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Archive for October, 2023

Condemning terrorism in all shades and manifestations by Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai
World Forum for Peace and Justice

October 7, 2023

The United Nations Sixth Committee held its seventy-eighth session on October 3, 2023, and stressed ‘National, Regional, International Efforts Crucial in Combating Global Threat Of Terrorism.’ Some delegates called attention towards addressing the underline ‘causes of terrorism and violent extremism.’ Chinese delegate said that the root cause of terrorism includes, “a slow economic recovery, lacklustre implementation of the 2020 Agenda, rising geopolitical tensions and intensification of regional conflicts.”

Ambassador Suriya Chindawongse (Thailand), Chair for the Sixth Committee described “the unique role of the Sixth Committee and the significance of international law for the achievement of the goals of the United Nations. Reminding delegates that the General Assembly has always relied on the diligent work and expertise of the Sixth Committee, he called for a spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding, striving to resolve all issues by consensus.”

Let us analyze the above statements dispassionately. The issue of terrorism and human rights has long been a concern of the United Nations human rights mechanism, but it has become more urgent following the September 11 tragedy that took place in the United States. Terrorism needs to be condemned in all its shades and manifestations, no ifs or buts.

While condemning terrorism unambiguously, Mr. Sergio De Melo, the then High Commissioner for Human Rights emphasized that human rights norms must be respected, even in states of emergency. He said that “the suggestion that human rights violations are permissible in certain circumstances is totally wrong.”

Former Secretary-General Kofi Annan remarked at a special meeting of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, on March 6, 2003, “Our responses to terrorism should uphold the human rights in all circumstances because that is exactly what terrorists would like to destroy.

In her report on “Human Rights” former High Commissioner for Human Rights, President Mary Robinson, reminded States that “an effective international strategy to counter terrorism should use human rights as its unifying framework”.

Dr. Kalliopi K. Koufa, an Emeritus Professor of Law of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and former ‘Special rapporteur on human rights and terrorism of the United Nations Sub-Commission on the promotion and protection of human rights’ said that ‘there is a disturbing tendency to categorize ordinary criminal activity as terrorism.’ The Special Rapporteur made the distinction between armed conflict and terrorism, particularly when the issue of self-determination is the part of the discussion.

The United Nations special rapporteurs and independent experts have expressed their concern that, under the pretext of combating terrorism, human rights defenders are threatened, particularly the ones who are engaged in the peaceful struggle to liberate their occupied homelands. Khurram Parvez, an internationally recognized human rights activists from Kashmir was arrested by Modi administration under a draconian law, ‘Unlawful Activity and Prevention Act (UAPA)’ and he was labelled as a terrorist. Although, Mary Lawlor, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defender said, “Khurram Parvez is not a terrorist. He is a human rights defender.” Amnesty International was concerned that the “war on terror” should not become an excuse to deny human rights.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recalls its Resolution 1271 (2002) and Recommendation 1550 (2002) on combating terrorism and respect for human rights and reaffirms that the fight against terrorism must not be used as a pretext to restrict the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights and related legal texts of the Council of Europe.

The global campaign against terrorism should not lead us into a campaign to defend the tyrant regimes and illegal military occupations. Many forces in the world are salivating at the prospect of United States power being used to prop up the brutal regimes they have foisted on peoples against the popular will. Yet, that is exactly what is happening. By supporting the U.S. in its campaign against global terrorism, many governments are misusing their support to crush the genuine freedom movements. A prime example is Kashmir where 900,000 Indian armed forces have brought Kashmir ‘to the brink of extinction’ as suggested by Dr. Gregory Stanton, Chairman, ‘Genocide Watch’. The world powers know that the struggle of the people of Kashmir for the restoration of their right to self-determination was accepted by the United Nations.

It is worth mentioning here that when the Kashmir dispute erupted in 1947-1948, the United States championed the stand that the future status of Kashmir must be ascertained in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people of the territory. The United States was the principal sponsor of the resolution # 47 which was adopted by the Security Council on April 21, 1948, and which was based on that unchallenged principle. Following the resolution, the United States as a leading member of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP), adhered to that stand. The basic formula for settlement was incorporated in the resolutions of that Commission adopted on August 13, 1948, and January 5, 1949.

The voice of President Biden was loud and clear when he said that “We will lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example,” then on September 19, 2023 during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, he declared “If we abandon the core principles of the UN charter to appease an aggressor, can any member state in this body feel confident that they are protected?” It is worth mentioning here that Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General has on multiple occasions stated clearly that the Kashmir issue has to be resolved under UN Charter. And this is the same UN Charter which President Biden wants to protect and India is defying.

