Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Sadness - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

On February 14, as most countries around the world celebrated Valentine’s Day with red roses, the only red visible in Lebanon was the blood shed by the various parties of the depressing political scene. Each party has sought to market its “martyr” at the expense of the other pronouncing its glory and legend to everyone.

However, the truth is that whilst both men, Rafik Hariri and Imad Mughniyeh, are in their graves, there are facts on the ground that cannot be overlooked. There are major differences between one who was constructing, building a national consensus that was not based on weak sectarian preferences and keen to establish internal and international relations based on respect and law and the other who caused terror, intimidation and death in Kuwait, Khobar and Mecca and established a state of fear amongst innocents who had no connection to the issue at hand, whatever that issue and its purposes may be.

In the Holy Quran, God Almighty said, “Allah puts forth a parable a man belonging to many partners at variance with each other, and a man belonging entirely to one master: are those two equal in comparison? Praise be to Allah! But most of them have no knowledge.” This verse came to mind as I observed the depressing situation in Lebanon as it clarifies the necessity to scrutinize and compare carefully between characters that “monopolize” and propagate heroism, jihad and martyrdom in a haphazard way that entails destruction, meddling and loss.

The Arab world in particular is still captive to delusional ambiguous characters whose heroism is promoted and whose biographies and stories are weaved around them to such an extent that even certain political positions and principles support them in spite of the repercussions this may have.

The persistence in justifying the cost of innocent lives as a result of the actions of the “jihadist” or “hero” as permissible and inoffensive as long as the ultimate purpose is “noble, honest and blessed” is no different to the military options put forward by the neoconservatives of the American administration since it views the killing of the innocent women, children and elderly as a result of air raids or military operations in general as collateral damage, which is a humiliating description. However, it is a consistent method for whoever needs to justify [an act] at any cost.

Judgment needs to be more sensitive, precise and honest in judging man’s contributions and value and the extent to which he benefits or harms people. These aspects are clear to whoever wants to live by his conscience however if it has fallen captive to partiality then judgment will undoubtedly be unjust.

The basic idea here is not to judge one person over another; rather, it is more important for there to be a real revision of the way in which people are judged and how we reach final conclusions.

There are numerous Arab names which, had there been justice and competence in the way that they were judged, would never have been glorified in the history books. There is a big difference between the person for whom you sincerely ask God to have mercy upon and the person who instills fear in your heart if you do not ask God for the same mercy.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

More Posts