By Dr. Aslam Abdullah, TMO Editor in chief
For almost 40 years, we Americans are being led to believe that Israel is a Western outpost in the Middle East and it is the only democratic country in the region that looks West. We are being led to believe that only Israel can defend out interests in the Middle East.
What are our interests in the Middle East? What are our core values?
In one simple word, our interests are in oil and in capturing a market share that would sustain our jobs and economy.
What are our core values?
In one simple word, our core values are defined by free market and unbridled capitalism.
We have rarely stood for democracy and democratic values. We have supported dictators and we still support them. We have supported movements that destabilize democracies primarily to ensure that our market interests are shared. Out interests are not determined by our people who vote in every election. Rather they are determined by those who influence our representatives through money and intimidation.
Our power elite has a grudge against Islam and Muslims. It does not view Islam a credible force in the world. In its view, Islam is a regressive ideology that dictates its draconian laws through the instrument of state. Our power elite relies on the medieval understanding of Islam for this perspective. Regardless of its leanings towards liberal or conservative thoughts, it believes that a religion that cannot change according to the will of those who produce capital is not worthy of anything.
The power elite is supported at least in action by Muslim monarchs, dictators, and Muslim political entities who have yet to provide a blue print for a society where human beings can live with dignity and freedom. On the contrary, they have projected Islam as a faith that is intolerant towards all those who are not willing to listen to its call. The way religious opposition is dealt in Muslim majority countries is a living proof of that.
Regardless of what the power elite tries to dictate, we Muslims must make every possible attempt to connect people and identify with their interests. We must present our perspectives of national interests to them without being intimidated. Otherwise, we would remain a pawn in this ponzy politics that legitimizes double standards in every policy issue. We the people have a right to determine our national interests collectively. We must never allow any lobby to dictate its terms on us. We are a democracy that are led by lobbyists and not by people. We claim that we believe in a government of the people, by the people for the people. But we tend to promote a government of the people, by the lobbies and for the lobbyists.