Every group commemorates the anniversary of September 11th with a notion reflecting its own angle of the world. Staunch Republicans are using the occasion to remind the world of the importance of waging war. Democrats point out the incompetence of Republicans in waging the wrong war in Iraq. Believers in Armageddon and the concept of the End Times paint a scenario of a fatalistic escalation of hostilities with Islam leading up to the end of this world.
A thoughtful friend of mine, also a devout Christian, offered his frank view of 9/11. He said to me: "as long as your God is not my God we will be at war."
Naively, I've always thought that God is the God and that all of humanity must've come to this realization, which some of us take for granted, a long time ago. Apparently not. My friend who holds an advanced University degree said that his God was Jesus while my God was Allah. I tried to explain to him that Allah is not a name of a God and that Arab Christians also worship Allah. He did not believe it. In his view, the war on terrorism was a war to decide whose God is right, once and for all. Is it Jesus or is it Allah?
President Bush has defined the enemy we're fighting as "Islamo-fascists" and his rhetoric seems to be directed to the Christian base that my friend belongs to. They want to hear that this war is between Jesus and Allah. Donald Rumsfeld gave a long speech this week and accused his critics that they were "morally confused." He argued that the rise of fascism in Islam is just like the rise of Nazism in Germany in the late thirties. Many far right commentators have been pressing this argument for years but it seems like the administration is now ready to embrace it.
In the past, the enemy was defined as an isolated group of fanatics that did not represent Islam. But five years later this group seems to have swelled up and expanded instead of what people were led to believe this war would do, which is to make fanatics shrink and die. The administration has finally warmed up to broadening the definition so that Iran can fit neatly as the "head of the snake" of Islamo-fascism. The administration already knows that it has missed the boat on initiating any military action against Iran. This option is off the table and Iran has already called the bluff, but the administration is currently waging an election campaign and making its own base of voters believe that it still has a military option.
The Bush administration is desperate and wants to win the elections in November at almost any cost. The reality is that people are tired of war and not just in this country but all over the Middle East. The Democrats are poised to regain control of the US Congress which will turn Bush into a lame duck President for his remaining two years in office. The Democrats will end the war in Iraq in a hurry and will begin negotiations with the so-called "Islamo-fascists" who truly control the new rising Middle East.
The label itself is pure hate-speech because it offends every self-respecting Muslim on this earth. Some times I wonder about the actions of President Bush and how clueless he sounds when he talks about the Middle East. The more they repeat Islamo-fascism the bigger this group will grow. It is called the radicalization of Islam and they are causing it. There is no Islamo-Liberal or Islamo-Moderate. Muslims have too long and too rich of a history to accept the ignorant labels of others, especially when others are clueless about Islam. The administration is developing a new product under this brand name, and packaging it basically for domestic consumption. There are no adherents or followers of Islamo-fascism out there in the real world that exists beyond the bubble of the Rose Garden.
The war started out against the Afghani Taliban regime and less than 2,000 Arab fighters from Al-Qaida. Five years later, the enemy expanded from Afghanistan to Iraq to Palestine to Lebanon to Iran to Syria to Sudan to Somalia and reached South American shores in Venezuela and Bolivia. Is Hugo Chavez an Islamo-fascist? The last time I checked he was still a Christian.
The truth of the matter is that this President is slowly uniting the entire world against America. An objective measurement of the success of this war should be in the form of quantifying the enemy. Five years ago it used to be 15 million people who lived in Afghanistan. Today, America's Muslim enemies alone number 200 million people if we apply the lowest estimate, taking into account only the countries that the Bush administration had declared as "terrorist."
Bush often cites the ultimate objective of Osama Bin Laden as creating a super Islamic state from Morocco to Indonesia. In historic terms no one has been able to unite all Arabs or Muslims except two men in the last fourteen centuries; the prophet Muhammad and Saladin. Iran's President, Ahmadinejad, with all his fiery speeches can only ignite a fraction of the passion that President Bush inflames when he speaks. But it is anti-America passion that he inflames. Bush has an uncanny way of insulting people of the Middle East, Muslims and almost every person who does not agree with him. He has united Arabs and Muslims more than any leader in modern history.
Unintentionally, President Bush is doing what Bin Laden could only dream about. He has united the sentiments of Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia. He has served the cause of Islam very well. He will go down in the history books as the Chief Islamo-fascist Jihadist of the 21st century. He will wear his own label till the end of time.
Jesus and Allah called for peaceful means to resolve differences. Maybe that's something all humanity can agree on instead of creating more labels to justify more killing of God's creatures.