WTC Attacks : The Double Standards Of Western Journalism
However dramatic, however enormous, however spectacular, however deadly in terms of human lives, these attacks on the United States were, it should not be forgotten that India has been the target of Islamic terrorism for years, with the world not only taking no notice, but the United States also turning a blind eye to the perpetrators of these barbarous acts.
The Western press has, for instance, devoted pages and pages to the “saffronisation” of India’s education, when it is entirely justified for a country to teach its children about the greatness of its ancient civilisation; but when Islamic groups in Kashmir throw acid on women to force them to wear the burqua, it is reported in most of foreign newspapers in a few lines, without any of the outrage shown against Dr Murali Manohar Joshi, who has not thrown any acid on women, nor killed anybody. The Press has shown the same partiality during the recent conference on Racism in South Africa. This whole exercise was a sham and a shame, concentrating on Zionism as the worst form of racism, whereas, like India, Israel is fighting a life and death battle against Muslim fundamentalism; or on the issue of the persecution of Dalits in India, forgetting that India is one of the only countries in the world to have initiated a reservation policy for its underprivileged (does the US have a reservation policy for its poor Negroes?), that India’s President is a Dalit, which shows that here, someone born in a low caste can rise to the highest post, while in France for instance, a Jew will find it very difficult to become President, or that Krishna, India’s most beloved God was from a low caste, as are many Indian saints and sages.
These attacks are indeed terrible and we mourn the loss of human lives. But maybe they were necessary to wake-up the West to the reality of Islamic terrorism (let us also not forget that the United States literally created the Taliban, by arming, training and unleashing Pakistani fundamentalism against the Soviets in Afghanistan). India has been fighting (with Russia and Israel) a very lonely battle against Muslim fundamentalism, which is a real threat to a free and democratic world. Hindus are not only hounded and killed in Kashmir, but also all over India in bomb attacks, be it in Kerala or in Delhi. Hindus are persecuted in Pakistan, in Bangladesh, in Afghanistan, in Fiji, all this not only in the midst of total indifference from the world community and the western Press, which only harps on Ayodhya – where no Muslim was killed, whereas the Islamic world enacted a terrible revenge by planting bombs in the heart of Bombay – and highlights “atrocities” against Christians and Muslims. It is time now that the West, particularly the United Sates, understands that India is a bastion of pro-Western democracy in the midst of an Asia in the throes of a growing Islamic fundamentalism, from Kabul to Srinagar, from Karachi to Indonesia, from Chechnya to Sin-Kiang.
Once again, these terrorist attacks are terrible, but not only will they serve awake the West to the reality of Islamic terrorism, to which they have turned so often a blind eye (remember how an Egyptian pilot “suicided” his whole Egyptian Airlines 767 last year and how it was hushed for fear of “offending” America’s Arab allies), but it is also a blessing in disguise for India. The Indian Government can now take strong measures against Islamic fundamentalism on its soil and it will have the support of the whole western community. Pakistan will also be seen in its true light, as a supporter of international terrorism, and the only country on the world, with Saudi Arabia, which supports Afghanistan and Bin Laden.
Finally, Samuel Huntington was right: in his book “The Clash of civilisations”, he had predicted that the 21st century would see a battle between Islamic fundamentalism, with the sometimes covert support of China (as witnessed in Pakistan, who got its nuclear Bomb thanks to Chinese technology), on one side, and the West and India on the other side. What happened on the 12th of September 2001 is going to dramatically alter the political outlook of the West towards Islamic fundamentalism in general and towards India, in particular. Israel is going to come out of its political isolation (in greater part fostered by the medias, such as the BBC, which portray the Palestinians as freedom fighters, in the same way that they paint the Chechnyans or Kashmris as heroes) and the Israelis as the bad guys. Even China is going to lose some of its lustre, as India is going to slowly become the West’s privileged ally in Asia.
PS The author is a French journalist and writer, who was for eight years political correspondent in India and South Asia for Le Figaro “, France’s right wing paper and now writes for “Ouest-France, France’s largest circulation newspaper. François Gautier has published several books: Un autre Regard sur l’Inde” (Editions du Tricorne), for which he appeared last year on “Bouillon de Culture”, France’s most popular TV literary programme and which has been reprinted twice since. He has published in English “Rewriting Indian History (Vikas), and “Arise O India” (Har Anand) 1999 (three reprints). He is married to an Indian from Delhi and has lived in India for the past 31 years