Speech by S.S Hosseini, president of the Student Islamic Organization (SIO)
Duration: 00:17:55; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 5.366; Saturation: 0.080; Lightness: 0.406; Volume: 0.322; Cuts per Minute: 23.982; Words per Minute: 149.080
Footage from Tellavision Mumbai. S.S Hosseini the president of the Student Islamic Organization (SIO) delivers a speech on Terrorism: Reality and Solutions, a symposium organised by the SIO. Here he defines terrorism, cites examples of America's interventions and disregard for international law and the United Nations. He opines that a selective approach in dealing with terrorism is harmful and under no circumstances should we give it a communal color. He concludes by stressing on how India should not support America's war on Afghanistan and harks back to India's foreign policy during the NAM years.
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim.
. Organizers of the symposium, Janab Aslam Sahab, delegates on stage, elders and friends. It is a matter of great joy and pride for me to be able to speak about an important topic: Terrorism Reality and Solutions, at a historically significant place like Khilafat House.
SH addresses the audience at the Khilafat House.
Khilafat House, Byculla, Mumbai
students islamic organisation
SH says that despite many deliberations, terrorism hasn't been given a concrete definition because an honest approach to it is lacking.
...despite many special sessions we haven't been able to
frame a clear cut definition of terrorism. What is terrorism? The reason why we haven't been able to define it is because we are not honest; we are not honest to be able to tackle this problem. If we would have been honest we would have been able to define it.
Each country wants the definition to be such that at least their interests remain safe. This is the reason why we still haven't been able to define it .You might remember that some years back the United Nations had a special session on ______. During which a resolution on terrorism was to be passed; all nations except two were in it's favor. Those very same famous nations who have always interrupted attempts such as these, America and Israel. And their reason for doing this was because the things agreed upon were against their interest.
SH states that a resolution that was to be passed on terrorism was interrupted by America and Israel because it would have gone against their interests.
SH says that despite not having a generally accepted definition of terrorism there is a consensus that civilian deaths and destruction of civil property comes under its purview.
Whether a definition exists or not. We have a consensus, that civilian deaths, destruction of civilian property is terrorism, it is terrorist activity. No matter what reason these actions are carried out for. A good cause should have good means of being carried out. If civil property is damaged and civilians are killed for a good cause it is still terrorism. And this is a concept in Islam. According to Islam destruction of civil property and killing of civilians has been prohibited even in a legitimate war.
SH mentions how Islam prohibits the killing of old people, children and women even in times of legitimate war.
______________(Quote in arabic) has said that even during a legitimate war do not kill old people, children and women.
_________ (He quotes in arabic) people who are familiar with religious values, people who are familiar with religious places of religions other that Islam do not kill them either, even during legitimate war. So the world agrees that the killing of civilians is terrorism.
SH stresses that we should not be selective in our approach to terrorism and that whether civilian deaths and destruction of civil property is caused by an individual, group or country they should all be termed terrorists.
So I think that as far as the solution of terrorism is concerned the first point that we need to deal with in it's social resistance is that we should not be selective in tackling terrorism. That we should not have a selective approach in tackle terrorism. Civilian casualty, civilian death, civilian murder, destruction of civilian property is terrorism, and whoever commits these acts is a terrorist. If an individual commits it, he is a terrorist. If this act is being committed by a group, then that group is terrorist. And if the same act is committed by a country or it's forces then that is also terrorism.
SH says that if civilian deaths is a determinant in deciding terrorism then as per the
events that have occurred, after World-War II , America has been associated with the maximum number of such activities.
Terming the actions of individuals and groups terrorism while overlooking the large number of casualties caused by countries and their armies, this selective approach, in my view is the greatest obstacle in settling this problem.So the most important thing is to not have a 'selective' approach. You might remember that our President has also indicated that we should not be selective in our approach to terrorism. When we look at things from this viewpoint, like Ketkar also mentioned, we see that our century...that during the time that has passed since the second world war the greatest terrorist activities of this period have been associated with the United States of America itself.
