US military dogma and war propaganda under the Bush administration were predicated on combating Islamic fundamentalism rather than targeting Muslims. "This is not a war between the West and Islam, but .. a war against terrorism." So-called "Good Muslims" are to be distinguished from "Bad Muslims":
"The dust from the collapse of the twin towers had hardly settled on 11 September 2001 when the febrile search began for "moderate Muslims", people who would provide answers, who would distance themselves from this outrage and condemn the violent acts of "Muslim extremists", "Islamic fundamentalists" and "Islamists". Two distinct categories of Muslims rapidly emerged: the "good" and the "bad"; the "moderates", "liberals" and "secularists" versus the "fundamentalists", the "extremists" and the "Islamists"." (Tariq Ramadan, Good Muslim, bad Muslim, New Statesman, February 12, 2010)
In the wake of 9/11, the Muslim community in most Western countries was markedly on the defensive. The "Good Muslim" "Bad Muslim" divide was broadly accepted. The 9/11 terrorist attacks allegedly perpetrated by Muslims were not only condemned, Muslim communities also supported the US-NATO invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, as part of a legitimate campaign directed against Islamic fundamentalism.
Washington's objective was to instill a sentiment of guilt within the Muslim community. The fact that the 9/11 attacks were not instigated by Muslims has rarely been acknowledged by the Muslim community. Al Qaeda's ongoing relationship to the CIA, its role as a US sponsored "intelligence asset" going back to to the Soviet-Afghan war is not mentioned. (Michel Chossudovsky, America's "War on Terrorism" Global Research, Montreal, 2005)
Since the early 1980s, Washington has covertly supported the most conservative and fundamentalist factions of Islam, largely with a view to weakening secular, nationalist and progressive movements in the Middle East and Central Asia. Known and documented, the fundamentalist Wahhabi and Salafi missions from Saudi Arabia, dispatched not only to Afghanistan but also to the Balkans and to the Muslim republics of the former Soviet republics were covertly supported by US intelligence. (Ibid) What is often referred to as "Political Islam" is in large part a creation of the US intelligence apparatus (with the support of Britain's MI6 and Israel's Mossad).
The Ground Zero Mosque
Recent developments suggest a breaking point, a transition from "the war on terrorism" to the outright demonization of Muslims. While underscoring the freedom of religion, the Obama administration is "beating the drums" of a broader war against Islam:
“As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country... This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable." (quoted in Obama Backs Ground Zero Mosque; Iranian Link Questioned, Israel National News, August 15, 2010)
Beneath the political smokescreen, the distinction between "Good Muslims" and "Bad Muslims" is being scrapped. The proposed Ground Zero mosque is allegedly being funding by "the radical rogue Islamic state of Iran ... as the United States is stepping up sanctions on the regime in retaliation for its support of terrorism and what is feared to be an illegal nuclear-weapons development program." ( Ground Zero mosque developers refuse to outright reject funding from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - NYPOST.com, August 19, 2010)
The rising tide of xenophobia, sparked by the proposed Ground Zero mosque and community center, has all the appearances of a PSYOP (Psychological Operation) which contributes to fomenting hatred against Muslims throughout the Western World.
The objective is to instil fear, rouse and harness citizens' unbending support for the next stage of America's "long war", which consists in waging "humanitarian" aerial attacks on the Islamic Republic of Iran, portrayed by the media as endorsing the terrorists.
While "all Muslims are not terrorists", all terrorist attacks (planned or realized) are reported by the media as being perpetrated by Muslims.
In America, the Muslim community as a whole is being targeted. Islam is described as a "religion of war". The proposed mosque and community center are being heralded as "violating the sanctity of Ground Zero".
