A Tale of the Confused Arab Left

Not that there is any tangible left or right these days in the pathetic political arenas of the despotic Arab regimes, but I will try to steer through the muddy waters. A discernible phenomenon is the unprincipled alliance forged by some of the desperate Arab leftist trends with Islamist movements in the Arab world.

What a shame, for the comrades.

Here is an example of the unfortunate consequences when such an unnatural marriage takes place.

A venerable Lebanese writer and political activist who often appears on Arab satellite stations is as secular as they come. However, she also chose to become a columnist for “Assabeel.” Her choice of newspaper is symbolic of this unholy alliance.

Assabeel, the voice of Jordan ‘s Islamist movement, is also the unabashed official spokesperson of Al-Qaida in Jordan , on whose pages Osama Bin Laden is sometimes seriously compared to the four Caliphs and even blasphemously praised with the phrase “radiya Allah anhu” by some of its columnists, a traditional reverence reserved for the companions of Prophet Muhammad.

In her last week’s column, this Lebanese writer made an impassioned plea for the release of the two French journalists in Iraq whom she knew personally and whom she described as being more actively dedicated pro-Arabs than the Arabs themselves.

The kidnappers, the Islamic Army of Iraq (you can call yourself the Islamic Starship Enterprise if you wish and get away with it in the current bazaar of masked kidnapping gangs in Iraq) are nothing but a bunch of barbaric throat-slashing thugs with a camcorder, despite their sick joke about the welfare of Muslim schoolgirls in Western Europe. As comic as it sounds, these imbeciles in war-ravaged Iraq want to interfere in the French education system and impose on French schools what and what not to wear.
This is not an Austin Powers hilarious twist; this tragicomedy is real life. And our secular columnist – whose heart is in the right place but her pen obviously isn’t – wanted to appeal to these deranged criminals through their ideological twin and main voice in Jordan, “Assabeel.”

In one heartfelt line, she asks, “why France , the country that defended us more than we defended ourselves”?

To be fair, her Islamist co-writers in Assabeel, along with many Islamist figures in the Arab world who have been hitherto silent on other murders and decapitations, also made an exception and pleaded for the life of the French journalists – not for any sanctity they espouse for innocent human lives, but purportedly because of the French government’s stance on the Iraq war.

So, are Spanish and Italian journalists fair game because of what Aznar and Berlusconi perpetrated? Did Enzo Baldoni, the Italian journalist who was also a Red Cross volunteer, deserve to be decapitated by this same group a few days ago? What about British Robert Fisk, God bless him, fearlessly exposing the travesties of this American fiasco war? If he is captured for his blue eyes and British passport, should the greatest and most prolific champion of the Arab cause in history be made to pay for the debauchery of Tony Blair?

Of course not, our secular writer would respond, all kidnappings and videotaped executions are atrocious.

Granted. So why on earth do you still ally yourself with Islamist ideologues who do not distinguish between the hills of Nablus and the mountains of Tora Bora?

Why do you associate your name with Islamist groups who insist on drawing a connection between the ruins of Jenin and the train wreckage of Madrid ?

Why do you write in a newspaper that reported the Bali bombing with a front page headline stating that Al Qaida has struck a blow to the prostitution center of South East Asia ?

Why do you ignore the unconditional comradeship and support given by the same newspaper in which you write to any gang of butchers, from Khobar to Casablanca , with the prefix “Islamic” stuffed before their name – despite this paper’s belated and implausible change of heart for the nationality of these two Frenchmen?

Many Islamist apologists would claim that Islamist moderate factions do not support the kidnapping festival in Iraq , and would argue that it is unfair to lump all Islamists, moderates and fundamentalists, together in one bag. But it is they who lump themselves together as such in one united front, most notably on the pages of Assabeel.

Indeed, how can a newspaper that until this day portrays the remnants of the Taliban as the true saviors of Afghanistan claim to harbor any moderate opinion?

How can a newspaper that openly glorifies Bin Laden and tacitly champions Abu Musab “head-chopper” Al-Zarqawi claim to be against these horrendous snuff movies?

Even if Assabeel now proclaims that it opposes this devilish slaughter, can we really believe them? Can the Ku Klux Klan Weekly Gazette pretend to be against lynching and cross-burning rallies, and expect readers to believe a word?
While the above publication is imaginary, in Jordan we have a real newspaper spreading a different venom under the name of Islam. It is a real shame that liberal and leftist icons can have anything to do with such an outlet for backward literature.

For example, these Islamists never uttered a word of condemnation of the recent blowing up of the two Russian civilian planes in the sky? Now, after the single most stupid and cowardly act in the history of all liberation movements, would the Islamist hypocrites bow their heads in shame for the siege of the Russian school? Far from it. They would probably issue a special edition about the Chechen mujahideen and the mythical glories of their Jordanian commanders, as they have done in numerous issues.

While it is natural for Arabs to be outraged by the murderous war waged by George W. Bush and his obedient servant Tony Blair, secular thinkers and writers need to draw clear lines of moral certitude in order not to stoop to the demented level of our enemies, and thus become no different than them.

Few people would disagree that the blame for the current mess and destruction in Iraq lies entirely and squarely at the doorsteps of the two war-mongering governments of the US and Britain , for it is they who irresponsibly opened the Pandora’s box of armed chaos in Iraq without having a clue on how to stop it or contain it.

However, none of this should ever make us lose track of who our real internal enemies are. For not in the wildest fantasies of Bush & Co. could they have imagined a more valuable gift than that provided on a golden platter by Osama Bin Laden and his ilk. Any party who shows sympathy to these eternal enemies of our nation are either willing accomplices, or worse, ignorant demagogues who do more damage.

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