Monday, December 31, 2007

Asharq Alawsat: "Happy New Terrorism!"

Mshari Al-Zaydi offers some realism on the subject of fighting terror. Here are the closing paragraphs:
[...] Hezbollah's opposition today against all parties and the automatic manner by which people join its ranks is attributed  amongst other reasons  to a long past of preparation and restructuring within Lebanon’s Shia community, in addition to imposing a new “culture” that has led to the creation of the "Hezbollah state" within the state, as stated in Waddah Sharara’s book entitled 'The Hezbollah State'.

In his book, Sharara talks about the need to spread awareness about the social revolutionary objective of the party from an early stage among its leadership and the affiliated intelligentsia. He quotes Mr. Ibrahim Amin, one of the party’s symbols and the head of the party’s politburo in an interview with the weekly 'al Shahri' magazine as saying, "The region should be dominated by Islam again; it should not be governed by man but rather by Islam," (State of Hezbollah, p.210). Sharara commented by stating that this trend connotes, "the formation of new social and civil ties that revolve around the notion of Islam."

This 'Islam' is that which was conceived of by Khomeini, as the leader of Hezbollah referred to the concept of exporting the Iranian revolution.

In practice, this new reformation of the community and the nation; the nation of Hezbollah, had already taken place on various levels: from the status of women to fashion, restaurants and new terminology, as recorded by Fadi Tawfiq in his book 'God’s Narrow Land'.

One of the anecdotes recounted by Tawfiq is the story behind the breakaway faction that became Hezbollah after splitting from Amal movement. He maintains that it was because the latter had deviated off Musa al Sadr's track, even on the level of its leader's personal appearance; as in the case of head of Amal movement Nabih Berri's clean shaven face.

The purpose behind such talk is to say that confronting terrorism and getting results is much more difficult than most can imagine. Combating terrorism and social isolation is but the first battlefield so that the people may be protected against the proliferation of terrorism. Any leniency towards extremism means weakening the efficiency of the fight against it.

In the end, this article is not an analysis of terrorism; rather it aims to point out a deficiency in understanding it. Also, what was mentioned above does not necessarily mean that all extremists are terrorists; however it does mean that extremism is a battlefield for an unadulterated 'ideological' confrontation.

Unless that were to happen we could very well find ourselves saying at the end of the year: Happy New Terrorism!
Cheerful thought.

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