Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, March 2010
The Arab Masses Look for Change and Peace
By Mahboob A. Khawaja
Al-Jazeerah, ccun.org, March 29, 2010
We live in an age dominated by man-made IT images of peace, freedom and prosperity. Western media portrays its own manufactured images of the contemporary Arab and Muslim world – more so of the oil exporting Arab nations – twisting tail of the camel, women covered in burkhas or singing in desert without dancing.
When Arabs were the true believers, they were One Ummah. The European colonialists divided the Arabs and classified their tribal and ethnic categories – so to invest in intrigue, division and conspiracies and patronize the planned outcome for imperial rule and strategic control of the Arab lives and lands.
Despite a history of tribal wars contributing to national feuds in the Middle East, Arabs facing difficulty in catching up to modernity and how to be progressive with all the stolen wealth from the public oil revenues and extracted thru the corrupted system in a modern age of ignorance. Syed Qutb (Milestones), the reknown Islamic scholar once warned, "Jahilliya" (ignorance) is a movement and has its own culture, plan and force, and it wants to destroy you within but do not follow the influence of ignorance - "Jahilliya" age.
In some parts of the Arab world, masses know well, they are oppressed, leaderless and are not free to speak, but like the American political militarism, they have not learned to make jokes about their self-styled leaders. If they dare to joke about the leaders, the end is arbitrary jail and torture. The masses do enjoin advanced consciousness of the political reality; leaders are uneducated and too dull to share a sustainable sense of humor for public consumption. American media plays strange images of the Arab world. Israel is at the top in political imagery promotion. Obama and Netanhuyu are the master piece images beamed in when it comes to media news making in the Middle East as if they are the heroes of all those living in the Middle East. Inadvertently, this exposes the US policy that America and Israel are one in strategic goals and military actions. Arabs have no entry in the making of political scenario because they do not have leaders or public institutions to THINK and change the adverse propaganda ventures as once they were slaves under the European colonial domination. The European imperialism denied human identity and dignity to the subjects. The European imperialist never allowed the subjects to exercise rights of freedom choice and vote. Democratic values were seen relevant to the Europeans but not to the Arab-Muslim subjects. The Arab leaders in particular, love the body and soul of the Anglo-Saxon complexion, and would even bow to its mirror transformed reflection. One American Honey or a British sweetheart can make the difference without going to a battlefield. The Arab armies are not the armies of Islam and their Generals are drawing room decorated Generals and lead nobody. The national freedom and operational security of the petro-dollars maintained Arabian economies remained a myth.
Nobody wants to talk about the real-world problems. Arab elite sectors are deliberately kept fat, lousy and ignorant to ensure American – European collaborative upper hand in the entire global political imagery making. As if there are no other flourishing human societies or culture except the US and Europe. Jerusalem, an occupied city by the Israelis under the International Law and the UN resolutions, the western media calls it Jewish capital. The Western mass media is enriched with a culture of lies of deceptions. Petro-dollars rich Arab leaders are too busy to THINK of this growing dichotomy, giving free hand to America-European all around the political environment. Global culture of ignorance "Jahilliya" entices human desires to cultivate pleasure and comforts. It entangles human being in pleasure-seeking adventures. Arab oil exporting people often derive solace from pride and palaces. No statistical data is currently available to indicate how long these self-ingrained illusions will continue.
The Arab masses feel pinched and heartbroken when seeing the Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghani cities and civilians being bombed by the American-Israelis planes, while their leaders gathered relief from the fact that Saddam Hussein is no longer around and was hanged for alleged and unfounded WMD crimes and making Euro replacing the dollar as reserve currency. For too long Saddam Hussein served the CIA and made conflicts against fellow Arabs. Other criminals such as Blair, Bush and Cheney remain free. Arab media is a foreign operated trivial entity if you are hoping for creativity and realism except where ordered by the ruling elite to salute to a camel, an American car, a blond with a smiling face often shown in Dubai TV commercials kissing the redundant UAE Sheikh. There are no Arab or Muslims leaders to offer a sense of intellectual security to the Muslim Ummah or be able to speak wisely to the global audience. They live in palaces, not with the people. The Arabian masses are looking for change from subjugation to the Western masters and freedom from cultural exploitation. They deserve leaders like Salauhdin but how to bring about this change from primarily authoritarian regimes unto Islamic governance befitting to their need and genius?
