Why Westerners are being killed

Article published on March 5, 2002
community published
Article published on March 5, 2002

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

A response by Gregoire Tardy to the article recently published by Cafebabel by David Tross.

"What happened in New York is terrible, but"is a phrase I have heard all too often in discussions on the causes of the terrorism that struck the United States. The article published by Cafebabel entitled "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" does not diverge from this trend.

The gist of the article by David Tross is that "unless the American government begins to accept that the origins of the terrorism against its country are the poverty and weakness created by it's own policies, the terrible cycle of violence will continue". Thus, according to Tross (and a large number of authors, intellectuals, and European citizens) it is the economic, political, and cultural imperialism of the US which created angry sentiment in poor countries and which led to the attacks on the 11th September 2001. It is what is happening in Iraq, Palestine, and elsewhere which resulted in the horror in New York. In short, a reaction of the poor against the (bad) actions of the rich. With all due respect to the author, this theory, even if it is plausible, does not conform to fact.

America's culpability

There is no denying that the US has tried for more than fifty years to impose itself as number one, the most powerful country in the world. Nor can it be refuted that America's foreign policy is stained with blood: the blood of overthrown leaders in Latin America, Africa, and Asia in the name of anticommunist struggle; that of innocent people whose only crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (not only Iraqis but also innocent Japanese, Vietnamese, French, and German citizens and countless others killed by American bombs). All of this is horrible and in total contradiction with the ideal of justice that should be practised by democratic states, whatever the usefulness of Henry Kissinger's realpolitik.

The reasons for the hatred

However, it is wrong to say that the attacks against the Twin Towers were carried out by the people of the third world as a reaction to American Expansionism. Neither were these terrorist acts a "reaction" to destabilising policies stirred up by Washington. One must face the facts, the reasons for which Bin Laden created, organised and put into action the Al Qaida network are clear, he gave them, repeated them and will repeat them as many times as he can. "Bin Laden and Co." consider Americans, like all Europeans, the West in general, and even certain non-waabite Muslims, as impious heathens, the enemies of Islam. Their so-called "values" are in total contradiction with Islam. Their policies are an attack on all Muslims. Their presence in the Middle and Near East is a provocation, an insult to Islam. Consequently, these imperialistic barbarians must be pushed back, just as the moujahidins pushed back the assaults of the atheist communist invaders. And even better: go and get them on their own territory.

Islam against the aggressors and not the poor against the rich

These theses constitute the primary motivation of the members of Al Qaida. It is not in any way a war of the poor against the rich: the people of "under-developed countries" have not revolted, there is not an international understanding between them. Those who led it believe they are leading a holy war, instigated by an organisation which is in reality is extremely rich, equipped with an international structure and extraordinary means. Obviously, this version of Islam is only a small minority among the millions of Muslims in the world. However, its existence must not be denied, because it is powerful enough to kill. And if it is religious fanaticism that pushes terrorists to believe that they will die as martyrs and as a result be welcomed by Allah, it is not a consequence of American foreign policy. As soon as they can, these mad followers of God - who are made to do any job going - will strike in Germany or France (for example), two countries who cannot be accused of following an imperialistic policy in Palestine, in Saudi Arabia or in Pakistan. And when these countries (or others) are hit, it won't be some retaliation against their foreign policy towards Muslim countries. It would be to kill men and women, who could be seen either as innocent civilians or heretics deserving death depending on whether or not you are a waabite Islamic extremist.

More than just bombs

Henceforth, if the US and their allies have a war to fight, it's against Islamic fanaticism stemming from a waabite tendency, coming particularly from Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, and which is growing at an alarming rate in a number of poor countries. The method is simple: in the name of international Islamic solidarity, these countries either totally or partially finance construction programmes, public works, cleaning up, the construction of mosques, etc. in poor countries where Islam is implantedIn exchange for these "presents", they must become "better Muslims", and accept new rules, for example, "don't greet women", who will be "always covered from now on". And thus waabite proselytism progressively radicalises regions and whole countries, in the Middle East, Pacific Asia and in Africa. It is not surprising to find in Afghanistan, Pakistani, Saudi, Chechen, Sudanese, or Kosovan soldiers. It is against the propagation of this radicalised and closed Islam that Westerners must fight, in particular by the diffusion and implantation of a pacifist and intercultural European culture. Without the progressive disengagement of European countries outside the ex-colonies, Islamic fundamentalism wouldn't have had its place in the Muslim world.