By Dr Firoz Osman
(source: Star, 12/08/2010, PG18)
The disfigured face of Aisha, ostensibly perpetrated by the Taliban, on the cover of Time Magazine (below:‘what happens if We leave Afghanistan’) is a deceitful attempt to demonise Muslims and vilify Islam.
The failure of the 28- nation member NATO invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in order to flush out Osama bin Laden (dead or alive), and crush Al Qaeda, necessitated another fabricated subterfuge to vindicate the Western world’s presence in Kabul.
Throughout history the hegemonic powers cloaked their rapacious, greedy ambitions in the guise of doing something moral and praiseworthy. The underlying purpose was always to obtain a strategic military or economic benefit.
In Iraq, when Saddam Hussein had exceeded his usefulness after years of Western support and began threatening Israel, this ally-turned- tyrant had to be killed. He was trapped into invading Kuwait, and a cock-and-bull story of Iraqi troops throwing out babies from an incubator convinced the American public to support the “shock and awe” blitzkrieg that decimated Baghdad. One and a half million Iraqis, 500,000 of them children, perished. Now, this horrendous picture of a disfigured woman “brandished before House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on TV” is certain to stir sufficient disgust and anger and galvanize gung-ho American public support for the illegal occupation of Afghanistan. Whilst the disfigurement of Aisha must be vehemently condemned, to exploit her as an instrument of propaganda and indoctrination is reprehensible. The daily maiming and killing of hundreds of innocent civilians, mainly women and children, by American-led Nato forces, elicits no headlines or cover images. Why? The Western world will find it necessary to justify its military action, with media complicity, in its “civilizing mission” against the brutality of the “backward” Taliban. Never mind that it was the USA, with Saudi and Pakistani help, that spawned, financed, trained and equipped the then heroic Taliban against the invading Russians. How dare do these Taliban turn their weapons against USA and NATO forces? Does the West believe that their brutalisation and killing of women and children is benevolent and different from the Russian atrocities in Kabul? The Islamic world has seen through the lie and deception of a fraudulent Western humanitarian agenda. The Taliban's social norms might be an affront to Western values, and yes, Islamic values too, but to impose a Western value system by force is scandalous. The death and destruction that the Western occupation has wreaked upon Afghanistan and Iraq is evident that the West is not interested in the welfare of Muslim women.
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