World War II
Kumar Ketkar Saheb
quoted many such incidents. I just want to bring to your attention that during the last 50 years The United States of America has bombarded twenty six countries. Not one or two, it has attacked twenty six countries. As is evident in Afghanistan, during heavy bombings it's not just the military and army locations that get targeted, the civilian population also becomes a target of it. Twenty six countries have been targeted, twenty six countries have been bombarded since the second world war.
SH says that during the past fifty years of the world's history America has attacked twenty six countries(verified fact) and that in such attacks, as is evident in Afghanistan, many civilian lives have invariably been lost.
Along with those twenty six countries there are _________ an estimated 400 events of indirect terrorism that are linked with the past fifty years of American history. And according to ______ estimates the direct casualties... and the indirect ones...like in Iraq minimum seven million children have died because of lack of medicine and lack of food. Even if we leave out the indirect casualties from this estimation... the number of direct casualties as a result of direct bombardment and direct firing goes to nine million. Nine million people have lost their lives in the past fifty years due to the activities of America.
SH alleges that approximately nine million people have lost their lives, due to four hundred direct attacks by America on various countries, during the past fifty years.
lack of food
SH says that it is very important that the means used for dealing with terrorism are legal.
So it is evident that if we want to tackle terrorism we need to look at the biggest record of terrorist activity. We should not be selective in our approach, this is the first condition. The second important condition is that our approach should be legal. No country in the world should be allowed to try and tackle or conquer terrorism by illegal methods. Like I mentioned earlier that it is not justified to use wrong means even for a good cause. If it were justified then all terrorists could claim that "what we represent is a good cause" and he is committing terrorist acts for a good cause. One cannot be allowed to use wrong means to achieve a good objective. Similarly one cannot be allowed to use wrong methods to tackle terrorism.
If we look at the means through which America is trying to...is promising to tackle terrorism, it's attempts and approach is totally illegal it is against international law. And America has had a history of never paying heed to international law. . As you might remember two years back... in 1998 hundred and twenty countries of the world had come to an agreement that an International Criminal Court, the ICC, should be established. So that criminals all from all over the world can be tried in it .Only seven countries hindered this attempt and the United States of America was one of them.
SH says that America has had a history of not adhering to International Law, and that it is doing so again in it's attempts to tackle terrorism.
hundred and twenty
international criminal court
And according to latest news, a bill has been proposed, in the United States Congress, that has a provision that America should put 'sanctions' on the hundred and twenty countries that are trying to establish the ICC. And find all kinds of ways to block the development of the ICC. So you can see that it is evident that they do not want justice, this is not a war for justice this is a war for self interest. A war being fought for the self interest of America.
SH talks of how it is evident that America is not fighting for justice since America wanted to impose sanctions on the hundred and twenty six countries that were trying to establish ICC.
I would like to quote another instance about Nicaragua. In 1984 America intervened in Nicaragua and killed sixty thousand people... Sixty thousand...Nicaragua appealed in the World Court. After the case was heard by the World Court the statement given by the World Court is...and these are the exact words... This war is unlawful. Whatever America is doing in Nicaragua is unlawful... unlawful use of force. And the World Court ordered America to stop the war there immediately. And what was Americas response to this ruling? America said that they don't recognize the World Court and that they are ending our membership in the World Court.
SH talks about the sixty thousand deaths in Nicaragua which were caused by the Contras (rebel groups fighting against the Sandinista Junta of National Reconstruction) who were armed and supported by America during Reagan's Presidency. When Nicaragua filed a suit against America in the ICJ (International Court of Justice ) the court ordered America to 'cease and to refrain' from the ' unlawful use of force' against Nicaragua but America maintained that the ICJ's power did not supersede that of the ' Constitution of the United States'.
frente sandinista de liberacion nacional
sixty thousand people
After that Nicaragua, was put before the Security Council. The Security Council issued a 'resolution' of 'condemnation' of America's act. But America vetoed it. A couple of years back America destroyed half of Sudan's pharmaceutical supplies. They did not bombard a militant post, they bombarded their pharmaceutical supplies. The El Shifa pharmaceutical was only the pharmaceutical which used to manufacture T.B drugs for over one lac T.B patients of Sudan. And this was during a period when Sudan could not import medicines due to international sanctions, in such a situation the one pharmaceutical supply that they had was destroyed by bombardment.
