate from Damascus to Baghdad. But they had to protect the city militarily all the way up to their total collapse in 1258 c.e. Up to the early decades of thirteenth century, the Abbasids thought that Baghdad would remain unconquerable to non-Muslim armies. Relatively a smaller and weaker Mongol army did conquer Baghdad without much resistance. Muslim army practically did not fight and wanted to avoid atrocities and destruction of their capital city. But Mongols tried to destroy as much as they could and burned all the libraries. But the destructive power of the Mongol army was not that great and Muslims did not participate in any destructive activities of Baghdad.
Post-Saddam history witnessed a quite different story. But the Bathist military general also tried to avoid fighting with the US army. Arabs in general believed that the Saddam’s military Generals were bribed not to fight against the invading foreign army. No one can say for sure that it was the case. But British invading force in Muslim India had adopted a wide bribe system to buy the Muslim Generals not to fight British army there. In fact, institutionalized bribe system did remain all along as an integral part of colonial administration all over Muslim world. As British government was actively involved in designing the occupation of Iraq in 2003, so bribing of Bathist Generals could be expected well before the military operation. But this time British was so skeptical of a long lasting success that the Tony Blair’s government decided to limit its military operation in and around Basra. This is the third time British army had occupied Basra and declared the British army this time also would not stay there for long.
How to Understand: You are Either with Us or with Terrorists?
AS the elephant is powerless to think in terms of the ant, is spite of the best intentions in the world, even so is the Englishman powerless to think in the terms of or legislate for, the Indian.” – by Gandhi in Autobiography
Much Western scholarship about Muslims has undeniably come in connection with various projects of colonial, imperial, or, nowadays, superpower influence. – by Noah Feldman in After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy
In the past only religious fanatics used to declare that they fight their religious wars against the enemies of God and ultimately God who gave the order to go to war. Thus success and failure does not really matter for the warring parties. In modern days military forces do not believe in any order from God and calculate their war strategy long before any military operation. After Hitler’s army possibly again for the first time the US-led army occupied Iraq in 2003 without any exist strategy and definite plan to end the occupation.
Hitler did not have any exist strategy or policy for his military mission in other countries as he presumably prepared his army to govern occupied territories. History could witness that in the process of German occupation of France and hand over of Paris from German army to Allied forces did not led any massive destruction there. Paris practically remained in tact throughout the World War II. Such an objective reading of history can “make” a person a supporter of Hitler as one can see how contemporary English historian Roger Scruton tries to say that Muslims were guilty of supporting Hitler’s army. 
If Muslims could be labeled as the supporters of Hitler, then it is much easier job to make them supporters of Usama and Saddam. Most credible surveys conducted in the Muslim world showed that President Bush’s military mission in Afghanistan and Iraq did not have any popular Muslim support. Washington did not care for any Muslim popular opinion as it thought that an overwhelming military victory would change Muslim mind in favor of Washington. Moreover, Muslim public opinion was not regarded as an important agenda for the war itself in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“The major influences on George W Bush’s Pentagon and National Security Council were men such as Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami, experts on the Arab and Islamic world who helped the American hawks to think about such preposterous phenomena as the Arab mind and the centuries-old Islamic decline which only American power could reverse. Today bookstores in the US are filled with shabby screeds bearing screaming headlines about Islam and terror, the Arab threat and the Muslim menace, all of them written by political polemicists pretending to knowledge imparted by experts who have supposedly penetrated to the heart of these strange oriental peoples. CNN and Fox, plus myriad evangelical and rightwing radio hosts, innumerable tabloids and even middle-brow journals, have recycled the same unverifiable fictions and vast generalisations so as to stir up “America” against the foreign devil. Without a well-organised sense that the people over there were not like “us” and didn’t appreciate “our” values – the very core of traditional orientalist dogma – there would have been no war.” 
Th US-led military mission in Iraq in 2003 was not a sudden army crackdown of Saddam’s regime. Saddam was given ample opportunity to surrender to the “lone and benign Superpower Will on Earth”. Maintaining no fly zone over Iraq and imposing a decade long comprehensive embargo over Iraqis, Washington made it clear that Saddam’s army was condemned to crush at any time. But it took a longer time to declare Saddam an enemy as bad as Usama bin Laden because he had a state and people at his disposal. Moreover, Washington had to manage many of his Arab allies in the helms of Arab capitals.
Since the time of the declaration of war against Taliban, just after September 11, 2003, President G.W. Bush made it clear that whoever did not support his military mission in Afghanistan and Iraq can be regarded as his opponent in war fronts. An American can have some constitutional protection of his or her “ineffective rights to protest” against President Bush’s war in Afghanistan and Iraq. But a Muslim cannot even “think effectively” to have any liberty to stand up against Bush’s military plan or foreign policy because that would make him or her practically enemy combatant.
Usama and Saddam are two sides of “Arab phenomenon” of modern Muslim exigency. There is very little common between them except that they speak Arabic and none of them had any “Islamic education and upbringing.” Of course, their journey to anti-American bloc had started with a close cooperation and collaboration with CIA and powerful circles in Washington. Among Muslims, possibly these two persons were aware of deeper dynamics of Arab-American friendship than anybody else. Once being very trustworthy to Washingtom, they ultimately become the staunchest enemies of American administration. But they could not form any alliance against American foreign policies in the Middle East.
In the past, MI5 or CIA could brush people like Usama and Saddam aside physically, politically or otherwise according to any design set forth for their elimination. But recently situation has changed. Despite the lose of many hundreds Iranian Islamists during the 1979 Islamic revolution, a good number of Iranian prominent religious leaders could successfully survived against American policies of reversing the political development in that country.
Usama and Saddam had never get along with Shia leaders of any kind. Like many Sunni leaders, Usama did not buy any of the shiite interpretation of Islamic doctrines. Usama’s rejection to shiism based on his religious beliefs and convictions. For Saddam neither Sunnism nor Shiism did matter much, if no Iraqi used those “ideological Islam” against his regime. It came with a big surprise to Usama and Saddam that Moscow and Washington ultimately could not defeat the Afghans and Iranians respectively. Their firsthand knowledge about the success of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iran made them to think about the continuous humiliation of Arabs in the hands of their enemy armies during last two centuries. Ultimately they got more concerned about the main problem at hand i.e., how to resist American domination and influence in the Arab and Muslim world.
Both Usama and Saddam used very simple logic in their strategy and thought that they would never buy American support for Muslims as Washington was all along sincere to its commitment to Israel. They knew very well that time was running out for them to hit any strong American targets and they were looking for softer and unprotected targets. It was easy to fight Saddam and his conventional army that they could be located easily in the American military radar. Once Saddam lost his power, he also was lost from the military radar and had become a “hidden and unknown” target for the Americans.
Usama was an insignificant enemy for the Americans. He did not have much credibility as a religious leader. As a Mujahid-commander Usama got some prominence in the inner circles of Pakistani military intelligence and Afghan religious circles. Wahhabi leaders did not like him for two reasons. Firstly, for the traditional Wahhabi religious circles he had no right to approach the Quran and Sunnah directly and was not entitled to give interpretations of those primary sources or could not derive any fatwah (religious edicts). Secondly, being Arab he did not give any special attention to Arab problems, but rather saw Muslim problem in a more universal way. For example, Usama was deeply concern about the fate of dismantled Ottoman political seat for Muslim ummah, while present-day Arab religious leaders take the Ottoman leaders as perverted Muslims. Until American direct military mission in Iraq in 2003, Usama-type Muslim organizations did not put much attention to the question of Palestine or Kashmir and thought that fighting against their own autocratic governments and their foreign allies they would liberate the entire Muslim world.
