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Arab World and the Refugees: Could the Arab Leaders see the Mirror?

By Mahboob A Khawaja

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, March 13, 2016

Sunni Muslim Arab Iraqis became refugees in their own country due to continuous NATO and regime attacks on their cities and villages  

Once the Arabs were leaders in knowledge, creativity, science and human manifestation, progress and future-making - the Islamic civilization lasting for eight hundred years in Al-Andalusia- Spain. But when they replaced Islam - the power and core value of their advancements with petro-dollars transitory economic prosperity, they failed to THINK intelligently and fell in disgrace and lost what was gained over the centuries. They relied on Western mythologies of change and materialistic development which resulted in their self- geared anarchy, corruption, military defeats and disconnected authoritarianism. The Western strategists ran planned scams of economic prosperity to destroy the Arab culture with their own oil and their own money turning them redundant for the 21st century world. Today, the Arab leaders are so irrational and cruel that they reject all voices of REASON for Change and Human Development only to bring more deaths and destructions to their societies.  (Mahboob A. Khawaja, “Arab Leaders:  Waiting to Count the Dead Bodies.” 01/2013).
Moncef Marzouki is no stranger to contemporary Arab politics. As a former President of Tunisia, he shared transformational leadership to envisage a new era of ‘Tunisian Arab Spring’ - a revulsion against dictatorship and leading to free elections and emergence of democracy.  Talking to the DW Germany TV moderator Brent Gofft (3/8/2016), Marzouki felt ashamed that despite immense resources, the Arab world could not provide safety and protection to Syrian and Iraqi refugees dispersed and helpless at European borders. At least, Marzouki had the courage and intellect to speak of Arab leadership failure and indifference towards a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Hardly any other Arab leaders can utter few words of knowledge-based reason and wisdom to any international journalist or news network. This week, under the OIC, Arab leaders held a conference in Indonesia to boycott the Israeli goods. Whereas, the priority should have been to discuss the Two State solution and how to reason the unreason with the Israeli leaders. Palestine and Israel both exit in fear of the unknown and open prison and need a rational solution and it must come of dialogue and peaceful meeting of minds, not bloodbath as going on in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Palestine. While the Arab masses are haunted by the swindles and perversion of the radical Islamists, the authoritarian Arab leaders show a vivid image of bloodstained tyranny against their own masses. Recall that few centuries earlier there were no demarcations of borders, gimmick of nationalities and flags but One people - One Ummah freely moving across the Arabian Peninsula. Arabs were poverty stricken but courageous and idealistic to enhance the unity of the faith and treat everyone fairly and humane way. How strange that with oil discovery and fake economic prosperity, the Arab world had changed into abstract dummies and leaders who live in far away palaces, not with people to understand the human agony and tormenting pains of being ignored by their own brethrens. The time and resources Arab oil exporting leaders possess, settling few millions Syrian-Iraqi humanitarian asylum seekers was no big problem. In essence, this would have been a temporary shelter until Syrian-Iraqi conflicts were resolved to restore peace and normalcy for the refugees to return to their homes. Arab leaders had the resources and capacity to do this what Marzouki was talking about. What a shame, there are no Arab leaders to think of the common people and the onslaught of military tyranny imposed on them.
Once the Arab heartland was a place of knowledge, moral, scientific and intellectual advancements and European used to come there for learning to envisage the Age of Renaissance. But European colonization divided and destroyed the Arab unity and their culture and Islamically democratic systems of people’s governance of reason and accountability. One feels impelled to blame the European imperialism and subsequent American hegemonic control over the Arab world and excessive militarization of the entire region. Authoritarianism is the net outcome of this historic legacy. 
Western Militarization is the primary cause of the Arab Political Crises

For over a decade, the unending and bogus War on Terrorism continues throughout the Arab world onward to Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is primarily to support the faltering US economy of war and the ruling elite with vested interests. In a way, the US and naďve Arab rulers view it as a success but rationally speaking, this success is claimed at the cost of unimaginable atrocities, dehumanization of the Arab-Muslim people and their culture, military ruthlessness and degeneration  of many to come. There is no accountability for these crimes against the helpless humanity as the wars linger on across the Arab world. The doctrine of militarization was in direct support and enhancement of the Arab authoritarianism causing people’s uprising in Tunis, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Libya and elsewhere in the Arabian Peninsula. Daily bloodbaths and torture of the people paint a picture of the Arabs as if living in the draconian age without any recourse to civilization, reason and Islamic system of governance. Was the discovery of oil a conspiracy (“Fitna”) to dehumanize the Arabs and Muslim people and to destroy their sense of originality, culture and values?   But in some parts of the Middle East, people are getting organized and rising up to the political challenges which have been imposed on them by the sadistic rulers. Ostensibly, the Arab world of today will not be the same for tomorrow.  Today’s Arab world is being dismantled arbitrarily for a purpose but Arab’s destiny for future is shrouded by dark clouds. Out of a terrible sense of helplessness, people have emerged with political imagination, courage and strength to challenge the authoritarian rulers on solid grounds and reasoning and attract global support and appreciation for their cause of peace and freedom from oppression. That was “Arab Spring” - people’s movement for political change, human rights and new responsible leadership across the Arab world. 
‘Change’ is a reality for Human Progress but a Fake Simplicity for the Arab world

