Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Facing Death - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

The last statement issued by Al-Qaeda concerning the two Moroccan hostages is simply a threat to all Arab diplomats with Al-Zarqawi ordering all Arab diplomats to leave Iraq permanently, otherwise to remain and face death. The truth is that as long as Al-Zarqawi is willing to face death for the sake of winning his battle, so too will the Arab diplomats in their battle. The Iraqi residents, men, women and children, face death everyday and have become the targets of all forms of deception.

It is true to say that Arab diplomats will experience fierce complications in Baghdad, however, leaving Iraq in the hands of Al-Zarqawi and his counterparts would be more of a danger not only to Iraq but to its neighbors and to the entire region. We are all aware that the mission of any diplomat is a difficult one and can be life threatening. Diplomats have been killed in safe and stable countries for the sake of revenge or for criminal reasons.

Therefore, abstaining from sending diplomats to Iraq is Al-Qaeda”s main goal to try to demonstrate that it has the upper hand in Iraqi affairs. Such a perilous situation possesses more danger than any faced by Arab diplomats in Iraq.

Throughout the struggle of life, death is an inevitable factor especially in the Arab world where people are unaware of the real dangers of such situations unless they themselves fall victim to them. The Egyptians, after the murder of their ambassador to Iraq, Ihab Al-Sharif, by Al-Qaeda, had a taste of the oppression from which the Iraqis are suffering on a daily basis. The same incident took place in Algeria and today, we see that the Moroccan scholars are breaking their long silence with regards to what has taken place in Iraq after sensing the anger of the Moroccan people caused by Al-Qaeda”s recent terrorist activities. Courageously, Moroccan scholars have explicitly condemned the kidnapping of the Moroccan embassy employees and have declared &#34God”s curse on Al-Qaeda and its courts.&#34

In fighting terrorism, there is no middle ground. Terrorism is not a policy to which one can respond by presenting initiatives, holding dialogue or using some persuasive means, nor is it a battle between two armies that seek resolution. Our battle with terrorism is across borders and requires immediate and decisive action and dialogue without recklessness. It is important that maximum effort be exerted in the battle against terrorism.

There are those that argue that if the problem is providing safe places for the Arab diplomats, then the Iraqi government must act and grant them residency in the Green Zone with the help of the Americans.

However, Arabs must firstly ask themselves this important question: Do Arabs want to send their diplomats to be victims of their own profession and prisoners in their own homes or do they want them to be active players in the Iraqi medium, considering that others, namely the Iranians, are taking on this very task?

Logic says to face death with the same devotion that Al-Zarqawi has in confronting death. Such is a battle of life for Arabs and Iraqis alike.

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