Crescent Radio Appearance- “Life after 9/11”

By Majed Iqbal- I was invited on Rochdale’s Crescent Radio to discuss the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and the effect this has had on muslims in Britain and internationally. I was joined by a member from the Popular Revival magazine Team, Zahid Maqbool on the show who has presented a challenging approach to such issues on Mainstream television and in his community in Oldham.

The main points raised on the show as part of my discussion were

  • 9/11 was a tragic event with many innocent lives lost on the day
  • The event provided a perfect opportunity for the American Administration to pursue foreign policy goals that would’ve took decades to do before
  • 9/11 created a new Political idea, that any nation has the moral right to invade another sovereign nation if they feel they are a threat, otherwise known as uni-lateral invasion- a very dangerous concept indeed
  • Nations like Pakistan were bullied into submitting to American Plans, as Pakistan was the gateway to bomb and plan an invasion into Afghanistan
  • Afghanistan 10 years on is still a mess with nothing seriously achieved in the region, although one of  British Prime Minister, David Cameron’s military advisors stated that their existence in Afghanistan is to stop the emergence of a Caliphate in the region.
  • Western Governments are said to have began to learn more about Islam. But this was simply to be able to market the idea that the ‘War on Terror’ was not a ‘War on Islam’ (as the entire war was based in Muslim Countries)
  • Domestically, 9/11 has led to a change in the way Muslims have been portrayed. Islamophobia has been on the rise with politicians creating a climate where it is acceptable to demonise Islam and call for a type of Islam that is palatable to western standards. Pre 9/11, Jack Straw called for  a European Islam and Former communities secretary called for a British version of Islam
  • Loyalties of Muslims were questioned if they supported British troops fighting this war in Afghanistan and an entire debate on identity arose, Are you British? Are you Muslim? What are you first?
  • The rise of the English Defence league in Britain and popularity of far-right Political groups across Europe have gained momentum off the back of 9/11 and blaming Islam for world problems

9/11 definitely changed the way in which Islam, Muslims and the muslim community has been dealt with.  However, we need to move on and highlight what  Islam is to the wider community and explain that 9/11 was a culmination of Political events that led to the destruction of the twin towers.

Muslims have gone blue in the face apologising for these events, but it never seems enough. Anyone highlighting the misadventures of British and American Foreign Policy in using the War on Terror to serve their own agendas is more than often brushed with labels of ‘radicalised’ or ‘extreme’.

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