It’s now 15 years since the terrorist attacks in the US, simply dubbed “9-11” shocked the world, and ushered in a global “War on Terror”. Since the Bush administration, we have been fed a Western media narrative on why this war is important. But what is the War on Terror really about?
Insights into this often misunderstood concept will be revealed in a discussion hosted by CAGE this weekend, with key note speaker Sheikh Abdul Salam Zaeef, the former Afghan ambassador to Pakistan before the US invasion of Afghanistan.
Zaeef was kidnapped from Pakistan in 2001 and taken to Guantanamo bay where he was kept without charge or trial for four years before being released to Yemen where he now resides. At the time of 9/11 he released a statement condemning the attack which was never published in mainstream media.
“We would like people to hear his experiences of Guantanamo bay and his unique insight into that facility and his survival of that experience,” said Karen Jayes, the coordinator of CAGE Africa.
CAGE is an advocacy organisation that campaigns for the rights of the principle of the rule of law and due process as a means of ending the War on Terror. The talk is hosted in partnership with UCT’s Muslim Students Association.
The event will also feature Asim Qureshi who will be speaking on behalf of CAGE in the UK. Qureshi is the research director of CAGE and has participated in a number of investigations into the abuse on human rights as part of the War on Terror around the world.
“Asim would be looking in particular at the aggressive counter terrorism legislation that is happening in Britain that is affecting the lives of Muslims around the country as well as some of CAGEs work in countering this and trying to reverse the narrative of the war on terror which resulted in Muslims becoming a suspect community.”
Jayes says Zaeef has some unique and important insights into the Taliban in Afghanistan, the role of the Taliban and the differences between the Afghanistan Taliban and the Pakistan Taliban.
“Both of them will be looking at the implications of the war on terror, its effects on Muslims in Britain and Europe as well as its effects on countries like Afghanistan and Yemen.”
She added: “Asim will give a very deep insight into the implications of our current counter terrorism legislation in the UK which is fast being adopted by the United Nations.
The talk takes places this Saturday at the University of Cape Town in the Leslie Social Science building lecture theatre 2D starting at 11am.
VOC listeners can tune into Drivetime at 17.10pm on Friday for an interview with Sheikh Abdul Salam Zaeef.
VOC (Umarah Hartley)