Editors: This is a self syndicated
column. If you wish to publish this column in your newspaper, magazine, journal or
on your websites please click here:Syndicate
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
FOR MORE DETAILS CLICK BOOK
For a comprehensive resume click here: Resume
Laden is an Enemy of Islam
Develop an Intolerance for Intolerance
Foreign Policy a Barrier to Democracy in the Muslim World?
A Memo to
Memo to American Muslims
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
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 worlds 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
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-à-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
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