It was astonishing that President Biden refused to take up the issue of genocide in Kashmir and human rights violations in India when he invited Prime Minster Modi to the White House on June 22, 20203, despite the fact that President Obama has sent the message to President Biden on CNN, “I do think that it is appropriate for the president of the United States, where he or she can, to uphold those principles and to challenge — whether behind closed doors or in public — trends that are troubling. And so, I’m less concerned about labels than I’m concerned about specific practices,” President Obama further added that “Part of my argument would be that if you do not protect the rights of ethnic minorities in India, then there is a strong possibility India at some point starts pulling apart. And we’ve seen what happens when you start getting those kinds of large internal conflicts.”

We are dismayed that the horrors of repression for which the people of Kashmir suffer have added two other circumstances, each cruelly adverse. One is the apathy of the world powers at large, including governments and organizations that otherwise are justly proud of their championship of democracy and human rights. The second is the fog of myths and evasive arguments currently surrounding India’s wrongful occupation of Kashmir. We were astonished that not a single member of the Sixth Committee rebuked Ms. Kajal Bhat, the Indian delegate on October 3, 2023, when she stated, “her country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are non-negotiable. The Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are an integral part of India,” which is not true.

The fact of the matter is that the Kashmir issue is simply this that under all international agreements which were agreed by both India and Pakistan, negotiated by the UN, and endorsed by the Security Council, the future of Kashmir shall be decided by its people through a free, fair and impartial referendum. Kashmir, today, does not belong to any member state of the United Nations. So, if Kashmir does not belong to any member state of the United Nations, then the claim that Kashmir is an integral part of India does not hold ground. Therefore, Kashmir cannot separate from a country, like India, to which it never acceded to in the first place.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai is the Chairman, World Forum for Peace and Justice.

He can be reached at: WhatsApp: 1-202-607-6435. Or [email protected]

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How Arab Leaders Betrayed Islam and Defied the Logic of Political Change, Peace and Security?


By Dr Mahboob A Khawaja *

“War provides an outlet for every evil element in man’s nature. It enfranchises cupidity and greed gives a charter to petty tyranny, glorifies cruelty and places in position of power the vulgar and base.”  (C.E.M Joad. Guide to Modern Wickedness, 1936)

The Leaders Who could not Lead to Political Change and Peace

The Arabian landscape portrays continuous wars, insurgency against authoritarianism, insecurity and lack of moral and intellectual leadership to political change for the good of people. For more than a decade, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Afghanistan have not emerged stable entities after the conflicts.  This week, the Laws of Nature signaled the staunch reminders to all mankind via flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes and raging wildfires across the globe. Would any serious thinkers take notice of these natural acts for change, reformation and security? Please view:  “Global Peace and Security:  World Leaders Betray the Canons of Truth, Wisdom and Humanity”, “Peace and War The Russia-Ukraine Conflict Urgently Needs a Dialogue for Peace”, Uncommon Thought Journal: 8/26/2023, and “Arab Triangle: How the prosperity bubble destroyed the Arab Moral and Intellectual culture” Uncommon Thought Journal: 6/12/2013.

Militarization of the Arabian Peninsula appears high on the agenda items for policies and  practices. The European and American policy makers view the oil exporting Arab leaders as “camel jockeys”  and draw hollow laughters.  According to John  Perkins (Confession of an Economic Hitman, 2006), Arab States are like ‘cows to be milked as long as necessary.’ Most of the Arab leadership families are the former colonial agents hired by the British, French and US Empires to control and manage the oil export business. They pay to the Masters for protection of their palaces, but not of the people. Even a common person cannot think outside the capsule of secret police apparatus.

There are no objective moral, spiritual and intellectual values in the imperial philosophy of global economic development except power and wisdom are immeasurably separated by the gulf of greed, militarization and hegemonic control over the oil-rich Arab Middle East. The puppet rulers and the imperial Masters demonstrate sadistic policy behaviors  and cruelty to safeguarding their vested interests and strategic priorities for hegemonic economic development across the Arab world.

Evil is deprivation of good. The coming of Islam glorified the Arab moral and intellectual cultures from an age of ignorance to an age of human development, change, progress and  to the peak of Golden Age of scientific and human progress lasting 800 years in

Al-Andulcia- Spain. Marai Rosa Menocal (A Golden Reign of Tolerance: The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain, 2003), highlighted the contributions of Islamic civilization in Spain. 

The Islamic civilization identified the Arabs as “Ummah of Khair – people of goodness and peace.”  The message of Qur’an is clear:  “We have revealed for you (O men!)  a book in which  is a message for you: Will ye not then understand?” (21: 10). And it warns: Then the Apostle will say: O My Lord! My people took this Qur’an for just foolish nonsense.”(25:30), “Does Man not see; It is God Who created him from sperm. Yet Behold! he (stands forth) as an open Adversary.” (36:77). Today, the Arab world exemplifies a decadent moral and intellectual landscape. What a moral and intellectual human tragedy for those knowledgeable people, who defied the logic of truth. The oil exporting superficial prosperity betrayed the heritage of Arab nations and changed them to be interdependent and subservient to the West as puppets and stooges living to compete in erecting high-rise buildings and palaces without any purpose, importing luxury cars, organizing  and enjoying football matches and striving for exclusive consumerism and nothing else. They lost sense of humanity,  and consequential futuristic calamities and accountability to God.

