Date: October 5, 2001
Honourable George W. Bush
United States of America
Washington D.C., USA
Dear Mr. President,
On behalf of Muslims Against Terrorism (MAT), I would like to inform you that the worldwide membership of MAT has expressed their solidarity with the victims of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on WTC and Pentagon. These cowardly acts of terrorism have no place in the Muslim community and we request you to find those terrorists and punish them. I understand that these terrorist attacks have forced you and the American government to rage a war against terrorism. The American government has allocated more than $40 billion to fight against terrorism at a time when the economy was falling downward and the economic recession was knocking at the door.
Unfortunately, in this chaos the approach which US government has taken to combat terrorism may not be as useful as expected. The current strategy and approach to combat terrorism may create more terrorists and generate more violence.
Upon completion of your term for the presidency you will be gone from the White House but the policies and directions you will give to the American forces will have very long lasting impacts on this world. I do care for the stability, prosperity and security of North America. It effects me, my family, all Canadians, Americans, Muslims, Christians, Jews and the whole world. Therefore, it is important for me to share some of my thoughts with you.
It is possible that we may not be able to eliminate violence and terrorism from this world but we must be able to reduce it significantly. Just by capturing and punishing few terrorists and destroying their networks will not solve the problem. The minimization of terrorism is only possible when we will be able to remove the causes of terrorism. In my opinion, there are two major causes / sources of terrorism, first cause is the hypocrisy of the elite (privileged) class in worldwide society. The second cause / source of terrorism is the lack of communication and understanding among the ordinary (unprivileged) people of the worldwide community. I do consider the governments of the United State and the developed world as elite (privileged) class in the worldwide society. In this short letter, I can not analyze in detail the policies and behaviour of US government towards the unprivileged worldwide community but I would like to highlight few of them.
- The most important thing for Americans is their freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of lifestyle, freedom of choosing their government, etc. However, the American government does not want that the people in the Muslim countries should also be enjoying the freedom of expression, freedom to choose their own government and freedom to choose their lifestyle. The proof of this statement is that the US government supports the very autocratic and dictator governments in Muslim countries. The people in the Muslim world are oppressed by these dictators and they see that the only ally these dictators have is the US government. Why the US government wants to be with the bad guys?
- The freedom of choice is an integral part of American society. The democratic principles of American constitution demand that the government of United States must respect the opinion of the majority of the people. Let’s assume a hypothetical situation (I have to use a hypothetical situation because these situations do not exist in USA but these are very real outside the USA), if the people in State of Texas decide that they do not want to be a part of the union. Will you call US army and deploy them on every street of Texas, kill as many innocent civilians as possible so that the demographics of the state could be changed, use air power and carpet-bomb the State. I am sure you will say NO. The government of USA will respect the people’s opinion. But when a similar REAL situation occurs in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, etc. the US governments do not want to respect people’s opinion. The US government supports the oppressive governments. Why people of Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, etc. have been made hostages against their will?
- Over the last two three centuries the western society had gone through tremendous changes. The western society had an opportunity to go through a process of change for setting up the standards and choosing their destiny. On the other side, after more than two centuries of imperialism in many Muslim countries, the people of those countries want to set their own standards and choose their own destiny but they are not allowed to do so. They have always been told what to do? Who can be their friend and who can not be their friend is decided by the US government. The IMF, the World Bank, the CIA, etc. decide their policies and governments. These countries are not free to make their own decisions. The grip of IMF, World Bank and the CIA is getting tighter and tighter on the Muslim countries. Because of this tightening situation some people take an extreme side and become reason for the violence and terrorism.
- Mr. President, what is terrorism? When these Taleban were fighting in the supervision of Americans against Russians, they were called freedom fighters. America supported them and harboured them. During 1980s when Saddam Hussain was using chemical and biological bombs against innocent Iranians, he was a hero not only for US but also for the allied governments. But when he turned his back, he became a very undesirable person. When India was a close ally of communist Russia, at that time Pakistan was the most favourable country for the United States. When the cold war was over and India became friend of US, Pakistan became the least favourable state for USA. Now, you need Pakistan again to fight against Taleban, the military government of Pakistan became very desirable for the US government again. As far the people and the governments are concerned, nothing changed. The values, culture, religion, norms, every thing are the same. What has changed is the short-term need of USA. It means that the short-term needs of United States determine the criteria what is terrorism and what is not terrorism. What is likable and what is not likable. Is this fair?
