The killing of Osama Bin Laden might help to put a closure for the thousands of families who lost their loved ones to al Qaeda, and represents a major symbolic victory for governments waging the so called “War on Terror”, however it will not put an end the ideology of terror and violence in the world unless its real reasons are addressed. The elusive definition of terrorism has been further complicated by failure of the US War on “terror” to make a distinction between legitimate military operations against occupation, and terrorism, which further complicated the relations between the West and the Muslim world.
Furthermore, and as a result of the 9/11 attacks, the Western politicians and the media attempted to link Islam to terrorism, consequently Islamophobia has swept through the West, putting the life of many Muslims at danger by hate crimes often condoned by governments’ actions. Moreover, global counterterrorism was directed against non-state actors such as alQaeda, while ignoring the main perpetrator of state terrorism committed by daily Israeli occupation forces against innocent Palestinians in the occupied territories in violation of International Law, UN resolutions, and outside the boundaries of laws of armed conflict.
We hope that the elimination of Bin Laden will help to remove one of the causes of conflict between the Muslim world and the West in general, and the US in particular. The US must end its occupation of Afghanistan, and withdraw its forces from Iraq now that main goal of its campaigns to capture Ben Laden “dead or alive” and dismantle al Qaeda network of terror seemed to have been accomplished.
In order to fight the main causes of further terrorism, the US must also redefine terrorism itself , and distinguish between legitimate armed resistance against occupation and the mere act of targeting civilians for political purposes in directing its future counterterrorism efforts, which will help improve the relations with the Muslim world.
Furthermore, the US must also refrain from its blind and unconditional support to Israel, especially when the later violates international humanitarian law and agreements. The US must also end its meddling in the affairs of countries in the Middle East, which is only aimed at serving the domestic interests of the US and protecting Israel regardless of the interests and rights of millions of oppressed people in the Middle East.
It’s illogical to separate between terrorism and the violence directed at US and its interests in the region, and its foreign policies and its support to Israel and autocratic regimes in the Middle East and its disregard to the interests and rights of other nations in order to achieve peace and prosperity to its own people. To continue such policies, the US is risking its relations with the Muslim world, and keeping the door open for many other Ben Ladens to emerge, and the cycle of violence will never end.
** Khaled Hamza is the Cheif Editor of Ikhwanweb
To reach him: [email protected]