Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Mass Suicide in the Arab World | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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This outlook that seeks to annihilate the other is something that stifles us and makes us feel like we are a prey. Perhaps that is the reason behind the continuous Arab crises. Nobody wants to believe that they can no longer continue to disregard the voices of others, monopolizing power and opinion. No one faction, religion or party can dismiss the other. In Iraq, the Sunnis would not be able to rule in accordance with Sunni beliefs as the Shia would not allow it. The Shia and Sunni Arabs would not be able to rule Iraq since the Kurds and other ethnic groups would not allow that. This is the cause of the distress and violence in Iraq; that factions, militias and nationalities believe that they can have the final word and the ultimate grip on power and resolution.

Hezbollah in Lebanon cannot impose its conditions, its sect and its foreign alliances on Lebanon; nor can the Sunnis, Maronites, Druze, Communists, Nationalists, Marada, the Kataeb, Siniora, Aoun or Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah impose their conditions on others. Perhaps the cause of the Lebanese chaos and wars is because of some attempt to impose their own agenda, opinion and faction upon others in a country that is home to a number of sects, races and political parties. The Lebanese fought each other in a civil war that caused the country to lose the best amongst the youth from all denominations. The crisis there will not be resolved until they are convinced by the idea of mutual concessions and agree to agreement!

The ruling party in Egypt cannot behave as if opposition does not exist, nor can the opposition groups in Egypt disregard the ruling party. The problem is that the ruling party believes that it can govern the country single-handedly, putting its own agenda and programs into place. The opposition sees that the only solution is to get rid of the ruling party, replace the president and impose its own agenda.

The ruling party in Yemen will no longer be able to marginalize the role of the opposition and monopolize power and wealth and nor can the opposition turn a blind eye to the ruling party! Palestine’s Fatah sought to be the sole power and it failed, Hamas repeated the same experience and no amount of pressure and summits could convince both groups of the presence of a common enemy and that there is no alternative to mutual concessions.

This is applicable to any Arab country; the mentality of obliterating the other where opinions are discarded and one agenda, view, sect, and party is imposed upon others is the cause of conflicts, wars and the lag in development. Unfortunately, on this level, the rulers and the ruled on one hand, and the Islamists and the liberals on the other are equal. Nations only became civilized when they grasped the idea of mutual concessions and were convinced of the idea that no one individual could rule a country or even a company with only one opinion and culture in mind that disregards and marginalizes all others.

The culture of individualism, intolerance and extremism our children are taught in schools must stop. The culture of standing on a platform cursing and denouncing other nations creates egoism and causes individuals to value only themselves, their gender and their creed. The main victims are those who have been burnt by the fires of sectarian conflict that is responsible for unemployment, poverty and illiteracy. Societies are still stricken by the illusion of individuality, rejection of the other and self-confinement.

There is no alternative to mass suicide and car bombs except for pluralism, tolerance and accepting the other as well as taking the interests of the nation as a whole into account rather than those of the individual militias, parties and contaminated leaderships that falsely claim to represent the people whereas in fact, they only consider themselves and their parties.

There are two options; tolerance and respect of the other, belief in pluralism, and to value a human being and oneself regardless of sect or creed on one hand, or mass suicide on the other.