"..opening a mosque at Ground Zero is offensive and disrespectful to the city and the people who died in the attacks. The project is “spitting in the face of everyone murdered on 9/11.” (Plan to build mosque at Ground Zero angers New Yorkers ,National Post, May 17, 2010)
The arrests on trumped up charges, as well as the show trials of alleged "homegrown" "Islamic terrorists", perform an important function. They sustain the illusion, in the inner consciousness of Americans, that "Islamic terrorists" not only constitute a real threat but that the Muslim community to which they belong is broadly supportive of their actions:
"[T]he threat increasingly comes not from strangers with rough English and dubious passports. Instead, it resides much closer to home: in urban townhouses, darkened basements -- anywhere with an Internet connection. Homegrown terrorism is the latest incarnation of the al-Qaeda threat." How terror came home to roost, Ottawa Citizen, August 27, 2010, report on an alleged homegrown terrorist attack in Canada)
From a process of selective targeting of Muslims with radical tendencies (or allegedly associated with "terrorist organizations"), what is now unfolding is a generalized process of demonization of an entire population group.
Muslims are increasingly the object of routine discrimination and ethnic profiling. They are considered a potential threat to national security. The threat is said to be "much closer to home", "within your neighborhood". In other words what is unfolding is an all out witch-hunt reminiscent of the Spanish inquisition.
In turn, Al Qaeda is described as a powerful multinational terrorist organization (possessing WMDs) with subsidiaries (covertly supported by US and allied intelligence agencies) in a number of Muslim countries: Al Qaeda is present (with corresponding acronyms) in various geopolitical hotspots and war theaters:
-Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) (comprised of Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Jihad of Yemen), Al Qaeda in Southeast Asia (Jamaah Islamiyah), Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahideen in Somalia, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, etc.
At no moment is the issue of atrocities committed against several million Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan considered a terrorist act by the occupation forces.
The American Inquisition
A "war of religion" is unfolding, with a view to justifying a global military crusade. In the inner consciousness of many Americans, the "holy crusade" against Muslims is justified. While President Obama may uphold freedom of religion, the US inquisitorial social order has institutionalized patterns of discrimination, prejudice and xenophobia directed against Muslims. Ethnic profiling applies to travel, the job market, access to education and social services and more generally to social status and mobility.
The American Inquisition as an ideological construct which is, in many regards, similar to the inquisitorial social order prevailing in France and Spain during the Middle Ages. The inquisition, which started in France in the 12th century, was used as a justification for conquest and military intervention. (See Michel Chossudovsky, 9/11 and the "American Inquisition", Global Research, September 11, 2008).
The arrests, trials and sentences of so-called "homegrown" terrorists" (from within America's Muslim community) on trumped up charges sustain the legitimacy of the Homeland Security State and its inquisitorial legal and law enforcement apparatus.
An inquisitorial doctrine turns realities upside down. It is a social order based on lies and fabrications. But because these lies emanate from the highest political authority and are part of a widely held "consensus", they invariably remain unchallenged. And those who challenge the inquisitorial order or in any way oppose America's military or national security agenda are themselves branded as "conspiracy theorists" or outright terrorists.
Beyond the process of inquisitorial arrests and prosecution, which outdwarfs the Spanish inquisition, an expedient extrajudicial assassination program sanctioned by the White House has been launched. This program allows US special forces to kill American citizens and suspected homegrown terrorists:: "A shortlist of U.S. citizens specifically targeted for killing"? (See Chuck Norris, Obama's US Assassination Program? "A Shortlist of U.S. Citizens specifically Targeted for Killing"?,. Global Research, August 26, 2010)
The objective is to sustain the illusion that "America is under attack" and that Muslims across the land are complicit and supportive of "Islamic terrorism".
The demonization of Muslims sustains a global military agenda. Under the American inquisition, Washington has a self-proclaimed holy mandate to extirpate Islam and "spread democracy" throughout the world.
What we are dealing with is an outright and blind acceptance of the structures of power and political authority. America's holy crusade against the Muslim World is an outright criminal act directed against millions of people. It is a war of economic conquest.
More than 60% of the World's oil and natural gas reserves lie in Muslim lands. "The Battle for Oil" waged by the US NATO Israel military alliance requires the demonization of the inhabitants of those countries which possess these vast reserves of oil and natural gas. (See Michel Chossudovsky, The Demonization of Muslims and the Battle for Oil, Global Research, January 4, 2007)