Letters to the Editor [Archives:2001/22/Letters to the Editor]

May 28 2001

I Won’t Come Back Unless Yemen Gets Better
The future of Yemen is not in the hands of the people of today because they think backward as the chew Qat contemplating and dreaming of what they would like to see tomorrow.
It goes beyond the water crisis. It concerns their way of thinking. It is high time we started taking care of the people, their welfare. I am saying this from experience as one of the children of Yemen who left his motherland.
We, the children of Yemen, will not go back before better days come. We have knowledge about the elders’ needs and our country’s needs, but I do not find any opportunity for us to lead our country. What we see is tribes men living in the past.
I am not talking about making ties with US or UK. I abhor that idea totally. I live in England and I see nothing that England will contribute for the prosperity of Yemen. We as Yemeni people, as Muslims can make a change but we have got to have attention from elders, we have to have room to build schools, universities and move ahead with technology and find a way to help our country. I went there in 2001 and have just come back. I found it is still the same as it was when I was a kid.
No I won’t go back. NO way will I go back until Yemen changes for the better.
Adam Taha
[email protected]

Privatize Religious Schools!
The interview on religious schools was good. I do not support the government’s decision to integrate the system. I would like the government to stop the financing of any party apparatus and let these institutes flourish in the private realm. To make them a private institute is the best solution. If the Salafis want to create their yellow shirts, they should pay for it themselves. The government should not support them from the public purse. But I do agree with the government that these institutes have become an ideological workshop for the (Wahabi) under the Islah tents, and it is obvious that it is a dogma propagating school.
The interviewee is contradicting himself by saying that they are not sectarian. How come he dismisses the other schools of thought in Islamic jurisprudence? It is a common tactic used by the Wahabi and extreme Salafi to claim that they follow the Quran and Sunnah. They are self-righteous who consider others as heretics. The people of the south know those who have let the country to be dominated by the religious bigotry and intolerance. Even the dead were not spared from their intolerance.
I think the government should not support religious schools that force one form of thought upon the diverse religious affiliations of the Yemeni people. It is not fair to persecute the Zeidi scholars and give the Salafi a free hand. The best solution is to teach the common precept and let those who want to teach a particular thought to open private institutes and charities to finance it.
Private religious endowment have to support the schools belonging to their creed like it used to be in the past. The government should release the Awqaf, abolish the Awqaf department and return it to the rightful guardians like it was in the past.
It is a shame for a country that had a revolution against religious government (and religious tyranny) to impose a certain sect on the population because it feels that it can make the Zeidi sect, the most rational Islamic thought, a thing of the past.
Hussain Ali Saleh
zra@[email protected]
22 May: Time for Solidarity
I would like to remind you about the 11th anniversary of Yemen’s unification. This is to all my fellow Yemenis at home and abroad, for it has brought a significant change in Yemen’s recent history. The unification of Yemen can be considered as the ideal solution after the September and October revolutions.
There is saying, ‘one hand can’t clap’ and that saying was reflected on the Yemenis lives before 22 May 1990. After the unification, confidence can be restored in us Yemenis to march into the 21st century with no fear and without a shadow of doubt.
Awsan Teina
[email protected]