Subway Guitars: Articles
Islam and the West: A Clash of Justice Versus Greed
The September 11, 2001 attack on America
may have been avoided
by Enver Masud
Released September 2, 2002
WASHINGTON, DC-- The clash between Islam and the West is not a clash
between Islam and Christianity worthy of war. The clash between Islam
and the West is not a clash worthy of war. The clash between Islam and
Judaism is not a clash worthy of war. The clash between Islam and the
West is not a clash of civilizations worthy of war.
The clash between Islam and the West may be summed up in three words:
justice versus greed.
Muslims, Christians, Jews
The Quran, the Word of God for Muslims, states: "O mankind! We created
you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and
tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most
honored of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in piety." Thus,
Islam, perhaps like no other religion, declares to Muslims the sanctity
of all "nations and tribes."
What may surprise Christians and Jews, and even many Muslims, the Quran
refers to them all as "muslims." Muhammad Asad, born Leopold Weiss in
Poland in 1900, in his interpretation of the Quran wrote: "When his
contemporaries heard the words islam and muslim, they understood them as
denoting man's 'self-surrender to God' and 'one who surrenders himself
to God,' without limiting himself to any specific community or
denomination e.g., in 3:67, where Abraham is spoken of as having
'surrendered himself unto God' (kana musliman), or in 3:52 where the
disciples of Jesus say, 'Bear thou witness that we have surrendered
ourselves unto God' (bianna musliman).
In Arabic, this original meaning has remained unimpaired, and no Arab
scholar has ever become oblivious of the wide connotation of these
terms. " The three faiths share the Abrahamic heritage, the same values,
and revere many of the same prophets. Muslims, Christians, Jews once
lived in peace in Palestine; all three refered to God as Allah. The
three faiths thrived in Muslim Spain until its fall to Christian armies.
Maimonides, highly revered among Jews, studied and practiced in Muslim
Spain. Muslims respect the prophets of Judaism and Christianity.
Islam teaches that "the most excellent jihad is for the conquest of
self." It teaches Muslims to speak out against oppression, and to fight
if necessary for justice. This is jihad. Mainly Muslim Turkey has been a
member of NATO since 1952. Virtually every Muslim country supported the
U.S. "war on terror" until it degenerated into an excuse for a crackdown
on Muslims by governments across the world. Now while the hawks in U.S.
government push for war on Iraq, predominantly Christian Europe is
opposed to war. Many non-Muslim organizations in the U.S. are opposed to
war. According to the Guardian (U.K.), "Church leaders including the new
Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, have questioned the legality
and morality of an American-led assault on Iraq in a strongly worded
declaration handed to Downing Street."
Many Jews support statehood for the Christians and Muslims in Palestine.
"Britain's chief rabbi, Jonathon Sacks, head of the Jewish community in
the U.K. and the Commonwealth for 11 years, warns that Israel's stance
towards Palestinians is incompatible with Judaism," according to the
Clash between peoples, nations, and within civilizations
But, there have been, and perhaps there always will be, clashes both
among and between peoples and nations, and within civilizations. The
clash between the Dalits, the lowest caste in India, and the upper
castes is a clash that has persisted for centuries. Europe, in centuries
past, was ravaged by clashes within Christianity. Muslims have fought
wars with Muslims. For the most part, the underlying reason for these
clashes, was economic.
Greed, is the primary reason for the clash between Islam and theWest.
Some in the U.S. wish to control the world's resources and markets,
regardless of the cost to Americans and others, and if dissenting voices
are excluded from the national dialogue, as they often are, the U.S. is
very likely to go to war. They will be going to a war which will benefit
a few, at the expense of many. That's evident from world history. The
clash over the control of resourcesand markets is not new.
