Leaving Islam




American Foreign Policy and International Islamism

Paolo Bassi


There are two basic reactions to Islam in the United States . The majority view Islam as a religion like any other, peaceful and humane but one which has been hijacked by extremists–notably Bin Laden and his international cohorts. This view is the quasi-official view of the Bush regime and incessantly reinforced by the politically correct culture of the media and educational institutes. We all recall with bemusement President George W. Bush, standing in a D.C. mosque days after September 11, claiming that Islam was a religion of peace. Whether this is true or not, Bush, who had barely traveled outside the US before his presidency, was uniquely unqualified to make such a claim. However, he had political reasons for making this statement.

The opposing view is an irrational hostility to Islam and Muslims–a view often expounded by evangelical ministers in their meg-churches. Both views are deeply flawed and limited. Islam is what the Koran and Sharia Law say it is–above all Islam is what Muslims have done for 1,400 years. Sadly, few seem interested in these rather obvious sources. However, there is one view that is almost never discussed in the American media—the political analysis of how Islamic radicalism become such a world-wide phenomena in the last 25 years. In light of the recent upsurge in Islamic fundamentalism, surely this is the question to ask. There can be no reasonable doubt that poverty, lack of education and employment and above all the support of Islamism by nervous Islamic governments, hoping to detract attention from themselves, has been instrumental in radicalizing young Muslims. This is only part of the explanation. American foreign policy has played its own part in this tragedy.

Muslims from all backgrounds, agree on one thing–namely that US policy seeks to keep Muslim nations weak, with particular venom reserved for Israel . They are both disingenuous and wrong. They are disingenuous because Islamism is itself a profoundly political force, with a historically based ambition of its own to restore Islamic imperialism anywhere and everywhere. They are wrong because the US has almost single-handedly, but inadvertently, helped to establish radical Islam all over the Middle East and Asia . Radical Islam of the late 20 th Century had no better friend than Washington . The US , obsessed with the USSR during the Cold War and wanting to expand the interests of its own capitalist elite, pursued a foreign policy blind to and ignorant of the Islamist monster it was nurturing. That monster has now become an international hydra whose victims are not American policy-makers but ordinary Americans, British commuters on London's underground, Australian tourists in Bali and of course thousands of innocent Muslims seeking only a peaceful life.

The US began nurturing radical Islam as early as the 1930s when it supported the rule of the Wahhabi Saudi family over Arabia in exchange for oil concessions. The Saudi royal family became obscenely wealthy in exchange for entering America 's security arrangements. In exchange for American patronage, the Saudis ensured a reliable flow of cheap oil. But oil was not all that is being exported. Saudi Arabia is the world's largest exporter of Islam and young Muslim men devoted to unrelenting jihad against the infidel. Their theology is Wahhabi Islam, an uncompromising and aggressive form of Islam, bent on conversion and promoting hatred of non-Muslims. By allowing this the Saudi government, whose power is increasingly tenuous, has so far insulated itself from direct confrontation with the Wahhabi establishment.

The Saudis, while denying legal equality and freedom of religion to non-Muslims, arrogantly fund mosques and Islamic centers in the US and Europe . The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and related charities, being beholden to Saudi money, are only too willing to carry out the Wahhabi agenda. One can only imagine the disbelief shudder if the world's Christian countries formed a similar international organization to spread Christianity.

It is remarkable that the US Government, usually so eager to berate uncooperative nations over civil rights, is silent when it comes to Saudi Arabia . Neither George Bush nor Tony Blair, both born-again Christians who reportedly pray together, has ever addressed the rights of religious minorities in Saudi Arabia . Nor would London or Washington ever dare to directly blame the Saudi government for Saudi sponsorship of Islamic terrorism. Perhaps the billions of dollars in arms sales to the Saudis is simply too good a business to upset. Was it Kruschev who once claimed that in the end the western capitalists would sell the very rope with which they would be hanged?

