Dr. Ali S. Awadh Asseri
(Former Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon)
What is, then, the problem now in an era that has seen organizations such as al-Qaeda and a number of its affiliates hijack the historically-tolerant and peaceful tradition of the Muslims in world affairs and, through their extremist words and terrorist practices, defame Muslims and the religion of Islam? There has to be some political context providing the fuel for their extremism and terrorism. Unresolved conflicts in the Muslim world, the duality of US/Western outlook vis-à-vis these conflicts, and recurrent instances of racism as part of the growing wave of Islamophobia in the Western world constitute the current global political context which is used by deviant organizations such as al-Qaeda to justify their extremism and terrorism.
In particular, there is a general perception in the Muslim world that the United States practices a policy of double standards when it comes to resolving disputes in the Muslim world. With regard to Palestine, the United States practices such a policy openly by supporting the state of Israel and ignoring Israel’s suppression of Palestine rights. The list of instances reflecting US duality vis-à-vis issues of Muslim suffering in history, and at present, is endless. Therefore, as long as the conflicts in the Muslim world, especially Palestine, exist, there will always be deviant individuals or groups in the world of Islam willing to practice terrorism using these conflicts as a justification and, in the process, abusing their religion. The unresolved conflicts provide the political context for their terrorist actions. In the absence of such context, they will have no justification for terrorist action.
(To be continued)