What occurred in the World Trade Center may be the product of a conspiracy of some sort, but for sure the elimination of its perpetrators and those who are said to be behind them will not be the final solution to the problem of terrorism. About the only thing any foreseeable action of revenge will do is satisfy only those people in the military brass, who will always need something from time to time to give them a sense of purpose and a chance to prove that they are well and capable of handling the sophisticated hardware, after the evil has occurred. It has sometimes fascinated this observer how the members of a military/security apparatus, whether in the developing countries or in the most advanced of the democracies will come up after a given incident to acclaim that they have everything under control and that the menace that caused the tragedy is on the run or under control. One is bound to ask where were they before the incident and what is all that equipment, training and manpower they have under their control for anyway? In any case, it seems that after three weeks almost and with the thousands of personnel and billions of dollars of equipment on the loose after the perpetrators, the question as to “who done it?” remains unanswered categorically and even all the circumstantial evidence being flouted around has not led to a decisive conclusion that so and so did it. What ever the case, that is not the topic this observer wishes to delve on here, but it is noteworthy to mention that even if the suspected perpetrators are brought to heel, one is bound to believe that the end of “terror” will not end. In fact, we may be entering a somewhat dangerous course of urban and aerial guerrilla warfare that God only knows how the end of it will become.
For one thing, the major catalyst behind this kind of activity, which is taken advantage by misguided zealots and their clerical mentors and their originators, who are still lying deep in mystery and clandestine cover, has yet to be lifted.
For another thing it seems obvious to this observer and to many broad minded thinkers that the cause d’étre of uncontrolled fanaticism, especially in the Moslem World is the fact that the Moslem World has yet to understand that the present forms of Government prevailing in our world provides the climate where such fanaticism nurtures because tyranny and autocracy provide a closed society where Government remains aloof from the constituency and thus confines its functions to protecting its own tight hold on the helms of affairs in the country and to directing those affairs to serving the interests of the elements that make up the ruling regime. Nothing else matters beyond that. It does not matter that the education system in the country does not produce any culture whatsoever amongst the people. It does not matter that a majority of the people are left ignorant and easy prey for fanaticism and misguided opportunists who rely on the sensitivities of people, especially playing on their spiritual inclinations and yearning for sensationalism to spread their immature dogmas. Moreover the clampdown on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association works to prevent any remedial action that civil society may be able to nurture against such waves of fanaticism, especially if such fanaticism is well funded and well organized on an international scale, and the regime in power has been guaranteed that they are not to be afraid of threats from such fanaticism and the organizers behind these new cults are guaranteed some sponsors within the regime itself!
It is not hard to state that it is really the sad political realities of the Arab and the Moslem World that breeds all kind of terror, because for most of the populations, the terror imposed and applied by the regimes, as well as the regime’s ineptitude at managing the affairs of state has given way to all kinds of frustrations and repressed feelings, that drives people to seek outlets for their frustrations, not caring what the end results are and how many laws are broken. After all, the regimes that run our countries care less about adherence to any law or even conscience in governing our affairs and serving their interests. Thus, there are serious grounds for frustrations and misguided culture that run prevalent in our midst and the idealists have no course except to stare in wonder and amazement at how men can be so evil and cruel and have the least sense of responsibility. Moreover, that Government can carry on without any degree of transparency and accountability surely cannot be grounds for any hope or aspirations of a promising future, when the present seems to be only rosy for every follower of evil conscience inside and outside the regime. Thus the pressure builds up on the constituency and when the only way to express discontent and frustration is to go for the limit, then let it be so, for there is nothing to loose anyway when one is living under repression and hopelessness!
It is time that Moslems and Arabs understand that the existing status quo of our world is the breeding ground for every kind of evil that one can think of, even when it is the evil that is in the name of God! We need a renaissance of free thought to be let loose to counter all kinds of terrorism, including the terror that is applied by the rulers of the Moslem World to keep themselves at the helms at the expense of the interests of the people of their countries and the interest of the Moslem World at large. It goes without saying that if there was no terror by the regimes in power, the Moslem constituencies will be quick to rise against any apparent evil in their midst, including fanaticism and so called “terrorism” and moreover, the people’s feelings about issues like Palestine, Chechnya and Kashmir, will find the right channels for constructive political and diplomatic actions will be opened to turn those feelings into meaningful actions that will never allow for demagogues like Sharon to not even worry about pressure from a United States under pain!
Mr. Hassan Al-Haifi contributed this article to the Yemen Times.