As an atheist the Islam question, the role of Islamic militants and the spread of Islamic practice through migration are thorny questions for me. The last thing I am keen to see is a resurgence of religiosity of any stripe in our society and consequent infestation of the legal system with religiously inspired laws. Frankly, we have spent the last 200 hundred years getting rid of the Christian influence and it would be a shame to see all of that lost though a similar set of laws from 14th century Islamic culture being imported in its place.
That said, religion is, and always has been, a tool of the powerful to corral and control the masses. It is used to separate people from each other and provide the ideological mechanisms necessary to justify a small group retaining power over a larger majority, from whom they can extract wealth and use to expand their operations to conquer and take over the resources of neighbouring / competing elites (in country and internationally).
The current situation with Islam is no different. The British and consequently the US, have set up and supported the Saudi royal family as compliant governors of the oil they control on behalf of the British and US masters (the Shah of Iran had the same role before the Iranian revolution). They supported the Saudis in promoting the strict Wahhabi Islamic sect of the Sunni school as a way of cementing this arrangement and the ideology of this sect has in the last 50 years been exported and used to disrupt and control ever larger parts of the Islamic world. An existing schism between the two major sects of Islam has been deliberately fostered as a part of the Western nation’s (US, Britain) divide and rule strategy to control the Middle East and subsequently Mediterranean and sub-Saharan Africa (Chad, Somalia, Nigeria) and now into Asia (Pakistan, Philippines, Myanmar). This has involved the usual techniques of setting up coups to overthrow governments, corrupting local elites and installing puppet dictators – all the while selling back massive quantities of arms and providing anti-terrorist training to selected military aspirants under the guise of fighting terrorism (which of course arises when some brave local people object to what is going on and start to rebel).
The results of these strategies are:
- A network of fundamentalist Wahhabi schools across the world that promote a perverse, aggressively literal interpretation of Islamic teaching and which is then used as a basis for infiltrating governments in other Islamic nations through the Muslim Brotherhood organisation.
- A kick-back from secular leaders of Muslim countries (and also some non-Muslim countries with significant Muslim minorities, such as Yugoslavia, Russia, Myanmar, Philippines, China) against these forces, which often involves what is sold to the West and to other Muslims as harsh repression and which forms a large part of the pretext for “humanitarian intervention” by Western nations.
- A flood of Muslim refugees into neighbouring countries and western nations who arouse fear and antipathy in the local populations and are consequently targeted with slurs such as “illegal economic migrant” or “queue jumper” and are collected into refugees camps or depressed areas, often for decades, from which they find it difficult to integrate or gain employment to survive. These groups transition into the second and third generation without substantive improvement to their prospects, some of the young become susceptible to the messages of the Wahhabi fundamentalists that are directed at them both from abroad and through infiltration of their schools and mosques.
- A rise in radical terrorist groups that are funded, armed and trained by Saudi, US and Gulf countries as proxies to further destabilise other in-target nations to further the Imperial agenda to control oil and other resources, which groups are fed by the disenchanted and radicalised Islamic young.
- A view of many ordinary Muslims that their leaders are hypocritical, corrupt and debauched puppets of Western interests, who are funded and protected by the brutal military forces of their own nations that have been trained by the CIA and other Western institutions in torture, murder and rape of their own people (such as at the School of the Americas in Virginia – now going under a different name). These forces being armed and backed by extremely brutal US (and allied) special forces whose main goal is the spread of terror using techniques developed by the British in the 1800’s and subsequently codified in Vietnam by the CIA under the Phoenix Program.
- A general fear in many people of Western nations of being invaded by an alien culture that may swamp and obliterate their own ways of being. This is enhanced through the use of minor terrorist actions to justify participation in the “humanitarian” military interventions and also implement ever increasing incursions on their rights and freedoms through surveillance, dilution of human and legal rights and increasing militarisation of law enforcement agencies to suppress dissent—acts of which are increasingly being criminalised.
As such, I see the vast bulk of Muslim people as the victims of a cynical Western agenda that has corrupted their leaders and robbed them of lives, livelihoods, resources and future prosperity. They are trapped in a cycle of violence, corruption and moral/physical deprivation from which for the vast majority there is virtually no chance of escape. They retreat into the oblivion of religious consolation and ineffectual, but self-satisfying, minor acts of rebellion – such as stabbing a policeman or driving a truck through a crowded sidewalk.
Many of these acts of rebellion seem to have involved vulnerable youth who have been incited by the law enforcement agencies, who likewise have infiltrated Western protest organisations (such as the Occupy movement) and are responsible for the more overt acts of violence seen at protests as a way of justifying persecution of those present and the organisations they have formed. All of which justifies more restrictions of freedom and further powers for surveillance and repression by governmental law enforcement.
So, I do not see Islam or Muslims as the fundamental problem – here [in Australia] or anywhere.
- The Dirty War on Syria by Tim Anderson
- The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins
- America’s “War on Terrorism” by Michel Chossudovsky
- The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order by Michel Chossudovsky
- The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World by Douglas Valentine
- American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World by Eric Margolis