The war on terror is a post 9/11 concept that the United States and the United Kingdom pioneered in attempt to end terrorism. The largest war on terror campaign was the Iraq invasion that took place during 2003. Over its cause, war on terror has been subject to criticism in terms of failing to identify a terrorist enemy, and a mass violation of human and civil rights and liberties (Shah, 2007). This paper investigates the various ways that war on terror affected civil rights and civil liberties.
Civil rights refer to the freedom from prejudice based on characteristics such as race and gender, which may result to unequal treatment of people with regard to their races. Civil liberties on the other hand refer to rights and freedoms that the constitution of a particular country guarantees. The ideology behind war on terror has been a subject of contention for a long time, with those criticizing it citing that the participating governments have adopted policies that aim at reducing the civil rights and civil liberties. In addition, war on terror provides an avenue for the infringement of human rights (Combs, 2003).
In fact, the war on terror campaign does not justify the inclusion of the word ‘war’ in the phrase because the campaign has not identified a potential enemy, rather it targets at countries as a whole, particularly those with Islamic origin. A significant trend evident in countries that support the war on terror campaign is the implementation of policies and measures that undercut the fundamental civil rights and liberties of immigrants and its own citizens who have a relationship with Islamic religion. The most affected immigrants are those from Islamic countries, especially those from the Middle East.
The ways in which the United States perceives Muslim as religion and people from Islamic countries is a significant example of violation of civil rights and civil liberties. In the US, terrorism is always associated with the Muslims, despite the Islamic community contending that they have no relationship with terrorist activities. After the September 11 attacks, Muslims, and immigrants from the Middle East have had a rough time living in the United States. The US and other countries in support of the war on terror campaign implicates Muslims on terrorist attacks without carrying an in depth investigation. It is widely evident that Muslims and people of Arab origin face the denial of fundamental civil rights and civil liberties after the September 11 attacks and the initiation of the war on terror campaign.
The causalities of the war on terror campaign are also a significant case of mass violation of civil rights and civil liberties. With regard to this, war on Iraq and Afghanistan caused a large number of both civilian and US soldier’s casualties, yet the cause did not yield any meaningful results towards the identification of international terrorists. In fact, the war on terror campaign aimed at Muslim countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, after which it violated the civil rights of the citizens of those countries through initiating war that has no justifiable grounds. The deployment of United States forces in civilian Muslim counties is in itself undermining the civil rights and civil liberties of those citizens.
In conclusion, the war on terror campaign is far from making the world a safer and a better place. This is evident by the mass violations of the civil rights and civil liberties towards people of Islamic origin. The war on terror campaign played a significant role in the creation of divisions among people basing on religion and race. As a result, accelerating more conflict, rather than alleviating international terrorism. It is therefore evident that war on terror brought an end to civil rights and civil liberties.