Time to Reconcile by Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam (MAY 15, 2012)

Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam pleads for concerted efforts to end the Muslim-West conflict.

US officials, from President Obama and Secretary Mrs Clinton down to ambassadors and junior diplomats, never tire of proclaiming that the United States is not at war with Islam, but “Islamic” extremism.

On the contrary, we see everyday the unstinted US support to Israel to usurp Palestinian lands, savage its people and intimidate neighbouring Muslim countries. We have seen the death and destruction in Afghanistan and the destruction of Iraq in the name of non-existent WMDs.

On a regular basis, every few months we read reports of somebody in the US proposing a Hiroshima-like bombing of the Islamic holy cities of Makkah and Medina. Among these are also suggestions of dividing Saudi Arabia into three separate countries.

On a diplomatic level, we continue to see smiling American diplomats shaking hands with beaming Arab leaders, American reassurance of friendship writ large over their happy faces. Yet, under the surface, everything is not all right between them. This could be dangerous delusion.

This point has been proved beyond doubt with another report published in the newspapers on May 12, which said that a course was being taught at US Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virgina which aimed at total destruction of Makkah and Medina like Hiroshima. It also said the Geneva Conventions had become irrelevant and large civilian causalities (as in Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Tokyo and Dresden) were acceptable.

The instructor said it would be a total war against Islam, not just Islamic extremism, and the goal was to “reduce it to a cult status”. The Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said the instructor had refused to talk to him, barely saying, “Can’t talk to you, sir.” That’s it.

If this is the status of the Muslim world’s understanding with the US, it is a matter of concern. We need serious talks to end this confrontation and work out a stable peace in the Middle East, because it is the Arab-Israeli confrontation that is the source of all conflict. Per se, there is no basic reason for Arabs to be inimical to the US. It is the conflict with Israel that brings America and Europe into it. Arab leaders will do well to recognise it and work on a resolution with greater effort. Mere diplomatic smiles are no longer sufficient.


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