GlocalEye
Muqtedar Khan's Column on Global Affairs

  GlocalEye is an analytical column on global affairs. 
It seeks to understand the  simultaneous political
impact of globalization and localization.

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Dr. Muqtedar Khan is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Adrian College in Michigan.  He earned his Ph.D. in International Relations, Political Philosophy, and Islamic Political Thought,  from Georgetown University in May 2000.

Dr. Khan's column has appeared in The Daily Telegram, San Francisco Chronicle, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Muslim Democrat, Iviews.com,ptimes.com, Theglobalist.com,   Freerepublic.com, MiddleEast Online, Beliefnet.com, Arabies Trends, Al-Mustaqbal, and many other periodicals world wide.



TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Islam in America
2. American Muslims and American Politics
3. American Muslims and American Foreign Policy
4. American Muslims and American Society
5. American Muslim Perspective
6. Reflections on Islam and Democracy
7. The Attack on America ands its Aftermath
8. An American Muslim Perspective of the Muslim World

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American Muslims:
Bridging Faith and Freedom

For a comprehensive resume click here: Resume

November 25, 2001

Osama Bin Laden is an Enemy of Islam

November 12, 2001

Muslims Must Develop an Intolerance for Intolerance

November, 05, 2001

Is US Foreign Policy a Barrier to Democracy in the Muslim World?

October 29, 2001

A Memo to Americans

October 5, 2001

A Memo to American Muslims

 



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America:
A Year After September 11


Muqtedar Khan, Ph.D.

A year has passed since the attacks on the WTC.  Most pundits argued that the tragic event was a global watershed – it would change America and the world. It is time to sit back from the politics and policy wrangling to assess if indeed the world has changed in any significant way. The events that have unfolded since 9/11 and the decisions made particularly by the Bush administration have indeed changed the structure of politics inside and outside the US.

 

In the immediate aftermath the US enjoyed global sympathy and support but once the bombs started raining in Afghanistan and the reports of civilian casualties, mass graves, gross human rights violations at home and abroad began to hit the airwaves, the sympathy for the US quickly vanished and the resentment at its arrogance, its vengeful policies and its disregard for the suffering of other peoples – such as Palestinians and the Iraqis – set in and once again the US finds itself alone in its war on terror.

 

Today, US finds itself completely isolated from the rest of the world. All major allies in Europe and the Middle East find themselves at odds with Washington over its policies with regards to Palestine and Iraq. China and Russia are no more with the US in its war on terror. The UN is discovering that the current administration in Washington has little regard for international law. The US has violated several provisions of the Geneva Convention on how prisoners of war should be treated with the people detained in Guantanamo Bay, it is trying, and with some success, to subvert the establishment of the International Criminal Court and the rhetoric to attack Iraq is in clear violation of Article 51 of the UN Charter. There international legal community fears that the shift towards unilateralism in Washington will undermine international legal regimes.

 

The blow to American economy and the privileging of security issues over economic issues in Washington is having a transformative impact on the global political environment. The world’s focus has changed from globalization and geo-economics to security and geopolitics.  International politics has been transformed from a neoliberal dream to a neorealist nightmare. Every international conference is dominated by the agenda of fighting terrorism. Important global concerns such as environmental protection, poverty elimination, population control, standardization of international economic norms, and the protection of human rights have all been pushed to the margins as America pursues its global crusade against real and imaginary enemies.

 

One of the best indicators of structural change is realignment of forces. One can see this happening inside and outside the US. Internationally the US has strained its 70 year old alliance with Saudi Arabia, disturbed its relations with Egypt, alienated itself from European allies to the extent that even Great Britain is not fully with the US (on Iraq for instance). Domestically one sees the Republican Party gaining more support from American Jews and Hispanic-Americans while American Muslims are moving towards the Democratic Party.

 

 
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In the aftermath of 9/11 President Bush had promised a two pronged war that would pursue two goals -- eliminate sources of imminent danger and also launch a campaign for the minds and hearts of the rest of the world particularly in the Muslim World.

 

It is not clear how safe we are today. Osama Bin Laden is still at large and so is Mullah Omar. The anthrax bomber is still free to attack and terrorize us again.  Clearly the imminent threats are still out there and the frequent warnings from the departments of Justice and Defense testify to the dangers.

 

While the successes vis--vis the first goal of the war on terror is debatable, the Bush administration has not only failed on the second score but has actually succeeded in engendering further hatred and animosity towards America. If before September 11th there were radical Islamists on the fringes of the Muslim World who nurtured a hatred of the US, then today this hatred and anger at the US has become more mainstream, more global and has spread across the world into Europe, Africa and Asia.

 

The high approval ratings of the administration not withstanding one must recognize that Washington has not only lost focus and direction but is allowing “other agendas” to derail the important task of securing America.

 

I think that in the year since the devastating attacks, the executive has done more to alienate the US from the world and has created more enemies rather than eliminate them. The Judiciary and the Congress have sat back and allowed the executive to undermine freedom and civil rights in the country. Today we are not only unsafe but also less free. The media have rushed to show their patriotism by becoming less and less critical of the administration. They have compromised their professional integrity without realizing that they do more for the well being of this country by holding the government accountable rather than covering up its mistakes and peccadilloes.

 

The only positive development that I have seen is in ordinary people. While the elites, I believe have fallen short, ordinary Americans have risen to the occasion. They still seem to care. They are now awake and are more engaged in the affairs of the nation. It is in the awakening of the ordinary citizen that I see hope for the future. The more Americans are informed about global politics, the more they can understand the policies of their government and demand better results.

 

The next year is crucial. We could be at war and wars do not benefit anyone. While we can take comfort from the fact that our economy is still quite robust and our military is the best, we are vulnerable and very unpopular.  My advice to all is to stay informed, spend you money with caution and care and keep in constant touch with your representatives.

 

 
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