Dimensions of West's Strategic Schemes to Create Division and Sedition in Islamic World

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Farhad Mahdavi 

Continuation of the crisis in certain Islamic states like Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan proves West's crippling intervention in the Islamic world. A review of the dimensions and extent of this intervention as well as the methods of its execution seems imperative.

Concerning the West's policy vis-à-vis the Islamic world and Muslims, three issues must be taken into account:

  1. Today, the West has launched an extensive assault on Muslims in the form of insulting caricatures, books, articles and movies. Presentation of these insulting pictures against Islam and followers of the religion which emanates from great concern over the growing power of Islam in the world has sparked objections in the West and in the Islamic world, in particular. But this has failed to prevent the West from continuing its insolent actions.
  2. Many Muslim states and Muslims are subjected to military invasion of Western countries which threatens their lives, properties and religion.
  3. The West by relying on the power of certain Muslim states has indulged in undermining their beliefs and in their massacre. Due to cooperation of some Islamic states, growing clashes have occurred in Islamic lands.

Massacre of Muslims in Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Lebanon not only draws a picture of unrest, insecurity and instability in the Islamic world but it is feared these skirmishes would result in elimination of the religion in the Muslim states.

Acting on behalf of the West, the United States intends to introduce changes in entity and identity of Islamic countries from within and without by applying software and hardware methods. The growing spread of Islam and the possibility that it would be the dominant religion of the next century has worried the US as to how to cope with Islam which is opposed to its expansionist policies.

Different Types of Islam in the Eye of US

Negative attitude towards Islam is evident in the national security strategy of the US in the 21st century so that it is called "armed Islam and political Islam". The document does not regard this phrase favorable by the US and for the same reason it replaces it with "modern orthodox Islam".

The US national security strategy project for the 21st century was drawn up by the Department of Defense in 1998 for a period of three years. The project speaks in detail about the goals, obstacles and strategies of the United States on the Middle East and enumerates the features and significance of Muslim Middle East for America as follows:

  1. The Middle East which is the fossil rich center of the world has key and important interests for the United States and its allies. This region is the only region where the United States has always maintained a military presence.
  2. This land is also a land of armed and political Islam which must be considered at least as an important motive for instability.
  3. This region is a place for ethnic rivalry between Shias and Sunnis; Muslims and Hindus; Jews, Christians and Copts; as well as Jews and Buddhists.
  4. There is ethnic violence in every country and even among countries where Kurds, Turks, Persians, Armenians, Azeris, etc. live.
  5. In the meantime, the Middle East Studies Department of RAND Research Center has prepared a comprehensive plan which divides the said Muslims into four segments within the US strategy, namely Fundamentalists; Modernists; Traditionalists; and Secularists.

The research center says the priority in US aid goes to modernists or moderates and reformists. It says the US should pay attention to the following in helping the modernists:

  1. Granting subsidies to reduce the costs of publication and distribution of their works and writings;
  2. Encouraging them to write for the youth and laymen;
  3. Using their outlooks in educational programs;
  4. Providing access by the ordinary audience to their outlooks and religious judgments.

RAND which is the research arm of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) deplores the US strategy towards fundamentalists and says the fundamentalists and secularists must be pitted against each other and the United States must be introduced as their friend…

Taking Muslims' Identity Away from Them

American strategists have drawn up a plan for natural and identical annihilation of Islam. They want to break up the norms and values of the rival to prevent any conflict and controversy by the world with American values in the future.  For the same reason, by promulgating the idea of fighting terrorism and steering the public opinion towards what it calls "Islamic terrorists" it has tried to undermine Islam's ideological norms in order to pave the way for globalization of secure American values.

The United States intends to create a social environment based on equal values so that this would result in coordinated moves to serve the interests of the West. The aim is Americanization and spread of American values in the world and in Islamic communities. The course is not that of Cruise missiles but rather a soft and intangible course which tries to justify hard power for certain people.

Use of Soft Power

The power of the United States in action turns from hard to semi-hard and soft because of attrition and huge mistakes the characteristics of which are lesser costs and lower risks.

After facing enormous defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States contemplated on the ideas of Joseph Nye, the theoretician of "Soft Power". Nye believed that the United States must engage in quiet publicity, shape the public opinion, offer humanitarian and foreign aids, and take advantage of psychological operations to serve its interests and benefit from its ideals and values. It is the thought and power criticized by Frankfurt School theoreticians who said by doing so the United States would reproduce passive and slave humans.

Practical Measures

The United States by relying on its experience of the cold war era and through its soft power and despite its initial approach of "iron fist" decided to check Muslims by the means of Muslims and manage the scene by spending the green back over the past several years.

In the cold war era, the United States managed a global network of mercenary propagandists, journalists and artists. The CIA recruited hundreds of intelligence experts outside the country and produced many films on the "virtues" of the US and "wickedness" of communism.  Since that time till 9/11, the CIA was very inactive outside the United States. There was no serious activity on behalf of the CIA at the time of President Clinton.

But after 9/11 the United States focused on "religion" as a key factor in its campaign against the Islamic world. By seeking the roots of Islamic fundamentalism, Washington launched smear campaign against mosques, the clergy and the holy Quran.

The administration of the Neocons launched Radio Sawa (rap music 2002), Alhurra (2004) as well as Voice of America and Radio Farda. American statesmen also in a plan called "access domain of the Islamic world" proposed two options to counter Islam and the Muslim world:

First: Using the potentials within the Islamic world to serve the goals of the United States, and
Second: Use of military force

The first strategy drew special attention and some terrorism experts at the Nixon Center maintained that the first option must be carried out gradually. They said an appropriate climate must be created for moderate Muslims and they should receive money so that they could organize and publish their works. This resulted in the rise of three folds in the CIA budget.

In this campaign, the United States on the one hand began destroying mosques and whatever it called "centers of terror", and on the other hand repaired mosques and old Quranic scripts, trained prayers congregational leaders and launched sports tournaments among mosques in Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) which operates under direct supervision of the CIA provided 30 Islamic centers in the US with financial support. Furthermore, it provided 1000 model schools in Pakistan with online internet access free of charge and dropped Quranic verses and decrees from their school books.


US schemes continue in Palestine (disputes between Hamas and Fath), in Lebanon (differences between Hizbollah and March 14), in Iraq (Shia-Shia and Shia-Sunni confrontations), as well as in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, etc.

The United States has also tried on various occasions to create political, ethnic and racial divisions in Iran but these conspiracies have been neutralized thanks to the people's political awareness. In the recent parliamentary elections in Iran too, Bush and the CIA openly supported their favorite parties but the people's political intelligence did not let their wishes come true.


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