Neither Usama nor Saddam had any legitimate rights to speak on behalf of ummah (world Muslim population). But because of American unpopular military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, Muslims turned into the sympathizers to Usama and Saddam.
Very often a Westerner asks how a peace loving Muslim can support Usama or Saddam? Not many Muslims were supporters of them. It is the American foreign policy drove millions of Muslims to the side of Usama or Saddam. For a long time prevailing international order and inter-state Muslim politics did not allow to grow moderate Islamic leadership in the Muslim world. Moreover, majority Muslims do not believe that Usama’s people attacked the New YorkWorldTradeCenter.
Washington did claim that it had clear prove that Al Qaeda had orchestrated attack on Twin Towers in New York and then never had provide any prove as such, but presented a “left over video” presumably prepared in some Afghan caves by Mullah Omar’s people. Later on all proves came from the captured Muslim militant leaders, who supposedly acknowledged their guilt to FBI or interrogators. Americans hardly understand how their governmental policies had discredited them in the eyes of peoples of the Third World and Muslim countries. This is the main reason why Muslims in general were reluctant for a long time to criticize Usama or Saddam and believed that without some hard evidence of terrorist acts or WMD in Iraq Muslims should not join President G.W. Bush’s “Crusade against Muslim Evil.”
American leaders very often tend to establish that all “Evils come from Muslim terrorists.” But Muslims have never subscribed the American governmental definition of “Islamic Evil” and did not by the ideas of infinite war between good and evil. The underlying conflicts between Americans and Muslims cannot be characterized as war between good and evil or Christianity and Islam; they are primarily conflicts between economic and cultural perceptions and interests.
“It’s not hard to understand why, Osama bin Laden, who became the world’s best-known Muslim during the 1990s, declared that there is no path open to a believing Muslim except jihad, or holy war, against the United States. Islamic authorities who refuse to join him, bin Laden said, are betraying the faith. At the same time, the few prominent Muslims who have disowned the terrorism perpetrated in Islam’s name on September 11 and actively affirmed its peaceful character have been drowned out by the silence of the many others who have not, or who have in their confusion failed to condemn unequivocally bin Laden’s acts.” 
Trashing Islamic faiths and Muslim culture at governmental levels, Washington has failed to win the hearts and minds of Muslim peoples. Saddam’s policy was not that different from Western attitude towards Islam. Saddam-led Iraq was a secular Muslim country and very hostile to any apparent Islamic phenomenon during the Cold War ear. The first Gulf War in 1991 has changed Saddam’s policy towards Islam, but Bathist ideology remained the same towards Shiite majority and Kurdish minority in Iraq. Saddam was all along fearful of militant Shiism in Iraq or Iran. Shiite religious ideology is much more deeper and comprehensive in Iraq than any other Muslim states, including Iran and Lebanon. All historically important shia sites are in Iraq and Iraqi shias are Arabs. Making Islamic revolutionary forces or proponents of Islamic State in Iran, the US administration has earned a very bad name as “anti-Islamic Satan.”
During the time of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, hardly any influential quarter in the US administration was quite aware that shia revolutionary forces maintain a strong cross-boarder connection between Iranian and Iraqi shias. Taking Ayatullahs as enemies of the US and modernity, Washington sided strongly with Saddam to destroy emerging Islamic Republic of Iran. Saddam was a proven secular Muslim friend for the Westerners, especially for the Russians and Americans. After the FirstGulf war Saddam remained a good friend of Russians government for economic reasons and turned into an ideological enemy for the Americans.
The fundamentals of Islamic democracy and revolutionary Islamic State are an oxymoron ideology for the Westerners. But not many Americans are fully aware that secular leaders like Saddam or Musharraf are very dangerous oxymoron for any genuine democratization process in the respective country. Elimination of Saddam from power was a long cherished goal for kinds of Islamists in and around Iraq and shia communities around the world. Shias alone would have never eliminate Saddam from power in Iraq. Iraqi Shias did not want to kill Saddam and was always fearful of Shia-Suuni conflicts over legitimacy of state power. With the help of Iranian Islamists, Iraqi Shias hoped for a popular uprising in the line of the 1979 Iranian revolution and wished to topple tyrannical regime of Saddam.
Anti-American stand of Saddam did strengthen his position within many inner circles of Arab nationalists in and around Iraq. But Kurds and Islamists have never put any trust in the Saddam government. For religious leadership Saddam and G.W. Bush are two opposite sides of the same anti-Islamic coin. That is the reason why for so long Shia leadership in Iraq was completely reluctant to cooperate with the US administration in any direct military mission against Saddam’s regime. Once most of the Iraqi territories had come under full control of the US-led military force, then Shia leadership did decided to cooperate with post-Saddam administration in Iraq. This cooperation between the US military forces in Iraq and Iraqi Ayatullahs could be a beginning of reconciliation process between forces of Islamic democracy and non-Islamic elements for democratization of the Arab and Muslim world.
Mistakenly it is believed in the West that only Ayatullahs or some Muslim religious leaders are only the supporters of Islamic democracy. But many scientific surveys conducted in the Muslim world demonstrate that overwhelming majority of Muslims support democratization of their societies with a blend of Islamic values. Rightly or wrongly most Muslims find Western secularism or American democracy a kind of vulgar, arrogant, and extremely consumer-driven ideology, which is not suitable for Muslim societies. As a result, in post-Saddam Arab world has started to witness a remarkable rise of popularity of the Islamists and Islamic democracy.
After the direct military occupation of Iraq by the US-led army, Washington could ease its hostile relations with Iran and Syria. Instead of showing any flexibility toward Islamic Iran and secular Syria, Washington had started to use its military vantage position to intimidate other Muslim countries.
“In the face of threats from the United States and Israel, Syria seeks to forge nationalist sentiment with any means possible, experts believe, including fostering the very brand of religious fundamentalism that it once pruned so mercilessly….Hundreds of fundamentalist leaders were jailed, many never seen alive again…Islamic activists make up the biggest block of political prisoners, human rights activists say….Some of the thousands of foreign students who studied in Syria have ended up as suspects in various cases, the most prominent in the United States being Capt. James J. Yee, the chaplain for the Guantánamo prisoners accused of spying for Syria.” 
For many Americans the 2003 Gulf War is the Third World War and anyone who criticizes the US administration for its any military mission in the Muslim world should be finished for treason.  Recently authors like Joe Conason, Micheal Moore and Al Franken have proved that the main motivation of such heinous accusation of some American politicians and authors such as Ann Coulter and Bill O’railly is an attempt to manufacturing lies in favor of governmental military policies and “sham outrage for personal gain and political advantage.” But author Ann Coulter has emerged as one of the fifty most influential intellectual personalities in the US and writings of Al Franken or Michael Moore are regarded mostly of satirical refutation of American establishment.
Not many people in Third World or Muslim countries are aware of any serious rebuttal to the US military actions around the world. Moreover, American criticism to its own government has not been effective when it comes to the military or foreign policies. As a result, many Muslims take the US as an enemy country, while they are supposed to separate the US government from the American people. Similarly Americans need to have a distinctive idea of mainstream Muslim masses and unpopular Muslim governments.