The picture is equally depressing in other parts of the world where the US Government has supported political Islam. One of the worst massacres of the 20th century was the genocidal attack, begun in 1975, by the Indonesian government against the tiny Christian minority on the former Portuguese colony of East Timor . In 1975 Indonesia , the worlds' largest Muslim nation, was led by the vehemently anti-communist Suharto regime. This was good enough for the US , who supplied Suharto with weapons and training. Both President Ford and Henry Kissinger were directly involved in giving Indonesia the nod of approval to invade East Timor . What happened next was pure genocide. The US-trained Indonesian army butchered a third of the East Timorese people. The invasion was not a mere land grab but a war to erase the East Timorese Catholic church and Portuguese cultural influence. Throughout the East Timor genocide the American media and both the Ford and Carter administrations stayed silent–a silence tantamount to supporting the massacres. For a greater account of Kissinger's role in the East Timor massacre, see Christopher Hitchens' book "The Trial of Henry Kissinger".

The debacle of Yugoslavia 's breakup in the early 1990s was again a textbook case of US foreign policy promoting the growth of radical Islam. The war in Bosnia in 1991 started with the breakdown of the Serb-Croat-Muslim coalition. The Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic, who had publicly declared that Islam could never be at peace with non-Islamic societies, broke from the coalition after the customary nod of approval from Washington . The situation was aggravated beyond repair when Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and Franjo Tudjman of Croatia , both sent in their paramilitaries to bolster their respective causes. There can be no excuse for the lunacy of these two men who ensured the conflict became religious. However, the much maligned Milosevic was far from being the only guilty party. In the ensuing war, the Muslim majority, with American support, gained the sympathy of the world and prevailed.

The US government, under Bush I and his successor President Clinton, had decided that Milosevic would not be a obedient client and thus the Serbs had to be painted as the aggressors, while the US and NATO would be present itself as fair arbitrators of Muslim affairs. No doubt such a view would aid the US in its then confrontation with Iraq . The US media set to work demonizing the Serbs while generally ignoring Muslim atrocities. The war was presented as a holocaust by the Serbs against innocent Muslims, while the US was presented as the moral force determined to prevent another European holocaust. The truth is that it was a war of nationalism and religion in which all sides committed the gravest violations. The US media not only ignored Serb suffering, but also omitted to discuss the influx of radical Islamists from all over the world who had come to Bosnia to fight in the jihad. Many of these radicals stayed and became part of Al-Qaeda's contribution to Islamic causes in other parts of the world.

The situation was repeated in the late 1990s in Kosovo when Milosevic tried to hold Serbia together with a show of aggressive militarism in Kososvo. Again he played into US hands.

The US and NATO, effectively bombed Serbia into submission and proudly announced they had done so to protect Muslims against the Christian Serbs. The end result was the same as Bosnia –the establishment of a de-facto Islamic state in the heart of the Balkans from which the Serbs have been largely driven out. Since then radical Islamists have become entrenched in Kosovo and have begun making inroads into Macedonia .

Pakistan is one the most troubling of Washington 's "allies". The British, just prior to their withdrawal, carved Pakistan out of N.W. India in 1947 to meet the demands of Indian Muslims for an Islamic state. Since that time Pakistan has been dominated by an elite plutocracy, the army and the mullahs. Pakistan was adopted by the US during the cold war as a reliable anti-communist bastion–after all the Pakistani elites and mullahs hate socialism more than they hate the infidel west. For most of its life, Pakistan has been the recipient of US weapons and financial support. The two nations were at their closest during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and throughout the 1980s both the Pakistani army and the CIA trained and armed the Afghan resistance against the Soviets. After the expulsion of the Soviets in 1989, the close relationship between Pakistani military intelligence and the Afghan Taliban flourished. This close bond continues to this day, despite Pakistan 's outward alliance with the US ' war on terror. Like Saudi Arabia , Pakistan is an ostensible ally of America , however, it is also a breeding ground of Islamic terrorists.  

The above is a simple overview of some of the major countries where US foreign policy has aligned itself with the Islamist agenda. Unless America policymakers realize the dangers or promoting the Islamist agenda, it is not only the US but the entire world that will pay the price. Many nations have already begun to pay that price. The US must realize that Islamism is a political force that is utterly at odds with every notion of humanist tradition, be it western or eastern. 







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