Bin Laden: Right Idea, Wrong Approach
The Arabs and Muslims have a history of victimization. They have been the victims of colonial powers, corrupt regimes and their own illusions. It’s time for that to change.
When Jamal Abdul Nasser ruled Egypt, he wanted to liberate all of Palestine and throw the Israelis into the Mediterranean. The result? The Jewish state occupied the West Bank, Sinai and Golan while others were busy praising his Arab unity crusade.
The PLO also wanted to liberate Palestine from the “river to the sea,” and ended up as municipal employees. Their policemen are supposed to work to arrest “terrorists;” otherwise, they are called terrorists themselves, whose families deserve to be bombed by US-made Apaches and F-16s.
Then came Iraq in 1990. It occupied one Arab country and threatened others, ostensibly suffering from the delusion that Arab oil wealth should be distributed among poor Arabs.
Ten years later, we have Mr. Bin Laden, who this week praised the killing of civilians in the name of the Palestinians.
Bin Laden is right about many things. The US has to use its fearsome power to ensure justice for the Palestinians, the Iraqis and all the oppressed of the world, and if it insists on continuing to side with the Israeli occupiers, it is the enemy of every Muslim and civilized person in the world.
But it’s been so depressing to watch our leaders trying to liberate Palestine by taking such roundabout paths.
Some Palestinians wanted, once upon a time, to liberate Palestine by “liberating” Amman. Iraq and Iran in the 1980s wanted to liberate Jerusalem by rolling through each other’s capitals, and hundred of thousands of Muslim soldiers fell along the “path to liberation.”
Then Iraq wanted to head for Jerusalem, but it had to pass through Kuwait in the process. Syria, meanwhile, wants to liberate the Golan Heights and Palestine by dominating Beirut.
The most recent episode of this kind has apparently been orchestrated by bin Laden, who wants to liberate the Occupied Territories through terrorizing US citizens, seven million of whom are Muslims.
This time, the road to Jerusalem apparently passes through New York and Washington, and we have to buy it - otherwise, we are in the camp of hypocrisy and blasphemy, and will go to hell, along with Bush and Sharon.
Bin Laden is correct that the US is not a just ruler of the world, but he could have done better.
Looking in the history of the Prophet Mohammad, who must be the example for all Muslims, we find that he never did what the New York attackers did.
He and his companions were tortured in Mecca, but they never harmed any civilians when they conquered the city.
On the eve of his Hijra, or emigration to Medina, he knew that his enemies were plotting against his life, and he had a lot of money and jewelry that the people of Mecca had entrusted him with. His main concern was how to send this wealth to its owners, who were his enemies.
He could have used the money to build his own state and fight the unbelievers, but he didn’t. He must have known something we don’t.
Let us ask Mr. Bin Laden why his millions of dollars didn’t go to support the Palestinians in their legitimate struggle against the Israeli occupation.
Why didn’t the mujahedeen target Israel's military, or train Palestinians to fight the Israeli soldiers and settlers who have been occupying their land for 34 years?
If they had the capabilities and the imagination to target the symbols of American might, why did they do nothing to show Israel that “it will never dream of security” as long as the Palestinians live in fear?
Let’s face it. Israel is the only beneficiary of all this mess, and the road to Jerusalem is straight ahead - if anyone is ever willing to get on it.
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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