Tale of two different ideologies
Digamber Eslampure | Collegio Writer
At the U.N. General Assembly, anti-American protests took center stage. If you read between the lines of different state heads it is clear that the United States is facing a difficult situation in the Muslim world.
President Obama addressed the assembly by saying the recent attacks were not simply an attack on America but an attack on the fundamental principles of the U.N.
As expected, Muslim leaders around the world questioned America’s freedom of expression, and they asked for some restrictions on sensitive issues such as religion. Some of them asked the United States to change its approach toward the Muslim world.
Israel supported the U.S. value on freedom of expression and raised questions about Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, urging the world to draw the line on Iran’s nuclear program before it uses it for evil.
This kind of confrontation can’t arise overnight after a single unpleasant incident; there should be other reasons prompting these things. A quick glance at the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world exposes some reasons.
The U.S. and the Arab world have relations dating back before World War II, but that relation was limited and was strengthened after the war. The U.S. established a modern educational system and brought advanced medicine to the Arab world. It also supplied highly sophisticated equipment, machinery and skilled engineers.
This relationship has had ups and downs. Sometimes it was economically strong like when the Arab world became the third largest exporter to the United States and the U.S. was the largest importer in these countries. However, political relationships were not as strong as the economic relationship.
The first time it became strained was when the U.S. recognized Israel, which is the only Jewish majority state in the world. This reduced the image and role of the U.S. in the Arab world. The hate toward America started then, and continues in some regions today.
Later, the first Gulf War between Iraq and Iran reduced the U.S.’ reputation further because the U.S. supported Iraq. During the second Gulf War, Iraq and many other countries tried to enter Kuwait. The U.S. supported Kuwait and established military bases in many Arabic nations.
The attacks on the World Trade Center Towers in 2001 further crippled relations between the U.S. and the Arabic world. Al-Qaida said the reasons for the attacks was America’s support of Israel, the presence of American military in Arabic nations and sanctions against Iraq.
In the third Gulf War, America and NATO forces (and supporting countries) attacked Iraq, claiming that they were sponsoring terrorism and had secret chemical and nuclear weapons.
The war in Afghanistan, the drone attacks in Pakistan, the killing of Osama bin Laden and supporting regime transitions in the Arab World weakened relations further.
The latest anti-American propaganda raised several questions about the relationships and strategic interests of different nations. Despite the strong condemnation by the U.S. government to the video “Innocence of Muslims,” several governments failed to curb the protests.
Muslim leaders and some religious heads failed to notice that these extremists pose a great threat to the Muslim world itself.
Surprisingly, there are some ministers in countries such as Pakistan who announced a $100,000 bounty for killing the creator of “Innocence,” and reiterated that he will announce this kind of bounty on any person who creates blasphemous videos.
There are also speculations that some nations and terrorist organizations are taking advantage of these incidents, and are trying to damage the reputation of the U.S.
If the video had been created by someone who wasn’t American, then they could not have protested this long. They just want to drag America into the blame game and succeed to an extent.
These extremists still believe in the medieval ideology that pushes them to extinguish freedom and suppress knowledge. They are driven by violence and blame the U.S. for every bad thing that happens in the Middle East.
However, the U.S. did fail to show strong reasons for these wars, especially the most recent war in Iraq.
The U.S. also faced sharp criticism after this war from people who said they want to destroy and destabilize the governments that are not supportive to them.
Some economist also suggested that these wars are one of the reasons for today’s bad economic conditions; they believe that trillions of dollars of borrowed money was used in these wars, which forced the recession in 2007.
For the coexistence of all the religions and sects in the modern world we need to have some tolerance. Having said that, we shouldn’t support blasphemy of any other religion but we should not accept violence. Wars or attacks will not solve problems or narrow differences. This is possible only through peaceful dialogue and diplomacy.