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The Great Flaw - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Are there professions that are suitable for terrorism while others are inappropriate? Surely not – which is why it comes as no surprise that the detainees arrested in the wake of the failed bombing attempts in London and Glasgow are doctors or medical students.

Ayman al Zawahiri was a surgeon, and Osama Bin Laden comes from a social class that one would not imagine is capable of rearing a terrorist. Terrorists exist in the world of aviation, among students, professionals, journalists, within the education and even security sectors, while some terrorists hail from distinguished families.

However, over and above are the women who the fundamentalists demand should be socially constrained and locked away but who still participate in suicide operations.

But the flaw is bigger than we imagine and more complicated than just linking it to a profession or nationality. Terrorism, or al Qaeda, is an ideology that like a virus spreads through whoever it strikes so that it controls the individual and transforms him/her into a tool in the hands of the actual actors – which is precisely the point.

Behind every suicide operation is a demonic fatwa [religious ruling] and a misguided mufti who has readied the youth for the execution of terrorist acts, leaving the last act of execution to those assigned with the mission. Unfortunately, the world’s preoccupation is always with the executors, whilst it remains blind towards the corruptors who mislead them.

If no attention is directed at the inciters and those who justify [these acts] then we are fated with an endless night. It is necessary to launch a serious ideological war because these youth have been brainwashed in the name of religion and as such, they must be confronted with religion so as to protect our Islamic religion.

However, this should not mean the emergence of some with interests who demand immunity so as to deal with these youth, demanding restrictions on societies and interfering in the country’s politics under the pretext of preventing the provocation of terrorists. We are in need of honest and loyal scholars – not traders of crises.

We require an honest ideological ‘marja’eya’ [reference and authority], the diffusion of the takfiri bomb, putting an end to the act of false prohibition and distancing the fundamentalists away from the path of development. We are in need of an ideological war to be launched without it sending our youth to die unjustly. We are in need of those capable of teaching that those who learn and build exert a far greater effort than those who decide to kill themselves!

We are in need of a delicate surgical ideological intervention to be launched from within our religion and at the hands of our scholars. This demands that we renounce extremists and restrict the opinions of those who call for- and glorify- death.

This freedom of opinion that is being praised in our Islamic world is the farthest thing from genuine freedom of speech. Freedom means restraint, not a slip. We must not deceive ourselves into justifying terrorism as the outcome of occupation or as a result of suspended outstanding issues – we are not the only ones with just issues that are being unjustly met.

We also have our share of mistakes and lethal problems capable of evoking repulsion; should we violate our Arab nation, the proof of which is what occurred between the Palestinians? We must consolidate rationality because we are in need of construction, not destruction.

Britain, in particular, must reconsider the reality of those who live on its land and who authorize killing and destruction in other countries. Not all of those who fled to London believe in freedom, the right to diversity and respecting others; but it is what they claim so as to secure a safe place for themselves.

The Imams of mischief [al Dirar Mosque] in London must be held accountable, and the same applies to the venomous media and even the infested websites – of which there is an abundance in London – and those in charge of them are known.

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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