From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 16:35:20 +0900
Seq: 726

Forwarded by lalamaziwa <>
---------------- Original message follows ----------------
 From: Mujeres en Red <>
 Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2001 20:40:07 +0200


by Montserrat Boix - Journalist*

 Europe and the United States seem at last to be resolved to fight
against  Islamic terror and bring to an end some networks, which they
themselves have been nourishing. From the sphere of feminist networks
and political activism  for women's rights we know a lot about the
situation that we have been denouncing over the last decade concerning
the aggressions of these radical  fundamentalist groups against
countless women in different Muslim countries  (Afghanistan, Sudan,
Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan) who have been brutally  assaulted and
on numerous occasions killed.

 Up until now the West had been deaf to these denunciations. Thousands
of  people in the heart of Western civilization (New York) have had to
die in
 order for the international community to react and consider putting an
end  to these situations of privilege, which these fundamentalist
leaders have
 enjoyed and continue to enjoy.

 For over four years the international organization WLUML (Women Living
Under  Muslim Laws) have been denouncing the presence and in some
instances the
 protection by the West of certain individuals such as Anuar Haddam,
first of  all member of FIS and afterwards member of the Algerian GIA -
a group which
 at the moment is being investigated due to its links with Ben Laden and
is responsible for countless terrorist attacks in Algeria - who today is
processing his political asylum papers in the USA.

 It was in 1993 after the first terrorist attack on the Twin Towers when
for  the first time the United States began to fear that the "monster"
which in  the 1980's they had been feeding - via Pakistan in the
fratricidal Afghan  fighting - was beginning to turn against them in an
uncontrollable manner.  The United States reacted by cutting off funding
and mobility of numerous  groups that made up  the Islam International
but the USA did not act in a decisive way perhaps because they hoped to
overcome difficulties and  continue to manipulate such movements that
could be very "useful" in their actions on the ground.

France had to bear the hijacking of a plane in Algeria and afterwards
become the victim of a bombing campaign on the Paris metro (July 1995)
before it was able to weigh up and gauge the real threat posed by
maintaining such networks on its territory. Up until then it had always
seemed worth France's while. Indeed, France maintained excellent
relations with the Sudan regime in spite of the fact - documentation
exists - that it was in this country that the first meeting of Islam
International took place and that Sudan in the last decade had been one
of the focal points for the training of Islamic terrorists and one of
the last countries before Afghanistan to play host to Ben Laden and his

 But Sudan paid France dearly for its ambiguity and tolerance towards
the radical Islamic movement allowing the secret services to hunt inside
Sudanese territory for "Carlos" one of the most historic and most sought
after terrorists. The arrest of "Carlos" was considered to be one of the
greatest successes of the French secret services in recent years. it
seems nobody worried about the price that would have to be paid for

 And it was France who after the terrorist attacks of 95 alerted the
Spanish about the movement of Islamic radicals in Spain. Up until now
Spain did not consider these Islamic networks to be particularly
dangerous given that they only used Spanish territory for "passing
through" and not as their base. France had then to remind the Spanish
government of its problem with ETA. France would be prepared to control
ETA terrorism within its territory if Spain controlled the Islamic
radical networks within its own.

 One could continue with numerous examples of hypocrisy in international
politics where these networks, which finally seem to be severely
 have been used as common currency. The Israeli security services for
years stoked up Hamas because they considered the PLO and Arafat to be
the "true
 enemy". a view that is very far from the one held now. Both Europe and
the  United States were ambiguous towards and tolerant of the radical
 movement in Algeria so that they could exert pressure on the Algerian

 Great Britain is at present the key European centre of Islamic networks
where Pakistanis and Saudi Arabians have established their main
communications headquarters (press, radio, television) This country and
Germany have harboured many of those expelled from France and Belgium in
recent years.

 And what is to be said about Saudi Arabia, directly responsible for
the  funding of many Islamic groups who under the cover of offering
supposed humanitarian aid to the poorest of Muslim countries have been
working to reinforce some of the most recalcitrant fundamentalist
Islamic movements in the world? Is it just  coincidence that Saudi
Arabia and Pakistan are two of the only three, until yesterday,
defenders of the Taliban in international politics?

 Countless documents drawn up by international women's groups bear
witness to the denunciations of all of this in recent years.
Denunciations that not
 only fell on deaf ears but also suffered attempts of being silenced
through the use of pressure and threats.

 Western governments are the prime responsible ones for the creation of
these big and small monsters that now it is attempted to fight against.
The West never cared when the Talibans attacked Afghan women's rights,
when they assaulted them, when they killed them, it has looked in the
other direction while in Algeria the radical Islamic groups have
kidnapped, raped, killed and ripped to pieces scores of women - the
latest aggressions taking place barely two months ago -  when in
Bangladesh many women have to live with their faces scarred by the acid
thrown in their faces by fundamentalists.

 And now. Is an end to western hypocrisy going to come to an end with
the resounding measures about to be taken against the terrorism of the
radical Islamic networks? Will they be compatible with measures of
justice? It does not seem that the carpet-bombing of a people, the
Afghan people, who in the last years have been the prime victim of a
regime which has been indirectly tolerated and harboured. There must be
another way of achieving justice and the ones who have all the
information to hand know that there is.

 Montserrat Boix

Journalist TVE - Specialist in the Arab world and Islamic movements
Coordinator of Mujeres en Red - Spain

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