The Islamic group Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) caused controversy today when they burned a US flag outside the American embassy in London during a minute’s silence to remember the victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) chanted “USA terrorists“, set fire to an American flag, and held up anti-American placards during a minute’s silence to mark the lives lost to the 9/11 attacks, outside the American embassy in London

According to the Press Association (Embassy protesters burn US flag: 11 September, 2011), members of the English Defence League (EDL) turned up to demonstrate against MAC.

MAC was formed in 2010 by Abu Assadullah and more notably, Anjem Choudary, the spokesperson for the banned group Islam4UK.

MAC made headline news all over the UK when they burned poppies outside the Royal Albert Hall in London on Remembrance Day, in November 2010. (The Telegraph: Caroline Gammell: Muslims Against Crusades earn notoriety in less than a year: 21 April, 2011)

Members of MAC also marched from Leyton Tube station to Walthamstow town square, in July 2011, calling for Sharia law among Muslims living in the UK. (Guardian: Joe Curtis: WALTHAM FOREST: Extremists march through borough: Saturday, 30 July, 2011)

MAC Counter Productive to the fight against Western terrorism

Individuals who join groups like MAC are clearly frustrated with an international system of hypocrisy that is clearly controlled by Western countries. If Muslim leaders had committed the war crimes that former US president George Bush and former UK prime minister Tony Blair has committed, there is no doubt that international warrants would be issued for their arrests to stand trial.

As it stands the leaders of Western states are free to invade and plunder the resources of any country that they see fit under the pretexts of ‘humanitarian intervention’, or a ‘threat to regional or global security’.

Western leaders are above the law and committing acts which Nazi war criminals were put to death for.

Members of MAC are frustrated at the injustices, and the atrocities committed by Western troops in Muslim lands, and without a just law that applies to all they vent their anger in arguably counter productive ways, harming the fight against Western terrorism by those who are trying to enlighten the public about these issues.

To a patriotic American or British citizen burning their national flag is an insult and will destroy any empathy they may have towards a rational debate about the roots of terrorism. Burning poppies will only alienate British people from understanding why they are angry and what they stand for.

One has to question whether MAC’s strategy is one of desperation based on anger and not a rational, well-thought out campaign to engage all communities.

The Burden of Proof is On Their Side

The disappointing factor that comes out of this is that the burden of proof is on the side of MAC, that Western governments are involved in state terrorism, that Western troops have committed vile acts of barbarism against Muslim populations, but instead of engaging with communities and explaining their frustration and anger they alienate communities from their message.

Is it a coincidence that the invasion of Iraq by the US and its allies led to the ownership of Iraq’s oil by Western corporations? (Read The greatest spin story ever told: Obama’s Iraq withdrawal speech)

Is it a coincidence that a joint report by the Pentagon, the US Geological Survey and USAID, said that Afghanistan is now said to possess untapped mineral reserves, estimated authoritatively to be of the order of one trillion dollars? (Read Spy cameras in Birmingham linked to Britain’s terrorist actions in the Middle East)

Have Western soldiers committed barbaric acts of violence against innocent Muslim civilians? The answer is an overwhelming yes. US soldiers themselves admitted to carrying out atrocities between March 13-16, 2008, when Veterans Against War held a national four-day conference titled, “Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan”, outside Washington, D.C. (Read US military lied about war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and The monstrous atrocities of US soldiers in Afghanistan)

The weight of evidence is on the side of MAC and other Muslims who feel frustrated and angry about what is going on, but trampling on and desecrating the traditions of the British public is not doing them any favours or the Muslim populations they claim to be defending.

A rational campaign to engage citizens and educate them about what is really going on will combat the main media and government lies about these issues. It can even win them supporters from all races and faiths, and it can force the English Defence League to deal with the policies of their government rather than blaming everything on radical Muslims.

If MAC continues to stage media-attention headlines for all the wrong reasons they will play into the hands of the far-right, the British media and the British government, which inevitably does the cause for international justice a disservice.

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