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International researchers launch damning report on ‘war on terror’

29th Oct 2021

Nadine Osman

A coalition of seven international civil societies and research NGOs released a report to mark 20 years of the Global War on Terror.

In The Terror Trap: the Impact of the War on Terror on Muslim Communities since 9/11, thirty scholars provide a critical assessment of the US-led “counterterrorism” apparatus.

The report examines the policies and tactics that have ‘criminalized and securitized Muslims in the United States and around the world.’

The report examines the various dimensions of the so-called War on Terror and its devastating impact on communities and nations.Topics covered include the racist history of targeting minorities in the US as well as the roots of the “terrorism” industry.

In addition, it examines the role of the Islamophobia industry in exploiting post-9/11 fears and the restructuring of the national security and surveillance state. Also cited are the use of drone warfare, torture, renditions, and black sites such as Guantanamo Bay where prisoners are not charged with a crime and have no legal recourse, with no bail or court order.

Furthermore, the report delves into Countering Violent Extremism programs; the destructive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; the destruction of Muslim civil liberties through infiltration, entrapment, and manufacturing crime; and further repression of American Muslims through the use of “terrorism” sentencing enhancement and discriminatory prison conditions.

Researchers also documented the human impact of these policies, focusing on the widespread harm and trauma that has been caused to communities, individuals, and families that were placed under suspicion.

The report then seeks to provide a new approach to abolishing the “War on Terror” as well as an opportunity for communities to reflect on their relationships with the police and counterterrorism agencies. Finally, the report offers detailed recommendations indicating the need for systemic changes across the board.

“Muslim communities globally have faced unprecedented surveillance, profiling and securitisation. The Terror Trap captures the widespread nature of the harm that was caused in response to the attacks on the US in 2001,” said Dr Asim Qureshi, Research Director of CAGE.

Qureshi, who also edited the report, said, “The entirely disproportionate response resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and detentions across the world, resulting in increased instability. The global War on Terror has failed in its entirety, and this report signals the start of a necessary reckoning with those who have perpetuated the demonisation of Muslim communities.”

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