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Islam is not the enemy, war is not the answer


June 11, 2017

After 16 years of the global war on terror the world is more dangerous and unstable than ever. The Manchester bombings are a product of that war. The bomber and his accomplices were all part of a Libyan group that was unleashed on the country by the NATO bombing campaign in 2011.

What’s worse, our own government knew that chaos would be the result of the bombing. In emails released by Canada’s Department of National Defence, Canada’s role in Libya was described as being “Al-Qaeda’s air force”.

The West destroys these countries and then has the nerve to ask, “Why do they hate us?” It’s the wrong question. Even a cursory look at the last few decades of imperial policy in the Middle East shows that the only question that makes sense is, “Why on earth would they like us?”

Each and every bomb the West drops brings more anger against the western powers and more possibility of attacks at home. Each attack at home results in our politicians calling for more bombing. It is a cycle without end.

And once again, bigots around the world are blaming Muslims. They call on the Muslim community to be more vigilant in rooting out extremism and then these same people attack Muslims on the streets. It is Islamophobia that isolates people and pushes them towards more extreme views, which is then used to justify more racism. Our governments rarely take action against the extremist violence of the Islamophobes themselves.

And the new Trump administration wants to ramp up the many wars in the region. There has been a steep increase in civilians killed this year in Iraq and Syria. The Pentagon was forced to admit that on March 17 they killed more than 100 innocent civilians in an airstrike near Mosul. The Canadian military is helping to choose the targets for airstrikes in Iraq.

A recent report by Iraqi photojournalist Ali Arkady showed that the Iraqi commandos that Canada and the US are training and arming are using systematic torture against anyone suspected of being an ISIS member in the battle for Mosul. We know already that US forces in Iraq held many of those who would become the ISIS leaders and tortured them as part of the surge in 2007. There would be no ISIS if not for the US invasion, and yet our governments seem to believe that more of the same will somehow solve the problem.

Only a movement against war and the racism it breeds will be able to stop the cycle and bring true peace.

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