The recent religious intolerance of extreme nature within Muslim communities is of recent origin largely because of prolonged colonial rule over the Muslim world. The Americans hardly played any direct role in that. But misguided US foreign and military policy took an unnecessary historical blame for colonial subjugation of Muslim peoples in the Middle East. Moreover, Washington is not mindful at all in hurting Muslim economic and cultural interests around the world and overly engaged in the activities of Muslim tyrannical governments all over.
There is an ongoing trade war between the US and many European and Asian countries. Up to very recent time, Muslim countries were not a party to that trade war except the brief oil embargo in 1973. In Muslim capitals there is now serious worries that without strong bargaining powers of their own in trade and commerce, Muslim countries would never be able to resist American hegemony in their world.
“Consider the proposal on the Gold-based Trade Payment Arrangements (GTPA) amongst Member States as an alternative mechanism in international trade as a measure of trade settlement among countries of the Organization with the view to expanding trade and economic development.”
Unlike the Europeans, Muslims don’t have any common currency of their own and unlike the Japanese or Chinese they don’t have any say over the trade disputes with the US. Such an apparent helplessness of Muslim peoples all over the world has made Muslims very desperate to assert their position vis-à-vis their opponents, especially the Americans and Israelites. It is untrue and unwise to say that the Americans are engaged in religious war with Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq. But popular perception of Muslims remains so and they are finding more materials and fuels of that perception of the US religious war against Islam and Muslim culture.
Conflicts run through the values of Marriage, Family, and Terrorism
“It is your Lord that knows you best; if He please, He grants you mercy, or if He please, punishment: We have not sent you to be a disposer of their affairs for them. …And say: “Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish. Quran, 17: 54, 81.
“To seek secular answers is simply to abandon the field to the fundamentalists, who will succeed in carrying the vast majority of the population with them by citing religious authority for their policies and theories. Intelligent and enlightened Muslims are therefore best advised to remain within the religious framework and endeavour to achieve the reforms that would make Islam a viable modern ideology.” – by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im in the Introduction to The Second Message of Islam of Mahmoud Mohamed Taha
During last one hundred years Judeo-Christian tradition in the Western hemisphere has changed significantly. Despite its underlying religious character, the US went through dramatic changes in terms of its relations with basic religious teachings. At its advent the Nation of Islam in the US found it necessary to use Christian vocabulary to explain Islamic doctrines. Up to 1960s “Christianization of Islamic doctrines” in the US was appeared to be fashionable in the writings and speeches of important black Muslim leaders. Then American Muslim history has witnessed a sharp division as how to handle universal religious values with Islamic expression. This is a major predicament that the entire Muslim world was going through and Muslim world found itself in isolation from the rest of the world. More importantly, American society and Muslim states not only get along with each other in religious and civilizational terms, they tended to run away from each other in materialization their objectives in collective and individual life.
By the end of the twentieth century, American material values and Muslim spiritual aspirations got into deep conflicts. Clash between American and Muslim life-style and values could be avoided if Washington did not deliberately mingled with Muslim ruling elite to assert its unfair economic interests. Bringing religious differences and conflicts in competing political and economic interests, both sides entered into a risky ideological game with no specific rules to be followed. According to Canadian philosopher Trudy Govier in the absence of fair rules in ideological conflicts between Americans and Muslims a “Myth of Victimhood” has started to play a pivotal role in shaping psychological war between the two.
American political leadership did acknowledge that to fight “Islamic terrorism” it needs to build a solid alliance with moderate Muslim forces around the world. But Washington could not provide any acceptable definition for Islamic Terrorist or moderate Muslims. “To build an international coalition that included Muslim countries, it was crucial for U.S. leaders to portray the struggle as one between terrorists (evil) and civilization (good), and not as a struggle between Islam (evil) and Christianity (good).” 
Washington very often tries to describe the clash between American way of life and Muslim reality as a war between “Evil and Good” or “Civilization and Barbarism.” Muslims are very familiar with such an articulation of ideological and religious war between Islamic values and jaheliya (arrogance and ignorance existed in pre-Islamic Arabia). Compare to ideal Islamic values, all other ways of life gets a negative connotation of being jaheliya in the Muslim mind. For the exponents and proponents of Islamic idealism in regulating human life and state affairs, Americanism is primarily a reflection of modern jaheliya. No amount of material progress and technological development can cover up the perceived spiritual or moral shortcoming of Western or American model of development to defeat the rise of Islamic civilization again.
The cornerstone of Islamic civilization is the family values and accountability of rulers to the ruled. The decadence of modern Muslim societies on both accounts is so grave that there is no need to any explanation why Muslims need to regain their lost values. But there is a serious disconnect in a typical Muslim mind as regard to modern Muslim decadence and its relation with economic performance of Muslim governments. Muslim rulers and governments have been failing Muslim masses in economic and political fronts and as a result Muslim masses do not feel any strong sense of belongings to existing legal system. Moreover, many Muslims believe that moral decadence of Muslim societies is the outcome of Western and American domination over Muslim world.
Individual liberty enjoyed by Westerners or Americans has a great deal to do with economic dynamics of advanced Industrial society. But with a similar type of industrial development and economic growth, Japanese or South East Asian societies did not see a sharp deterioration of family values and spiritual life. Muslims were fearful of Western or American sexism and could not take any advantage of the rise of industrial powers in the Far East either. Muslim societies are still locked into tribal disputes and hostile nationalistic aspiration to gain upper hands over material resources.
No doubt that Muslim perception of good marriage and family life is in sharp contrast with the Western understanding of equality in sexual partnership within and outside marriage. But to say that lack of participation of Muslim women in public workplace is the main cause of Muslim backwardness in building industrial and urban society is the oversimplification of this complex problem.
“The rise of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution brought challenges to traditional values and worldview that encouraged achieved rather than ascribed status, individualism rather than community, innovation instead of continuity with tradition, and increasingly secular rather than religious social beliefs.” 
Muslim secularists as a political and ideological force did not contribute anything substantially to the economic life of Muslim societies and tried to control the destiny of the majority Muslim population. Westernisation of Muslim rulers made them so selfish and arrogant that they either ignored or undermined the economic and religious causes of Muslim public and collective life. Moreover, Muslim secular forces artificially have stared to dictate Western sexual behavior and attitude to the traditional Muslim societies and had adopted new laws contrary to Islamic doctrines. Introduction of most secular laws regulating family affairs in majority Muslim countries did not widen the scope of individual liberty in general, but put men’s rights and obligations in sharp conflicts with women’s emancipation. New liberal family laws could be enacted and enforced if economic preconditions would not be created in the first place. Political reforms could be helpful to bring progressive changes in legal systems of Muslim nations, if those reforms were supported by economic rationales.
Westerners want to know why with almost same per capita GDP Kuwaiti, Saudi and Qatari women don’t enjoy similar rights and obligations as that of their counterparts in the Scandinavian countries.
Most oil-rich Arab countries have no real national economic dynamics to provide job to their own people. Moreover, most Arab male population of those countries also does not contribute anything substantial to economic life of their countries. Selling oil and gasoline to the West, Gulf states in the region seat on consumer societies sustained by the Western products. More than fifty per cent Arab male are jobless because they don’t want to do any “dirty jobs” done by foreign workers. Under these circumstances, numerous Western and Muslim secular analysts are telling us that main reason of backwardness of Arab societies are caused by Muslim women, who were not “allowed” to work by their male folk.