Arab people are talented and progressive but irony is that American mass media does not want to see it that way. Corporate interests dominated media networks only show what they believe in to be of their own kind. They love Obama and Hillary, whether the Middle East or the world, their images crop up in multiple news bound. The rest of the globe is a helpless partner in the news making. American-Zionists planned war against Iraq and Afghanistan made the Arab leadership fearful more of Commander Bush than All Powerful God. Educated Arabs begged their leaders to speak out, challenging the Western nuisance of "Islamic terrorism” and its linkage to the occupation of the Arab heartland – Palestine and Iraq. Arabian newspaper editorials and reader’s letters often persuaded the leaders to come into public but the leaders did not go to mosques and stayed in palaces like dummies on wall. As subservient to their masters, they helped America and Britain to bomb Iraqi civilians and destroy Iraq’s national existence.
"What Went Wrong" often Bernard Lewis contends, what he believes in, not what the Arab world or Muslims did in reality. At the beginning of 21st Century, it seems, the world has gone terribly benign and out of focus – the Western perceived reality has no reason to be reality. If it is an absurd one-sided viewpoint – what the world should look like: Arabs and Muslims as "terrorist" while the real terrorist – Bush and Cheney are called men of peace. Muslim spectators prefer silence as the body language to avoid standing for Islam and end up losing the official financial aid.
Western ruling elite have many functional problems; they do not know what peace is and what it means. If they had peace and they consciously knew about it – why would they be striving to attain it throughout the recorded history? Do you strive for the aims that you do not have, or the ones you already possess? The Arabs are cultured and civilized people with immense tolerance for diversity as the European and now American have capitalized their life, markets and governance. Historically, Arabs were leaders in progressive culture and development of human civilization, whereas, the West was in infancy learning from the Arab knowledge, explorations and scientific achievements. They remained the single most contributors of 1000 years of advanced civilization in Al-Andalusia (Spain). When the Arabs left Islam and stopped listening to voices of intellectual reasoning, they fell in disgrace. Money can not buy the honor and integrity lost because of modern ignorance and arrogance of the Arab leadership elite. If the Arab leaders could change and reform themselves and return to their originality of Islamic THINKING and behavior, they are the best people to invite towards goodness and forbid evil. Arabs exponents of peace do speak but are unable to reach the majority of the media controlled humanity. The Arab religious scholars see the light only in mosques, whereas people live in darkness. Their barricaded Islam is supplemented by matching regular salaries and making it non-active part of the distant history. Leaders know how to intimidate or buy the religious scholars. American continues to ignore them unless another September 11 should hit the New World Order forces and question the unquestionable lords of the global financial institutions.
Arab people are ancient, tolerant and enjoy credible history, Americans are new in civilization and rush to hasty conclusions, only to THINK after the facts and feel guilty for misleading the world on the Iraqi’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. Islam disciplined the Arabs to THINK in advance, not just the self, but for the good of the whole of the Humanity. When Arabs left the universal mission of "goodness", they were defeated and continued to be so to this day. Could they regain the global leadership through Islam? AbdulHamid Abu Sulayman (Crisis in the Muslim Mind), believes so: “our glorious past and achievements are linked to Islam, not without it.”
Al-Qura’an stipulates, "Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful."
