The corruptive [Archives:2003/646/Opinion]

June 30 2003

By Hassan Al-Zaidi
A negative impact of acts of violence and terror, which some Islamic groups commit, has become tragic as the image of Islam and Muslims has been terribly damaged.
Consequently there has been a link between Islam and terror and deformation of the actual image of Islamic movements committed to peaceful action. Although those extremist who do not see space for tolerance and do not have the ability for dialogue and negotiation are a minority, the consequence of their actions has affected all Muslims and especially those affiliated to the Sofi sect.
The latest explosions in Riyadh were committed by a small group that did not come from Chechniya or Qandhar, but are natives of Saudi Arabia. It is believed that their thought and culture is derived from the approach that some think that the authority in Saudi Arabia adopts and that approach gives authentication to its ruling. In reply to these assumptions I say how you can explain then the rulers' stance towards such groups and their strong disapproval of Al-Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Ladin? . Yet in the Saudi society, and like all other Arab and Islamic societies, the existence and in fact to an extent the public's support for extremists is an obvious phenomenon that cannot be ignored. It is especially the case in the kingdom when in the late seventies a coup was attempted by what was termed as Juhaiman Movement. Though it had failed, yet it is still being a troubling factor for the rulers.
A seeming assumption through this is as if the royal family is not able to open dialogue with the Salafia sect or to embark on political reform providing freedom of expression and other rights, even if it wanted to.
For this kind of reform, as much as it has become an urgent necessity, especially with the latest events and the realization of the strength of Islamists' influence and religious trends, it has become one of the means used by these groups to express themselves, but violence could not be their means for such expression.
These groups, if they were to review their actions and stances and start a new chapter where dialogue instead of violence was the communication method, would definitely reach a better situation and would not have used violence as an expression of themselves.
The policy pursued by the Islamic group of Jihad in Egypt is very important in the quest to deal with violence and could be a reference for all Islamist groups, especially for tracing violence causes and restricting its impact. If rights are to be supported and protected in all aspects of life and by all groups, civilized dialogue could have existed and no more explosions and acts of killings would take place in Riyadh and Casablanca or others.
Acts of the extremist Islamic groups have been reflected negatively on Islam and even on other Islamic groups that strive for restoration of their legitimate rights in Palestine by ousting the Zionist occupation. They have affected Islam and Muslims in a negative way. Thus the Isreali government has categorized these struggling Islamic groups as being terrorist that do not differ from Taliban and Al-Qaeda, of course Israel does this to serve its colonialist aims in Palestine. Even the American administration has described these Islamic groups that are fighting for their legitimate rights, as terrorists. The fact is that the American administration likens struggle of these groups to the terrorist acts implemented by elements from al-Qaeda in America and other Arab countries.
It is better for all these extremist groups to abstain from those acts of terror that ruin everything and change the image of Jihad into terrorism threatening all, just like a volcano that when it erupts will destroy everything and everyone on its way.