Ihsan

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

even a Muslim can become a human

I saw this news item over on Malangbaba's blog, about the American military wanting to recruit more Muslims:

"The effort is also part of a larger outreach. Pentagon officials say they are striving for mutual understanding with Muslims at home and abroad and to win their support for US war aims. Among the efforts to attract and retain Muslim cadets. "

The news item reminded me of something I'd read sometime back in W.B.Du Bois's book, Black Reconstruction in America

"In December, 1863, Morgan led Negro (sic) troops in the battle of Nashville. He declared a new chapter in the history of liberty had been written. "It had been shown that marching under a flag of freedom, animated by a love of liberty, even the slave becomes a man and a hero." "

"...Yet this was the proof of manhood required of the Negro. He might plead his cause with the tongue of Frederick Douglass, and the nation listened almost unmoved. He might labor for the nation's wealth, and the nation took the results without thanks, and handed him as near nothing in return as would keep him alive. He was called a coward and a fool when he protected the women and children of his master. But when he rose and fought and killed, the whole nation with one voice proclaimed him a man and brother. Nothing else made emancipation possible in the United States. Nothing else made Negro citizenship conceivable, but the record of the Negro soldier and a fighter."

Bottom line: to prove your American citizenship, your very humanity, you must prove that you will kill for the man.

5 comment(s):

  • salaam,

    with all that said, after fighting "for the nation," black soldiers (from the revolutionary war, civil war, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, etc) came back to the same racist treatment. it is a short-lived recognition of humanity...


    By Blogger malangbaba, at 12/27/2006 12:05:00 PM  

  • Just fighting a war seems like a wrong thing. It seems as if they want to turn people more against each other than towards each other.

    By Blogger Muslim Unity, at 12/27/2006 12:35:00 PM  

  • malangbaba, yeah you are right - it was short lived - actually more of a dangling of "incentive" to enroll - rather than anything substantive.

    The context that du bois made those comments was in relation to the civl war, at a time when the northern whites were beginning to riot 'cause they did not want to fight for the cause of blacks and abolitionists...

    It was at that time that Blacks began to be enrolled in the millitary, and, were praised for doing so... The north knew that without Blacks, they could end up losing the war - esp. 'cause the Whites were not really into fighting and dying anymore.

    While not entirely parallel, we see the situation that the US military is not able to meet its quota for new recruits, and so they gonna have to look outside of their usual sources of fodder. They have difficulty finding recruits even in the usual "low income" areas - so they gonna dangle the green card on the one hand, and the patriotism card on the other. Unfortunately, there are some Muslims, and some Muslim groups that will buy into this nonsense.


    By Blogger altaf, at 12/27/2006 03:16:00 PM  

  • Altaf,

    In today's world no wars are waged for the cause of justice alone. And you are correct that the overtures from the military are primarily to meet their quota and not to integrate the muslim minorities in their folds. But should the muslims shy away from this opportunity or use this for their own benefit in the long run.

    Today's military will be powerless if commanded to conduct a pogram against the black population. Why, because there are enough blacks in the military to prevent that. But at the moment this military is very capable to rout the last of the muslims from the US, without too much prodding. This can only change by either changing by equal representation and participation of muslims in the political and military arena.

    True, there will be poster boys in the process who will hurt more than they benefit. So the choice we have to make is to discard the good with the bad, or accept the bad with the good.


    By Blogger Jafar, at 12/28/2006 08:08:00 AM  

  • Jafar, the argument to join the American military - for the very narrow and self-serving aims of "American Muslim" self preservation does not hold, when considered alongside the history of genocides. (I placed "American Muslim" in quotes, because self-preservation arguments are usually based on considering "Muslim" as a tribal identity not one about faith.)

    If one looks at the German history, the brownshirts who began the campaign against all the various groups to be targted, were a paramilitary group allied with the Nazis. They were not part of the regular German army. Later, when the Nazis took full power, the army was transformed into an arm of the Nazis.

    Before any such campaign against a population - there would be total purge of the military of the offending groups. Or, the military would be assessed for loyalty of the groups. And then they would be used to kill fellow Muslims.

    If we have Muslims killing Muslims all over the place (at times at the behest of the US, and/or other powers - see Pakistan as one example) - why should any internal campaign instigated by the US be any different? Infact, the application of divide and rule strategies that have been effective elsewhere, would be just as effective within the US and amongst "American Muslims." There would be one group of Muslims who would be "good" "loyal" - and another who would be classified as "extremists" "terrorists" etc. The "good" "loyal" Muslims would be used to kill off the "extremists" using the pretext that if that is not done, then the "loyal" ones are also going to be targeted by the state.

    There is nothing new here, all of this has been done before.


    By Anonymous altaf, at 12/28/2006 10:05:00 AM  

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