People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
September 03, 2006
Shades Of Paranoia
THE so-called global war against terror unleashed by US imperialism and its cronies has reached inhuman heights of persecution and paranoia. Twelve Indians were taken off a North West Airlines flight bound for Mumbai at the Amsterdam airport by Dutch authorities. They were not carrying any weapons. Neither did they issue any threats or misbehave with their co-passengers. Yet they were deplaned because their “behaviour” was considered “suspicious”. All 12 were Muslim by religion.
A couple of weeks ago, two British Asian students from Manchester were deplaned from a flight in Spain on the ground that their co-passengers felt that they were, “terrorists”. Such a display of hyper-sensitivity does not display alertness or intelligence. It simply reeks of deep racial prejudices. In many western countries, in the name of combating terrorism and preventing terrorist attacks, the governments are resorting to racial profiling. This is a most abominable violation of basic human rights. The right to choose a religious persuasion or for that matter to remain an atheist is the inalienable right of every individual human being. The duty of a government in a democracy is to fully protect this right of the individual and provide safeguards against any violation. Instead of discharging this fundamental responsibility, in a fit of paranoia, many governments are interfering in the individual’s choice, thus, themselves violating this fundamental human right. Further, by targeting innocent Muslims, they are only buttressing the global prejudice launched by George Bush against Muslims in the name of fighting terrorism.
Borrowing from Samuel Huntington, George Bush has popularised the “clash of civilisations” as the ideological prop for his war against terror. On August 10, he declared that “this nation (USA) is at war with Islamic fascists”. Not to be left behind British prime minister, Tony Blair, declared a war against “global Islamist terrorism”. Indeed, the American Don Quixote and his British Sancho Panza!
In the event, the 12 Indians deplaned by the Dutch authorities were absolved of any charge and released honourably. But, then, who takes the responsibility for the trauma that they and their families back in India had to undergo. Such racial profiling and paranoid actions only provide grist to the mill of terrorist propaganda. The terrorists thrive in the atmosphere that is being bolstered by the day by US imperialism and its cronies like Britain and Israel, who continuously equate terrorism solely with Islam. While every well-meaning human being would like to be counted as a soldier in the fight against terrorism, the effort to bracket an entire community on the basis of their religious affiliation is precisely what strengthens individual terrorism. State terrorism practiced by the USA as is currently going on in Iraq or of that practiced by Israel in mercilessly pounding Lebanon will only strengthen individual terrorism as a response. State terrorism and individual terrorism feed on each other. The casualty is invariably innocent life.
We, in India, also need to learn from this. The shades of paranoia seen in the aftermath of the recently Mumbai serial blasts need to be avoided as this will directly feed the terrorists and enlarge the catchment area for their recruitment. Needless to add, all required measures must be taken and security and intelligence beefed up to prevent such terrorist attacks. On this score, our country must stand as one in defeating the terrorist designs.
Let us unitedly fight terrorism. Let us not be party to US imperialist designs that continuously feed and strengthen individual terrorism through its acts of State terrorism.