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Arabs and Muslims Must Stand With the United States

The Americans and their allies have been correct to pursue all possible means of defeating the terrorists, and as all of the terrorists have been Muslim, it is the responsibility of all Muslims to help defeat them, the writer argues.

By Jihad El

July 14, 2005

Original Article (English)    

The criminal attack that struck London justifies all measures taken against terror by the United States, Britain, and Spain -- even the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and  countries in the Far East.

After every legal move or decision taken to fight terrorism, myself and many others writers have objected to all violations and deficiencies in terms of human rights. Then an incident like the attacks in London takes place which justifies the legal measures that have been taken, either by the United States, Britain, France or any other country. Safeguarding life is of utmost importance. Freedoms are worthless if a citizen’s life is threatened.

When I first heard of the terrorist attacks in London, I wished that no Arab of Muslim origin was be behind it. At first I had hoped it would just be a minor event, perhaps just some fireworks set off by anarchists or environmental protection groups.

But the news quickly set such hopes to rest. The explosion on the London underground led to a complete shutdown of the system. As a result, people had to use buses that were targeted next for attack.

Such planning could only have been made by the most notorious terrorist. It requires both experience and a good deal of money. The attack was surely connected to the G8 Summit in Scotland and the British position at Washington’s side on the war in Iraq. British authorities had repeatedly warned of the likelihood of a terrorist attack. It became a question of “WHEN” and not “IF.” 

But Thursday proved that all its preventive measures had been ineffective in deterring the inflexible terrorists from killing innocent citizens.

By what guilt can a human being be killed as he commutes to work and earns a living to care for his family? An explosion detonates, stopping the train. Another bomb blows away a bus and kills another innocent citizen, who bears little responsibility for the grievance the terrorists claim to pursue. 

There is no answer, since an answer presumes common sense, while these terrorists lack any common sense, except for murder. The situation leaves no other option but to declare war against them, to defeat by all legal means and to save people from their evil. 

Arabs and Muslims, who have been responsible for most of the terror since September 11, 2001 should stand firmly against terrorism. We assume primarily responsibility for this terrorism. Consequently, we assume the primary responsibility for rejecting it. The first step is to avoid denying responsibility claiming ignorance or shame and to acknowledge that most terrorists are Arabs or Muslim.

I have often written and I keep writing that it is an obligation of Arabs and Muslims to assist the United States and grant it the leading role in the war against terror, since it is the most powerful nation in the world.

Thus far it has exerted great, if still insufficient efforts. It is useless to accuse the American Administration of any responsibility in the proliferation of terrorism. What counts is that this terrorism is a fact and it kills the innocent. It is an obligation for each and everyone to collaborate in order to defeat it.

On the eve of the July 7 London attack, I was speaking on a talk-show from London, broadcast on Radio Cairo. The program hosted participants from Washington and Algeria and the topic dealt with the G8 summit. I was criticizing President Bush’s stance with regard to global warming and the volume of aid needed for poor countries, especially in South Saharan Africa. I stopped to explain that my criticism was directed toward specific issues; however, with respect to terrorism, the United States is on the right track and we must collaborate with it. 

There are many ways to collaborate on security and intelligence. Nevertheless, the first step Arab and Muslim countries must take is to launch awareness campaigns within their societies to reveal the truth about terror and demonstrate that terrorism is a deviation from religion, and not a victory. Moreover, it should be made manifest that anyone who shows support or compassion toward terrorists is an accomplice to their crimes, which target Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

What hurts me most is that some people in our countries remain sympathetic toward terrorists, or try to justify their acts. It is as useless to deny the presence of this sickly atmosphere, as it is useless to deny the deficiency of governments in challenging terrorist thinking.

Despite my convictions about the responsibility of Arabs and the Muslims, that doesn’t negate the responsibility of the United States and any other country for the way jihadist groups in Afghanistan were dealt with during the Cold War. Those jihadis turned to terrorism after the fall of the Soviet Union. It is imperative for us to see the real situation and immediately deal with it, in order to avoid further terrorism. It is also imperative to deal with the causes of terror by spreading awareness within societies that foster terrorists.

Thus, we are all responsible. I wish the American Administration, the British Government and the rest of the countries concerned would review policies that promote hostility worldwide, and that facilitate the efforts of al-Qaeda and others in recruiting fighters and suicide bombers.

All the measures taken by the Americans since September 11, 2001, have been useless. Instead of retreating, against all expectations terrorism has expanded. Without any leniency and maintaining an open war against terrorism, which every Arab or Muslim country should support, it is high time that the American Administration reconsider its policies in Palestine and Iraq

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