Facing the Same Fate of the Taliban [Archives:2001/50/Viewpoint]

December 10 2001

However, the meaning, as can be seen, is vague and ambiguous.
The reality is that there is no definition of terrorism that could satisfy all nations of the world. Israel and the USA for example see Hamas and Islamic Jihad as two terrorist organizations, while Arabs and Muslims see them as pioneering freedom movements to liberate occupied land.
It is undeniable that self-defense is a human right that should not be confused with terrorism. At the same time, violent assault can logically be understood as terrorism. Let us take the case from the Muslim and Arab prospective: Arabs see Israel as an occupying power that has taken over the land of others. Hence, there is justification for any violent action against the occupier, including suicide attacks.
But from the Western prospective, Israel won a battle and a war against the Arabs, and hence, deserve the land it is currently holding onto. This is somewhat similar to the British occupation of the lands of the Native Americans on the continent of North America. Native Americans see this occupation as unjust, especially since Native Americans were slaughtered during that time. Don’t those Native Americans have the right to believe that this occupation is a terrorist act?
The same applies for the Pakistani-Indian dispute over Kashmir. Each country understands terrorism its way. Pakistan believes that those fighters are fighting for freedom, while India thinks they are no more than rebellion terrorists.
Today, the Arabs who supported the war against terrorism are shocked to find out that the war they supported is possibly also against the groups that are defending Arab land.
The dilemma is evident everywhere in the Arab world. After the closure of a number of accounts in Islamic banks in the Middle East, other Islamic banks and institutions are wondering whether they will also be targeted.
In short, the war against terror seems to have finished the Taliban and is now seeking another prey. Unless a definite and precise definition of terrorism is established, and unless we exert pressure to reach this definition and approve it internationally, we as Muslims supporting the Palestinian struggle for freedom may face the same fate of the Taliban.