There are no Islamic provisions which bar Muslim women to work at public or private sectors of economy. It is the monarchical or dictatorial Arab governments, which stand against the Muslim women’s emancipation. Voting rights to Muslim men and women could facilitate many avenues for reforms of Arab societies. With successful political reforms liberalization and democratization process could become a reality for Arab states, which in turn could put up a resistance to any foreign domination and hegemony in the region. Most Western powers are very selective in their wish to see Arab and Muslim societies reformed to the better.
“Many observers, such as Samuel Huntington, suggest that there has been a religious revival in many poorer societies in recent decades, especially among fundamentalist sects in Muslim societies, perhaps as a backlash against the perceived threats of modern Western values to traditional social norms and sexual mores….Divorce is an important issue, especially in a few Catholic and many Muslim societies, where women have limited or no legal rights to dissolve the marriage.” 
Clash between Islamic family values and Western sexuality is a real one. But politicization of this clash cannot solve any problem. Muslim women need to explain Islamic religious and social norms for themselves and find their own interpretation to assert their rights and obligations. There is no way that one can think that Catholic and Islamic laws of marriage and divorce have much in common in religious and legal terms. But in reality many Muslim societies have practically behave like Catholic or Mormon when it comes to the marriage and divorce.
Without a free consent of either side a Muslim marriage has no validity in the eyes of Islamic law. A Muslim woman can also initiate divorce at any time and dissolution of marriage is rather very easy in Islam. But when fifty per cent Muslim men are unemployed in most Muslim countries and cannot afford to marry for the first time until they reach to their late thirties, at that time we try to impose a Western-type family law on them and accuse them for polygamy. Some isolated Quranic verses have been interpreted so badly that angered huge number of Muslims against secular perception of marriage and divorce. Many Westerners believe that Muslim women has no real dignity and honor as a child, wife and mother under Islamic law and they are tortured and beaten by their male counterparts on daily basis.
“Long before the United States has had a woman president or a woman vice-president Indonesia today has a woman president and Bangladesh a woman Prime Minister. Indeed, ultimate political power in Bangladesh has rotated between two remarkable women — Begum Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina Wajed. Can these gender elements be built into a new islamocracy? Two other Muslim countries have experimented with women as Heads of Government – Pakistan where Benazir Bhutto was Prime Minister twice and Turkey which experimented with Ms. Ciller. And all this before Germany has had a woman Chancellor, or France a woman President, or Russia a woman President, or the United States has experimented a revolution of having the First Gentleman instead of First Lady in the White House. One day the US will catch up and have a male first spouse.” 
All these success stories of Muslim women leaders have been achieved because of their family connection. Unfortunately majority of these Muslim women have proved themselves as inefficient or utterly corrupted. Benazir Bhutto and Tansu Ciller have established many “Muslim records” of corruption and nepotism. Regarding others records of corruption and nepotism have yet to be revealed and established. More importantly, under the Muslim Women leadership none of the Muslim countries has yet achieved anything remarkable in ongoing democratization process or struggle for economic emancipation of majority downtrodden Muslims.
In legal fronts, Muslim leadership both secular and religious, do not fully appreciate the egalitarian nature of “Islamic polity” and try to achieve their political or religious goals through criminal justice. Entire propaganda over the disputes of Shriah centers around family law and the prohibitive measures apparently set forth by the Quran. In real essence the Quranic law proposes a very flexible legal philosophy by saying: “O you men! Now Truth has reached you from your Lord! Those who receive guidance, do so for the good of their own souls; those who stray, do so to their own loss: and I am not (set) over you to arrange your affairs.” 
This egalitarian Islamism has based on another universal Quranic Principle: La ikra fid deen (there is no compulsion in religion). Instead of using this “Quranic principle of secularism,” Muslim ultra-secularists attack the Quran from left and right and put all kinds of Islamists in enemy camp to democratization process. Without respecting the main religious scripture of Muslims, the Quran, no Muslim governmental authority can hope to achieve any remarkable progress in the fronts of economy or democracy. But that does not mean that one has to buy all kinds of interpretation of the Quranic verses. For example, some people believe that some Quranic verses can be interpreted to revive slavery system and in support of beating wives by their husbands.
Finding some verses in the Quran permitting sexual relations between “master and slaves” outside marriage, some interpreters think that these injunctions can be used in support of Arab slavery system existed in pre-Islamic age. In reality many verses of the Quran invited Muslims to set free the slaves from bondage and urge Muslim men to many slave girls to make them equal members within Islamic family system. In extreme situation when these goals could not be achieved, then to honor the sexual need of bondage people, they and their Masters were allowed to form families without formal marriages.
Islamic marriage does not require any legal or formal procedures; it is fully valid to take spousal relationships as private and civil matters, which are devoid of all kinds of legal formalities under supervision of court or church. Divorce methodologies are also intended to keep the dissolution of marriage beyond the reach of state run judicial system, but to be resolved through mediations represented by husband and wife. Unfortunately, under secular Muslim leadership most legal reforms intended to bring marriage and divorce issues under strict control of law. As a reaction to that ongoing secularization process of family laws, most Muslim fundamentalists now tend to impose “Islamic norms of family law” on everybody living in the Muslim world.
What Islamists need to appreciate that no Islamic norms can be enacted without free consent of people or endorsement of public opinion. Moreover, Westerners as people of other faiths or no religious faiths are free to exercise their own freedom contrary to Islamic doctrines of total prohibition of prostitution, pornography and so forth. Western “care-free sex” has no place in Islamic values and Muslim family law, and Muslims are seriously intimidated by “Hollywood culture” penetrating in the living rooms of millions Muslims all over the world. But why people of other faiths or Westerners with hostile mentality against Muslim culture have to care about Islamic values of sex or family?
Western promiscuous sexuality is also a part of freedom guaranteed to non-believers or non-Muslims by the same God-Almighty, who has prohibited Muslims to indulge in such activities. One of the main reasons of hatred in hearts and minds of Muslims to the Westerners can be explained through the dynamics of conflicts between Islamic morality and perceived sexual perversion in the West. Moreover, Muslims are now fearful of being swayed by Western sexual promiscuity promoted by Muslim secularists. Politicization of such sensitive issues gave birth a hatred attitude within the Muslim societies towards Westerners. Breakdown of family system would cause more harm to the Muslim societies because there is no financial security for overwhelming majority of the Muslims.
Extended family system and arranged marriage traditions very often provides much needed financial help and social security for newly married couples. But to say that these are all Islamic norms of marriage and divorce is indeed a very untrue statement. Muslim culture is not all about Islamic norms all the time; a great deal of Muslim culture is related to the prevailing tribal, sociopolitical and economic reality of the Muslim world. Maybe transformation of tribal and agrarian society into industrialized and urban state order would change many bad phenomena in Muslim culture. But to argue that for industrialization and democratization to succeed in the Muslim world, Muslim peoples have to abandon their basic Islamic heritage and fundamentals of Muslim religiosity and culture is a wrong political strategy.
