Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Crowning Conferences | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Undoubtedly, those who were angered by the cartoon drawings were honest; their anger was related to the Prophet Mohammed who lives in the spirit of every Muslim. It is an issue that is not permissible. But, for those familiar with politics, it is certain that there are some who have exploited and continue to use the moment for their own interests.

Today, we witness conferences, groups and donations to defend the Prophet Mohammed, amid an absolute silence; he who dares comment is immediately met with suspicion. He is against defending the Prophet! Who can bear such a charge in an enflamed atmosphere? Everyone is playing politics. Denmark organized a conference that was criticized by some sheikhs, because they were not invited, and this is the truth, irrespective of what else has been said. For their part, the Danish organizers punished those responsible for inflaming Muslims by not extending an invitation to them.

In our part of the world, conferences and activities were held and contributions were collected, under the pretext of defending the prophet. I have no objection to such acts, even if they have collected funds and organized a billion man march.

But where are the participants in Bahrain and other stars of the small screen when it comes to eradicating poverty in the Arab world and fighting the spread of diseases that are decimating our societies? Where are they when it comes to promoting reading, instead of attacking people and encouraging prohibition and bans? Where are you when it comes to combating unemployment, encouraging individuals to love work and disseminate a culture of voluntary work in all walks of life, instead of inciting against people? Why don’t you reinforce the concept that an idle hand is worthless? Where are they when it comes to those deprived of an education? Where are they when it comes to women whose rights have been violated because of domestic violence, a disease that is widespread across the Arab world? Where are they when it comes to caring for orphans?

To those in Bahrain, I ask, what is your position regarding a conference organized under any umbrella, calling for a halt to the rivers of blood in Iraq and bringing to an end the enmity between Iraqi Muslims? What is your position on a conference that addresses those trying to sabotage and create chaos in Bahrain and tells them: this is not permissible! Where are you when it comes to conferences that unanimously forbid carrying weapons and frightening innocent civilians in the Arab world? If anyone needs reminding, the failed attack on the Saudi oil facility at Abqaiq occurred less than a month ago.

There are many questions and even more observations. Let me repeat: I do not object to defending the Prophet. But, those who want their beliefs to be valued and to be immune from criticism ought to be consistent.

I am convinced that all what we are witnessing is the exploitation of the flow of issues that find sympathy in people… some take advantage of these issues to return to the limelight through the back do, but they are not concerned about what is best for people. Their actions are political and they abuse events… perhaps it would return the sincerity that once was!