Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Against the Reckless or the Shiaa? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

Is the Arab front, established following the Saudi statement [on events in Lebanon] opposing uncalculated adventures, against the reckless or the Shiaa?

The simple answer is that is a war against the irresponsible, from every section of society. Wise governments refuse to be the pawns of sectarianism.

There are some who are trying to portray the Saudi stance as sectarian and against the Shiaa and Iran . This is simply not true. Riyadh could have, on more than one occasion, handed over Iran on a sliver platter to the United States. This was the case after the bombings in Khobar, in Saudi Arabia’s eastern region, in which Americans were killed. At the time, Washington D.C was looking for one Saudi statement that implicates Tehran to hit Iran.

After the US occupation of Iraq, I heard appalling details from senior Iraqi officials on Iranian interference. They used to always say, “Saudi Arabia should not leave Iran and its agents to reign [in the region]”, while the Saudis responded, “We do not interfere in the affairs of others!”

Let us not forget Iran’s nuclear crisis, another instance when Saudi Arabia could have traded Iran to the United States and the rest of the world. However, Saudi Arabia has always affirmed it is “against nuclear weapons in the region, without any exception”, whether they are Iranian, Israeli or other. It is worth mentioning that King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz also stood behind the rapprochement with Iran during the Mohammed Khatami’s presidency.

Is this everything? No! The ugly face of terrorism, which has emerged after the September 11 attacks, was led by Sunni extremists; bin Laden is also Sunni, and so are his followers and Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Is recklessness an excursively Shiaa trait? This is nonsense. They belong to all sects. The Saudi statement was clear in referring to Palestine and Lebanon, in other words to Hezbollah and Hamas, which is also a Sunni.

Prior to all this, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah said, in one of his speeches, that the Israeli attack was “an attack on the sons of Mohammed and Ali”. This is nonsense and unjust! Is Lebanon only made up of Sunni and Shiaa Muslims?

Is Iraq, which the United States occupies, an exclusively Muslim country? Aren’t the Copts also the sons of Egypt , a part of which Israel used to occupy? Isn’t Jericho a destination for Christian pilgrims and a witness to Israeli aggression for years? Are all Syrians Muslim?

Didn’t the Sunni Saddam Hussein invade Kuwait, which is also Sunni?

Those outside the law, in any country, in the Arab world, from organizations to factions, are the first to resort to sectarianism to provoke strife and rouse people’s feelings. Because we oppose sectarianism and oppose dividing the sons and daughters of a single nation into categories and degrees, as well as judging intentions, we say yes to the front of reason and logic, and a thousand no to the front of adventurers, whether they be rulers or movements!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

More Posts