Fearing a whole scale secular onslaught on Islamic values and Muslim culture, Islamists have been inviting Muslims to act upon the following Quranic verse: “Let there arise from you a group (groups) inviting to the khair (Islam), enjoining the Ma’ruf (good) and forbidding the Munkar (evil). And it is they who are successful.”  By doing so, if Islamists would see the economic and cultural conflicts between Muslims and Americans as a religious war between Islamic heritage and Judeo-Christian traditions, then they would commit the same mistake that perpetrated to the Muslim world by Washington by the government of G.W. Bush. Most Americans don’t live by any religious culture and values as many Muslims have already lost their capability to practice egalitarian and genuinely universal Islamic values derived from Abrahamic traditions.
Western wide sexism is only one of underlying features of modern promiscuous society. Extreme feminism is just a side effect of democracy and modernity, not necessary the most important goal of consumerism. Empowerment of women folk in the West has also resulted into many good things, including women voters’ support for peace and environment. Western Women are now the most active supporters of principle of non-aggression against Third World and Muslim countries. They have been raising their voices for justice at global levels and vote for many progressive causes at national levels.
“Studies of public opinion in the United States and Western Europe have found that women often display relatively strong support for government spending on the welfare state, public services, and environmental protection, as well as opting for pacifism in the deployment of military force.” 
The rise of progressive voice for peace in the US is still not strong enough to influence or change governmental policies of military options in the Muslim world. American protest against the War in Iraq in 2003 was quite substantial and echoed with Muslim reactions throughout the world. But perception of peace and war did not see any shift as yet. Militarism as a state ideology is always bad and brings miseries for majority people concerned. Big military and increase of military spending ultimately led to wars. Justification of big military budget and allocation of astronomical resources for defense-related industries cannot be justified without direct involvement in wars against other nations.
How the US could justify its military expenditure without wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Arab governments being fearful of Israel and Pakistan being scared of India could not start any big war against their perceived enemies. At the initial stage Post Cold War ear apparently did not see any logic of war between big military powers. Very often Muslims question about the intentions of American military missions in the Muslim world.
Muslims are very familiar with the history of colonial military occupation of their countries. European colonial armies in the Muslim world tried to convince Muslims that Europeans were there to safeguard the interests of civilization, democracy, and human rights. The kind of colonial civilization and Westerner enlightenment Muslim had witnessed during colonial ear that made Muslims suspicious about the intentions of European colonialists. Explaining their “good and civilized intentions,” European colonialists used to compare them with Arab or Ottoman colonialists of the Muslim world. If Arabs were the colonialists in the non-Arab Muslim lands, then how come the Ottomans could colonize the Arabs? The European colonialists wanted to play their colonial cards as many ways as possible and thought that Muslim would not understand the main dynamic of colonial rule, the principle of divide and rule.
Unlike the European colonialists, post-independent Americans did not have any deep-seated legacy of using the principle of divide and rule as a constitutional provision. Americans fought and destroyed the habitats of Red Indians to create a new homeland of their own. Unlike the Europeans, Americans are much more straightforward in their policies of expansion and domination over other people. In this regard Muslims and Americans are by and large share similar type of mental make-up and ideological motivation. But contrasting Islam with democracy, Washington has committed the same mistake as the European colonialists did in the Muslim world.
Conquering Persia or North African countries, Arabs had proved that they did not intend to colonize those non-Arab peoples. Occupying Indian sub-continent, Central Asian Muslims proved themselves as liberators of lower caste-peoples (mainly untouchable) of the region. The Ottomans did not have any colonial economic plans in the Arab world. Still most Hindus in India and many Arabs in different regions of the Middle East and North Africa remained unhappy with the intentions of ruling “foreign elite.”
The American occupying force in Afghanistan and Iraq might not be a class of typical colonial army. But Washington was supposed to act quickly to prove that its intention was good to help ordinary Afghan and Iraqis. To do that Americans needed to have a deeper knowledge of Muslim history and culture. It is very difficult for an American to understand a Muslim mind and reverse also true on many occasions. American military mission in the Muslim world might be easy in terms of victories at the war fronts as Muslim armies have no match with the US armed forces. But failure of Washington is grave in the fronts of psychological war with the Muslim world.
Before withdrawing British military from different regions of the Muslim world, London artificially divided many traditional lands inhabited by natural ethnic peoples. Argument for such colonial divisive policy was that Muslims cannot live with peoples of other faiths and nationalities. Traditional lands of Kurds, Kashmiris, Bengalis, Palestinians, and many others were divided to create “independent Islamic/Muslim states” to present Muslims sovereignty under modern nation-states. As a result, without taking ethnic or environmental factors into consideration, many artificial states such as Pakistan, India, Iraq, Kuwait, Israel and many others got territorial demarcation between them or with others. Can we raise any question to London’s evil intention in creating so many geo-politically and environmentally unsustainable statehood? Possibly not, as in many regions of the world, still Muslims are fighting to create more independent states for themselves. Can we name those liberation struggles as evil-intended battles for independent states? If we can do that, then we can call all liberation struggles as terrorist movements. Here problem is much more complex to be defined by good and evil causes or pious and heinous goals for political liberation or economic emancipation.
In Islamic theories there is little scope to reject some political or military missions just depending upon the intention of invaders or conquerors. Every liberator or invader has to convey the message to the people concerned in unambiguous terms. President G. W. Bush tried to be candid as much as possible that in invading or occupying any Muslim country, Washington did not have any intention to gain any economic benefits for itself and just wanted to act as a liberator. But he has failed miserably to explain why Saudis or North Koreans were not his direct military target and Afghans and Iraqis had to be liberated first with the help of the British royal army.
“According to the New York Times, President Bush was genuinely surprised to learn from moderate Islamic leaders that they had become deeply distrustful of American intentions…. Why is aiding a brutal dictator O.K., while trying to understand why others don’t trust us — and doing something to create that trust — isn’t? ….Moderate Muslims would have more faith in America’s good intentions if there were at least the appearance of a distinction between the U.S. and the Sharon government — but the administration seeks votes from those who think that supporting Israel means supporting whatever Mr. Sharon does….
Muslims are completely wrong to think that the U.S. is engaged in a war against Islam. But that misperception flourishes in part because the domestic political strategy of the Bush administration — no longer able to claim the Iraq war was a triumph, and with little but red ink to show for its economic plans — looks more and more like a crusade.” 
Despite all official American explanations of good intentions of military missions in the Muslim world, Muslim perception of the US military deployment or occupation in the soil of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq is not favorable to Washington. The US government either could not reach to Muslim masses or American allies in the Muslim world has failed to convey the right message to Muslim masses. How Muslim rulers would convey American message correctly in favor of Washington, when the list of Muslim grievances to the rulers of both kinds (American and Muslim) are very long and have remained undressed for so long? Distrust and mistrust in the US military strategy within Muslim communities around the world is so high that Washington can not buy any more time from the Muslim leaders who are now in the front lines of attack between the American administration and Muslim masses.
Like Muslims, all Islamists can not be characterized as fanatics, terrorists, and Wahabbis. Most American official circles and many Western authorities on Islam and terrorists took too long to appreciate this truth. It is only recently that some American intellectuals have started to name real enemy in the Muslim world as radical and fanatic Islamists. Just after military occupation of Iraq, President G.W. Bush made it clear that he set forth a strategy to engage in “regime change” in Iran and other disloyal Muslim countries. Such apparent subversive policy ignited more fires to anti-Americanism in the Arab and Muslim world.
