"Ethnic Profiling" and the "War on Terrorism" on Board Northwest Flight 42 All Muslims on board were handcuffed
by Niloufer Bhagwat
August 26, 2006
Most of you must have read or heard of the drama in the air where 12 passengers, all Indian businessmen/traders in textile, all of them Muslims, 10 of them from Mumbai, were handcuffed and detained, after the Northwest Airlines flight No. 42 with US sky marshals on board on its way to Mumbai , was escorted by F-16 fighter jets back to Amsterdam. Who pays for these F-16 escorts is another matter ....
After several hours a statement was made by the Dutch authorities that they were "NOT TERRORISTS".
Without giving you my own subjective remarks on the incident I would like to quote a Dutch national A. Slotboom who was on board the same flight who has stated that the 12 Indians on board were treated " inhumanely ".... when the plane arrived in Amsterdam " I thought it was inhuman......They were treated like dogs ....." He deserves to be applauded for his courage ,as it was an act of solidarity with those being persecuted and terrorized all over the world, whether they are Muslims , or working people or poorer farmers or employees increasingly working for over 10 to 12 hours in offices.
The Dutchman further stated in a statement reproduced in a newspaper that:"....When the plane was in the air we just heard over the address system that the flight was being diverted to Amsterdam and did not know that anyone was going to be detained . Once we landed there the police authorities seemed to treat the 12 persons very badly and handcuffed them and humiliated them in front of all the others...."
He emphasized that " their arrest seemed part of the of an offensive against Arabic people.....they did not hit them, but they pushed them. They let them surely feel that they have no power ........"
He further said that he too was taken off the aircraft when he commented "that the way the Indians were being treated reminded him of what the Germans had done under Hitler." They came to him and said "Okay, you come with us."
Meanwhile, during a TV debate, the issue was raised, that since there have been so many random and indiscriminate arrests made of Indian Muslims in India, in Mumbai, Gujarat and other places in India with so many defamatory statements and so much prejudice orchestrated through the media against Indian Muslims within India; whether the Government in India was on strong moral grounds in condemning this treatment by the Dutch authorities, as increasingly Indians who are Muslim are being openly discriminated against in India and some political leaders without any action by law enforcing agencies, are repeatedly permitted to openly abuse citizens who are culturally Muslim, with some regions of increased foreign investment being termed the laboratories for "Indian fascism".
One way of identifying which governments are a part of the overt or covert alliance in this " War of Terror " which has seen merciless bombing operations using Depleted Uranium and Bunker Busters with DU against defenseless people in Yugoslavia , Iraq , Afghanistan , Palestine , Lebanon is the nature of articulation of the " Terrorist " threat from Muslims / Arabs in these countries , and the bombings organized against working citizens even as the oligarchy remains safe and protected.
The maximum bombings of innocent citizens are taking place in countries occupied by foreign troops.
We also have the memories of Ireland and the covert bombing operations. It now appears a part of an Imperial tradition to bomb citizens.
There are terrorist acts by armed groups in Assam, the North East and other places in India, admittedly non-Muslim regions aided and abetted by covert agencies. Yet the political class and the oligarchy, instruct official agencies to identify terrorism with people of Muslim origins, and day in and day out this is repeated on all television channels to the disgust of citizens of all communities in India though there are no trains or buses or airplanes segregated on the on the basis of religion.
The very suggestion therefor that people of one religious group are terrorists, and will bomb a plane or a train or a bus, is absurd as people of every religion and denomination including Shia and Sunni walk on the roads and travel by the same facilities whether Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Tamil etc .....
What is significant however the world over, is only the rich and those holding high office have private cars and are therefore not bombed along with working citizens.
Moreover the Generals are based in the occupied countries in the Green Zone. Only the lowly foot soldier is exposed. The pilots have special facilities in the former palaces or elite residential areas of occupied countries.
The travel advisory for citizens of the world, is to avoid countries resorting to Islamophobia or where frequent bomb blasts take place. In any case the Airlines of the USA, Britain, Israel and those NATO countries with occupation forces in Afghanistan and Iraq should be avoided by people from South Asia.
Similarly travel to Pakistan, India and Bangladesh where authorities are co-operating in this " War of Terror " on Arabs, Muslims, should also be avoided by citizens of Europe, Asia and the Arab world.
As of now the maximum number of people dying in India are farmers from suicides and government figures itself indicates more than one lakh, whereas unofficial figures average a few lakhs all over India. This indicates that farmers are being "Terrorized " by their conditions.
Moreover India is the sixth country on the list of countries where children's lives are seriously endangered says an official International report. Also evidence of children being indiscriminately terrorized by the nature of their society.
There is no doubt that we are being seriously terrorized in South Asia, we only differ on the nature of our threat.
Please avoid South Asia on your travels, apart from the USA, UK and Israel and those countries of Europe and other continents who are partners in the " War of Terror" against citizens, as millions have been killed in one form or another.
South Asia includes Sri Lanka, a country which was once the role model for nutrition, health care and education, though formally not socialist, which became a " basket case " for the IMF and World Bank, after neo-liberal policies were introduced, the rest is history where no peace plan is allowed to succeed, and both sides were trained according to a book by a former Mossad agent, in Israel.
There are collaborators in every country, in every religious group, however in this crazy world, one time collaborators themselves will be handcuffed and face trial ......the tragic fate of President Saddam Hussain. The former President Diem of South Vietnam. Keneth Lay of Enron. The Dayton accord did not save the former President of Yugoslavia and the country was mercilessly divided and broken up for a "New Eurasia".
There are plans for a "New Middle East" and a "New South Asia". There are also plans for a "New European Union" and a "New United States" minus all social security, with 12 hour working days up o the age of 65-70 with no health care.
A recent Judgement of a court of the United States in a Suit filed by the American Union for Civil Liberties among other Plaintiffs, indicates what is the state and predicament of the "Rule of Law" in America.