by Enver Masud
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 29, 1996 -- Merchants of anti-Islamic propaganda posing as experts on terrorism were exposed yesterday by two simple questions asked by Mr. Enver Masud, Executive Director, The Wisdom Fund.
At a seminar on terrorism, held yesterday at the prestigious Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) of George Washington University, all it took was two simple questions to expose these 'experts' for what they are -- merchants of anti-Islamic propaganda. The seminar panel included the head of the CSIS terrorism project, a Voice of America spokesman, former officials of the US Department of State, and others from various 'think tanks.'
The 'experts' delivered the usual anti-Islamic propaganda: mosques posing as fronts for terrorists groups; the threat of the 'rogue' states of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. After listening to two hours of this there was a brief period for questions and answers. Mr. Masud, when finally permitted to speak, said, "I have only two questions: why and why? Why is there no one on the panel with an opposing point of view, and why would these countries want to terrorize the United States?"
"In all my years managing research programs and projects for the US government and around the world," said Masud, "I cannot recall a single issue as broad as terrorism on which experts did not have opposing views. Only by sifting through opposing views can one hope to arrive at the truth. And what motive do Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria have to terrorize the US? Given that the $262 billion US defense budget accounts for about 37 percent of global military expenditures while the six 'rogue states' -- Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, North Korea -- have a combined annual military budget of $15 billion, what do these 'rogue' states hope to gain?"
The panel on terrorism had no answer. They did, however, ask who Mr. Masud would recommend for future panels. Masud, a Muslim, named three: William Blum -- former employee of the US Department of State; Noam Chomsky -- youngest tenured professor at MIT; Howard Zinn -- professor at Boston University. All are of Jewish origin.