‘We need a political solution’

“The fundamental mistake made after 9/11 was that any stirrings of a debate addressing the root causes of the terror were ruthlessly suppressed…. Rather than addressing the known political causes, the terrorist attacks were portrayed as a religious struggle: radical Islam v the west.

“Al-Qaida was supposed to have conducted the 9/11 attacks because it deplores western values – its freedom, its democracy – and desires the establishment of a global empire of Islamic emirates. But as Robert Fisk makes clear in his book, The Great War for Civilisation, Osama bin Laden’s rage against the US arose from its support for Israel, the Saudi monarchy, and the garrisoning of US troops in the land of Islam’s holiest sites.

“The very deliberate policy of converting political struggles into religious ones had a very specific purpose: to induce fear of an impending threat to western way of life from encroaching radical Islam so that the population of the west would fall in line behind Bush and his neocon policies. Radical Muslims – and now ‘Islamic fascists’ – were as deadly as communism and Nazism. Unless the American public blindly supported every Bush policy in countering terrorism, the whole of western civilisation was imperilled.”

Imran Khan at the Guardian’s Comment is Free, 26 August 2006