October 20, 2018

Open Letter to My Dear Muslim Arab Friends……

On the picture Ambassador Professor Dumitru Chican.  Copyright INGEPO Consulting, photographer Ionus Paraschiv.

By Ambassador prof. Dumitru Chican.

       As-Salamu aleikum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakātuhu, Peace be upon you I say and I say Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you, a friend of yours say whom you don’t know yet he knows you having the privilege of speaking your fascinating Arabic language through which you define yourselves, of having lived among you, at your home, with you and of having discovered you not only through the noble sense of the value called Diyāfa –the hospitality of the water carafe offered as a sign of welcome to he who passes the threshold of your house or make a halt in the shadow of your tent inherited from venerable ancestors;  I discovered you in the names of your scientists who laid foundations to the development of universal culture and civilization – Averroes and Avicenna, Al-Kindi, Ibn Khaldun and so many others, I tracked you in the flight of the pigeons under the arches in Cordova, Seville and  Toledo, through your poets who were a source of inspiration for a Dante Aligheri and I placed you in the books I wrote about you, in the Arab poems I glossed for making them known to my fellow citizens with the hope of building bridges for a better mutual knowledge, appreciation and to value the treasures of culture and spirituality of the Arab nation and those of my people.

I was acquainted with you and admired you, giving you friendship and enjoyed the friendship you bestowed on me.

What happens today with you and with that fascinating secret garden which is tha Arab world and the Islamic universe?

Too many times when looking at the TV screens and listening to the brutal news about a new massacre perpetrated in an European place I am wishing, without words, that the perpetrator or perpetrators have not been Arabs, have not been Muslims. And almost every time the nude reality contradicts me, leaving the bitter taste of finding out that Look! there is no longer a secret for anyone that the Arab-Islamic world is creating, with inconscience, the image of the entire mankind’s ennemy.

I am absolutely convinced that the Arab youth coming to Europe  in search of better horizons of life but accept to kill – with a vehicle turned into a killing bolide, with a machete or a knife – innocent people in the Western towns and little towns do not represent the true image of the country and people where they were born and to which they belong through identity, history and culture.

I know too well that fanaticism and hatred are not the exclusive monopoly of an area of the world, of a certain confession. Violence and rejecting the other only because he does not think like us accompanied the mankind’s entire history. But in this first century of the third millennium we have to recognize that the origin of the overwhelming number of aggressions against the innocents – women, men, elderly people and children – incuding Muslim faithful but declared “infidels” because they do not belive in the radicalism of the Salafist and takfirist patterns is in this Arab-Islamic world which religion proclaim – as you do not get tired of telling us – love, tolerance, peace.

I confess, my dear Arab Muslim friends, than whenewer I see the terrible images of the dead cut down by a fanatic death, many of them mere tourists wishing to see the beauties of the world, I feel pressed down by the inner need to appologize to the family of the Japanese or French, British, Belgian, German or Romanian whose corpses lie on the streets, public squares and on the promenades in Barcelona, London, Paris, Brussels, amid the monuments of Luxor or in bazaars of Falluja, Beirut, Baghdad, Sinai and having frozen in their last glance the perplexed question:why?

Why do you allow the fanaticism ruled by its own Islam of the outskirts to stain with blood the world’s map and to make the planet’s citizens mourn? For they chose to look to the future while you remained anchored in a past that still dreams for the utopian rebirth of the Muslim caliphate?

For the Arab-Islamic world failed in its few efforts of edifying the modern state and its institutional values?

For you think together with Ibn Taymiya, with Abdel Wahhab, with Hassan Al -Banna,  or with Sayyed Qotb and with Ayman Al-Zawahiri that democracy is just ”the bastard child of the western civilization”?

For you have been raised with the contempt for  the secularism of this West where you do not hesitate to send your children to universities and academies in the hope of an as ”western” as possible life?

How did you, Arab-Islamic nation, react when seeing that from your own body this monstruous djinn was born and rose and was called with uncontrolled pride ”Islamic State”? “I do not identify myself with this malformation” you said, ”this is not Islam”, you fought back. Yet the Islam which proclaims that ”there is no compulsion in it”  (La Ikrāh fi-l-Islam!), this Islam did not rise solidary and unwavering to explicitly proclaim its denial of accepting this savagery of the present, even if the declaratory denial is far from being enough for stopping the monstrosity as long as the proclamation is not followed by curative steps and especially by the awareness of the need of self-criticism and of recognizing one’s own hesitations and weackness. You, dear Arab and Muslim community, you contented yourself with deliverying speeches inspiread, almost all of them, from the preachings intoned from the pulpit of the mosque and then, with the comfotable feeling of the ”respected and fulfilled duty”, you turned every time to the atavic custom of accusing the others as universal substitute of the indignant cry and of the pragmatic opposition.

