By Mohamed Azmin Ali
May 15 – The death of Osama bin Laden may have closed one chapter in the history of religious violence, but the extremism continues to flow. Tens of thousands have died before in the wake of this doctor of death. Hundreds have been killed since he was killed.
Serious challenges lurk in the horizon. They will remain until the global community is able to root out the root causes and the sources that made Osama’s perversion and especially emotional recall of the Crusades to a minority of Muslims.
Osama has hijacked Islam for his narrow ideology and sowed seeds of distrust and antipathy between Muslims and other Believers. For these reasons, great Muslim scholars have unanimously condemned his violent actions and have expressed great concern calling for serious efforts to combat his teaching from spreading.
Is the world safer now without Osama? No, certainly not. Killing Osama is not the solution to the extended crisis of faith that has been termed the Clash of Civilizations by Bernard Lewis and then by Samuel Huntington.
In the Muslim world, scholars such as Sheikh Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi has said and written much on the subject. He has written numerous articles and tirelessly lectured to promote peace and moderation in Islam.
Alas, this is a fact that is little known in the West and passed unappreciated by the Western media, leaving a yawning gap between the twain. It brings back to mind what Rudyard Kipling has said, that the twain shall never meet, as a chilling statement of the fact that distasteful prejudices overwhelm even the New World. Where some want to rule by hegemony and others by the will of dictators and the fancies of authoritarians.
We condemn the perpetrators of violence irrespective of race or religion. We need to engage all parties that support democracy. However, the hypocrisy of Washington in supporting regimes of tyrants and dictatorships in the Muslim world is evident.
We must support the democratic process in the Middle East for lasting peace. There must first be peace and with the peace there must be basic liberties.
There must be freedom of speech and of expression, freedom of conscience, especially the right to practice one’s faith, and there must be freedom of assembly – a set of basic rights to celebrate the initial maturity of civilizations that have been mauled by the extensive preservation of medieval forces and the misconduct of contemporary power.
Then, there is the Palestinian issue. It must include legitimate political entities like Hamas. This is of utmost importance if we are to achieve a sustainable solution to the dragging murder of the innocent and the decades of denial of freedom from wants, freedom from fear and freedom from tyranny, in this case of a first world country upon a third world subjugate.
The international community must redouble its efforts to find a just solution to the Palestinian problem, an issue exploited by Osama to support his movement of terror.
The fact he has been successful must strengthen our vigilance and our resolve to overcome this pertinent matter.
It is also a fact that the West has tirelessly disregarded the contributions of Islam to world civilization and instead continuously humiliates and pressures Muslims into civil marginalization, and even into dissociation, often over trivialities like wearing the veil in European schools.
There is a narrow limit to the understanding and the concept of European tolerance, a point of difference in traditions many Muslim migrants to Europe have learned.
Muslims, having lived through the last war only to emerge afterwards as colonizable wards of the new civilization find themselves in need of “nativization,” as in the Native Supremacy of Franz Fannon and Jean Paul Sarte.
Native Supremacy, straight out of Fannon’s The Wretched of The Earth, was the lost formula for decolonization, now the decolonization long warped and long lost in the great Islamic Resurgence and recast from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserable into something the Americans will recognize in the heat of James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time.
The Fire, it will be recognized, insured itself a long term of burning by a simple act of personification by a calamitous epiphany in the image of Osama Bin Laden, now multiplied a thousand fold and wishing to fight even if they never can win.
The world crave for lasting peace and of an induction into a final sense of togetherness, a world society of a common world. We need first to decide on a common and singular purpose no matter the language we speak and no matter the differences in our creeds.
We need to recall the simple address of Ali ibn Abi Talib of the citizens of the Islamic Empire of his time, that they are Brothers in Faith and Brothers in Kind.
– Mohamed Azmin Ali is the MP for Gombak and Selangor State Assemblyman for Bukit Antarabangsa. He is also the Deputy President of People’s Justice Party.