Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Evil Breeds Evil - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Here are a few words to describe the picture we are facing: violence committed by the ruler against the people, violence committed by the people against the ruler, and violence committed by the people against the people, whether In Egypt, Iraq or the Syrian furnace. The reason for this horrific and steadily expanding scene is that from the outset our societies have viewed violence, exclusion and tyranny as a solution, and evil breeds evil and destruction.

No institution has ever intervened in Arab society to categorically say that violence is a crime, whether committed individually or collectively. The streets of Arab capitals have transformed into the scenes of daily massacres without any condemnation of the acts of murder. Suicide vests have transformed into the sole language of dialogue and no one dares to say anything against those making hell on earth. With this policy of blind killing, some see a way out that they can resort to when needed, while others simply remain silent.

The violence spreading across the Islamic world is the natural result of this mysterious, ignorant or even malicious silence. For half a century the miserable and jaded citizen has known nothing but the language, expressions, and utterances of violence. The Arab people have become human calculators; counting every day the number of dead, wounded, and orphaned children, without any genuine reaction or solution to the fires in Cairo and Damascus, the ash in Aleppo, and the madness in Port Said.

The Arabs are addicted to news of bloodshed and scenes of dead bodies lying in the street. They have grown accustomed to some of their leaders looking at their own people and labeling them terrorists. 60,000 ‘terrorists’ have been killed in Syria within two years, and in Iraq the numbers cannot be verified because Nouri al-Maliki is seeking to install his “state of law” over the heads of everyone.

Abd Al-Karim Qasim came to power (as Iraqi Prime Minister) through violence and was shot dead under the orders of (Iraqi President) Abdul Salam Aref, who subsequently died in a helicopter ‘accident’. The rest of their Baathist comrades died without anyone questioning how or why. The last of the remnants was Saddam Hussein, who ended up being executed.

Gaddafi would hang students on their university campus, leaving it to his chief guard to pull the legs of those who struggled against death. Gaddafi often sought to intensify their suffering rather than deliver the coup de grace, for when he resolved to act out punishment the result was truly horrendous.

Finally, let us not forget that the first thing President Mursi told the Egyptians was that he couldn’t be challenged on his decisions, even if they were issued via the back door.

In the past we used to quote Stalinism, but the former Soviet Union has now buried its statues of Stalin and winces when his name is uttered in public. We have always refused to believe that collective crime is the same as individual crime. But who among us knows of a state successfully built on violence? Who knows of people who have built their lives on death?