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Posts tagged ‘war on terror’

Christian Palestinians

Until recently, a large proportion of Christians in the West were unaware that Christian Palestinians even existed. While there may now be an increased awareness of the body of Christ in Palestine, when not being ignored (unintentionally or otherwise) by the majority, our Palestinian brothers and sisters are often either co-opted for anti-Islam propaganda or looked on as a community to be pitied.

Christian Palestinians undoubtedly need our support and solidarity. From the shattering of their society with the expulsions of 1948 to the land theft and occupation-induced economic collapse in the West Bank today, many believers have despaired of finding freedom in their homeland and chosen emigration. Read more

Apologetically imperial: Liberals, political Islam, and a war of terror

Long before Nick Cohen ruminated on “What’s Left?” and Martin Amis imagined the sexual frustration of millions of Muslim men, even as the ink dried on opinion pages in the “liberal” New York Times, Guardian and Independent urging on the slaughter in Iraq, those on the left still committed to resisting imperialism were already ably despatching the accusations of “appeasing Islamofascism”. It is not my intention to repeat those thorough demolitions here. Read more

British Marines’ Detention and Imperial Arrogance

Even as the British marines were released without charge from Iranian custody to return home to Britain, the media couldn’t help but enjoy one last spasm of outrage over the “hostage crisis”. “Humiliation” sang the newspaper chorus, while the Daily Express helpfully explained the reason for the marines sporting open-necked shirts: in Iran, apparently, ties “are seen as symbols of Western decadence”.

While pundits and politicians have differed in their interpretation of how the incident has affected Britain’s reputation, there has been a remarkable amount of unity in the response of the British government, press and public opinion to the marines’ arrest, a framework characterised by typical imperial arrogance. Read more

Understanding the Middle East ‘Democratic Wave’

In the aftermath of a second bitterly contested US presidential election, many political commentators surmised that a second-term Bush administration would be forced to depart from the radical neoconservative agenda that had characterized the previous four years. However, the last couple of weeks have served as a wake-up call that the neocon-inspired campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq might just have been a warm up.

The proof for all of this could be found in your local newsvendor. Read more

The need to ask why

On the day the World Trade Center was destroyed, George Bush declared, “America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world.” In the wake of the bombings in Madrid, Tony Blair stated that contemporary Islamist extremism is “driven not by a set of negotiable political demands, but by religious fanaticism”.

Bush and Blair here are seeking to address the fundamental question of ‘why’. For both of them, their respective nations are under threat because of their very nature as ‘free’ and ‘civilized’. The enemy is defined by his opposition to these values. It is this assumption that fatally undermines Western policy in the Middle East and strategy in ‘the war on terror’. Read more