Thus Iraq under the US-led military occupation has quickly turned into an attractive country to orchestrate more attacks against Western soldiers and people. For Iran and Syria it became an imperative to make life of the Western soldiers and personnel in Iraq harder so that Washington publicly abandon military aggression against those countries. Apparently that Iranian and Syrian strategy of resistance against military occupation of Iraq had worked to change the mind of Washington. But such subtle change in the US foreign policy toward Muslim world is not that important in the background of pre-emptive military attack strategy to solve terrorist-related problems.
“The Bush administration assured Iran on Tuesday (Oct., 28, 2003) that the United States did not favor “regime change” in Tehran and signaled a new willingness to engage in a dialogue with Iran over its nuclear program, its alleged support of terrorism and other issues. …The change in tone comes slightly less than two years after Mr. Bush, in his 2002 State of the Union address, grouped Iran with Iraq and North Korea as an “axis of evil.””
American strategy of regime change in Iran goes back to the early 1950s when elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh was overthrown and replaced by highly dictatorial regime of tyrant Shah. After the 1979 Islamic revolution, with the help of Saddam Hussein, Washington tried to change Islamic regime in Iran unsuccessfully. But Washington had to change regime in Iraq through direct military occupation of the entire country. Was it a victory for Washington?
Being the sole superpower Washington was supposed to change regime in Afghanistan with the help of Pakistani army, which was the main catalyst of Taliban regime. After a decade-long comprehensive US-led international embargo against Iraq, a substantially weakened Saddam’s military regime could be overthrown by international diplomatic and political pressure. But President G.W. Bush needed a high sounding moral and military credit for overthrowing Taliban and Saddam regimes to achieve political and economic benefits at home and abroad.
Dissecting the intentions of Western and Bathist or Taliban leaders in resorting military options to resolve conflicts with adversaries cannot reveal the major cause of military conflicts between the US and Israel on the one side and Arabs and Muslims on the other. Military strategy of every big military power knows a common cause of winning war. Once winning a war becoming easy, then it is very difficult to refrain the stronger party to stop the military adventures against its weaker enemies.
Moral leadership in international affairs is more important than military leadership going against the wide of international public opinion. There is no dispute over the issue that the US military is the mightiest in the world and it can occupy any Muslim country it wishes to do so. But sending more armed forces around the world, the US has been losing its unparalleled opportunity to become the most important moral leader of the world.
Military success of Israel against Arabs led to a less thoughtful US military strategy towards the Muslim world. Territorially Israel is still a small state and its claim of vulnerability might sounds more appealing than national security concern of the US against “Islamic terrorists.” Israel has successfully spread the armed conflicts with Arabs far beyond the Palestinian territories, but that did not make the Israelis safer in the territories that they control absolutely. Only military control could not make the lives of Israelis and Palestinians safe living there. How, then, military occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq could ensure more safety and security for the Americans in the Muslim world?
Post-September 11 era has witnessed an intellectual sensitivity toward Arab and Muslim predicaments related to human resource development in the Muslim world. One after another UN reports have surfaced indicating that what most Muslim countries need is the progress in education and enlightened interpretation of the tenants of Islam. But how any foreign military strategy in the Muslim world would help to resolve these huge complicated problems compounded with poverty and corruption? Keeping the existing military conflicts and extending military operation, how Western leaders and their military strategists wish to be helpful to the Muslim world? In this background, no amount of reports about backwardness of modern Arab societies and causes of suicide attacks against perceived enemy targets would solve any problem,
“Some analysts doubt such reports will have much long-term value, particularly given the Arab world’s more pressing concerns over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the troubled US occupation of Iraq.” 
For a long time Western leaders put a blind eye on genuine Muslim grievances against foreign occupation and domination of Muslim countries, while Muslim leaders have ignored the urgent necessity of reforms of their states and societies. At present some high ranking military officers in the Israeli army acknowledge that military occupation of Palestinian lands is the main cause of terrorism and suicide bombing in Israel and Palestine. Being in active military service Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, the Israeli military’s chief of staff, has said that unjust and brutal military occupation is the root cause of hatred and contribute a lot in the rise of terrorist activities.
Spreading war and military actions against Arabs, Israeli government has also spread terrorism in the Arab world. Keeping the Israeli-Palestine issue a limited conflict between the direct conflicting parties over territorial disputes in the land of Palestine, Jewish authorities could do a better service to their religious causes as well. In recent centuries Muslim nations are so weak that their enemies do not hesitate to strike militarily anywhere they want irrespective of civil causalities. Western authors try to argue that Muslims armies also have been doing the same. During the early centuries of Islamic civilization Muslims fought many battles, but those warfare were limited to the battlefields and did not cause much harm to the civilians and environment. Now any large-scale war as waged in Afghanistan and Iraq brought immense harm and causalities to the civilian population and environment. Naming it just a collateral damage, Western leaders put a very bad name on their face as foreign policymakers and military strategists.
Real picture of collateral damage of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq might not known in terms of deaths of enemy combatants or civilians, but environmental degradation would be recorded in the history for a long time. Ultimately Muslims would try to hold the Americans responsible for such devastating consequences of modern warfare in traditional Muslim lands as Palestinians have been trying to do with their occupants. What most American leaders don’t understand that any short termed gains in the battles with Muslims would ultimately backfire to the long term American interests. It is not that only American oil interest in the Middle East at stake. Like Christian nations, most Muslim peoples landed into a serious crisis of their own when their religion has become one thousand years old.
The first five centuries (viii-xiii) of Muslim civilization was the most vibrant ideology and organized state power on the Earth ai the time. The second five centuries (xiii-xviii) was a time of stagnation in original thoughts of Muslims and rise of military-based Muslim political powers. Now Muslims are going through the same problems as many Christian people went through during the late centuries of the Medieval ear (xiii-xvi). But to say that Muslims would need another five centuries to catch the Christian world in achieving progress, modernity, and scientific development is a very wrong perception of the dynamics of human society and behavior. In most bad phenomena of modernity, Muslim states have already achieved the same level of “development” and delivered the latest best Western goods and services to some sections of Muslim population.
Pakistani nuclear bombs or ultra-Western life-style of some Arab leaders and military dictators are just two recent manifestations of Western modernity in the Muslim world. Muslims are now struggling with their own image of “modern man and consumer”, while in common Western perception Muslim are fighting for bringing back the seventh century’s Arab culture and mannerism in all Muslim countries. If the presence of American soldiers in the Middle East could bring any real prosperity to the Arab masses, then reaction to the US-led military occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq would be different. But that “waiting-period” has passed away long ago. The Soviets could not keep the Afghans in waiting mood to see a socialist economy succeed. How the Americans would keep Muslim people waiting in Afghanistan, Iraq and other Muslim countries to see democracy succeed without bring any genuine economic progress in the Muslim world.
“Most of the troubles we have encountered in Iraq (and will in the future) are not because of “occupation” but because of “empowerment.” The U.S. invasion has overturned a whole set of vested interests, particularly those of Iraq’s Sunni Baathist establishment, and begun to empower instead a whole new set of actors: Shiites, Kurds, non-Baathist Sunnis, women and locally elected officials and police. The Qaeda nihilists, the Saddamists, and all the Europeans and the Arab autocrats who had a vested interest in the old status quo are threatened by this.” 