- The United States citizens and installations have been under more terrorist attacks from South American drug Mafia than any other Middle Eastern linked attacks (excluding September 11 attacks). More than 80% terrorist attacks on US citizens and installation come from South American terrorist groups. There are terrorist groups in USA, Europe, Australia such as White Supremacists, Jewish extremists, IRA, Red Army, etc. In Asia and Africa terrorist groups like Shev Sinha in India, Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, Red Army in Japan, etc. Are there any plans to capture and punish these terrorist groups as well?
- Assume for a moment that those terrorists who attacked the WTC and the Pentagon on September 11 would have carried out these attacks on non-US interests in Africa, Middle East, Asia, Russia, South America instead of N.Y. and Washington DC, would the government of United States have reacted the same way as it is reacting now? Terrorism is terrorism whether it is carried out in USA or anywhere else. Russian forces have demolished the entire cities in Chechnya and killed thousands of innocent civilians. Israeli forces daily demolish houses and kill innocent Palestinian – Christians and Muslims. Indian Army has converted the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir in a high security jail and killed thousands of innocent civilians. Is this not terrorism? Are these not crimes against humanity?
In my humble opinion, the war against terrorism will NOT be successful unless US government is honest and fair with all humanity. US forces may be able to suppress terrorism and its causes temporarily but they will not be able to eliminate or minimize terrorism unless the government of USA adopts a simple principle. This principle should not change with the change in the governments in USA. The principle is;
“You should like for others what you like for yourself”
Since the American society wants to enjoy the freedom of choosing their lifestyle and their governments, please let the people of the third world countries be free to choose their lifestyles, governments, social, economical and political policies.
We must have a fixed definition of terrorism. It must not change based upon US needs. We must distinguish between freedom fighters and terrorists. USA being the champion of the free world should support the freedom movements all over the world. If the people in East Timor can get independence from Indonesia and the entire United Nations supports their struggle, why not Palestine, Kashmir and Chechnya get independence on the same grounds? The movements of independence in Palestine, Kashmir and Chechnya are not terrorist movements. As Americans themselves fought against the colonialism of British rule, they should know the pain and sufferings of freedom fighters. If these movements of freedom would be treated as terrorist movements, it will create a major roadblock in fighting against terrorism.
The best way for resolving these issues of freedom is to use the democratic principles of freedom and choice in Kashmir, Palestine, Chechnya and other places in the world. Let the United Nations hold referendums in the areas where the movements of freedom are going on and let the people decide what they want. This will eliminate reasons for violence and make this world a better and peaceful place. Let the Operation Endeavoring Freedom bring the freedom for all oppressed people on the face of earth. Please remove all sanctions against the innocent people of Iraq and let them enjoy life as well.
Another important thing is that the United States government should not be making the same mistake as they did in case of Saddam Hussain. The Northern Alliance in Afghanistan is as hard-liner as Taleban. I never agreed with the Taleban style of governing the country. In my opinion, some portions of their style of government are very un-Islamic and disgrace to the Muslim community but the Northern Alliance is worse than Taleban. I do appreciate the $320Million food aid to Afghanis but I am afraid that America may give them food with one hand and the other hand may trigger the bullet in their throat. Please do not further destroy an already destroyed country. Afghanis have been oppressed by Russians and by their own Afghanis. Why America wants to get its hands dirty in this oppression? Please use peaceful means to capture terrorists. War will bring more chaos, destruction and killings to the world.
Finally, as an active Muslim member of North American community, I founded the first antiterrorist non-governmental Muslim organization called Muslims Against Terrorism (M.A.T.) in 1999 in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Now, MAT has members in more than 13 countries including USA and they are all working towards one goal, make this world a peaceful place for everyone. Next year, MAT will be organizing an International conference on Counter Terrorism and we would like you to attend this conference in Canada. I will send you the details soon.
Thank you very much.
Founder & President
Muslims Against Terrorism (M.A.T.)
CC: MAT distribution list
Encl.: Brief profile of MAT
Profile of Muslims Against Terrorism (MAT)
Muslims Against Terrorism (MAT) was established on January 11, 1999 in Calgary, Alberta Canada with the following mission and objectives.
- To work with the western media in providing Muslim perspectives on issues related to Terrorism.
- To establish and strengthen the working relationships with the non-Muslim communities especially Christian community, and help them in understanding the issues and problems of Muslim community.
- To work with other Muslim organizations in order to stop terrorism.
- To provide assistance to the victims of terrorism.
- To help young Muslims in social, economical and educational matters.
The Purpose of this organization is to help media and the governments to separate someone’s individual action from being portrayed as a community action. A terrorist should be identified and condemned as a terrorist but a terrorist should not be identified with his / her religious affiliation. For more information please visit MAT’s website,http://www.m-a-t.org