Friday, July 15, 2016

The Boabdil Syndrome - Zakaria Fellah

by Zakaria Fellah

Editor's Note: This article was written on May 13, 2015

Let Muslims embrace the challenges of the 21st century and reap its fruits. -- While part of mankind is exploring outer space we are still striving to see the sunlight.  

Ananta Bijoy was a blogger in Bangladesh. Yesterday, he was hacked to death in Dacca. His crime? To believe that a secular Muslim could debate peacefully about the role of Islam in the 21st century. He is the third Bangladeshi blogger to meet such a violent and premature death in a month. 

Today, in Pakistan this time, 43 Shia civilians were massacred in a bus. Their crime? To be Shia Muslims. It is enough to get you killed in many parts of the Muslim world. The same can be said if you are a Sunni, in Iraq, for instance…

The murderous insanity continues and I do not see an end to it soon. Muslims killing Muslims. Shia against Sunnis and vice versa. Macabre statistical routine. 

My point? We, Muslims are the principal victims of our own madness. In the name of Islam, we have indulged in an orgy of mass killings unprecedented in Islamic history. And we do very well, without any imported know-how. Of course, from time to time, we remember to blame it on the usual scapegoats: the Zionist plot, Western imperialism, the “fifth column” of traitors, working at debilitating the Muslim world to better dominate it and pillage its resources. 

So, if that was true, why are we killing each other then? Since we are so smart as to uncover the “plots”, why do we let mayhem be our daily lot and decay and misery to be our forecast future? 

The syndrome of Boabdil again and again…   

The last Muslim king of Granada lost Al-Andalus. It was forecast at his birth. When he surrendered Granada to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, Boabdil cried. Upon the sorry sight of her son’s tears, his mother, Aicha la Horra, is believed to have addressed him in these cruel – prophetic - words:“ Do not cry like a woman for what you were not able to defend as a man”…

Boabdil died in exile far away from his beloved Granada. 

The story of Boabdil is still relevant today. Muslims, especially, Arabs, refuse to see their reality because it reminds them of the loss of Al-Andalus. The fall of Granada is a turning point in the following Arab decline. Arabs were not relevant anymore in the history of the world. Their lands were dominated by fellow Muslim but non-Arab dynasties – Persians, Ottomans – and later, came European colonialism and Imperialism.  

The several attempts for a political “resurrection” failed. The mythical “Arab Unity” was just that, a myth. A misleading one too .Even the “sacred Palestinian cause” ended in tatters. It has always been the tool of failed Arab regimes to divert their population’s anger and frustrations towards the “Zionist” enemy. The fact that a large number of our “Palestinians brothers” have died at the hands of Arabs and other Palestinians, is beside the point.  The Pot-Pourri of nationalistic ideologies – from Nasserism to Baathism- , although secular - at least in name – ended in a fiasco because they embraced policies based on political authoritarianism (cronyism, corruption, and dogmatism), economic crypto-Marxism, social Islamism, and sterile belligerence. 

Right after gaining self-determination from European domination, the train of modernism, knowledge, education, technology, had already gone. We would not catch up with it. 

The gap between the West and the Arab world was just too abysmal. And it is still widening.
Last month, I was struck by a statement from Mr. Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Mosque of Paris. He expressed the wish to see the number of mosques in France doubled!
I was not amazed. I was disheartened…

I can understand that a man of religion like Mr. Boubakeur takes at heart the spiritual well-being of his Muslim flock in France. But his statement was the exact point I am trying to make when I write about Arab – Muslim – decadence and anachronism with the 21st century. 

Is not Mr. Boubakeur familiar with the reasons behind the Arab-Muslim decay compared to the rest of the world? Or does he – like the Muslim Brotherhood – believe that “Islam is the Solution”, and the only solution? 

I would have been more sympathetic to his a statement had he insisted that instead of mosques, the number of research and development facilities in his (and mine) native Algeria should grow exponentially. Also, did he have the concept of reciprocity in mind?  I mean Christians, Jews, Buddhists etc would have a legitimate claim in seeing their worship places doubled in….Algeria too. But that would be anathema for the Rector and his double language consorts. 

The position of the Rector of Paris is symptomatic of the psychological paralysis of my fellow Muslims. Every aspect of life must be seen through the narrow prism of religion. But I dare to differ. Religion is like sex. It is an intimate relation between two beings. It should remain behind closed doors. No voyeurs allowed in. 

No, Mr. Boubakeur, the French Government does not need to double the number of mosques in France. But if you insist on French assistance, let it be directed to more productive areas: economic, social and educational empowerment, intellectual creativity, development, promotion of freedoms and liberties to name a few. After all, the French are the champions of secularism, no? 

These issues should not be taboo. Let Muslims embrace the challenges of the 21st century and reap its fruits. Stop preaching one thing and doing another. Face the reality. It is not a pretty sight I agree. While part of mankind is exploring outer space we are still striving to see the sunlight.   

Our people are drowning in the Mediterranean, fleeing nations that once were the cradle of civilization. Our peoples should have a better choice than between the suitcase – exile or the coffin - death.  

Why should our youth continue to suffocate under the yoke of religious norms incompatible with the modernity it aspires to and expresses everyday on social media? And why do you let the adherents of murderous cults take hostage entire populations? We claim that the illiterate and drug-addicted Assassins of Daesh, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Shebab, and others do not represent true Islam, the religion of “peace and tolerance”. Why is it, then, that Muslim voices are so rare and dispersed in denouncing such odious crimes committed in our name? 

We have a unique chance to stand up against the barbarity, the hate, the intolerance of such people and their hijacking of an entire civilization. Are we really serious when we declare war on the rest of world, on anything non-Muslim, non-halal? 

Please, not in my name! 

Are we going to seize the opportunity to prove the world our seriousness in combating evil and be part – albeit belatedly – of the real world, the tangible one and not the heinous masquerade of the so-called Islamic State?    

Or are we once again going to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity? 

At this time, even Boabdil is still crying in his grave…

Zakaria Fellah

Source: Middle East and Terrorism

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