IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL
[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]
September 11, 2001 may become a turning point of the history of the USA. The culprits, the conspirators, whosoever they may be, attacked the very genesis of America, “its freedom”. It had shocked the nation and jolted the superstructure of its trade and commerce. It had put the fundamental American pattern of “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” at stake. Its idol of supremacy, national prestige and honor stands dwindled. Thousands of beautiful and precious lives are lying buried under the ashes of WT Centers. The growth and the outlook of our great nation will not be the same as it was prior to that eventful date. It would continue to be besieged, may be for decades together, as the aftermath of the tragedy will continue to cast it shadow on our life pattern in innumerable ways.
We have to think as why the repercussions are so deep rooted and will be so lasting. It was an act of open terrorism. This heinous crime has justifiably been condemned by the cross section of the people and nations around the world. These terrorists had no religion but were simply blinded by the whims of their national aspirations when it does not get a legitimate outlet to express. The political oppression and denial of human rights around the world lead to such desperate outburst of destructive mentality. In the interest of peace and human dignity, these negative sentiments ought to have been curbed in the bud not by force but by delivering justice and accepting outright their legitimate rights and national aspirations. It is an open challenge to the people holding the affairs of the world both in the developed and underdeveloped countries. But who cares for that?
The tragedy lies there that the murderous happening of September 11 was not encountered with the thoughtful diplomacy and wisdom that it demanded. The reaction was swift but illogical and hence untenable. It was full of arrogance, dictatorial wrath and full of hate against an emerging land locked Islamic State. The sharp reaction, resulting in an unwanted attack, was based not on justice but appears to be a prejudiced one. It does not suit a country like America that stands for justice and human rights both at home and abroad. The reaction and the process of counterattacking a poor and downtrodden country in its wake appears to be hasty, unimaginative and much more provocative in its effect. It shows that we are living still in dark ages of history when retaliation, in brute and blind format, was the law of the day. It shows that man has come down to the age of barbarism, smashing all the cannons of justice and civility.
The sharp and pinpointed reaction would have been sublime and civilized, had the following measures adopted prior to bursting up in attacking and killing the innocent people of Afghanistan who are as innocent as the people who were killed in the mishap of September 11.
1. The Bush administration should not have taken law in its own hands. Making probe, passing judgment and giving verdict at the same time was not its job. It acted against the very basic genesis of our Constitution. The souls of our forefathers are lamenting for this violation by those who were committed to uphold it.
2. They should have appointed immediately an International Judicial Enquiry Commission, consisting of our Supreme Court judges and the judges of the International Court of Justice at Hague to enquire into the mishap, to ascertain the causes leading to this incident, and find out the culprits, irrespective of the fact whether they are individuals, groups or nations, Muslims, Jews or Christians. Entire world would have welcomed this move. It would have raised the prestige of the USA tremendously.
3. The Bush administration should have presented the facts and figures, documentary evidence that they and Mr. Tony Blair of Britain claim to have possessed to the Commission to ascertain their validity and truthfulness, including circumstantial and material evidence that could be arranged.
4. If the commission had found these proofs valid and potential, it would have given its verdict against the individuals or the countries that were involved, supporting or harboring the elements responsible for this tragic happening.
5. After getting the findings of the Commission in its favor, our Administration would have called an immediate session of the Security Council or General Assembly and demanded action against the country that had promoted or provided safe harbor to the enemies of peace and human society.
6. The USA, then, would have got the sanction against the group or the country that plotted this crime. It would have empowered it to muster the requisite global support for a united punishing action. The world would have stood behind the USA without exception. The USA would have been hundred percent justified in its military action against the one that the Commission would have pinpointed through its judicial findings based on facts and not fictions, rhetoric and stereotype allegations that are leveled against an Abrahamic faith and its followers, by the prejudiced media and the vested interests around the world.
7. If this process of law and civility would have been followed, no Muslim anywhere in the world could raise his or her voice against that action. The process would have not taken more than three to four months at the most, if followed without break. It would have given a moral boost to USA and the people sitting in the White House. In its wake, terrorism could have been destroyed form the places where it originates. A delay in action of a few months would have not caused heaven to fall. The sagacity and wisdom of Bush administration would have been tested and rewarded immensely.
But, unfortunately, contrary to the aforesaid just procedure, the Bush administration in haste declared the name of the prime “suspect”, raised a whirlwind campaign against him and the country where he resides, mobilized world opinion for it under pressure, threat and enticement where necessary and attacked the country with its full military might and resources, creating and committing the most heinous crime of state terrorism. It got nothing but hate and condemnation from the oppressed people of the world. It had spoiled its case for good. The American people will suffer its consequences for generations to come. The tragic event of September 11 will always remind how fool our forefathers were when they adopted a wrong choice and a wrong country to fulfill their appetite for retaliation, making little or no effort to find out the real culprits who might be their own fast friends and allies. The posterity will give its judgment that a “wrong person” attacked a “wrong country.” It will be, then, too late for Mr. Bush and his henchmen to repent.
Shamim A Siddiqi
Dated November 3, 2001