Within a week of the 11th of September attacks, George W Bush declared America’s War on Terror (WoT). Then within a month, on 7th October 2001, the US military, with mainly British support, began bombing Afghanistan in an operation deceptively termed Enduring Freedom.
What followed in the 20 years since, has exposed the true face of capitalism: the destruction of foreign lands, the seizing of resources, the wanton killing of innocents, women, children and men and the usurping of basic rights and rule of law. The West’s overtly anti-Islam WoT foreign policy was justified by scaremongering about the Muslim enemy within. Spying on political dissent, detention without trial and thought-control policies, such as Prevent vindicated modern-day McCarthyism directed against Muslims living in the West. The WoT weaponised attitudes against Islam to such an extent that even Islamic symbols like the minaret and the hijab were banned in Europe.
WoT Exposed Human Rights
From Guantanamo to Rendition, the 11th September (9/11) attacks justified a swathe of unlawful policies; the prison at Guantanamo was specifically created to hold WoT enemy combatants outside the rules of the Geneva Convention, and Rendition was the unauthorised disappearance of people governments disapproved of but did not have the evidence to convict in a court of law.
Behind the façade of bringing freedom and democracy to the Muslim world, the US led coalition followed the military campaign in Afghanistan by then launching the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The infamous pictures of prisoners being tortured in Abu Ghraib and the CIA giving license to torture waterboarding were in fact the true realities of the expanding WoT.
Regime change, justified by 21st century neo-liberals in Washington and London, had opportunistically replaced outright colonisation of the 18th and 19th centuries to invade, occupy and exploit foreign peoples, lands and resources. Afghanistan offered rare minerals as well as strategic access to the Caspian while Iraq, at the time, possessed the second largest oil reserves in the world.
WoT Exposed Democracy
Having failed to promote wholesale secularism in the Muslim world after the demise of the Ottoman Caliphate, due to the attachment of the Muslims to Islam and the Shariah, the West, led by the US, exploited the WoT to promote freedom and democracy through the barrel of a gun (a blatant contradiction if there ever was one). The so-called nation building was in fact little more than an attempt at establishing compliant regimes serving Western interests. In the case of Afghanistan 2021, 20 years after 9/11, the compliant regime did not last even a day after the American military withdrew on 31st August.
However, the writing was on the wall in Afghanistan in 2013, more than a decade after 9/11, when the Pew survey found that 99% of Afghans wanted Shariah as the official law in their land and not secular, liberal democracy.
Similarly, the West is failing at home with many Muslims rekindling their affiliation with Islam and their Islamic identity seeing first-hand the rank hypocrisy, injustice and brutality of the WoT. The spotlight of the WoT has also raised an awareness of Islam among non-Muslims; many have researched and investigated to understand and appreciate Islam, separating the truth from propaganda and misinformation and some have accepted Islam.
The 20 years of the WoT has frequently witnessed months in which at least 3000 innocents have been killed by America and her allies, about the same number as killed on 11th September, but no-one has even been counting the deaths in the Muslim world.
The 20th anniversary of 9/11 is therefore not just a bitter and sad day for those killed on 11th September 2001, their families and loved ones, which is the focus of mainstream media, but has been disastrous for the hundreds of thousands of innocents killed and the millions displaced and orphaned by America’s totally exaggerated response, motivated by vengeance, greed, subjugation and exploitation of nations and their people, with scant regard to international norms and rule of law.
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ قَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ
And when it is said to them, “Do not cause corruption on the earth,” they say, “We are but reformers.” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:11]
أَلَآ إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ ٱلْمُفْسِدُونَ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَشْعُرُونَ
Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive [it] not. [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:12]