Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Why do they hate us?"

“9/11” is a date & a battle cry the US government wants etched in the minds of every rebel against oppression, though in human history much greater savageries have been perpetrated. That is not to minimize the horrors of that day. But what happened in a major metropolitan area ruled by white people is not more horrific than what happened to & still continues for millions of black & brown people under the barbarities of colonialism.

The question raised by 9/11--“Why do they hate us?”--has been answered differently by different political forces but the one peddled by the US government is Islamophobia, i.e., that Islam is intrinsically an intolerant & violent religion causing a "clash of civilizations" between the ‘Christian West’ (when will we disabuse ourselves of that delusion!?) & Islam. History belies this since religious minorities have always done better under Muslim rulers than under Christian ones. You’d have to burn a whole lot of books to rewrite that history.

So why do they hate us? Answering that doesn’t require historical knowledge of the 11th century Crusades or the 15th century Turkish expansion--although familiarity with Western colonialism is pretty darn important. But there are simpler, more direct answers to the question. One is provided here by 5-year-old Samar Hassan, an Iraqi child whose parents were killed by US soldiers in Talafar, Iraq in January 2005. This photo of little Samar was taken moments after troops fired on her family as their car approached a US patrol. Shooting on sight without provocation as people go about their daily lives!?Sounds like a damn good reason to hate to me!

(Photo by Michael Kamber)

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