The Arab Spring (2011), raised hopes for systematic rethinking and socioeconomic and political change but the authoritarian Arab leaders crushed the spirit of people’s movement for political change. Islam professed a movement for human development and change but the neocolonial opted for a short lived economic prosperity. The Arab people have become victims of their own rulers and their complacency to remain in power, fair or foul.

After the 9/11 tragedies, the US led bogus “War on Terrorism”, and its War-Industrial  Complex fetched the Arab rulers with a sense of insecurity for their survival.  John Perkins (Confessions of an Economic Hitman, 2006), outlines how the economic and industrial development scenarios were linked to a ‘Saudi Arabian money laundering affairs’ to modernize the Kingdom by an unusual coercive and secretive agreement worked out by Henry Kissinger. Under the conspicuous scheme of things:

“Saudi Arabia would use its petrodollars to purchase US Government securities; in turn the interest earned by these securities would be spent by the US Department of the Treasury in ways that enabled Saudi Arabia to emerge from a medieval society into a modern, industrialized world….Our own US Department of the Treasury would hire us at Saudi expense to build infrastructure projects and even entire cities throughout the Arabian Peninsula.” Perkins adds that “Washington used its advantage to impose one other critical condition…. and I sometimes find it difficult to understand how Saudi Arabia could have accepted this condition.”

John Perkins views the grand scheme of Arab economic development as a blueprint for the US ambitions of empire building across the globe: “ it was part of a sinister system aimed not at outfoxing an unsuspecting customer, but rather at promoting the most subtle and effective form of imperialism the world has ever known…….most puzzling was that final entry under the list of my clients: US Treasury Department, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Arab world lives under the Western Imperialism and War Racketeering

“War is a Racket Then and Now” (Free Thought Manifesto: 05/29/2011) describes Mark Sheffield. Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler (WAR IS A RACKET) of the US marines served 33 years but “had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until [he] retired to civil life did [he] fully realize it.” The wars sustained capitalist governance and made millionaires into billionaires. “WAR is a racket.  It always has been.  It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious.  It is the only one international in scope.  It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”  Butler asks many rational questions: “How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle?  How many of them dug a trench?  How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dugout?  How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets?  How many of them parried the bayonet thrust of an enemy?  How many of them were wounded and killed in battle?”

War is a crime in a civilized context. What is the cure to raging indifference and cruelty to the interests of the whole of mankind?The 21st century new-age complex political, economic, social and strategic challenges and the encompassing opportunities warrant new thinking, new leaders and new visions for change, conflict management and participatory peaceful future-making. The Divine knowledge offers logical substance of reality to be reckoned with:

Verily in the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth and in the succession of the night and of the day, are signs for men of understanding;
Who standing and sitting and reclining, bear God in mind and reflect on the creation of the Heavens and of Earth and say: Oh, our Lord- Thou has not created this in vain.  
(3: 190: The Qur’an).

The imperial networks export militarization and wars to destabilize the Arab Middle East. The Arab world has one focal issue – Palestine and the Two States solution.  The contemporary Arab world has no honest leaders to protect the Masjid Al-Aqsa and its sanctity from Israeli’s Ultra Nationalist provocations and to reason with Palestine and Israel and what future options could be imagined for peace and security: Please see by this author: “Al-Aqsa Mosque Waiting for the Arab Leaders.” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/57491.htm

Wars, deaths and destruction are at the top notch agenda items in relations between the West and the Arab world.  Was the discovery of “oil” a conspiracy (“Fitna”) to forfeit the Arab culture and Islamic civilization? The on-going bloodbaths across the streets of Yemen, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere provide a staunch reminder of something terribly wrong with human thinking and military actions. How do such crimes portray the nature of Arab societies in which bloodbaths are taking place under the aegis of economic development and militarization? Do the paranoid Arab authoritarian rulers envisage an advanced culture of “modernity?” The whole of the Arab world is a quagmire of conflicts, sectarian warfare and foreign interventions. Wars kill people, destroy the planet and those who possess power show no wisdom to dream of triumph and glory over human mind and soul. The on-going war between Russia , Ukraine and NATO,  and the war-torn Middle East overshadowing the common citizens of the world feeling incapacitated and dehumanized to share a terrible sense of helplessness and wonder how to save the humanity from the scourge of imperial led war racketeering and the consequences of man’s intransigence, triviality and viciousness against his own existence and future on Earth.

*Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in international affairs-global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: One Humanity and the Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution. Germany, 12/2019.

Source: https://countercurrents.org/2023/09/how-arab-leaders-betrayed-islam-and-defied-the-logic-of-political-change-peace-and-security/

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