People of Fallujah: terrorists or mujahideen? [Archives:2004/797/Opinion]

December 9 2004

Sha'ban Ul-Haq
For The Yemen Times

'Insurgents', 'rebels', 'foreign fighters' and 'terrorists,' this is how the Muslims of Fallujah have been depicted and demonized by the Western media. U.S. and British officials have publicly promoted the notion that 'foreign fighters' and 'terrorists' are playing a major role in the anti-American/British 'insurgency' in Fallujah and the rest of Iraq.
By blaming 'foreigners' and labeling the Muslims of Iraq and Fallujah as 'insurgents' and 'rebels', the U.S. authorities hope to quash the idea that the Muslims of Iraq are rising up against military occupation and frame the conflict as part of the so-called wider 'war on terror'. The more desperate the occupation of Iraq becomes for the US and Britain, the more the allegations about the Muslims of Fallujah read like fiction.
However, the reality is quite clear. According to the Global Policy Paper, New York, U.S. military leaders in Fallujah say that around 90 per cent of the 1,000 or more fighters battling the Marines are ordinary Iraqis. To date, there have been no confirmed U.S. captures of foreign fighters in Fallujah, and only a handful of so-called 'suspects' have been arrested.
Furthermore, so-called 'terrorist' leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and lieutenant, Abdullah Junabi, are both believed to have escaped from Fallujah. Where have we heard this before?
Those who have spent time inside Fallujah describe a city consumed with fighting, fathers and sons fighting for the local Mujahideen, wives and daughters cooking and caring for the wounded.
“The whole city supports this Jihad,” said Houssam Ali Ahmed, 53, a Fallujah resident who fled to Baghdad when his neighborhood became caught in the fighting. “The people of Fallujah are fighting to defend their homes. We are Muslim Mujahideen fighting a holy war.”
This is all a far cry from what the US and Britain would want people to believe. Defending their city and land from the Crusader occupying forces and their footstool Iyad Allawi is being labeled 'rebellion', 'terrorism' and 'insurgency'. By labeling legitimate resistance to occupation as 'anti-Iraq' and 'terrorism', Western governments are selling the world a lie.
By the same standard the West should not regard George Washington as a father of American democracy but as a terrorist and anti-American. Current events are just continuation of another war game that was played by the Crusaders (note – they like to be referred to as the 'liberators') against this Muslim Ummah, namely the war of words. It is reminiscent of the propaganda against the Communists states that posed a challenge to the Western Capitalists states.
However, the facts are that the people of Fallujah are Mujahideen, they are people who are defending their homes and land from an occupying force. So let us stand firm and speak the truth, let us call the Crusaders what they really are: occupying forces. And let us call the fighters of Fallujah the Mujahideen. How else can the distinction between the truth and falsehood be made clear?