CounterPunch author Andre Vltchek argues that Western mistreatment is spawning Muslim extremism and terrorism. Vltchek asserts that blaming Muslims is a manipulated point of view, and he identifies Western countries, cultures, and capitalism as the real problems. Western colonization and imperialism has torn apart Muslim culture, contributing to upheaval in the Middle East. In many cases, the West and its allies in the Middle East are framing Muslims for acts of domestic terrorism, and they are using extremist groups to destroy the region so that the West can take control. According to Vltchek, extremist groups that terrorize peaceful civilians and make stability impossible are the minions of the West, funded, trained, and given weapons to continue their violence. The goal is to weaken the Middle East enough so that the widespread culture of Islam is dissipated and Muslims submit their land and their values to the West, so that global domination is complete and the valuable resources of the Muslim nations are forfeited.
Vltchek describes how Islam’s main values were peace and socialization, cultivating a rich culture that contributed greatly to the fields of medicine, art, academics, and architecture. During colonization, Muslim nations were ripped apart and their people suppressed, leaving their culture to be dominated by the West. Their politics were leftwing, favoring communism and socialism over capitalism, so Western nations campaigned to seize control. In Indonesia, between one and three million people were killed as a result of the 1965 coup to overthrow the anti-imperialist, leftwing Muslim president and his party. The West, threatened by such a large population of communist Muslims, set up clandestine organizations run by Christian anti-communists and led by a man named Joop Beek. The result was devastating, and surviving Muslims were silenced into submission and condemned to live unwillingly under Christian, pro-west rule. This is one example of what is happening or already has happened in many Muslim nations, leading to resentment of the West.
Furthermore, corporate media have failed to recognize that radical Muslim militant groups like ISIS actually began in refugee camps on the Syrian and Jordanese borders, with financing from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and western countries to fight the nonreligious government of Bashar al-Assad. In the beginning, members of ISIS were pawns of the West, used to weaken countries that stood in their way. ISIS is a tool used to destabilize the Middle East. Hezbollah, a large social Muslim movement that is presently engaged in physical combat against ISIS, is considered a “terrorist group” by the West. And yet, media manipulate the public into focusing blame on Muslims, without considering the role of the West. We may not wield the guns, but we contributed to the problem.
Corporate media typically portray Muslims as cruel monsters driven by unexplainable hate for the West, disregarding the richness, values and morals of an entire religion. Former Muslim president of Indonesia, Abdurrahman Wahid, told Vltchek, “I know who blew up the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta. It was not an attack by the Islamists, it was done by the Indonesian secret services, in order to justify their existence and budget, and to please the West.”
Source: Andre Vltchek, “Who Should Be Blamed for Muslim Terrorism?” CounterPunch, January 9-11, 2015, http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/09/who-should-be-blamed-for-muslim-terrorism/.
Student Researcher: Erin Fernwood (College of Marin)
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