By: Tashbih Sayyed
The greatest gift of God to human beings is their ability to die
peacefully in their own beds. People who do not have this ability
are always in danger of losing their self respect and dignity. But
to be able to exercise this ability, one has to have a home of his
own. That's why, in my view, the first act of a barbaric mind is to
deny a people of their right to have a home of their own. The
history of human civilization is a witness that the people without a
home have always had to endure a life without dignity.
The state of mind that does not believe in allowing
"others" to live like human beings, also despises
pluralism. It is an absolutist state of mind. It hates open
societies. Adolph Hitler, Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Osama bin Laden
and Saddam Hussein represent this anti-god ideology. Democracy, on
the other hand, does not divide this world into "us" and
"them." It is not an exclusivist sociology - it is all
It respects the rights of human beings to their homes and
acknowledges the vitality of dissension for the evolution of human
mind. Faith in human is the force that drives open societies. And
the spirit of tolerance sustains this faith. Tolerance is the
foundation of civilization. Millenniums of human sufferings and
indignation has brought the humanity to conclude that only an open
society can guarantee the human beings an ability to die peacefully
in their own beds. Our forefathers who established our great nation
of the United States of America were the best example of this civic
An open society is defined as an entity that allows the
development of a lively and democratic polity and information media.
It supports an independent judiciary, encourages pluralism and
promotes tolerance. In short an open society is a democratic
society. An open society believes in moving forward with history. A
democratic society refuses to be bogged down by accidents, incidents
and events. It never allows itself to be frozen in time.
Totalitarian ideologies are the product of a state of mind that
does not believe in accepting responsibility for its actions. Such a
mind set is created by a tradition that divides the world into two
camps-"us' and "them." It suffers from a superiority
complex that is itself a product of a negative ethnocentrism.
Everything that is attributed to "us" is incapable of
making any mistakes and as a corollary of this ethnocentrism,
anything that is of others is wrong, has to be rejected and looked
Malaysian Prime Minister. Mahathir Mohammad's remarks, "The
Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million. But today the
Jews rule this world by proxy," reflect this barbaric
anti-civilization state of mind. Failure of the Muslim rulers to
condemn such a repulsive outburst reconfirmed the hold of radical
Islam on Muslim societies. Muslim rulers, who lack the legitimacy in
their own countries failed to realize that their silence is a proof
that they are not truly against terrorism.
They failed to see that Mahathir Mohammad's comments hinder all
the efforts to further inter-ethnic and religious harmony. Suffering
from centuries of indoctrination, leaders like General Musharraf,
Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah of Jordan, Karzai of
Afghanistan could not acknowledge that such anti-Semitic statements
have no place in a decent world. They even failed to recognize that
such false and anti-Semitic remarks are as offensive to Muslims as
they are to others. The fact remains that such comments about Jews
undermine efforts to bring different religions closer.
The degree of ignorance that the Muslim leaders are suffering
from was evident from their reaction to this offensive statement.
According to BBC, the anti-Semitic speech got a standing ovation
from the kings, presidents, sheiks and emirs - including key US
allies - gathered at Malaysia's sparkling new capital, Putrajaya.
Arab leaders said Mahathir was simply telling it like it is. "I
don't think they are anti-Semitic at all. I think he was stating the
facts," Yemeni Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi said.
"There are people wanting to create trouble, invent problems
that do not exist," said Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher.
"I would advise them to read the whole speech."
What happened in Malaysia, is a window into the Islamist
controlled Muslim minds. They are mesmerized into believing that
they are perfect. There is nothing wrong with them. All their
failings are because of a big Judeo-Christian conspiracy. This
negative ethnocentrism, has rendered Muslims unable to reform
themselves. To feel the need for reform, there has to be a
realization that there is something wrong. The Islamist controlled
Muslim does not find any fault with their sociology.
That's why, in my opinion, they are so easily recruited to be an
Al-Qaeda holy warriors and homicide bombers. Malaysian Foreign
Minister Syed Hamid Albar confirmed the nature of this affliction.
He said the world's Muslims were in a "quagmire" and
feeling "sidelined or marginalized," reflecting a
widespread perception in the Islamic world as the war on terrorism
has evolved into US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Israeli has
increased repression of the Palestinians. "Please forget about
anti-Semitism," Syed Hamid told reporters. "People may not
be very happy but this is the reality: the Jews are very
BBC reported that the assembled leaders included Saudi Crown
Prince Abdullah, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistan President
Pervez Musharraf and Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo of the Philippines were special guests because of their large
Muslim minorities. In their reactions to the speech, most focused on
the aspects that Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher called
"a good road map" toward Muslim empowerment but missed
completely that such offensive and inflammatory speeches can not in
any way serve as toward Muslim empowerment or a good road map."
Such sentiments should be viewed "with the contempt and
derision they deserve." Asked by The AP whether he thought the
speech was anti-Semitic, Karzai responded: "No, I do not think
Mr. Karzai of all the people ought to know that by endorsing
anti-Semitism he cannot sincerely hope to defeat either Talibaan or
Al-Qaeda. Muslim world in general and Afghanistan in particular,
needs to establish tolerance as a popular state of mind. Anti-West
ethos will never take them anywhere. Muslim countries like
Afghanistan have suffered because of lack of dialogue and
understanding between their ethnically and linguistically divided
peoples. Unless Mr. Karzai adopts a bold policy of establishing the
institution of dialogue there will never be peace that is critical
for achieving understanding in his ethnically fragmented nation. He
can not hope to introduce stability in his war torn country without
condemning the offensive and anti-Semitic expressions. He can begin
by deploring Mahathir's sentiments that are offensive and
As a result of this anti-US indoctrination, Muslim street is
convinced that U.S. war against terror is in fact, a war to empower
Jews. And so-called moderate-pro-US Muslim rulers, by their silence,
have strengthened this perception. Mahathir was clearly referring to
our war against terrorism when he said that Jews get others to fight
and die for them. And the silence of those Muslim rulers who are
never tired of claiming that they are our coalition partners, was
evidence enough that they share in Mahathir's anti-Semitism. Such
partners can never be trusted. I am sure, at the bottom of our
failure to find Osama bin Laden, Mulla Umer, Al-Zawaheri, Saddam
Hussein and weapons of mass destruction, lies this insincerity. It
is time that the U.S. should stop depending on the enemies of our
Muslim rulers will have to realize that their silence is
"incitement to hatred." Malaysian Prime Minister, instead
of working for peace and unity between peoples, is propagating
hatred. And "the civilized world has seen the results of such
violent rhetoric in the past."