United in fate [Archives:2005/833/Viewpoint]

April 14 2005

There's a traditional Yemeni proverb that goes like “Ilhaq alkadhab, la bab albab” which translates as “Follow the liar until the doorstep”. The proverb comes from culturally generated wisdom in situations where there are empty promises and one has to oblige the promise until it is proven to be a lie.

I was reminded of this Yemeni proverb when I read about the Israeli threats to attack Al Aqsa Mosque in Al-Quds. The so-called peace map, road, wall tc, are like promises in the air which the Arab world wants to believe. However, the attitudes of Muslims have changed in the last three decades regarding the Palestinian – Israeli conflict. In the fifties and early sixties, as Muslims and Arabs we used to think highly of our selves and our unity in fate. We believed that all Muslim countries are one soul and that any attack against any Islamic entity means an attack against all. Our reaction as people more than as governments was quite sincere and passionate. Today, we discuss issues like the Pakistani war, Bosnian tragedy, Palestinian occupation, Iraqi crises tc, in a quite indifferent way as matters of fact. These issues have become as important as any other story in the news and even as we watch, we feel momentarily sad and curse the ones behind our sorrow on Friday congregations; we hurriedly proceed to remove the thoughts from our heads and go about our daily routine as if nothing had happened.

The point is that Muslims are connected through the strongest bound that ever existed; this bound is called faith. A threat against any Muslim country no matter how remote, is a threat against the rest of the Muslim world. The Israeli peace plans are only empty promises, which have been proved in more than one occasion to be a fool's game, and yet we still believe. The problem with the Muslim world and especially the Arabs is that we haven't learned from our mistakes. We should start learning from history and stop repeating ourselves, remembering that we will always be connected in faith and united in fate.