Once again the killing of innocent people dominates headlines around the world. The Florida nightclub shooting by a bipolar individual who killed 49 people and wounded many others has shocked the entire world.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a statement, which said: “Once again, a shocking act of violence forces us to reflect on the price of allowing easy access to fearsome weaponry. We must distinguish between the freedom to bear arms and the irresponsible policies that open the way, again and again, for our enemies to turn their hatred into explosions of deadly mass violence.”
I could not agree more with Mayor Garcetti’s statement criticizing the freedom to bear arms and the policies that allow access to explosions of deadly mass violence. However, I hope his reference to “our enemies” is to the enemies of humanity and not Muslims who are targeted by Trump and other US officials and labeled as enemies of the state.
It is very sad to hear the continued bashing of Muslims and the unfair accusations that identify them as the only source of global terror. Muslims cannot always be blamed for all the murders committed by criminals who call themselves Muslims.
Before pointing fingers, let us analyze the root causes of the spread of terrorism that is more threatening to Arabs and Muslims who are the real victims of terrorist organizations and not the Western superpowers of the world.
Israeli terror and genocide in Palestine, the war in Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq and the weakness of Arab states and the failure of its leaders to defend the region are some of the factors which have led to the spread of terrorism and the rise of terrorist organizations who lure their victims with false promises to bring back pride and dignity to the humiliated masses in the Arab world.
The veto power of the superpowers and their continued disregard for UN recommendations and condemnations of blatant violations have fueled the conflicts in the region. The raging sectarian conflict in the region is the result of the war on Iraq. The invasion has brought anarchy, death and destruction. Violence continues with millions of refugees and displaced mothers and children. The prevalent rage is associated with humiliation and frustration over the inhumane state of affairs. The ongoing vicious cycle of revenge in Iraq continues and has no end in sight.
Only when policy makers abandon war policies and Western media assumes an honest role to identify the real enemies of humanity can the world live in lasting peace and harmonySamar Fatany
Rise of Islamophobia
Bush’s declared war on Islam and the rise of Islamophobia have created a lot of bad blood, distrust and unfounded suspicions. The blasphemous attacks on Islam and the unjustified targeting of innocent Muslims are also the reasons behind Muslim outrage.
The late King Abdullah tried his very best to bring peace to the region by addressing the controversial issues that have led to the violence in the Middle East. In 2002, he announced the Arab Peace Initiative which included the normalization of relations between all Arab states and Israel provided that Israel abides by UN resolutions 242 and 338 calling for the return of pre-June 1967 borders.
Yet it fell on deaf ears and Israeli terror continues with more land grabs, evictions and construction of settlements on Palestinian land. The King visited the Vatican and initiated the interreligious and inter-cultural global dialogue in an attempt to foster better understanding and global coexistence. Saudi Arabia and Muslim states have all declared their condemnation of terrorist organizations claiming to be representatives of the faith.
Meanwhile, peace-loving people around the globe desperately tried to stop the invasion of Iraq. Thousands marched in peaceful demonstrations calling for peace. However, cruel decision makers paid no heed to their calls. Consequently, the destructive and unjustified war inflamed the sectarian conflict in Iraq and led to the current turmoil and terror in Syria, Libya and Yemen today.
Many articles have been written by conscientious journalists condemning the war policies and the role of inhumane decision makers who are responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent civilians for selfish gains.
However, these outspoken and brave writers remain sidelined and many Western journalists continue to support the bigotry and injustices. The continued incitements by irresponsible people and the distorted information and biased coverage that are prevalent in mainstream Western media are the main factors that incite the enemies of humanity to commit mass murders and spread terror all over the world. The status quo of military confrontation, the trade in war machines and easy access to arms are the real reasons behind the spread of terror around the world.
Only when policy makers abandon war policies and Western media assumes an honest role to identify the real enemies of humanity can the world live in lasting peace and harmony.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on June 18, 2016.
Samar Fatany is a Chief Broadcaster in the English section at Jeddah Broadcasting Station. Over the past 28 years, she has introduced many news, cultural, and religious programs and has conducted several interviews with official delegations and prominent political personalities visiting the kingdom. Fatany has made significant contributions in the fields of public relations and social awareness in Saudi Arabia and has been involved in activities aiming at fighting extremism and enhancing women’s role in serving society. She has published three books: “Saudi Perceptions & Western Misconceptions,” “Saudi Women towards a new era” and “Saudi Challenges & Reforms.”