Friday, January 18, 2019

A War to Achieve Modernity

A War to Achieve Modernity

by Alia Al Ganis  •  January 18, 2019 at 5:00 am
Facebook  Twitter  Addthis  Send  Print
  • I longed for a revival of a golden age when Muslims were mighty and triumphant, ruling large parts of the world, fighting victoriously in the name of God. I gloried in this past. Reviving medievalism, these fantasies were a way to escape modern life. I dreamed of a past and future glory, like many in their dogmatic slumber. I was entrapped in the golden cage of Islamism. I was a bird of paradise that did not want to escape.
  • There is an increased fear, and rightly so, about the free expression of extremist ideas and opinions that are polluting our social, cultural, economic and political orders in the Arab world, which is why Jamal Khashoggi stands as an enemy to free thinkers. "There can be no political reform and democracy in any Arab country without accepting that political Islam is a part of it," he wrote.
  • Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is in the throes of a war to achieve modernity. We want our independence from religious extremism, the ills of our society; and "MBS," as he is called, is leading the reform in order to fight it and move his country away from its temptations. He needs to go ahead with his reform and do his good works. Because Khashoggi wanted an uprising against the Saudi royal family, the Prince was facing the fears and possibly the threats of being assassinated by those opposing his reforms.
  • The assassination of Khashoggi was a horrible mistake. There is a way of curbing religious extremists without violence. We must address the political aspects in the Quran that are at times interpreted with hate, instead of our always turning a blind eye to these verses. This study alone would stop religious extremists from having the means of justifying their crimes.
Liberty Leading the People, by Eugène Delacroix. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
This article is not for the faint-hearted. I do not share a single sentiment with a single religious extremist, Jamal Khashoggi included. My heart is closed to them.
As a Muslim woman, my anger against them became especially determined when three of my relatives in Yemen, young brave, men, had left their homes and families to protect them. They joined the Saudi-backed Yemeni military to fight against Iranian imperialism, to fight for Yemeni independence, to fight for love and freedom. One was killed by a bullet; the other two on sand dunes when they stepped on landmines. Their bodies were so dismembered by explosions that it was difficult to identify them. Their families had to flee their homes; one woman, also terrified of stepping on a landmine, carrying a newborn baby in her arms.


No comments:

Post a Comment