Tuesday, February 01, 2005
When the news first came out that a Bahraini was killed in the shoot-out that happened yesterday, everyone was quick to bundle him with the suspects and an entire fabricated story somehow emerged of him providing a ‘safe-house’. He was guilty, before anyone even had the facts, he was already a dangerous salafi terror-suspect that was on the loose but had finally been hunted down and killed.
Turns out he was just a normal (quite good-looking) young student in Kuwait on holiday, simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yes, sad story once the truth came out, all of a sudden the contemptuous comments turned to ‘oh that’s bad, shit happens’ type remarks. Everyone was ready to retract (but not to apologise) for their immediate labelling. Im really sorry, you're name had to get dragged through the mud like that Mahmood.
And the funny thing is, no one realises they are doing it. Why? Cos they’re on the backside of the media bandwagon which has been one tool in entrenching fear in our psyches. When you hear a terrorist has been arreseted/shot dead, there is a comfort that our ‘world is a slightly safer place’.
_Terror_ is around every street corner, behind every beard, the roots are Islam.
Everyday in the media we read front-page headlines “Terror-suspects arrested”, “Terrorist killed in shoot-out”. Do we actually ever hear of terrorists being convicted?
FACT: Between 11 September 2001 and June 2004, there were 561 arrests in the UK under the Terrorism Act. But only six convictions. Most of these were Irish.
FACT: not a single Qaeda related conviction in the US. On Sept. 2 2004 a federal judge in Detroit threw out the only jury conviction the Justice Department has obtained on a terrorism charge since 9/11.
Now I don’t know the truth about what is happening in Kuwait or anywhere else that seems to have been witnessing ‘terrorist activity’, but I know one thing. Put a name like Al-Enezi+Salafi+Terrorist in one sentence and hey presto, one down in the War_Against_Terror. Kuwiat will get a few brownie points in the global league table of With-Us_Against_Them. Did I hear anyone say evidence, trial? Oh yeah give us a few years to sort something out while Terrorist-suspect and co. rot in jail.
I’m not passing any judgements here, all we know is what has been said in the media, and all they know is what the police have told them. I’m just talking about the need to uphold basic civil rights. What happened to not revealing a person’s identity in the media till a trial is over, what happened to Guilty till proven Innocent, how does this ensure a person gets a fair trial? I know where these have gone - straight out of the window.
My emphasis in this post is the word SUSPECT. Once they are convicted, I assure you, they deserve everything they get.
Why am I bothered? Well, I’m seeing my friend whose had to raise her kids alone for 4 years while her husband, a ‘terrorist’ has been languishing in jail without trial under US orders somewhere close to home. Can she say anything? Can she utter a word? Does she know how long he’ll be in there for? Does she or even he know WHAT he is in there for? FOUR bloody years. And you know what. No one knows, he’s not even a statistic. Apparantly if any human rights organisation gets a whiff of this (there are around 400 arrested in this particular country I’m talking about) they’ve threatened to sentence them to life imprisonment. You open your mouth woman, you’re husband will pay dearly.
Innocent lives lost, innocent families torn in a war with no end.
Allah yir7amk ya Mahmood wa yisakink fasee7a jannateh.