“When a people turn to Allah, surely, Allah’s help comes rushing to them”
Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.
Across the Arab world, tragic scenes unravel inspiring human struggle for freedom – police shooting on peaceful protesters at random, massive deaths, degradation of human life, disruption of social and economic activities, and cries of “Allah –o- Akbar – God is Great” and “La Illa ILLulaha – there is no god but God.” Unthinkable and unexpected as it was to the Arab neo-colonial ruling elite, mostly uneducated, devoid of reason and intellectual foresight and being unable to THINK right, to know and understand the concerns of the masses- the typical sinking behavior to blame others, not being able to see the authoritarian self in the mirror as the crux of the problems. The people’s revolutionary movements generate great deal of sensation and dramatic effects on the Western TV screens. Sometime the Western entertaining news media calls it “unrest” or “uprising” befitting to its economic and political interests but in reality are the people’s movements for freedom from the yoke of imperialism.
The Western military-industrial institutionalized complex needed oil to sustain convenient materialistic life and capitalism, the neo-colonial Arab rulers were the best planned scheme of things to deliver the goodies to the West in return for security alliances and military hardware and protection. Under the Western sponsored authoritarianism, the Arab people were the direct object of oppression and enslavement for decades. Their pains and agonies were public knowledge but lived in denials as do the Palestinian under continued Israeli occupation. If the Palestinians could re-organize themselves under intelligent and proactive new leadership, they should be able to deal with Israel and negotiate a peaceful resolution of the problem.
The Western thinking people failed to realize that the Arab people were also human beings with similar interests, perceptions and goals for freedom and much deserving human dignity. Change has come on its own as part of the natural process but not out of the planned sketches neither of the Western mythologists nor of the Arab intellectuals. Throughout the Arab anarchy based governance, paid intellectuals aligned themselves with the establishments and dictators. The Arab political intellectuals turned out to be worst and useless than being indifferent and ignorant of the prevalent facts of human affairs craving for political change. The political change has streamlined itself from the thoughts and sacrifices of the ordinary folks. Abduaziza was an ordinary street cart vendor in Tunisia, not a political activist; he challenged the corrupt police women and died. His death triggered the societal reaction against the age-old atrocities of the political corruption. In matter of days and weeks, Tunisia is a different and free land and people. Wael Ghonim – the Egyptian Facebook revolutionary spent weeks in police custody, blindfolded, tortured and abused for nothing except that he wanted to communicate freely with his own people to foster peaceful change. Given the focus mind and its objectivity, “when a people turn to Allah, surely, Allah’s help comes rushing to them.”
Like all the Arab rulers imposed by the Western masters, Hosni Mubarak was paranoid and vengeful, how dare anyone challenge his forty years of dictatorship. After the people’s success in Tunisia and Egypt, other Arab neo-colonial rulers are suspicious and uncertain about their continuity and effectiveness to dictate the masses. The realities on the ground are changing fast at a super express speed. After people’ success in Tunisia and Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen are the latest developing stories of prospective change and reformation of the old regimes. For over sixty years, the Arab rulers ignored the interests and priorities of the masses, only to perpetuate a family-based powerhouse to institutionalize oppression. The petro-dollars revenues conspired to make ‘modernity’ as the goal of prosperity replacing Islam as the values of the Arabian lives. Corruption bred fear and hatred and deprived the people of their moral and intellectual values to think of positive change.
This scheme of things included elaborative secret service intelligence establishments planned and trained by the Western countries such as the United States, Britain, France and others. The single most institution that kept the despotic Arab rulers in office and prolonged the opportunities for change. The end-users oil importing nations were part of the decade-old tortures and inhuman behavior going-on in the oil producing Arab countries. The rulers could not have done it on their own except by the hired mercenaries from these nations. The Arab rulers used consumerism to forge economic prosperity without planning to develop the human resources and intellect for change. To them, this was a success but in reality achieved at the cost of ruthless dictatorship ignoring the importance of Islamic system of life and values and a materialistic success leading to degeneration of the Islamically civilized people. The rulers slipped into vices and ruins leading to political cruelty and viciousness of the authoritarian system of governance. In the process, the Arab people lost the power of thinking and urge for change and challenge to oppression. The cheap oil supplies continued to flow without disruption to the much needed Western industrial markets and capitalism flourished.
Now, the Arab people have revitalized their inborn power of THINKING as believers, and interwoven passion and goals of the natural identity of being what they are and where they are, can THINK and imagine a new world for the future. They are organized and united as one force, one people to articulate a new world of freedom, participation and democracy. The people have come out of the institutionalized secret police fear and hatred, it is open in demonstrations on the streets, in villages, in shopping malls, in people squares, the voices of the people are loud and clear that the egomaniac leaders must go and go for ever, there is no place for complacency, the Arab people want freedom from exploitation and consumer-based foreign slavery. Guns and bullets can not silence the voices of reason and human conscience, if suppressed, louder they will become. The Arab dictators have stolen people’s fortunes, they must be held accountable for their crimes and punished. Most of the stolen wealth is kept in the Western financial institutions. It is incumbent upon the Western nations to be vigilant and responsible that such resources are returned to the rightful people across the Arab world.
There is no nationalism as was in Europe, and there is no glorification of the state as did Hitler, Mussolini and other European leaders. The ex-colonial master did encouraged the Arab rulers to invent new national borders, anthems, flags and concept of nation states as they wanted to divide and rule the Arab masses and undermine Islam and its culture and civilization. Islam develops and embraces the unity of diverse humanity as One, One people and One Ummah equal in rights, human dignity and status before God. Western mythologists face a serious challenge. It is more of intellectual nature than anything else. With all the knowledge and technology-governed information age, they failed to see the people revolution emerging in the Arab world.
The Western intellectual never thought of the Arab people as mature and intelligent enough to challenge the ruthless rulers against their wishes. History provides opportunities to all to take serious notice of the contemporary developments and learn from the current events shaping overwhelming people’s movement for a new Arab world of unity and purpose. The change is not against any Western nations but it is part of the people-oriented governance that should have happened several decades earlier. One must realize that the Western sponsored economic prosperity in the Arab world had tragic consequences because it denied human involvement and rational importance to develop human thinking and abilities for change and development. The self-sustained Western intellectuals face a critical challenge of perception and adaptation to the emerging new Arab world enriched with people of reason, intellect and reality to do business on equal terms.
Across the Arab world, political change is not without insurmountable challenges. The THINKING People- the HUB of the Arab social and intellectual bank must take notice of the developing events and plan and organize new institutions, encourage Muslim scholars and proactive visionary intellectuals to share ideas and ideals for maximizing the outcomes from these changes on the ground. They should pool resources to plan and develop new and innovative methods and alternatives to avoid future mishaps of dictatorial governance. The essence of time speaks for itself, time and opportunities lost are never regained.
There are serious tasks and priorities ahead to be dealt with in rebuilding the national infrastructures and viable systems of democratic and participatory governance. Change is much needed by rejecting and opposing the authoritarianism and will be much useful when it can be transformed into concrete actions and actions are implemented to the best interests of the people. Those charged with planning and managing these tasks, must know their strengths and weaknesses and pool the resources for the best utilization and services to the people. God has promised success and glory to those who will strive in His path and establish Islam as the object of success. The striving Arab people are on that promising track to regain the Divine favor for their long overdue freedom and success.