In the history of any nation there are historical decisive moments that form a crossroads for them. In these moments the nations will be resuscitated if they comprehend them and perceive their fateful aspect. That will be like resurrection of a phoenix in the myth or they become mere dead ashes. All this depends on the reaction of these nations on what these moments impose of challenges and questions about their destiny and their existence.
When the world was in the process of change around Athens the city was submerged in its illusions and was asleep on its glories and its distinctiveness of the remaining of the world. It even suffocated those voices shouting in the wilderness, warning Athens from a bad fate in case that it would not comprehend its situation. It killed Socrates, belittle Plato and almost killed Aristotle had he not escaped from its madness. Athens did not grasp the variables and the historical moments around it. It consequently faded into the darkness of forgetfulness. Nothing remained memorable of its past except its concept of democracy and the names of those who were the subject of its repression. Nevertheless, time has immortalized Athens by immortalizing them but engulfed it as well.
This is applicable too on other fading civilizations from Persians, Romans and Muslims to Russians, Chinese and others. All these civilizations received signs and events warning and alerting them but they did not understand these signs or they did not pay attention to them. They thought they were immortal, and there would be nothing better than what it was. Then there was their dissolution between the jaws of the cruel time. This might be the dilemma of mankind and it might be something hidden and difficult to understand its wisdom. It might be this and other reasons, but we are not looking today for the justifications as much as the flaws and causes.
|The living is worth thinking of than the dead. Egyptian proverb|
Baghdad fell in the hands of the tartars. That was a sign that the Muslims' civilization started to crumble under the mattocks of time or under the effect of the decay that virtually reached its roots, as a result of its immobility. It was like stagnant waters where mosses grew fast. But no one took notice of that sign or may be of any preceding ones. Yes, Muslims finally defeated the legions of Mongols. But that was a victory more similar to a defeat. It was an anesthetic victory that made eyes incapable of seeing what the Muslims' civilization suffered from its diseases. That was the collapse in spite of the apparent victory. The crusaders were defeated in our land, but they would win after their defeat. Their military defeat was in the end of the day a victory, when Europe woke up of its slumber. It was the renaissance and the end of dark ages. Each nation considers themselves the best at certain time. That might be true at certain moments of the time. But it is impossible to keep that for ever, and if one did not admit that one would be misled. Lucifer was driven away from heaven because he had not accepted this wisdom. He refused and considered himself great and became arrogant. Consequently he became the cursed Satan.
Contrary to that we find other nations and countries which managed to read those alarming signs correctly. That helped them to go back to life although they were very close to distinction. For instance; Germany and Japan after the Second World War, and those societies and nations that completely abandoned their past, and looked forward to the future as an Egyptian proverb says (the living is worth thinking of than the dead). It is not wise that the dead stay the rulers of the living in every case. They would not themselves accept that for themselves if they were capable of talking. A lot of nations and countries were exterminated because they did not know how to read properly; or they read according to impulse. Then they thought they possessed the world without knowing that there would be no mountain to turn to against the floods and waves of their time. The Arab nation is one of those nations that have lost their integrity because they did not read well or did not want to read well the signs and the warnings in their critical moments. Since the first fall of Baghdad, through all those critical moments of the Arabs, and until the last fall of Baghdad, they have not understand what happened and why. Or they might not want to understand, except for a brief time before it was lost in the middle of the lose of consciousness. Napoleon came as an invader; the Fertile Crescent was divided by Sykes- Picot Treaty;
Balfour's Promise was announced; the partition decision of Palestine which was followed by the Catastrophe when the exodus of Palestinian people took place from their country in 1948; then the Arabs were defeated by Israel in 1967 War, then the invasion of Beirut, the first Arab capital invaded by Israel, then the11 September tragedy and what came after that of events in Afghanistan and Iraq. All these moments carried within them a lot of meanings, signs and warnings. But no one wanted to read them. There was a certain defect preventing Arabs from reading certain moments similar those moments that other nations and peoples went through. Some of them managed to read them, but Arabs seem to be unable to read, and 11 September event were one of many other evidence.
The moment of 11 September 2001 was crucial in the American history which incited the people there to ask questions like: what happened? How did it happen? Why did it happen? And what will follow these questions of answers might have a great effect on the future of the American country and people and on the American mentality. In contrast with this reaction the same moment has not incited any crucial questions among the Arabs or the Muslims in general in spite of its importance of their fate. The answer to an important question like: why did what happened happen? was mostly a mixture of justifications and excuses that did not approach the essence of this question: Palestine; the partiality of the American foreign policy; the Israeli conspiracy and other conspiracies; the humiliation of Islam and Muslims and other justifications that try as usual for the Arabs to blame the others and to exonerate themselves of any shortcoming. As if we are the only people in this wide world who suffer, or as if we reduce the world to become inhabited by us only. Many peoples suffered from all what we suffered: Imperialism, exploitation, humiliation, oppression and partiality . But they did not stay still moaning in front of the misery or they tried to destroy others' civilization when they failed to build their own, or they would interpret their psychological and non-psychological crises into a devastative venom to everything.
As an alive nation or a nation desiring to be alive we should have made a comprehensive revision to our soul after 11 September. While it was a catastrophe in the American history, it was an earthquake in the Arabic history. But where is the awareness of that? What happened in September was not a consequence of all these trivial justifications that we use as drugs for distancing ourselves from knowing the reality. Otherwise the whole world would become hell if each people were guided by their specific justifications and sought for revenge. What happened was a consequence of a chronic disease in the Arab psyche. I can call this disease the culture of illusion. That culture depicts an image of something that does not exist and promises us preposterous promises. It is an illusion when we think that all the world is against us, and it is an illusion when we think that there will not be any existence for us without the perishing of the others. It is illusion when we have either to get the best for ourselves or we have to die. According to this logic either we posses all the rain or let the rain to be stopped if we were thirsty. It is also an illusion if we think that the past is the rout to the future and it is illusion if we think that the world without us will not be able to survive; for this reason they compete against each other to exploit us like hyenas struggling for their prey. The greater illusion is that we are God's angels on His land and all the rest of the world are devils. It is illusion when we think that God is for us only not for other people. It is illusion when we think we are still the best nation appeared to the other people. With this kind of convictions we have become like some of the Jews who believe they are still the chosen people of God, forgetting the conditions on which such a choice will be held.
As some nations learnt from their critical moments and tried to rid themselves from their illusions and tried to return to some self-awareness, the Arab nation insisted on holding to its illusions in each of these moments. It is like a masochist enjoying torture. What happened in September was a moment of explosion of a mind that kept refusing reason. That was a consequence of the accumulation of previous critical moments that had not invoked suitable questions and consequently there were no answers. The incoming moment would be graver if a miracle did not occur. This would be the only way for the Arab mind to wake up from its illusions and regain consciousness. According to that everything would be rearranged from scratch before everything reaches its doom.
Source: Arab News
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