NEW DELHI: Donald Trump is currently, and it will be safe to say momentarily, the big bad guy for the world leaders who have collaborated in waging war on the Arab world, and justifying this war with sustained propaganda against Islam. It is almost as if by criticising his harsh, (juvenile?) anti-Muslim comments, these leaders are looking for a fig leaf to hide the devastation of Gaza, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan….

Who is Trump? A US presidential candidate who has emerged from a corporate and media background. And a creature of the money and the power and the propaganda that has sustained the wars that have devastated Afghanistan and West Asia. Not many in the US could have expected better from him, as he is clearly playing to a gallery of hate and divisiveness that he believes will give him the results he is looking for. He does not seem to be wrong, as his popularity ratings are soaring as a result and the figures show that he has the support of over 45 per cent Americans for his dangerous, and highly objectionable remarks against the Muslims. Remarks he has stood by, dismissing the criticism as rhetoric.

For Trump is feeding into the perception created by world leaders who are now criticising him in a bid to appear moderate. Israel is a case in point, with righteous indignation dripping from every pore, as it condemns Trump and virtually bans him from the land where the government devastated Gaza, killed hundreds, and is committing atrocities against the Palestinians on a daily basis since. UK of course is equally critical as is US President Barack Obama and others, all who have perpetuated the Muslim stereotype to justify the worst devastation since World War 2.

Trump is feeding into the environment created and nurtured by the war machines of Israel, US and its Nato allies,all aided and abetted by countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar Turkey, not to mention Egypt and Jordan that are currently trying frantically to reverse course. All partners in the creation of the new monster: Islam and the Muslim, through a propaganda machine that accepts the war talk, pushes the stereotypes and seeks to justify military adventurism and imperialism in a manner that the regimes of West Asia cannot hope to counter. Not even minimally so. Look at Syria, it has taken five years of bloodshed for the world to trace the genesis of Daesh to the war ---supported by the US and Nato---against the Assad regime.

The propaganda machine controlled by the big powers has managed to create a world wide perception, that Trump is merely cashing in one. Lies, distortions, falsehoods have been cynically used to create a perception about Muslims and Islam that has little to do with reality, and more to do with justifications for a deadly war that has left large territories in Afghanistan and West Asia destroyed, The invasion of Iraq, for instance, was the destruction of Mesopotamia with the historical relics stocked in its huge museums broken, looted or gutted.

Islam is thus, a primitive religion and close to what Daesh ---termed the Islamic State what else---claims as its own. It is intolerant, it promotes terrorism, it condones jihad that is a synonym for terrorism, it wages war, and hence it has no place in the modern civilized runs this narrative.

Amidst this are the Muslims, a monolith, most of them terrorists or supporters of terror who hate all non-Muslims. And belong to an intolerant religion. And come from countries like Saudi Arabia, with money but consumed by hate. There are variations of course, at some point the stereotype prefers the bearded Taliban kind of image, at another it is all about the professional packing deadly guns. But all part of the terror industry, either active or having the potential to become recruits at any given point.

A fear is also being systematically created for the Muslim, grounded in the age old fear that the human being has for the ‘other’. And here the Muslims are almost in entirety bracketed in the ‘other’; persons who should not be given jobs or houses without proper background checks. A pervasive climate of suspicion has been systematically created, covering the globe as it were.

In the absence of a counter view, that is at best restricted in its reach, the average citizen of the world is thus influenced by the propaganda he is bombarded with on a daily basis. He does not have the information or the understanding to realise that (s)he is a victim, as the chaff is mixed into the wheat and offered to him as the final truth. Backed by the governments, world leaders and others whose word then cannot be doubted. And when push becomes shove, the citizen joins people like Bush and Trump in their attack on ‘Muslims’, a ban on whose entry into the US as Trump said, emerges then as the only possible solution to terrorism.

But then matters have come to this pass why? Because of Trump? Or Because of all the others in position before him, and today?