Those who perpetrated during the last years terrorist attacks under the cry “Allah Akbar!” were, in their overwhelming majority, Muslims and Arabs.  Kouachi brothers, the assassins at “Charlie Hebdo” (January 2015), Mahmud Abu Hilal – (Nice, 2016), Anis Al-Ameri (the driver killer in Berlin, on December 19th, 2016), Khaled Masoud (Westmister, Londra, March 2017), Suleyman Ramadan Al-Abdi  (Manchester, 22nd of  May 2017), Younes Abu Yaakub (Barcelona, Rambla, August 2017) and many, many other are Arabs, many of them had probably as ABC the Quran glossed by a preacher or sheikh whose only job is making assassins from these tullab, young students, alike the Talibans (“students” as well) of Afghanistan where once, on behalf of Islam, able to destroy, under cannon blows, the pre-Islamic statues in Bamyan or to blow up the archaeological treasures   of Palmyra and Nineveh on the ground they  represented a heretical iconography?

My dear Muslim and Arab friends, as I am loving and admiring you, I allow myself to subject you to a sincere criticism which the honest friendship and love only make it possible and wonder if my love is really supported by moral arguments. As the geographic distance gives me the space of perspectice, it allows me, at the same time, to see things you cannot or do not want to discern and to ask questions you do not want or cannot ask. For what this monstrosity called “Islamic State” used and was allowed to use the Islam’s face, which is the spiritual face of each of you, in order to show its savagery? Why Islam’s face and not any other face? Where are your scientists and inventors, where are your illuminees carrying for you the guiding torch towards the freedom of thought and towards the daring innovative reforms? Where are your universities, the higher education institutes, the great public libraries, the scientific discoveries and the introspective curiosity? What fruits brought to you the metaphorical revolutions of the Arab spring? And how can’t you understand and accept what the great Syrian poet Adonis  was saying with no trembling voice and was writing with no shaking hand, namely that the revolutions moulded in the mosques and in the shadows of the minarets are inevitably doomed to collapse in a frozen and annihilating winter of the consciences who further hope for freedom, dignity and wellbeing? A winter under which snows other ”caliphates” and other vipers, other ”Islamic States” are sprouting as well as other barbarities and denials of humanism that were born in the haze of the Dark Ages?

Into which soil are thrusted the roots of evil preventing you to unchain the superabundance of creative energies and be, in the universal contexts, an efigy of the dinamic participation to the collective construction of a world reconciled with itself? The truth which, as any truth irritates, is that the roots of evil are in yourselves, my dear Arab and Muslim friends, the djinn, this malefic spirit of hatred was not born on alien planets but within the permissive matrix of the Arabic-Islamic body, from the endless oscillation between present and past, from the contradictions and  lack of will of edifying their dignified place in the concert of world’s nations and peoples. And such monsters will go on emerging as long as you will turn down with apathy to confront the truth and to cleanse your body of the roots consuming normality and creative energies.

It is high time, my dear Arab and Muslim friends, to remember your grandfathers Rifa’a Tahtawi, Mohammed Abdo, Rachid Rida, Jubran Khalil Jubran, Francis Marrache and others who, in the XIXth century, achieved the first Nahda, Renaissance or Arab “revival” spiritually, culturally and nationally, and the fact that the genuine meaning of the word “jihad” is that of fighting with self and for unremittingly refining the self. It is high time for you to depart, through your own endeavour,  from the harmful schisms among sects and rites politicized  from mercantile reasons and to revive in the Arab ordinary conscience the generous meaning of that Al-Nafs Al-‘Ammāra – the building spirit” thanks to which you came out of the obscurantism of pre-medieval ignorance for making yourselves builders of bridges among civilizations. Do not give up that “building spirit” just because “peripheral spirits” exploits your fatalism, your past-ridden cult, ignorance and convenient carelessness for keeping you in the darkness and in the endless grievance and you blame the rest of human community for that.

Salam Aleykum I say to you, my dear Muslim and Arab friends!


Article first published by Geostrategic Pulse, www.ingepo.ro


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