Control of the world's resources and markets
Following the fall of Muslim Spain in 1492, Europeans spread out over
the world to the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia. Millions of natives
in those continents were brutalized, enslaved, killed. Their resources
made Europe wealthy. Eventually the British, the Dutch, the French, the
Portugese, and others ruled much of the world. In the mid-twentieth
century as the colonial powers were pulling out, they drew up national
boundaries for their continuing benefit, and the U.S. Empire began to
take shape. The U.S. had fought for control of the world's resources and
markets while keeping the true reasons for war from Americans.
Major General Smedley D. Butler, recipient of two Congressional Medals
of Honor, described his experience in the U.S. Marine Corp: "War is just
a racket. . . I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for
American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent
place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped
in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the
benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped
purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers
in 1909. . . I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American
sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard
Oil went its way unmolested." The primary goal of U.S. foreign policy,
defined after World War II, assured a continuing clash between the
strong and the weak.
George Kennan, recipient of the Albert Einstein Peace Prize, chairman of
the Policy Planning Staff at the State Department, wrote in the top
secret Policy Planning Study No. 23: "We have about 50% of the world's
wealth, but only 6.3% of its population. . . . Our real task in the
coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit
us to maintain this position of disparity . . ."To do so, we will have
to dispense with all sentimentality. . . . We should cease to talk about
vague and . . . unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of
living standards, and democratization."
While they may differ on the specific timing and means, this militant
foreign policy often backed up by assassination of opponents (aka
"regime change"), military coups, terrorism has powerful proponents.
Former National Security Advisor to President Carter, Zbigniew
Brzezinski, writes in The Grand Chessboard (1997): "A power that
dominates Eurasia [the territory east of Germany and Poland, stretching
all the way through Russia and China to the Pacific Ocean including the
Middle East and most of the Indian subcontinent] would control two of
the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions.
A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would
almost automatically entail Africa's subordination, rendering the
Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world's
central continent. About 75 per cent of the world's people live in
Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both
in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per
cent of the world's GNP and about three-fourths of the world's known
The key to controlling Eurasia is controlling the Central Asian
Republics. "The three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to
prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to
keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from
coming together," says Brzezinski. According to the Los Angeles Times,
"Behind a veil of secret agreements, the United States is creating a
ring of new and expanded military bases that encircle Afghanistan and
enhance the armed forces' ability to strike targets throughout much of
the Muslim world."
"Since Sept. 11, according to Pentagon sources, military tent cities
have sprung up at 13 locations in nine countries neighboring
Afghanistan, . . .they may also increase prospects for renewed terrorist
attacks on Americans. . . . On any given day before Sept. 11, according
to the Defense Department, more than 60,000 military personnel were
conducting temporary operations and exercises in about 100 countries."
Uncritical support of the apartheid state of Israel
The unresolved issue of Israel helps keep the "barbarians" --
presumably, the Muslim nations of the Middle East and Central Asia,
and/or the Africans -- from coming together. The U.S., which displayed
exceptional zeal in implementing UN Security Council resolutions against
Iraq, has displayed the same zeal in blocking implementation of UN
resolutions against Israel. Thus while the U.S. pushes for war on Iraq,
and maintains no-fly zones in Northern and Southern Iraq, under its
interpretation of UN Security Council Resolution 687 (with which most
others disagree), the U.S. ignores Article 14 of the same Resolution
which has "the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from
weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery and the
objective of a global ban on chemical weapons" for all the nations in
the region, including Israel, which is known to possess chemical and
biological weapons, and 200 to 400 nuclear weapons and the missiles to
The United States, which claims to promote secular democracy around the
world, continues its uncritical support of the theocratic, apartheid
state of Israel. Fortunately, for now the "barbarians" and most of the
"civilized" world appear to be standing on the side of justice in the
Need to justify U.S. military spending
And new military bases, such as those established in Central Asia during
the Afghan war, help the defense establishment's need to justify
According to Lawrence J. Korb, assistant secretary in the Defense
Department during the Reagan administration: "In 1985, at the height of
the Reagan build-up, the United States and the Soviet Union spent equal
amounts on defense; now Russia spends only one-sixth of what the United
States spends. . . . Our NATO allies spend three times more on defense
than Russia. Israel spends as much as Iraq and Iran combined.