The world is changing but not fast enough for the authoritarian Arab rulers - fattish fed by the oil revenues and stupid and mindless in thoughts and behaviors if you view them in the real world of political actions and prevalent deplorable atrocities imposed on the Arab people. The affluent and oil enriched indulged in conspiracy to assume power and institutionalize corruption simply to maintain few tribal powerhouses favored by the ex-colonial masters managing the power centers from distance. Now, the Arab people have awakened after long slumber of complacency and disorder. The problem was well defined by Shakespeare “the destiny of peoples coincided with the destiny of their monarch and nobles.”  The knowledge-based, information age has dismantled some of the illusory borders and demarcation of nobilities and has challenged to bridge the conflicting time zones between the palaces and the people with the internet, cell phones, facebook, twitter and instant communication technologies. For all corners in the Arab world, political change is much desired and inspirational goal for the young and new educated generations. Form Palestine to North Africa, Arab people hope for new visions, new political imagination and energetic 21st century knowledge-based leadership. This was the progressive aim of the 2011 Arab Spring which is still alive in spirit and political activism. 
The Arab people’s revolutionary movements for change and freedom is not dead but slow and alive on the horizon but the authoritarian rulers and their history makes no sense on any rational criterion of analysis and objective assessment. How should history see them in a broader global context? What kind of picture do these leaders paint about the nature, moral and historical values of the Islamic-Arab societies? Would they all be tried in public courts of law? Would they run away with accumulated wealth and hide in secret palaces somewhere under the protection of the US, Britain or others?  How would they compensate the innocent people targeted by their guns and bullets? How would they return the time, opportunities and wealth stolen from the people and hopes for a value-oriented democratic culture and promising future to co-exist in a global community?  
Refugees Deserve Humanitarian Compassion and Priority for Protection from the Savagery of Wars

If the Arab leaders are not morally and intellectually bankrupt, rationality demands that they should demonstrate a sense of moral and political responsibility to rethink about the emerging crises in their own dwelling. Millions are forcibly evicted from their homes because they oppose dictators like Bashar al-Assad, Shiite Al- Abaidi or Sissi or others. How come Russia, America and Europeans are bombing the innocent civilians and causing massive influx of refugees across Europe? Why can’t the Arab leaders challenge the foreign interventionists and stop the unwarranted wars against the Arab citizens? Are the Arab leaders waiting for Divine help to fix the crisis?  Do they have the trust and support of the people and legitimacy to attract any Divine consideration? Do they anticipate any miracles to happen out of the nothing? Do they imagine that the humanitarian problems will disappear out of the nothing? It is the foremost Arab leadership role and responsibility to extend humanitarian compassion to fellow Arabs in extreme distress and sufferings as they find nowhere to seek protection and safety from the wars.
Imagine, if the Arab world had public institutions and Islamic system of people-based governance, there was no scope for the Western oil importing nations and their military forces to intervene, bomb, destroy and subjugate those already living under half of a century of authoritarian oppressions. It is the same story in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Baharian, Yemen, Egypt and in other parts of the Arab societies - common people are gunned down, their rights and human dignity is purged, the only voices of reason are coming out of the Western thinking people and human organizations, not of the Arab ruling elite. All of the Arab individualistic absolute rulers have institutionalized secretive police apparatus and Rapid Deployment military units to maintain “fear game” and to keep the herd under control by force and torture. This was business as usual for almost sixty years but nobody spoke against it in the so called free world, not even the Western pro-democracy proponents claiming to be optimists and peacemakers. The Arab ruler’s solidarity stems from their own circle of monsters managing the governance - solidarity of the fittest of the few to survive and not to undermine anybody’s harem - palace life.
After the Palestinian refugees, why are there millions of more Arab refugees displaced and drowning in the Aegean sea? Who will deal with the pressing problems of life and deaths facing the Arab masses?  Who will deal with restoration of peace, normalcy and conflict management? Do these leaders have any moral and intellectual capacity to extend security and sense of protection to the helpless people? Rationality is replaced by insanity. The coward and sadistic Arab rulers preoccupied with their greed and need are crossing the limits of the Laws of the Nature in killing the innocent masses just because they demands rights, human dignity and a voice to reason the unreason. Time and history are not on the side of the authoritarian dictators doomed to be crushed by the power of reason and political imagination of the new generation of Arab people.
(Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012).


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