Changing status quo and empowering Muslim men and women is now becoming an old-aged problem in the Muslim world. Empowering of one group comes with a great lose to others. Moreover, for a long time changes in status quo in the Muslim world are not moving in positive direction, rather they have been sliding from bad to worse. From Bernard Lewis up to Thomas Friedman, most American authors advocate reformation of Islamic political and religious thoughts. Their writings reflect many American popular beliefs and understandings of Islam as a political and ideological doctrine. But rarely they provide any insight about the mainstream Muslim political and religious forces struggling to bring about a radical change in the status quo of economic deprivation and exploitation of Muslim masses.
Muslims do not understand how military intervention or occupation of any Muslim country by a foreign power would bring any mush-needed reform that Muslim deserves and needs. Just replacing one vested interest group by another or changing disloyal regime by loyal regime to the Western powers, no major achievement in reformation of Muslim thought or polity can be achieved.
Muslim state regimes are now a reflection of very cruel and unjust political and economic system upheld and sustained by a very tiny group of crony capitalism. Western free-market economic with its open competitive character in open for all. But number of highly disadvantageous people under Western capitalism has been increasing up to an unacceptable and intolerable level. Moreover, cronyism with deceptive methodologies to beat free competition in American capitalism has been on the rise in recent years.
Political reforms in right direction in view of bridging gap between rich and poor or powerful and powerless might bring many positive changes in reformation of religious thoughts and activities. In the West or any industrially developed country a powerless, poor, and unemployed person might not go through much trauma as his or her counterpart in the Muslim world because formal legal equality provides some consolation in his or her Western distressed and destitute life. Moreover, unlike Muslims, Westerners are not heavily connected to the extended family, social, and tribal systems. Westerners with misfortunes and failure remain mostly isolated and free to give a complete fresh start in highly materialistic competitive life. Muslims are hunted by past miseries and failure of their own and other family members. At present, with little political freedom and scant economic resources many Muslim societies have been putting their youth at desperate situation. Furthermore, extreme traditional Muslim thoughts very often can stand in the way of enlightened reforms at grass-root levels.
The internal frame of religious and cultural references in solving sociopolitical and economic problems is rather very difficult to understand with a hostile value system in the mind of analyst, researcher and observers. Moreover, if those references deal with delicate family relations and dispute resolution system within traditional and extreme conservation social circles without any exposure to modern industrial relations. Depending upon some orthodox interpretations of isolated verses of the Quran some Arab authors can come to the following conclusion:
“Another example of discrimination against Muslim women in Shariah’s family law is the general right of husband to exercise guardianship and control over his wife to the extent of chastising her in a variety of ways, including beating her “lighty” if he deems her to be “unruly” (nashidh). He mere existence of this license for the husband to disciple his wife by beating her totally incompatible with the human dignity of all women, whether or not a particular women is likely to become victim of such humiliation.” 
No degrees of conservative or orthodox reading or technique of interpretation of the Quranic verses can tell that a Muslim husband has any kind of “general right” or “license” to beat her wife. Dispute over marital infidelity may cause domestic violence in any marriage and anywhere and even in such a situation husband is advised not to slap her wife on face. A husband may also be a victim of domestic violence and infidelity and in such a situation also husband cannot slap her wife on face. This is practically tantamount to ban any kind of beating of wife by husband. But the Quran does not take any explicit method of banning many evils in the society; it advised people to follow modesty and decency in personal and collective life.
In the case of infidelity a Muslim husband can divorce his wife and can choose not to disclose her infidelity to anyone. But a wife is supposed to disclose husband’s infidelity to the society so that he cannot do the same again. Any incidence of domestic violence, either slap or otherwise, allows a Muslim women to declare divorce to her husband immediately and allows her to retain guardianship over her children and property. But a violent husband cannot claim any guardianship over children and bound to pay appropriate sustenance to children. A Muslim wife has no financial responsibility for her family or children. A Muslim husband is not allowed to take any financial advantage from the property of wife. These are very basic Islamic norms agreed up by most Muslim jurists and madhhabs (schools of law). But Muslim societies do not have appropriate legislative and judicial systems to enforce those religious laws for the benefits of women folk. Like many Western authors, some Muslim authors also find it fashionable to blame Islam or Quran for every evil of Muslim society and cruelty inflicted upon Muslim women. But real culprits are produced because of tribal relations and unholy alliances between religious orthodoxy and economic vested interest groups. Recently some Muslim women authors also think it is wrong to blame Islam and Quran for unfair treatment of Muslim women and children in Muslim societies.
“[I]t is far less credible that the United Nations should have become so trapped in its secular discourse that it could continue until recently to refuse to deal with the fact that for millions of human beings whose lives are rooted in belief rather that unbelief, human rights become meaningful only when they are placed within the framework of their belief-system.” 
Using religious framework and values for the protection of human rights, especially women’s right, might be very problematic as well. But not to use religious and cultural references for upholding human rights might backfire to the causes of women’s and children rights in the Muslim world. The issues of protection of non-Muslim minorities in the Muslim world also can be better served in the name of Islam, which make majority Muslim population duty-bound to protect life, liberty, and dignity of people of other faiths. Keeping a balance between individual freedom and state security is not always easy. In the past it was thought that this only Third World or Muslim countries had been finding difficulties in maintaining balance between individual liberty and national security causes. But recently many civil liberties have become victims of “homeland security” causes in the West as well.
“The pretext of necessity is no doubt getting increasingly weaker in an age of self-determination and political and economic independence and confidence. Muslims can no longer maintain their sense of self-respect and pride while neglecting their religious
But before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights could influence life of ordinary people of Third World countries in any significant way, many Western leaders and politicians wish to make the UN an irrelevant or ineffective umbrella as a global institution for all nations and nationalities.
a) Conflicting Perception of Right and Wrong: Paradigm Problems
b) Who is the Enemy of Democracy and Islam?
d) Conflicts run through the values of Marriage, Family, and Terrorism
b) How to Understand: You are with Us or with Terrorists?
 Ayatullah Hakim fled to Iran from Saddam’s persecution and lived there for seventeen years. He returned in post-Saddam Iraq and had helped US-led provincial government to survive. Iraqi shia leaders have requested the US military to take adequate measures to protect Ayatullah Hakim, who was killed along with 80 people by a bomb blast in September, 2003.
 Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity: Reformation to the Present, Vol. II, Prince Press edition, 1997, pp. 1117-1118.
 Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity: Reformation to the Present, Vol. II, Prince Press edition, 1997, pp. 697-698
 Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity: Reformation to the Present, Vol. II, Prince Press edition, 1997, pp. 685.
 Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Toward an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and International Law, Syracuse University Press, 1996, p.14
 Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong? : The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East, Perenniel edition, 2003, P. 130
 Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong? : The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East, Perenniel edition, 2003, P. 129
 “Rumsfeld Says Anti-Islam Aide Is ‘Outstanding’” In: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/17/international/middleeast/17GENE.html
 DOUGLAS JEHL, “U.S. General Apologizes for Remarks About Islam,” In: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/18/international/middleeast/18GENE.html
 PAUL KRUGMAN, “Listening to Mahathir” In: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/21/opinion/21KRUG.html?th
 Daniel Pipes, Militant Islam Reaches America, W.W. Norton & Company, 2002, p. xiv-
 “Although sleepers go to considerable efforts to hide themselves, shedding their militant Islamic characteristics and even engaging in activities antithetical to Islam, they do still retain a number of potentially identifying characteristics; I provide a long but necessary incomplete list of these.” In: Daniel Pipes, Militant Islam Reaches America, W.W. Norton & Company, 2002, p. xvii
“More damaging to the reputation of Islam and Muslims is the upsurge in religious extremism, fanaticism and zealotry, which have been recently associated with violence and terrorism as was the case on the Indonesian island of Bali, Riyadh, and Casablanca. The gravity of such extremism and zealotry is greater than the false accusations made and the injustices committed against us. This situation requires that we effectively address the causes of such extremism that veers religion off its noble goals through effective means such as counseling, dialogue, admonition, propagation of the virtues of tolerance in Muslim communities, elucidation of Islamic thought, which condemns bigotry and fanaticism, and forbids the taking of human life except on just grounds.” From the speech of Abdel Ouahed Belkeziz, Secretary general of the OIC, at the inauguration of the tenth Summit Conference on 16-18 Oct., 2003 in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
 Roshan Muhammed Salih, “Turkish sisters re-arrested over hijab,” In: Al Jazzira Net, Oct., 20, 2003.
 “Twenty-seven reserve and active pilots submitted a petition to Air Force Commander Major General Dan Haloutz, saying that they were no longer prepared to take part in missions that they regarded as illegal and immoral,” Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot reported on September 24, 2003; See, http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/09/24/israel.pilots/
 See, Norman Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (Verso, 1995
 See, Norman Finkelstein, ), The Rise and Fall of Palestine (University of Minnesota, 1996),
 “Islamic Anti-Semitism,” In: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/18/opinion/18SAT2.html?th
 Ali A. Mazrui, “Islamocracy: In Search of a Muslim Path to Democracy”, In: http://www.islam-democracy.org/4th_Annual_Conference-Mazrui_address.asp
 CARLOTTA GALL, “New Afghan Constitution Juggles Koran and Democracy” In: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/19/international/19AFGH.html?th
 Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Toward an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and International Law, SyracuseUniversity Press, 1996, p. 7.
 Edward Said, “A window on the world” The Guardian, August 2, 2003; In:
 Roger Scruton, “The Political Problem of Islam,” In: The Intercollegiate Review, A Journal of Scholarship & Opinion, Vol 38, No1.
 “In March (2002) a Gallup Poll found that 80% of the people in Pakistan thought the U. S. military action against al-Qaeda and Afghanistan’s Taliban government was “largely or totally unjustifiable.” That view was shared by 86% of Moroccans, 89% of Indonesians and 69% of Kuwaitis.” By DeWayne Wickhan, “Even if USA won’t say it, terrorists want religious war,” In: USA Today, Oct., 30 2002.
 Edward Said, “A window on the world” The Guardian, August 2, 2003; In:
 British Prime Minister Tony Blair could not tolerate his own party’s prominent lawmaker George Galloway. On Ocober 23, 2003 Galloway was expelled from the ruling Labor Party for his strong opposition to the war. Galloway, 48, was suspended from the Labor Party in May, 2003 following an interview with Abu Dhabi television on March 28 (war has started on March 20, 2003) in which he accused Blair for instigating war against Iraq. No prominent American lawmaker or politician did not “dare” to do that at that time and thus avoided such eventuality at home.
 Ideological Islam is not the same as political or spiritual Islam; it is even not quite a religious ideology either. Ideological affiliation to Islam is much deeper than simple attachment to a set of common cultural values. Muslim activists wish to be ideologically Islamic for so many different reasons that cannot be articulated by some definitive political language. Islamic motivation might be so strong that he or she can sacrifice his or her comfortable worldly life for a higher goal related to ummaite issues.
 RICHARD W. BULLIET, “ The Crisis of Authority in Islam,” The Wilson Quarterly Winter, 2002,
 According to the results of the World Values Study of 2002 about 87 percent of Muslims (in nine countries) support genuine democratization process in their respective countries. See for detail analysis,
Jane Lampman, “Easing into Islamic democracy…” In: The Christian Science Monitor, May 29, 2003
 NEIL MacFARQUHAR, “Syria, Long Ruthlessly Secular, Sees Fervent Islamic Resurgence,” In: New York Times, Oct., 24, 2003; http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/24/international/middleeast/24SYRI.html?th
 See, Ann Coulter, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism; Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right
 See, Micheal Moore, Dude Where’s My Country
 See, Al Franken, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right
 See, Joe Conason, Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth
 Putrajaya Declaration in the 10th Session of the Islamic Summit Conference Putrajaya, Malaysia, Oct., 17, 2003; In: www. oic-oci.net
 See, Asma Gull Hasan, American Muslims: The New generation, Continuum, 2002.
 Trudy Govier, A Delicate Balance: What Philisophy Can Tell Us about Terrorism, Westview Press, 2002, p. 20.
 Trudy Govier, A Delicate Balance: What Philisophy Can Tell Us about Terrorism, Westview Press, 2002, p. 22.
 Ronald Inglehart, Pippa Norris, Rising Tide: Genger Equality and Cultural Change around the World, Cambridge university Press, 2003, pp. 16-17.
 Ronald Inglehart, Pippa Norris, Rising Tide: Genger Equality and Cultural Change around the World, Cambridge university Press, 2003, pp. 59, 62.
 Ali A. Mazrui, “Islamocracy: In Search of a Muslim Path to Democracy,” In: The Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy; http://www.islam-democracy.org/4th_Annual_Conference-Mazrui_address.asp
 Quran, 10: 108.
 “Marry those among you who are single, or virtuous ones among your slaves, male or female….But do not force your minds to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that you may make a gain in the goods of this life.” (Quran, 24: 32, 33)
 Quran, 3: 104.
 Ronald Inglehart, Pippa Norris, Rising Tide: Genger Equality and Cultural Change around the World, Cambridge university Press, 2003, p. 92.
 PAUL KRUGMAN, “A Willful Ignorance,” In: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/28/opinion/28KRUG.html?th
 STEVEN R. WEISMAN, “U.S. Takes Softer Tone on Iran, Once in the ‘Axis of Evil’,” In New York Times; http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/29/international/middleeast/29DIPL.html
 Nicholas Blanford, “Bleak Arab progress report :The second in a series of UN reports is short on solutions for the region,” In: The Christian Science Monitor, Oct., 21, 2003; http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/1021/p01s04-wogi.html
 See, GREG MYRE, “Israel’s Chief of Staff Denounces Policies Against Palestinians,” In New York Times, Oct. 30, 2003; http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/30/international/middleeast/30MIDE.html?th
 THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, “It’s No Vietnam,” New York Times, Oct, 30, 2003; http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/30/opinion/30FRIE.html?th
 “In one of the most detailed studies of postwar contracts, the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit government watchdog, found that at least 70 companies have been awarded a total of $8 billion in contracts in the past two years.” Bryan Bender, “Study finds cronyism in Iraq, Afghanistan contracts,” In: The Boston Globe, Oct., 31, 2003.
 Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Toward an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and International Law, SyracuseUniversity Press, 1996, pp. 90-91.
 Riffat Hassan, “A Muslim’s Reflections on A New Global Ethics and Cultural Diversity,” In: http://kvc.minbuza.nl/uk/archive/amsterdam/ukverslag_hassan.html