South Korea spends nine times more on defense than North Korea. And
Japan spends more on defense than China." Our covert operations budget
alone is more than double the total defense budget of the "rogue
states"-- Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria. "For 45 years of
the Cold War we were in an arms race with the Soviet Union. Now it
appears we're in an arms race with ourselves," says Admiral Eugene
Carroll, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.), Deputy Director, Center for Defense
Former Defense Secretary McNamara, in his 1989 testimony before the
Senate Budget Committee, said U.S. defense spending could safely be cut
in half. The real rogue and international outlaw, George Soros,
financier and multi-billionaire, writes: "The United States has become
the greatest obstacle to establishing the rule of law in international
affairs." The U.S. stands virtually alone against the world in efforts
to build a safer, better world. For example:
- UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982) was supported
by 130 governments but never ratified by the U.S. - International
Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (1966) was unanimously
approved by the UN General Assembly but not ratified by the U.S.
- Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
(1979) was ratified by more than 150 governments but not the U.S.
- Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) was ratified by
187 governments but not the U.S.
- Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (1996) was signed by President
Clinton, ratified by all NATO allies and Russia, voted down by the U.S.
Senate, and is opposed by President Bush.
- Kyoto Protocol (1997) sets targets for emissions which cause
global warming awaits ratification by the U.S.
- Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (1972) was signed and ratified
by the U.S. and USSR, but overturned by President Bush.
- Chemical Weapons Convention (1998) was crippled by the U.S.
by limiting what may be inspected in the U.S.
- Biological Weapons Convention (2001) was signed by 144
countries, but U.S. refused to sign the "verification protocol."
- Nonproliferation and Test Ban Treaties (2002) have been
jeopardized by the U.S. by its announcement to build and use small,
tactical, nuclear weapons.
- International Criminial Court (July 1, 2002) was backed by 74
countries, signed by President Clinton, but was fiercely opposed by the
U.S. unless American citizens were given immunity from war crimes
The opposition by a signatory to the treaty undermines the entire
system of international law. According to the Guardian: "The U.S.
threatened to assert it is no longer bound by the Vienna Convention on
the Law of Treaties, a 1969 pact detailing the obligations of nations to
obey other international treaties. Under the convention, a country that
has signed a treaty cannot act to defeat the purpose of that treaty,
even if does not intend to ratify it."
Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, the U.S. continues to
develop microbes to wipe out entire cities, genetically engineered
fungus, and genetically engineered materials-eating bacteria, and to
test warheads containing live microbes. At Fort Benning, Georgia, the
U.S. operates what may be the best terrorist training academy in the
world. "Put simply, the School of the Americas has trained some of the
most brutal assassins, some of the cruelest dictators, and some of the
worst abusers of human rights the western hemisphere has ever seen,"said
Rep. Joe Moakely (D-MA)--a statement reported by the Washington Post.
The need for dialogue
Civilized nations that respect the rule of law solve economic clashes
with dialogue, not war. But the voracious U.S. appetite for resources
and markets, and/or the desire to control them, the uncritical U.S.
support of Israel, and the U.S. need to justify military spending, are
driving the U.S. to war. This is bound to create more resentment, and
perhaps retaliation. Those who stand to benefit by war, have
characterized opposition to U.S. domination as a "clash of
civilizations." They are not interested in just agreements freely
negotiated. They understand only the language of realpolitika euphemism
for state-sponsored terrorism. But thanks to an increasingly
multi-cultural society, and the Internet, the world is waking up.
Many see the clash between Islam and the West for what it is: a clash of
justice versus greed. The September 11, 2001 attack on America may have
been avoided, had there been an honest exchange of dissenting views
presented to Americans. President John F. Kennedy said: "Those who make
peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
Only through dialogue is "peaceful revolution" possible.
Copyright © 2002 The Wisdom Fund
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