The compound mark of reality is getting thinner but western media’s plan renovate it, paint it and erect solid walls to oppress the human voices for change, understanding and collaborations in a global human context. Arab masses reaction to the Zionist occupation of Palestine, and the freedom movement to undo the Zionist terrorism made them so called "terrorist". Arabs have a history of civilization, not terrorism. European persecuted the Jews for ages, not the Arabs, and American never cared about it, well after the 2nd World War until the Jews established institutionalized influence and power in politics, mass media and financial domains. People and nation of the world must listen, learn and understand this forgotten reality. Americans have ignored it and they are in Iraq and Afghanistan, daily being ambushed until they will leave Iraq and Afghanistan abruptly in a worst mess than Saddam Hussein and Talaban. On the American media screen, Arabs are defeated and punched to "their knees" as Eric Morgalis points out, but in reality, it is the beginning of an evolutionary awakening to know, learn and understand, who the real enemies of the mankind are.
Muslims have a mission - a God given duty to invite the humanity towards goodness and real success – the consciousness of which they ignored under the disguise of oil based economy and oil-fed superficial prosperity - a naïve Western illusion of prosperity that drained out the Arab cultural values, intellectual creativity and truism for One Ummah - One People, committed to the DEEN of Islam. Now, they appear divided between solid walls not mud-made huts, air conditioned chemically prepared unhealthy villas and palaces, American automobiles, packed foods and mind mapping via satellite dishes. Consequently, the American-European planned oil-based consumable "prosperity" for the Arabs, degenerated the will of the people by squeezing their inborn capacity to THINK as Muslims and to adapt to a sustainable global mission – a futuristic Islamic goal for the best of humanity. Terrorists uproot olive trees, dismantle homes of the indigenous Palestinian population, and displace the people as Zionist and American collaborators have done it effectively in Palestine.
Once Muslims were the pioneers to have developed the humanity for civilization in thinking, education, philosophy, sciences, technology, medicine, architecture, jurisprudence, human relations, Taj Mahal, Al-Hambra, Cordoba Mosque and the largest library of Cordoba (prior the invention of the printing press), that was burnt down by the Christian crusaders in 1492 A.C. Muslims and humanity are inseparable. To discredit the Arabs and Islam is to discredit the humanity itself. Humanity is not politicking. Neglected and subdued Arab masses are waiting to be heard – they can make the difference with the help of Allah and without the dull and ignorant leaders; they can help to uplift the besieged humanity to reclaim its rightful global conscience, peace and harmony and to rebuild its man-destroyed heritage for the GOOD of ALL - ONE HUMANITY LIVING in ONE WORLD in COMPLETE SUBMISSION TO ONE GOD.
In the previous centuries, Arab proactive visions articulated the change and progress as an essential precept of Islamic THINKING and obligation. Under the European colonialism, they lost what they had contributed for the best of mankind. Understandably, Arabs and Muslims in general were enslaved and devoid of opportunities. But went wrong after the post-independence period? Despite all the material resources and comforts and palaces, why have the Arabs and Muslims in general, not been able to progress and make the earth feel their presence? AbdhulHamid AbuSulayman (Crisis in the Muslim Mind), believes that when Muslim compromised the Islamic thinking and practices, they fell into disgrace under foreign subjugation. The reality that contemporary Arabs must face and plan to come out of the stigma of ignorance, economic prosperity and transitory security. The problems of ignorance and arrogance need to be recognized and diagnosed. One most useful remedy is that Arab-Muslim leadership MUST listen and learn from the scholars and intellectuals of the Ummah. Leaders have no education how to lead and most are devoid of intellectual vision and foresights, whereas, Muslim scholars and intellectuals of the Ummah are knowledgeable and rich in wisdom and creative strategies, and can offer assistance and guidance to the ignorant and authoritarian leaders. It is possible to build a NEW FUTURE of the Ummah with restored progress, honor and political weight and make it better and brighter for the deprived masses only if the leaders will be open to listening and learning.
Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja, an academic with special interests in global peace and security and conflict resolution, and comparative civilizations and author of numerous publications in global affairs. His latest book includes: To America and Canada with Reason. Comments are welcome: email@example.com
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