Readers must have heard about the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen by CIA drones.
Although his preaching was oriented towards extremism which can be evidenced from the fact that he was a major contributor for Al Qaeda’s English-language Inspire magazine, the way in which he was killed unconstitutionally by drones outside the US jurisdiction in
Yemen is highly appalling.
In October last year, Fox News presented an explosive account extracted from documents which said that Awlaki was taken for dinner to the Pentagon just months after the 9/11 attacks as part of an outreach program by the US Department of Defense to reach out to the Muslim community during the sudden upsurge against Islam.
This fact was confirmed by an unnamed female employee at Fort Hood base last year in November after she was interrogated by the FBI. She said that it was her efforts that led to a closed meeting between the now-killed Al Qaeda preacher and top US military brass; she opted for Awlaki after seeing his influence at one of his lectures in Alexandria, Virginia.
The UK’s Daily Mail newspaper feature dated 22nd October 2010 mentions: ‘At that period in time, the secretary of the Army was eager to have a presentation from a moderate Muslim. After her vetting, Aulaqi (Awlaki) was invited to and attended a luncheon at the Pentagon in the secretary of the Army’s Office of Government Counsel’.
Awlaki is now dead. What is saddening though, is that alongwith him, a
young Pakistani-American named Samir Khan was also murdered. His brief
profile is available for everyone to search on the Internet.
Samir was just 25. One might ask, “Even if he was young? Why should he
be exempt from the law?” This is precisely my question. Since when have drone strikes become a tool of justice? Killing people extra-judicially is known as murder in the civilized world which America rants about, why then this discrimination? Awlaki and Samir both were American citizens since long and had the right to be arrested and questioned in the court of law, not to be killed under open skies.
In fact, this move by the CIA has made America’s policies even more suspicious. As Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal rightly mentions in his latest column: “It now seems that the US administration has unilaterally decided that it has authority to kill anyone anywhere in the world, without any due process, and without informing anyone, unless the news is leaked… One cannot even denounce these policies because there is no point left in doing so. There is now only one
conclusion which can be drawn: the United States of America is the
epic centre of global terror; its “democracy” is an illusion, a sham”.
If you thought this was ghastly, Awlaki’s 16-year old son Abdul Rahman
was also killed in a drone attack while he was enjoying barbecue with
his friends at a gathering in Yemen.
What has allowed America to act as the supposed champion of global security and stability? The answers to this question are: The sensationalist media and the gullibility of the average television
viewer who is accustomed to being fed information rather than judging
what is right and wrong himself.
Whether Awlaki and Samir were militants or not is not the issue. The
issue here is the direct aggressive violation of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights established by the United Nations which
Article 7: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 10: Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
Article 11 Clause 1: Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
In this particular case, the US has knowingly rubbished Article 5 of the Charter which states “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
Samir’s father Mr. Zafar Khan is a respected Islamic scholar who was once the Ameer of the Islamic Organization of North America. He pleaded to his son day and night to brush aside his radical views and act upon the peaceful method of preaching that the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) adopted.
In an age when intellect starts evolving in young adults, it was but natural that Samir felt egotistically-aggravated.
No amount of psychological consultation or advice by religious elders altered his views. Eventually, he left his American home for Yemen bothering not the least for his caring parents.
Samir Khan is the case of a highly misguided youngster who was left open at the mercy of heretical hate-preachers posing as “scholars”. I had a brief email exchange with him back in 2008 in which I objected to him insulting mainstream Islamic scholars. He seemed very knowledgeable in his mails yet kept defending self-proclaimed “mujahids” who killed innocent people. As a blog visitor, I tried to tell him that what he is doing is not only dangerous for his own life but also detrimental for the very religion he wanted to be a ‘martyr’ for; that Islam teaches proselytizing using wisdom and disciplined talk.
If only fellow Muslims understood the official words of Pierre-Henri Brunel who is a former French artillery and intelligence officer: “The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaeda.
And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US . . .”
Samir Khan and his likes were the lower echelon of Al Qaeda who were
brainwashed by their West-employed programmers in the upper echelon
into believing that that they are freedom fighters for Islam. The reality is far from this. His parents still mourn the loss of their son whom they wanted to see as a respected scholar of Islam in the future. Unfortunately, he opted to become a pawn in the game instead.
At the end of his last email to me on July 29, 2008 while mentioning names of some militants whom he glorified, Samir said, “…the Western Governments and their allies killed them (and of course, the Government has me on their radar)”.
After three years, his ending statement is the only one with which I
will agree today.