Monday, September 11, 2006

Five years after 9/11 - The Xenophobic world we live in

It just took two towers (9/11), a few trains (7/7) and a foiled plane bombing. Now the western world considers anything that walks on two legs, having a beard, as a terrorist! Call it bigotry, call it Islamaphobia, call it whatever, it's sad and troubling how broad minded our human race has become!

Only last month a flight was forced to return to the Amsterdam airport escorted by fighter jets when travellers got Xenophobic and suspected their co-passengers of being terrorists. The pitiable suspects turned out to be Indian businessmen, who happened to be Muslims. (

Now Scotland Yard has admitted it is profiling thousands of UK Muslims and is carrying out a close surveillance of the activities of these potential 'terrorists' (

While the West continues it's obsession with it's flawed 'War on Terror' program, that ignores the root cause of the problem. The terrorists continue to indulge in arbitrary slaughter in the name of jihad. Thousands of human lives have been lost, mostly innocent, yet the Vicious cycle continues with no end in sight.

Last month,
I too became a terrorist inadvertently...!!! Read more about it on, a new group Blog where I contribute. Chennaiist, is all about Chennai, the City I live in and love the most!


Anonymous said...

What is the root cause of the problem?

I agree that the war on terror is flawed. It is a war against those who wish to impose their version of Islam on the whole world, violently, that is being called a war on terror, when there are plenty of people who use terror to impose their will without any relation to Islam.

Much as the nazis and the communists wished to impose their ideology and belief system on the entire world, violently, so do today's enemy.

How do we best defeat this enemy?

Nandu said...

U know what's as funny? I've noticed that Americans are now being generalised as terror-paranoid, narrow-minded, consumeristic and dumb. Just as one begins to equate beard+muslim with terrorist, one also equates American with paranoid+bigot. Weird.

Anonymous said...

The classic lampoon of the Americans is rich, stupid, and rude. During the Cold War, when they were fighting the communists, it was popular for anti-Americans to ridicule them as paranoid, racist and exploitive.

Nobody loves Goliath. Since the ascent of the USA as a superpower following World War II, and especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union which left the world in a uni-polar state with the USA as the world hedgemon, the popular image of the USA has never been all that positive even at it's peak. Despite it's many positive accomplishment, the world tries to take the USA down a peg in the only way it can-through words.

America is extraordinarily free, which has resulted in wealth beyond the rest of the world's imagination (let alone reach). Millions still flock there in order to stake their claim on the American dream, which is to be what they'll be, without worry of having what they earned seized, and to live their lives as they see fit without worry of state oppression. These aspirations and freedoms are certainly not to be found only in the USA, but it must be admitted that even though one might laud Switzerland as a land of comparable wealth and freedom, the opportunities for citizenship are very low. Hong Kong and Singapore may be a touch freer economically, but there is little political dissent tolerated, and it is anyone's guess as to how much may or may not be allowed in the future. It is a country that believes in God, primarily Christian,but all are free to practice (or not) as they choose.

It has it's own interests to pursue, and still enough Wilsonian idealism to make them engage in well meaning (if at times, ham-fisted) attempts to bring freedom to the unfree. The fact that no other country in the world has anything close to as universal a message has bred jealousy and sniping. The lack of a an alternative, along with the knowledge that the USA can not be deterred or stopped in pursuing whatever action it deems to be in it's interest has resulted in 50 plus years of equating American with whatever negative attributes are at hand.

The next 60 years will see the Americans doing much the same as the last 60. And the world will prosper and succeed as it has in the last 60.

Prahalathan said...

@ Anon 1
Wasn't it Jesus who told if you're slapped in one cheek, show the other? If everyone takes an eye for an eye, the whole world will be blind. Two wrongs definitely don't make a right. War on terror maybe a short term solution BUT, I doubt it will bring long term peace.
Nazis were mad... These terrorists are mindless.. we've to treat these 'things' differently

Prahalathan said...

@ Nandu & Anon 2
Where did I say American/ Americans? Why do you people think only America is the west? Are the other countries in the west non-existent?