Tuesday, June 25, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

A devil quoting from scripture

Update : 18 Jun 2017, 06:18 PM

The Saudi king Salman hosted an Arab-Islamic American summit in Riyadh recently to provide a forum for US President Donald Trump to address the Arab Muslim countries to fight what he variously describes as “radical Islamic terror,” “Islamic extremism,” and “Islamic terror.”

This is, in effect, an indictment of the entire religion of Islam by identifying it with extremism and terror. This is Islamophobia -- the blurred distinction between religion and terror.

Yet, Trump made no secret of his malice, hatred, and animosity against Islam in his campaign trail when he said: “I think Islam hates us, Islam has tremendous hatred for us.” Soon after assuming office, he insulted and humiliated Islam by issuing his outrageous executive order of a Muslim travel ban to America from six Muslim countries.

A fatal attraction

Yet, regardless of Trump’s attitude, 55 Arab and Muslim countries lined up to attend the summit responding to the Saudi king’s invitation. The Muslim Umma are generous and large nations indeed. But there is no doubt that by attending the summit they betrayed self-respect, dignity, and honour.

Maybe they were lured by the disgraceful and fatal attraction of the petro dollars of Saudi Arabia and the power grandeur of America.

Apparently, the summit was organised at the behest of President Trump to forge a unity between Sunni Arab and Muslim countries against Shia Muslim countries, particularly Iran, which Trump considers as a nation which funds and harbours terrorists.

The summit was forged as an anti-Iran alliance to isolate Iran -- which Trump, the Saudi king, the Gulf states (Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman), and Israel consider a sworn enemy spreading its influence in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.

Yet, Iran recently elected a liberal-minded president, Rouhani, for the second time.

It is not Iran which is responsible for spreading terrorism but the lack of political freedom and economic opportunities. It is the injustice and human rights violation in authoritarian Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia which make it the breeding grounds of terrorism.

Trump loves the authoritarian rulers of Saudi Arabia, Erdogan in Turkey, and Abdel Fattah el Sisi in Egypt. This love is misplaced when it comes to the topic of eradicating terrorism

Misplaced love

Trump (an autocrat) loves the authoritarian rulers of Saudi Arabia, Erdogan in Turkey, and Abdel Fattah el Sisi in Egypt. This love is misplaced when it comes to the topic of eradicating terrorism. It is significant that Trump made no mention of democracy, freedom, human rights, and rule of law to woo his host in the speech he delivered at the summit.

Trump did not acknowledge that it is Wahhabism that gives legitimacy to the Saudi Arabia royal family, but, more importantly, which has inspired IS and most other terrorist groups.

It would be fair to say that Trump’s visits to Saudi Arabia, the Pope in Rome, and Jerusalem are nothing short of the devil quoting from scripture.

His first foreign tours were to shore up his fast dwindling popularity at home and to divert the attention of American public away from an ongoing investigation of his alleged collusion with Russia.

Guns and glory

Trump, in his speech, spoke of shared interests and values with Arab and Muslim countries. Do not be fooled, that shared interest is Middle Eastern oil and arms deals. Trump signed a $350 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

These arms will be used to suppress democratic dissent in Saudi Arabia and against Yemeni Muslims, you can quote me on that.

His words are nothing but a charade -- deceit and dissimulation thought up in order to promote further Shia-Sunni conflict in the Arab world and to spread his deep-seated hatred for Islam.

It is still rather baffling why Arab and Muslim countries would allow themselves to be sucked unwittingly into an American-induced, intra-Muslim, sectarian conflict in the Middle East.

Abdul Hannan is a former diplomat.

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