Jamiatul Ulama South Africa’s Comment:
The 9/11 Decade
The Muslim world will remember the 10 years after 11 September 2001 as a period when Islamophobia came of age with politicians trying to outdo each other in anti-Islamic rhetoric.
The victims of 9/11 were no more than 3000. However, in Muslim lands, people at weddings, funerals and many more going about their daily lives have indiscriminately met death, injury and mayhem, by the hundreds of thousands, from unmanned aerial vehicles stalking them above their heads.Sadistic military officers whose abuse have been exposed from time to time, have been seen posing with their victims as trophy from they collected souvenirs in human flesh.A conservative estimate put the war dead in Afghanistan and Iraq, a country which had nothing to do with attacks on America at well over 1.45 million.As the anti-terror legislation tightened around the world, citizens saw the erosion of civil liberties. In the name of ‘homeland security’, full-body scanners were deployed at ports forcing others even opting not to travel rather than be subjected to what they considered humiliation.The 9/11 decade will also be remembered as the period when the free world abandoned its claimed position of respect for human rights as renditions were routinely and systematically carried out, abducting Muslims suspected as terrorists from across the seas to hidden locations where torture became part of the interrogation of detainees.The CIA documents found by rebels in government offices in Libya indicate to us the extent to which the supposed adversarial relations between the US and the UK on one hand, and the Gaddafi regime on the other, were actually a mask of blossoming friendly ties in which the supposed champions of decency would abduct rebels and hand them over into the hands of murderous regimes.Islamophobia has not ended but has morphed into more subtle forms with a ready excuse available for regimes suppressing a Muslim identity.In the pursuit of the wars America found itself fighting, it also bled financially.The configuration of world power is changing and those changes might have also played a part in the dramatic political revolutions taking place particularly in the Middle East. It is up to the people of goodwill to seize these moments of our time to shape a future for more equitable and just order of multicultural polities.