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Corruption and Corruption of the Land - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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It seems that Arabs collectively suffer from a case of short-term memory. When America and the West spoke about the corruption of Fatah, everyone who used the phrase “corruption” was accused of being “American” or “Israeli”. Today, supporters of Hamas particularly Islamists accuse Fatah of corruption. The same applies to some Arab politicians who used to speak behind closed doors about the corruption of Fatah but today they declare it publicly with condemnation.

Corruption, of course, is a threat but what about the spreading of wider corruption?

If corruption with respect to public money is a crime, then what about those who commit graver corruption in the land? What about individuals who corrupt people’s rights, their present and future? Corruption regarding public money, despite the penalty, does not reach the extent of cutting off the hand of the perpetrator whereas the punishment for those who spread corruption throughout the land reaches the level of Hirabah [the punishment for which includes amputation or death] and exile!

Despite all that, today, those who are truthful and those that offer manipulative spin concerning the corruption of Fatah, fail to discuss the corruption practiced by Hamas concerning the land, the people and the [Palestinian] cause. When the Palestinians are caught in the crossfire between the Israeli enemy and Hamas as they try to flee Gaza, then that is corruption and the corruption of the land. When a Palestinian is killed at the hands of Hamas in Gaza or when assassination attempts are plotted against Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas], while the Palestinian dream of an independent state is lost because of political recklessness then that is real corruption and the corruption of the land. Furthermore, the breaking of an oath that was made in the holy land that is known as the Mecca Agreement is also an indication of corruption and the corruption of the land.

The issue is not confined to Hamas alone; just look at the destruction and killing in Lebanon on all levels, the adventurous war last summer, the taking to the streets [in protest], the obstructing of people’s interests and the strangulation of the state’s economy as well as the events at the Naher al Bared refugee camp. The assassinations that were perpetrated against anti-Syrian and anti-Iranian politicians in Beirut were, of course, acts of corruption and corruption of the land.

When fatwas [religious rulings] are issued from all different parts of our Arab world without exception by sheikhs who think that they are the sole protectors of religion issuing orders to denounce one person as a disbeliever or to shed the blood of another, as well as discrediting the denomination of others, and the positions of these sheikhs on the moral killing of those who oppose them, even ordering their deaths for several reasons on the pretext of being secularist or liberal or an agent for the West, then that is corruption and corruption of the land. The same applies to those who justify acts of terrorism.

When the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is one of its branches, talks about corruption of Arab regimes and the way that they are used by the West with the intention of attacking legitimate governments whilst they line up to be part of democracy, which they once rejected in our Arab world, then that is corruption and corruption of the land.

On the ground, the brotherhood allies itself with Washington in Iraq and the Syrian [Muslim] Brotherhood is also in contact with Washington while their acquaintances in the Arab world flirt with Ahmadinejad’s Iran. The odd thing is that their ally; the Syrian regime are the ones who take pleasure from the openhandedness of social fatwas, while some of its leaders permit suicide operations against invasion whilst their leading sheikh does not oppose openly to the presence of invaders’ bases that are situated behind his house in Doha. That too is corruption and corruption of the land.

Are we brave enough? Just as we condemn corruption within regimes, explicitly and implicitly, can we condemn those who commit wider corruption of the land that undermines our security, our education and our thinking and distances us from the future of which we dream and that made us pawns for their agendas?

Should we tell them to stop abusing us because their crimes at our expense are graver corruption?

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.

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