Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1149, 23 - 29 May 2013
Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Issue 1149, 23 - 29 May 2013

Ahram Weekly

Al-Aqsa and the circle of alienation

How can the Islamic world stand silent as Al-Aqsa Mosque is affronted, asks Mohamed Hussein Abul-Ela

Al-Ahram Weekly

It has become a familiar scene in the Arab and Islamic arena to see the mechanism of action and reaction play in an unbalanced way, so that an action that represents a flagrant aggression on Arab dignity and rights would have no equal reaction, no matter how aggravated it is. Arab reactions have always been “verbal” and oratory in nature, filled with empty emotions that do not carry realistic significance. So the reaction comes devoid of any concept or pragmatic logic.

All of this has been demonstrated in the dramatic scene that’s quite familiar to the Islamic mind: more than a hundred Israeli soldiers storming the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque at the Moroccan Gate. Yes, they stormed the mosque, Al-Aqsa and the Marawani prayer area. Furthermore, reference is made to what the occupation forces’ bulldozers had done, demolishing the facades of ancient historical buildings at the Western Wall and in the Moroccan neighbourhood — prelude to giant Judaisation projects.

The raid on Al-Aqsa culminated in the storming of Joseph’s Tomb. These actions establish a dangerous situation that may drag the region to religious conflict with unforeseen endings. Moreover, there are those that maintain a hidden, shameful agenda to obliterate all features of Islamic architecture, and insist on dissolving the Arab identity of Jerusalem (Al-Quds) through successive violations that ignore international laws, humanitarian norms or religious prohibitions. Has the issue of Al-Aqsa become the burden of the Palestinians only? Has the Al-Aqsa issue become marginal so as not to occupy its actual importance on the agendas of Arab national priorities? Otherwise, why was the Islamic Summit agenda devoid of strategy for the protection of Al-Aqsa? Why have not the religious feelings of the Islamic world been moved by the ugly scenes of the deputy Israeli foreign minister speaking with Al-Aqsa Mosque as a backdrop, as if it was a Jewish landmark? To what degree of provocation does Israel have to go, especially after the Arab popular revolutions against tyranny and oppression? For how long will the Islamic mind languish in legends? What other issues have priority over Al-Aqsa? Do not the moments of crisis the Islamic world is experiencing not necessitate a new mind — more committed, more poised, more serious and logical? What are the modalities of thinking needed at this critical moment?

Arab and Islamic societies, in general, have entered into circles of alienation from themselves where responses contradict — blatantly — actions, or where there is no response at all. This alienation is a by-product of a psychology reflecting non-integration in societal structures and functions. Amid the deluge of contemporary culture, it represents a state of chaos and collapse that afflicts Arab societies bereft of vision or a sense of orientation. This alienation strongly expresses a shaking traditional moral system, without another ethical approach consistent with the historical moment taking its place. This reflects negatively as well on religious beliefs, so the lack of traditional standards has become the contemporary stigma of Islamic societies, which appear as lost sailors in the midst of the world political scene. Do not get involved with an enemy who is en route to suicide, is the logic there.


The writer is a political commentator.

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