From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Sat Sep 10 2011 - 15:54:39 EDT
Attacks plunged Islamic world into uncertainty
An international relations expert talks of the effects it had on the region
* By Zaher Bitar, Staff Reporter
* Published: 00:00 September 11, 2011
* <http://gulfnews.com/> Gulf News
Dubai: Ten years after 9/11, despite the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the
Arab and Islamic worlds seem to be living in uncertainty, Dr Yousuf Al
Hassan, Emirati author and expert in international relations told Gulf News.
That has been the biggest characteristic of the region post 9/11, but Al
Hassan believes the explosion of popular uprisings since January 2011 across
the Arab world has brought more challenges to the region.
On the other hand, Al Hassan remarked how the 9/11 attacks caused immense
political, economic and social pressure on the Arab world.
"The attack of 9/11 caused a sudden and resounding shock which reverberated
strongly in the Arab world. It had strong effects in politics, economics,
and society and impacted greatly on people's freedoms and security," he
"In the past decade, the Arab world lived through turbulent and chaotic
times. Economies declined, unemployment increased, internal strife
increased, the area also witnessed various strikes and disturbances, which
had economic and societal dimensions."
Al Hassan said security measures and policies had changed remarkably as a
result of the attack.
"The issues around security increased along with tighter restrictions on
freedoms and more interference and intervention in the Arab world by
regional powers, like Iran, Turkey and Israel."
"Another aspect is that the region witnessed at least three destructive and
very brutal wars, the invasion of Iraq under false pretences, and the two
Israeli wars on Lebanon and Gaza, in addition to militarised civil disputes
in Yemen and security chaos and problems in more than one Arab state."
However, regarding the relationship between the Arab world and the West, he
said Arab countries were heavily involved in international efforts to combat
what was referred to as the 'war on terror.'
"While all of this was going on and people were too preoccupied with
everyday worries. The Arab world became overly involved in implementing
Western disastrous economic policies, especially those of the School of
Chicago that promoted free markets and privatisation and shrinking
These are the same disastrous policies heralded by the late Milton Friedman
that led to many economic crisis, including the most recent 2008 recession,
Al Hassan said.
'Emergence of extremists'
Al Hassan attributed the wide spread of Islamophobia and the emergence of
extremists to the excessive power used in US foreign policy after the
"Unfortunately, American foreign policy in the Middle East post 9/11 was
developed by the right wing Neo-Conservatives of the past US
Administration," said Al Hassan.
He said this thinking tended to support the militarisation of relationships
between nations and did not support diplomacy. "It is regrettable that their
influence lingers on and is worsened with the rise of the right wing
extremist in Israel with Netanyahu in power."
This allows the persistence of Islamophobia to continue and pushes policies
towards extremism and results in even more spending in the military
industry, Al Hassan added.
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