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The Knight in shining armor heading for Iraq - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Recently, I heard about a young man stopped in his tracks. He mounted his horse, drew his sword and sought to join the fighters of whom he hears such inspiring stories. At the border, guards” question him about his destination to which he replies, &#34I want to join the holy war in Iraq.&#34 The young man had recently heard of the Amouria battle in Fatah Al-Fatouh. He is completely unaware, just as those Japanese fighters found hiding in the Philippines forests were unaware that World War II had ended fifty years ago.

Such a strange world! What is even stranger is the ignorance of such a brave knight and his fellow daring but ignorant suicide bombers who each meaninglessly fall like a moth around a light. The number among us who isolate themselves ideologically is increasing despite living together in the same city, listening to the same radio broadcasts and watching the same TV channels. Alienation in itself has become ideological rather than spatial. When the mind has become stagnant and people are unaware of that which is taking place around them, then no difference remains between the knight on his horse or the driver of a Rolls Royce.

Over the past few days, I listened to some of these narrow-minded people who often hold degrees from western universities, of which they have made no use. They spoke about the world and voluntarily submitting their minds to misguiding sources rather than those that will reveal the truth to them.

They speak in complicated terms. They seek to defy terrorism with its very use. They denounce terrorism, yet declare that the world must pay the price. When I questioned one of them as to the best way to end this terrorist war, he replied, &#34When the US forces leave Iraq, the terrorism will end.&#34 I replied questioning the outcome of foreign withdrawal from the region, saying that it could be worse than Bosnia and Kosovo. Also, if they do leave, they would further request Israel to leave the occupied territories, the freeing of Kashmir, Chechnya etc. The list of excuses is endless as this kind of terrorism is not a means but rather an end. If we follow their example, we will end with traumatized and sabotaged societies, institutions and economies, satisfying such groups.

What kind of ideology has hit the Arab countries such as Algeria, Morocco, Egypt and the Gulf? What is this brutal ideology that accepts the killing of innocents on a daily basis? We are not happy with the death of suicide bombers let alone the taking of innocent citizens. Nobody can excuse these terrorists for such acts in the name of defending Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya and others. Seeking to justify the killing of innocents in Sharm El-Sheik with the foreign policy of Iraq and Palestine is unacceptable.

These are the people responsible for recruiting these young men to fight a phony battle.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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