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News number: 9106242620

19:20 | 2012-09-27

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Pakistani Thinker Lambasts West's Efforts to Weaken Muslims

TEHRAN (FNA)- Asef Hossein, a Muslim thinker and a former Pakistani diplomat in Washington, believes that the US-led West is seeking to hit the world of Islam by portraying a negative picture of Muslims.

He says the West has purposefully released the recent anti-Islam movie and cartoons in a bid to arouse violence, chaos and bloodshed in the Muslim world to prepare the ground for the image it intends to portray.

The following is his interview with Fars News Agency.

Q: Why have the enemies of Islam targeted Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) such virulently? In 2005, the Danish paper Jylland-Posten aroused international controversy by publishing insulting cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, and now, the Western propaganda machinery is once again reviling the Prophet. What's your idea?

A: The West is against Islam. To justify such kind of virulent thoughts it call that its country believes in 'freedom of thought'. But this is not freedom of thought but freedom of evil which emerges from the West. Islam is a religion and it should respect it but it does not and through such action of talks, films, cartoons, burning the Qurans etc-all shows that the West is against Islam.

Q: It's very unimaginable that the Western states punish the offenders by holding them accountable, because derailing and weakening Islam is one of their tacit policies. Do you agree?

A: I fully agree with this that weakening Islam is one of their strategies.

Q: As you mentioned, the Western powers want to portray Muslims as extremists by provoking their anger. How should the Muslims respond to these provocations? What should the Islamic Ummah do in order to confront these threats?

A: The Muslims of the world have to create the strongest Ummah and follow the principle that Right is might from God. Any threats posed against Islam by the West with its principle that its Might is right has to be deterred-if they threaten Islam or Islamic countries like Iran when it became the Islamic republic, the West turned against it!

Q: How do you see the reaction of Pakistani Muslims to the sacrilegious movie? How did the intellectual circles and Pakistani media react to this movie?

A: The whole Pakistan and all its people should have protested against it. All other Muslim countries should have done the same. The West would then have learnt the lesson of what can happen if all the Muslim countries protest and turn against it. Just some people and groups have done it is not enough. They should all force the West to apologize to all the Muslim world and assure them that it will not happen again.

Q: But the American officials have not signaled that they're willing to legally prosecute the anti-Islam filmmaker?

A: The Americans have to persecute the evil person and others associate with him who made the film.

Q: The US officials and media say that according to the principle of free speech, everybody is free to say whatever he wishes, so insulting a religion cannot be considered illegal. What's your idea?

A: All American policy makers should know the principle of free speech has to have limits. If it does not then they should know how it has raised the Muslim people turn against its Americans walking on the streets of the Muslim and lowered its image in the world. How will its foreign policy be successful with the Muslim countries?

Q: The US media have always tried to portray Islam as an oppressive religion and pretend that Muslims are backward and uncultured people. How is it possible to confront these biased depictions?

A: It is time for all Muslim countries to think of how they will exist in the future if that is the image of Islam given by the US media. All Muslim countries have to develop the Ummah. All Muslim countries should become engaged in pursuit of Knowledge. All Muslim countries should create a powerful civilization. All Muslim countries should become nuclear powers. The argument that only America or Israel and some other allies of it can be nuclear power but not Muslim countries has to be eradicated. If American and its allies denuclearize their countries only then the Muslim countries can accept the argument of not becoming nuclear. Pakistan is the only country which became nuclear power secretly for it had known the West would have stopped it. Now they are accusing it of becoming a terrorist country and its terrorists will take over the nuclear weapons so it has to be denuclearized-which has been written in some papers by its think tanks. This indicates that the Americans do not want any Muslim country to be nuclear power. But all Muslims countries should become nuclear power

Q: The United States government officials say that they respect all religions and value religious diversity, but when it comes to Islam, they resort to double standards and don't protect the rights of Muslims. Why is it so?

A: There is an American theory written by its American academic of what is known as the 'Clash of Civilizations'. In it was written that Islam and China pose a threat to the West. That is why the American governments do not respect Islam. It is why the Muslim world has to emerge as a powerful civilization and make the United States and other countries learn to coexist with Muslim countries and respect Islam. So long as the Muslim countries do not become a powerful civilization the west will always turn against Islam and the Muslims to degrade it. Muslim governments and Muslim intellectuals are ignorant of this kind of thinking.

Q: Muslims in the West are facing different restrictions, in finding employment, in their selection of Islamic dressing, and in different domains. At the same time, the Muslim population is increasingly growing in the West. Do you see chances of their problems being solved?

A: All Muslims living in the West should project Islam in a positive and attractive way. All of them should have two kinds of identities. The first identity of all Muslims living in the West should be Muslims first and then whoever they are from whichever country becomes their second.

Q: The anti-Islam movie was released on the anniversary of 9/11 attacks. Do you see any significance in this? Overall, what do you think about the contribution of 9/11 attacks to the rise of Islamophobic sentiments in the West?

A: 9/11 has nothing to do with Iran or Islam. It has to do with Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabism which is a concocted sect. It has defamed Islam. The anti-Islam movie has nothing to do with it. It has its hatred of Islam and that has been continuing even before 9//11.

Q: The United States and its European allies have invested a lot in empowering and strengthening anti-Islam movements and initiatives. There are tens of neo-conservative think tanks at work which are funded by the US government agencies to stage propaganda against Islam and Muslim countries. Is there any way to confront them?

A: This fact is true for I read a lot of papers and propaganda emerging from the think tanks. It is time the Muslim countries produce think tanks. I had made this proposal to the Iranian embassy in London and they agreed with it. But now the embassy has closed and the think tank has not started. Iran has to become the most powerful country of the Muslim world and the West has to recognize it. I am writing a book on Iran from this angle for the Western readers to understand and respect it.

Q: Are the United States and its European allies popular among the Muslims? Through insulting the religious beliefs and sensitivities of the Muslims, they are drawing condemnation and anger from the Muslim world. What's your idea?

A: Any kind of insults against Islam, its Prophet and his whole family by the West should be protested by Muslims. All Muslims have to teach a lesson to the West that they should never ever think against Islam. Insulting is not something which has to be accepted by Muslims. I am also writing a book on Islam which will be showing the West how it has to respect Islam.

Interview by Mostafa Afzalzadeh