SH states that America vetoed the
ruling when the case was taken to the UN Security by Nicaragua and the council supported the ruling of ICJ .( A resolution supporting the ICJ ruling was also passed by the General Assembly.)
He also talks about America's attack on
El Shifa Pharmaceutical Industries in Sudan.
SH says that even though the Security Council did not give America the permission to take Unilateral Action against Afghanistan, America went ahead with the war.
Sudan also appealed in the World Court... they went to the Security Council but even there the appeal was vetoed by America. Not many of us know that the matter we are discussing today... neither the Security Council has permitted America for this war nor the General Assembly. The security Council has had two________ the General Assembly has had one _________ session. America hasn't been permitted to wage a war in any of these________ America's proposition was discussed in two sessions of the security council and the resolution of both these sessions was concluded in these words... 'the United Nations security Council remains seized on the matter'... That this matter will be resolved by the United Nation's Security Council, United Sates will not be able to take unilateral action on this matter. That no country will be given the right to take unilateral action.
SH alleges that America attacked Afghanistan against the wishes of the Security council and against
So America's actions are against, the wishes of the Security Council, the United Nations charter, international law and against the laws of the United States of America itself. The UN charter clearly states that bilateral disputes will be resolved by mutual agreement, discussions and dialogues. Any action that needs to be taken will the require permission of the Security Council.
SH says that America cannot cite Article 51(Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations...) as an excuse for attacking Afghanistan since self defense applies only to retaliatory action during the actual attack.
United States has repeatedly been giving the reference of Article 51, which talks about self defense... that a country can make armed attack only in the case of self defense. Everyone familiar with law knows... And it is accepted in any court of law across the world that self defense is valid only during the attack. If I am attacked
today and my attacker gets wounded while I fight back to protect myself and the case goes to court I will be acquitted on grounds of self defense. But if someone beats me up and goes to hide in his house and I follow him there to beat him up or kill him I will not be acquitted on grounds of self defense. Because self defense is only during attack...only during attack. Once the attack is over...now it is the turn of law. Now it is the Law's turn
to take action. No individual... or individual country can be given the right to take the law in their own hands.
He says that there are talks about extraditing Laden in relation with the WTC attacks when America is also harboring several criminals wanted by the international community. He cites the example of Emanuele Constant who is wanted by Haiti because of his involvement in the deaths of at atleast 5000 people.
There are talks about the extradition of Osama Bin Laden who was allegedly responsible with the attacks on the World Trade Center. But we know that there are certain conditions present in the international law regarding extradition too. Many People have demanded the extradition of many American citizens. I'll state a few examples of it; there is a criminal wanted in Haiti, called Emanuele Constant. He is responsible for around 5000...
He says that if refusing to extradite wanted criminals justifies attacking a country then Haiti could also attack America for not extraditing Emanuel Constant.
...because you are not handing over many big criminals... will it be justified if they bomb any American town... New York or Washington. America is doing the same thing, how can you justify that, how can the world justify that. If we accept this doctrine of America that because the person responsible for the terrorist activities in their country has taken refuge in Afghanistan it is justified to attack them. Then it would be justified if Haiti attacked America citing the case of Emanuel Constant.
SH says that the problem of terrorism cannot be solved without addressing the exploitation and injustice felt by the people by discussion and dialogue and that going after individual perpetrators of terror is a short term solution only.
You cannot completely destroy the roots of anything by cutting it's branches. What you are trying to destroy are just the branches of terrorism, the root of it is the feeling of exploitation in the people. It is the helplessness of the people, the feeling of injustice. Till the time these feelings and issues are not addressed this tree of terrorism will keep prospering. A lot of people have expressed that if one Osama Bin Laden is killed, five thousand other Osamas will be created. Because the genuine problem and the root of terrorism is not being remedied. The solution of terrorism lies in addressing the grievances, problems and complaints of people. It lies in addressing the exploitation and injustice, felt by the people, by discussion, dialogue and by providing them justice.
