by Zafar Bangash (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 44, No. 10, Safar, 1437)
Amid all the hype, tough talk and name calling following the Paris attacks, two names are conspicuous by their absence: Wahhabi Arabia and Zionist Israel. The role these two entities play is worth a closer look.
We begin this column with an apology to our readers. We are taking liberties with metaphors, but so what? The common metaphor is the “elephant in the room” but when referring to the Saudis — better known as Najdi Bedouins — we feel the camel is a more suitable beast. After all, the last time an elephant was in the Arabian Peninsula was when Abrahah’s army came to attack Makkah planning to destroy the Ka‘bah. Abrahah had come from Yemen where he was governor of the Abyssinian king. Where Abrahah got the elephant from is unknown but it is certainly not a beast of the desert; the camel is, hence our reference to it.
Let us move to the Paris attacks that claimed more than 130 lives. The French government as well as other Western governments have made scandalous allegations against innocent Muslims but two names are conspicuously absent from the list of culprits: Saudi Arabia and Zionist Israel. Why?
If serious about tackling a problem, one must go to its source. The takfiri terrorists are the product of the mindset nurtured by Wahhabism that has its roots in Saudi Arabia. Yet few if any officials in Europe or elsewhere have mentioned this. Such lapses raise questions about whether these regimes are serious in tackling the problem. One can see why this might be the case. Saudi Arabia is used as a cash cow by all these regimes — in France, Britain, the US, etc. — by selling it billions of dollars worth of weapons. As long as the arms industries continue to rake in billions from Saudi Arabia, its criminal activities can be overlooked. In fact, such terrorist activities help spur growth in arms sales by creating fear and instability in many parts of the world.
There is another factor at work that has been largely ignored. Most Muslims in Europe lead a marginalized existence. Racism is rampant. This is as true in France and Belgium as it is in Britain. Muslims, even those born and raised there live in ghettoes. Not only racist groups target them, even the police forces are extremely hostile to Muslims, akin to the treatment of African Americans in the US. Thus, the Muslims’ sense of alienation is deep and profound. This not only breeds resentment but also makes them easy prey to extremist ideologies offering simplistic but ultimately destructive solutions. The French attackers appear to have come from the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, an extremely depressed area of the Belgian capital. The police describe it as a “no go” area.
Why have these ghettoes emerged and who is responsible for the situation not only in Belgium but also in France, Britain and a host of other European countries? Surely Muslims cannot be blamed for their plight. This is the direct result of the policies pursued by politicians. Further, there is a deliberate policy to paint expatriate Muslims as “the other.” Whose interest does it serve?
In these countries as well as in others, Zionist influence is quite pervasive. Not only in the media but also at the official level, they exercise enormous influence in shaping government policy. It has been a longstanding policy of the Zionists to present Muslims as “the enemy” because they oppose Zionist aggression in and occupation of Palestine. While the Zionists cannot outnumber the Muslims in these countries, they target them through demonization. It is revealing that the Zionists have linked up with extremist rightwing groups in Europe. Such extremist groups also hate the Jews but for the Zionists that is fine. They also hate those Jews who stand up for truth and justice. Thus, Muslims are under attack from two sides: the extremist rightwing terrorists and Zionist thugs.
Unfortunately most European governments support such policies because they serve their broader agenda of wars in the Muslim world. Unless there is a change in policy, Muslims especially in Europe will continue to pay the price. In turn, there will be other terrorist attacks feeding the anti-Muslim frenzy.