Omar assassination Reform your home first [Archives:2003/01/Focus]

January 6 2003

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The horrible assassination of Jar Allah Omar Assistant General Secretary of the YSP at the third conference of the Reform Party stands as a political crime of the worst kind and a national tragedy that has affected all and hurts the democratic and political field in Yemen.
In the time when I expect all the political parties in the ruling party or opposition to take a united stand towards this sad event, I was shocked by the appalling exchange of accusations from all sides once Jar Allah was killed as a victim of terrorism.
Away from that, let us not dwell on who is to blame, but instead let us discuss why such a horrifying crime took place. What were the true motives behind the assassination and why did it take place in that particular time and place?
I am dedicating my article to everyone but especially to the authorities in the Reform Party, because they should be the most concerned with this analysis especially that the victim was their guest, and was murdered in front of their eyes. Hoping that my words might find a place in their minds and perhaps, make someone pause and think for a while.
Let us start from the statements which the criminal gave when asked about his motive. He admitted that he did that because “..they (Reform Party) denounced the religion and tied in and cooperated with the infidels (hinting at the joined meeting conference in which he committed his crime)…” and that he wanted that this message to reach leaders of the Reform Party.
A message which was too clear not to reach; that there are some people who are not happy with the developments of the Reform Party today. And that some extremists consider the joined meeting conference and such conferences as a joining with the devil, a treaty between disbelievers and faith.
On pondering on this thought, we can understand what the Reform Party faces as a political and social movement that was established mid 1990, with political, national, Islamic, humanitarian dimensions; we can understand that this movement does not seem to be able to address its own people and basic elements before even being able to address others whether similar in thoughts and ideological concepts.
Perhaps the worst that this movement faces is the rigidity and fanaticism towards one particular line of thought in speech, and considering that type holly and can not be altered even in thought let alone action. This leads to closing the doors in front of negotiation and dialogue with others agreeing with the movement in the general concept but differing in details.
So the movement (the Reform Party) is legally demanded to open dialogue and arguments channels to convince its elements first and then secondly, public opinion, through individuals and groups about the righteousness of its policies, principles and objectives it believes in. Because it is by closing such channels, isolates itself and strangles even its own beliefs in a closed space that would naturally shrink by the day.
As a consequence, rigidity would prevail above negotiation and reason making fanaticism the only means of settling any relations within or outside the party, leading to incidents like what took place in the conference. I personally believe, if no change takes place soon, many more will come.
I can claim here that the present situation will force the Reform movements in the world and in our country to improve its political, and media declarations, in order to contain and adapt to the new changes. Quick adjusting and effective response to these global transformations coupled with creativity in producing new mechanisms should be able to present political and media charters well founded at the base and facing the changes of weather on top.
The responsibility of the Reform Party now as a prominent strong political party in Yemen is to take a clear stance from actions taken against it and it for long has been trying to avoid responsibility for them.
Democracy still needs legislative rooting in the political structure and so do multi-parties, unions and other alliances. The Reform Party’s statements are derived from the political and media constitution of the party and not from the religious and legislative bases it depends on. It needs to link between the two aspects and its stances should not be based on interests or pure political grounds only. What is needed is addressing the inside of the party first, to urge them to follow the Islamic thoughts and beliefs inside out instead of the fake liberal appearance.
The party has to prove to its member, supporters, and those who assent with its view that Islam and democracy do not disagree, on the contrary, they go together.
I have read a few excuses which Dr. Abdul Adheem Al-Amri chief of the executive bureau at the party in an interview which was published in Al-Sahwa newspaper (issue 851), abbreviated as follows:
“It is impossible to tell your members isolate yourselves from others then in the same time tell them go free and enfold other thought, and react with the society, this is an impossible thing to do and only yields double personalities and defeat”.
This statement summarizes for us that change in the Reform Party will be slow, but it is in its own interest to start changing with strength and determination. And although in its political program the party emphasized on demonstrating democratic behaviors and encouraging women, yet the political and intellectual visions in these very aspects at the party is not clear or stable.
I call on the party to rethink its actions and to admit its mistakes, whether against other lines of thoughts or political belongings. By this, not only benefiting itself but the whole community and people. For Islam is a religion of peace, forgiving and moderation and far away from rigidity and extremism.