SH says that the problem of terrorism was solved in South Africa by discussion and dialogue and by addressing the issues of the people involved.
The history of the past fifty years is witness to how we have settled two or three big instances of terrorism. For example; in South Africa terrorism was a longstanding problem. Then they were brought together for discussion and dialogue, their complaints were heard, their feelings of injustice and exploitation were addressed and and concerted efforts were made to solve their problems. They were granted their rights. Now there is no terrorism in South Africa.
SH mentions Ireland and Latin America as examples of places where the problem of terrorism has been solved through dialogue.
The problems that have been settled in Ireland, have been settled through discussion and dialogue. The problems that were solved in many countries in Latin America, were solved through discussion and dialogue.
SH says that India started the Non Aligned Movement and has always opposed exploitation by powerful nations in international politics.
...opposed imperialism... We've always spoken against the injustices wreaked by big powers. Post Independence we have not just raised our voices against exploitation , we've also been a source of inspiration and motivation to other smaller countries. We started the non-aligned movement (NAM) which according to Indira Gandhi was the biggest peace force in the world. Which was a great hope of peace in the world. This has been our tradition, our record.
non aligned movement
And you might have heard this about our foreign policy... our current Prime MinisterWazir-e-Azam
has repeatedly said that our foreign policy is not a policy of one particular party or individual. But that all the citizens of India agree upon it. He's even said once that it's roots are in the soul of India... in India's soul. But inspite of these big claims of tradition when we find our Prime Minister and President sitting in America's lap, it makes the whole country feel ashamed.
SH expresses his disappointment with the Indian Prime
Minister and President because of their support
of America on the issue of the war in Afghanistan.
SH says that the issues of third world countries cannot be solved by super powers because their intervention is always driven by self interest.
We should understand that we cannot solve the Kashmir issue or any other problem with the help of any 'big power'. America or for that matter any other super power in the world will not be able to solve the problems of any third world country. We can take care our own issues we are strong enough to do that. We do not need a super power. Never has a superpower been able to solve such issues. And when they have interfered under the pretext of finding a solution and tried challenging the dignity and sovereignty of those countries.
third world country
It is a matter of great disappointment that for the sake of a few short term, narrow minded objectives we have deviated from our long term principles and traditional foreign policy. The foreign policy which represented our
dissent against foreign intervention and exploitation; the foreign policy because of which India garnered a lot of recognition and respect has been compromised on.
SH says that the long term principles
on which Indian foreign policy was based have been compromised upon.
He opines that we should adhere to our foreign policy the foundations of which were laid by Nehru during the Cold War.
Our country's approach to our foreign policy should be: instead of going and sitting in America's lap, we should cultivate our foreign policy traditions and raise our voice against the injustice being done. Nehru laid the foundation of the non aligned movement at a time when the world was divided in two blocs. This is our chance of reviewing our actions as per the non alignment policy and reinvigorating it with new leadership.
SH says that India needs to take the lead in uniting the third world nations in taking a stand against America's actions.
We should lead the Fourth Bloc and all other weak nations of the world in an effort to strengthen their voice against the terrorism of America and other big powers and also to exert pressure on the international community. The final point is to not give this matter a communal color. This issue is not a problem of one particular community it is an issue pertaining to all humanity. It is a situation which is of importance, to India, to the whole third world, to all exploited people in the world. This is the reason why not just the Muslims but our Hindu,Sikh and Christian brothers in India are also protesting against America.
SH sums up the speech by saying that this issue should not be given a communal color.
So this is not an issue specific to a certain community and the people who are giving it a communal color are a threat to the unity of our country. We should take strong 'notice' of them. So these were a couple of points... that we should not be selective about this issue. All the actions that are to be taken to solve it should be legal. A long term solution should be reached through the means of discussion and dialogue. The foreign policy of our country in the context of this issue should be in synchronization with our long term traditional philosophy. May God grant us strength and clarity of thought. Amin
(May it be so). Thank You.