Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The war to colonise hearts and minds

The stories of honour killings, forced marriages, child brides, and gang rapes are regularly invoked to stir up the public opinion against Muslims to portray their societies as draconian. It is a familiar theme in the West to use women’s plight as an excuse to dehumanise the Muslims and to accuse them of crimes, which they do not condone.

The Western media is obsessed with these stories but, when it comes to its own backyard then it ignores similar problems. However, it never ignores a story if it portrays a negative image of a non-White person specially a Muslim. This is not a new trend. The discrimination against minorities has a very long history in the West. The Holocaust is a prime example. The war to colonise hearts and minds of the Muslims has been underway for a long-time.

The Western media is trying to escalate this war. It became hyperbolic while accusing a Pakistani Muslim for abducting his 12 years old daughter - Molly Campbell in Britain. Child custody disputes are common in the West because of high divorce rates. But, it involved a Pakistani Muslim that was the reason for its high-profile coverage. The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper, reported that Molly “could be forced to become a child bride ... [and her father was] planning to marry her to a 25-year-old man”.

Later, Molly Campbell told that she was not abducted. Molly also asked to be called by her Islamic name Misbah Iram Ahmed Rana. Osama Saeed, Scottish spokesperson for the Muslim Association of Britain said, “this was not a straightforward case of kidnap as was being portrayed” by the media. The Western media did not bother to present a true picture and stacked arguments against Misbah’s father without investigating her story. Independent reports denied claims made in the Western media.

The gang rape of Mukhtar Mai was also used by the Western media to portray a negative image of Pakistan. However, it kept silent in case of a 14 year old girl who was gang-raped and murdered by American soldiers in Iraq. The soldiers also killed her father, mother, and young sister in her family home in in Mahmudiya.

The obvious silence of the Western media in case of the young Iraqi girl shows that it does not care about human rights if the victim is a Muslim. On the other hand, a rape victim gets a celebrity status if the perpetrator of the crime is a Muslim. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to work out reasons behind the dualism of the Western media. It is a case of pure hypocrisy.

However, the Western media tries to under-report rapes and murders in the West. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network in the USA, “Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape ... In 2003-2004, there were an average annual 204,370 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault.”

In the USA more than 40 percent of female murders are committed by their family members. The Western media does not want to know what are the reasons behind the murders of thousands of women every year. It raises the issue of the honour killing only when a Muslim is involved in a murder. It tries to imply that there are no cases of honour killings involving the Western men. It is also guilty of condoning these murders by not using a strong language against the Western men who are killing thousands of innocent women.

The Western media also uses anti-Muslim voices such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali to defame the Muslims. According to Ali, her father arranged a marriage for her but she refused to marry. Later, she escaped to the Netherlands and became an icon of the anti-Muslim mob. She renounced Islam and became a member of Dutch parliament after fiercely criticising the Muslims. She horrified the Muslims all around the world by producing a film in which verses of the Quran were desecrated. Later, the director of her film, Theo Van Gogh was assassinated by a Muslim.

Ali fabricated her story and lied about her circumstances to migrate to the Netherlands. She was forced to resign from the Dutch parliament because the Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk said that her passport should be revoked. But, Verdonk made a U-turn and did not revoke her passport. The American Enterprise Institute – a conservative think-tank, came to rescue her and awarded her a lucrative job because she was an anti-Muslim. Time Magazine also declared her as one of the 100 people “with the clout and power to change our world” in 2005.

The Muslims should try to improve conditions of women. However, they should be aware of inner motives of the West. It wants to impose its culture on the Eastern people regardless of their religion before its economic demise. However, true liberals are united to expose this war.

The war to colonise the hearts and minds of the Muslims is a part of a wider strategy to strengthen the Western hegemony in Asia. There is a continuous spate of propaganda against China’s political, economic, and cultural affairs as a part of this strategy. Occasionally, India is also targeted. The Western media fails to understand that the Asian continent has multicultural and multi-religious civilizations renowned for their rich and diverse culture. The war against Asia is doomed to fail. Hearts and minds of the Eastern people will never be colonised.