Imagine the enormity and the intensity of the "political plague" that is consuming, from within, the US-Western leadership and its entire political and media establishments. It paints a picture of horrific Western mindset in pursuit of growing future global conflict against the entity of Muslim people. The world "plague" was used in the Middle Ages as a metaphor for the dreadful consequences of a curse or a calamity that descended on humanity. Ironically, in the first nine years of the 21st century, the cynical, megalomaniac, paranoid and hypocritical US-Western leadership and media have unleashed a "political plague" against the Muslim nations all over the world. It is a fearful scenario. First, we had George W Bush, the imbecile US president who lied to the American people and the rest of the world to wage a personal war, his brand of a Christian crusade ("God speaks to me," he said), with arrogance and ignorance against Iraqis and Afghanis to teach them democracy and emancipate them from oppression - millions dead and a civilisation destroyed and a war with no ending in sight. This was an act of shameful conduct unbecoming the stature of a leader of the most powerful nation. Bush was assisted in this immoral endeavour by Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister and another reborn staunch Christian (nicknamed "Bush's poodle"), an insidious and deceptive personality by all measures of human behaviour, who is now trying to manipulate his way out of a public inquiry on the Iraqi war, which is to be conducted soon in Britain. Barack Obama's "realpolitik" is chilling - rich in rhetorical ammunition, amorously amiable in compassionate cross-cultural promises - and yet seemingly treacherous and lacking in substantive change in the reality of actual policy-making and its directions towards Muslim nations. Angela Merkel goes with the rest of the gang - another example of a conduct unbecoming a Western leader. And the latest in this ironic series, we have Sarkozy, the French President, who looks at the world through his playboyish, conceited egotism, full of megalomaniac and pyromaniac attitudes igniting fires in the commencement of his assault against the Muslims by a public announcement that the burqa is a violation of women's "dignity and freedom... prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity." This is a political conduct unbecoming the French president - after all, how much ignorance, arrogance and insensitivity can one put on display - but this is an act of a deliberate political move to yet instigate another cultural war against the Muslim people. For those Muslim women who choose to wear the burqa, niqab, chaddar, khimar, shayla or hijab (and not all Muslim women wear these, by the way) it is not only a sign of religious zealousness; in fact, it is a declaration of one's identity. It is a statement proclaiming personal freedom to one's individuality and absolute privacy - a statement vivid in its expression of servitude - a statement in the affirmation of local customs and culture - a statement of solidarity with a community's values - a statement that says: "Respect me for who I am, what I am, how I wish to conduct myself" - a statement that demands tolerance and tells others "tolerate me the way I tolerate you" - a statement in the aesthetic nature of the local dress code, and above all, in many cases, Muslim women's open rebellion and response to the West's cultural oppression and growing socio-cultural crusade against Islamic values and traditions, a visible war against the Western strategic plot to completely annul the Islamic way of life. In simple and short terms, it is a war to preserve one's cultural-religious identity. What Sarkozy and other Westerners do not comprehend and cannot understand (because of their obsession with self-centeredness and a superiority complex) is that Islamic values and traditions offer a "radically different understanding of the human being" which is drastically apart from the Western materialism-based social engagement with humanity. It would be instructive for the West to grasp that what is happening with the Muslim people (including women wearing hijab in Australia and the burqa in France, etc) is more than just politics: "It is an attempt to shape a new consciousness - to escape from the most far-reaching pre-suppositions of our time...and to escape from the hegemony and rigidity of the Western (added) mindset." The fact of the matter is that the Western paradigm on socio-cultural values "is being questioned anew." And that upsets the Westerners badly. The real issue here is of tolerance - or rather of intolerance on the part of Western civilisation - of the cultural diversity. The question is: why not let the Muslim women (who choose to wear the burqa, etc) in France choose a dress code for themselves? How do they hurt anyone by wearing a burqa? Sarkozy disapproves of the burqa because it is a cultural diversity from the mainstream French lifestyle and dress code. Now imagine if Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iran bans the Sikhs from wearing "turbans" on the same grounds? The so-called Western "pseudo liberals" and the champions of "individual freedom", "personal choice", "individualism" will hit the roof with the accusations of violations of "human rights." Rightfully so. But when the West itself violates the same rules, with hypocrisy and contradiction, it wishes to be applauded. Does that make any sense to anyone? Perhaps the French president (and the rest of the Western world) can learn a thing or two on the affability of cultural tolerance from the Gulf Emirate, the UAE. In Dubai and the rest of the Emirates, predominately a Muslim nation, Western women violate and practically defy the local dress code - and yet, the level of tolerance and respect of their "individual preference" of how to dress (sometimes on the borderline of nudity) is amazing: no one laments that "we cannot accept that foreign women do not dress like us and do not wear hijab" or "their partial nudity and cultural habits are not acceptable here." This is a sign of superior Muslim tolerant attitudes towards cultural diversity and what comes with it in a multi-cultural society. Isn't France proud of hosting multiculturalism? I guess not Let the French women walk stark naked on the streets if they wish to do so and let the French men father children outside marriage if they choose to do so, or if any French man or woman prefers a same-sex union, so let it be - but the point is that this is not 'our' vision of humanity's emancipation. We cannot share your values (and we cannot apologise for it) nor do we ask you to share ours. Don't force on us as we do not force on you. Respect our choices as we respect yours Dress code is not an issue: it is a much broader phenomenon of humanity's philosophical existence in diversity If you care to understand It is an issue that begs understanding a large chunk of humanity (the Muslims) from a different angle by the West. The French president has just mis-stepped his way into conduct unbecoming of his high office by attacking the sanctity of Muslim women Stop violating us, the Muslim nation, with a political plague of your making The writer is a professor, political analyst and a conflict-resolution expert. E-mail: