To mark the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, columnist for the Jordanian Al-Dustour daily Ismail Al-Sharif, a previous CEO of the paper, wrote that the Muslims are the real victims of the attacks. Since September 11, 2001, he claimed, "no fewer than six million Muslims" have been killed in direct and indirect crimes and wars launched against Muslims by the West.
He explained that after the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. and the West needed a new enemy to fight and chose Islam, as they saw it as a threat to Western civilization, and that ever since, and in particular ever since 9/11, the West has provoked wars in various Arab countries – Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and others. It is fanning the flames of these wars to this very day, he added, thus allowing Muslim blood to continue to be shed as they are slaughtered in droves. He urged Muslims to adhere to Islam and to instill its lofty values in their children, because this, he added, is the only way to become stronger and change the situation.
Ismail Al-Sharif (Source: Al-Dustour, Jordan, September 8, 2019)
The following are translated excerpts from his column:
"In a few days it will be the 18th anniversary of the events of September 11, , and on television we will see the victims' families shedding tears for their loved ones and hear commentary attempting to prove that this operation was nothing but a big conspiracy. Obviously, the president of the world's most powerful country [the U.S.] will deliver a speech in which he will say: 'These events have made the U.S. stronger.'
"[Meanwhile,] in other parts of the world, mothers will weep for children who died in an attack in the springtime of their lives; people will be arrested for no reason; refugees will be expelled; and people will be tortured. The common denominator of all these people is that they are Muslims – the greatest victims of the September 11 events. We will perhaps debate the question of whether the events were [indeed the result of] a conspiracy, or whether bin Laden planned them in a cave in Afghanistan. In this context, it should be mentioned that the well-known British journalist Robert Fisk wrote in one of his books that he had met with bin Laden in a cave in Afghanistan, and that bin Laden was eager to know what was happening in the world since the [only] source of information he had at the time was a two-month old copy of Newsweek!...
"The Muslims are the greatest victims of the September 11 events. This has to do with the period that preceded that fateful day in the history of mankind. Perhaps it all began on the day Germany tore down the Berlin Wall, heralding the demise of the Soviet Union. This is because the American empire always needs an enemy to provide it with a motive to act, to [allow it to] develop, and to [provide it with someone to] exploit so that it can control both its own people and the resources and natural wealth of other peoples. In addition, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, [Western] arms dealers, researchers, politicians, and lobbyists found themselves out of work, and a new enemy needed to be created in order to reactivate this machine. This time, the enemy was Islam.
"Obviously, Islam was not selected at random, but deliberately. The best minds developed theories stating that liberal capitalism is the pinnacle of human development and cannot be superseded and that Islam is the greatest enemy of capitalism because it is able to subsume other civilizations and ideologies. Therefore [they said] a clash between these two civilizations [Western and Islamic] is inevitable. In addition, every Islamic renaissance directly threatens Europe.
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"The war on Islam indeed began, and over the last two decades we have witnessed intense and growing violence against Muslims in various countries around the world. The number of victims – whether as a result of direct war, civil conflicts, or military interventions, or [intervention by] pro-West regimes – is no fewer than six million.
"This is no coincidence. It is the result of a confluence of complex international dynamics that led to a massacre of Muslims. Let us examine several examples:
"The 2003 [Gulf War] in Iraq, which was the start and the first domino [in the cascade]. Everything that is happening today is the result of the fall of Baghdad, following which the U.S. fanned the flames of an exhaustive sectarian war and thwarted [the rehabilitation] of the country. [As a result,] more than a million Iraqis were killed.
"The Syrian revolution: According to the Syrian Center for Policy Research, 11.5% of the Syrian people were killed as a result of the war. The West, together with its agents and collaborators, armed the extremist factions, leading to a struggle against violence by violent means. The [Syrian] regime then obtained the help of foreign elements, once it [found itself] unable to halt these factions by itself. In this context, it should be mentioned that many new studies indicate that the U.S. was never interested in toppling [Syrian President Bashar] Al-Assad – only in weakening Syria.
"Libya: Documents note that the [international] coalition forces focused their actions against Libya's infrastructures, deliberately attacking the water infrastructure and cutting off water to 70% of the Libyan people. [The coalition] also armed various factions which were fighting each other. The war there is ongoing, costing more lives every day.
"Yemen: It is reported that its infrastructure has collapsed and its people have no access to water, food, or healthcare. Cholera has spread, and Yemen is on the brink of famine. The reports state that more than half a million Yemenis have died in this war.
"In other places too, Muslims are allowed to be killed: In India, violence against Muslims has risen, so that 86% of victims of violence [there] are Muslims; in Afghanistan and Pakistan, half a million people reportedly died immediately after the events of September 11; over a million Muslims were expelled from Myanmar, and in China over a million Muslims have been sent to reeducation centers, amid Arab silence and even encouragement.
"Islamophobia has reached an unprecedented scope, and we see and hear of hate crimes against Muslims every day. These crimes, which amount to mass extermination, are perpetrated by the U.S. and its allies either directly or by means of proxy wars and by cultivating warring sides so as to fan the flames of the conflict.
"What then is the solution, in the face of this cruel campaign? I recall the words of [Second Caliph] Omar Al-Khattab [ruled 634-644], who said: 'We are a nation that Allah strengthened by means of Islam, and the more we seek power through anything other than Islam, the more Allah will humiliate us.'
"Thus, change begins with us, as people, through a true understanding of the essence of our Islam which is based on justice, equality, love, generosity, morality, and democracy. If we follow these values and instill them in our children, perhaps we will sow the seeds of a change that will come soon."