By Nasir Khan, ZNet, Saturday, August 26, 2006
Present-day images of Muslims and Islam in Western media vary considerably. However, since the collapse of the Soviet Union the general drift of Western concerns has been to portray Islam as the main enemy of the West and the Muslim world as a hotbed of terrorism that threatens Western civilisation and its democratic values. Thus in the present-day hegemonic world order – under which all norms of civilised behaviour in the conduct of foreign policy have been discarded by the Bush Administration and its allies in London and Tel Aviv – Muslims are associated with terrorism.
We have seen over the last few years the expansion of President Bush’s destructive war, the inhuman treatment of captive population of Iraq and Afghanistan, rampant abuse of prisoners from Muslim countries by American and British forces, total indifference towards the human rights of prisoners of war or of those suspected of resisting or opposing the American occupation of their countries and false propaganda to cover up the real objectives and crimes against humanity of the neocon rulers in Washington and London.
Needless to say, the so-called “Islamic challenge” is based on assumptions that have no basis in reality. They misrepresent, distort and mislead rather than enlighten and inform. Over the last fifteen years a number of publications have appeared that have borne sensational titles like Sword of Islam, The Islamic Threat, The Roots of Muslim Rage, Islam’s New Battle Cry and What Went Wrong with Islam?
They reveal the sort of preconceived image of Islam their writers had intended to convey to their readers. According to such projections, Islam is a challenge to Western values as well as to West’s economic and political interests. But in view of the real power wielded by the West in general and America in particular throughout the Middle East and beyond, the so-called “threat of Islam” is quite groundless.