Why I support Kurdistan’s independence referendum

Here is an English version of my latest article in Al-Hurra  

Kurdistan

( photo via the Guardian)

 

In 838, a Kurdish leader based in Mosul named Mir Jafar Dasni revolted against the Caliph Al-Mu’tasim. After a series of armed confrontation between Arabs and Kurds in difficult terrain, a (non-Arab) commander of the Arab Caliph, Itakh, won the war and executed many of the Kurds, but Mir Jafar Dasni committed suicide to avoid capture.

Many opponents of the Iraqi Kurdistan referendum may not be aware of the region’s medieval historical conflicts, but undoubtedly they hope that history repeats itself and that the Kurds will be defeated once again, but this is unlikely. Their abundance of foes has united the Iraqi Kurds in support of the referendum. Never in their history have the Kurds been as focused and determined as they are today.

It is easy to join the chorus of opponents of the Kurdish referendum; however, I have humbly decided to stand with the brave Kurds in their quest for nationhood for many reasons:

First, because it is a just cause.

Growing up in Egypt, and despite avidly following regional politics from a very early age, I have never heard the word “Kurd” except briefly and ambiguously when Saddam Hussein butchered them with chemical weapons in Halabja in 1988. Still, many Arab apologists denigrated the Kurds and portrayed them as agents of foreign powers. My later travels in Syria, Iran, and Turkey opened my eyes to the depth of denigration, even racism, against the Kurds and it was frankly shocking. Regional powers have systematically lost their moral high ground in their repeated abuse of the Kurds; therefore, they cannot lecture the Kurds now about what should or should not be done.

Second, there will never be a “right time”.

Kurdish independence has been postponed several times, a dream that they have patiently waited to fulfil over the past 100 years. But apparently a century is not long enough, as the Kurds were asked to postpone again. “Timing is not suitable,” is one of the justifications given for this anonymous rejection. The Kurds, however, have learned one lesson from their century-old struggle for independence: there will never be a “right time.” The fragility of Iraq and Syria is not a product of Kurdish nationalism, and will continue regardless of Kurdish aspirations. Blaming the Kurds or asking them to wait is a disingenuous delay of the inevitable.

Third, an independent Kurdistan is a balancing state.

Amidst many competitive groups in the Middle East with Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia competing for power and dominance; Kurdistan could be the buffering zone that stops the fiery ambitions of both Turkey and Iran; both have issued emphatic statements against the referendum. “We will not allow the creation of a second Israel in the north of Iraq,” pro-Iran, Iraqi Vice President Nuri al-Maliki said. Moreover, a number of Turkish media outlets supportive of President Erdogan have spread false news reports claiming Kurdish groups entered into a secret deal with Israel to resettle Jews in the region. It is true that Israel backs the referendum, but the Kurds have stronger and deeper reasons to pursue their aspirations for independence, regardless of Israeli support.

In the Middle East, a good Kurd is either Arabized or Islamized, but never a Kurdish nationalist. The demonization of the Kurds only reflects the ugliness of all the dominant ideologies in our region, whether Islamism with its Sunni and Shi’ite branches, or Arab nationalism. This is precisely why, as a liberal, I stand against this ugliness and stand for the referendum.

Regardless of the referendum circus, I support the right of the Kurds to self-determination. But this support is conditional, as I expect the Kurdish region to embrace more liberal and progressive values. I look forward to a less autocratic and more inclusive administration in Kurdistan that wins the hearts and minds of Arabs and Turkmen living under Kurdish control. I trust the Kurds to provide a positive example for the rest of the region, and I hope they will not betray my trust.

 

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This Week in Egypt: Week 39-2017 ( Sept 18-24)

 

Top Headlines 

  • Irish-Egyptian Ibrahim Halawa acquitted of all charges in Fatah mosque case, expected to be released within days 
  • Egypt’s Sisi, Israel’s Netanyahu meet for first time in public
  • Trump: U.S. will consider resuming halted military aid to Egypt
  • Muslim Brotherhood’s former supreme guide Mahdi Akef dies at 89
  • Egypt jails 14 over deadly stadium stampede

 Main Headlines

 Monday

  • Irish-Egyptian Ibrahim Halawa is acquitted of all charges in Fatah mosque case, expected to be released within days
  • Egyptian president Sisi is in New York this week to attend the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)
  • Cairo criminal court orders 215 defendants in ‘Helwan militant Brigades case’ to be added to the terror list
  • HRW considers Egypt’s media attacks on its report is misleading
  • Businessman Salah Diab is acquitted of unlicensed firearms charges
  • Egypt to reduce LNG imports as Zohr gas field nears production
  • Al-Azhar professor says necrophilia between spouses not a sin, sparks outrage

Tuesday

 Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday 

Good Reports

Good Read

 From Twitter

 

Interview

  • Fox News ‘s interview with Egypt’s Sisi

 Plus

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This Week in Egypt: Week 38-2017 ( Sept 11-17)

Top Headlines

  • Militants attacked a security convoy in Egypt’s Sinai, killing at least 18 policemen
  • Two Egyptian soldiers, 5 militants killed in North Sinai shootout in North Sina
  • Egypt’s Court of Cassation upholds ousted president Morsi’s life sentence
  • Egypt detains lawyer investigating enforced disappearances

 Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday 

Thursday

  • Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia experts meet Thursday to discuss Nile dam studies to discuss Nile dam
  • Egypt and Italy sign joint training to combat organized crime, illegal immigration

 Friday

  • Trump to meet Sisi, Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah at UNGA in New York
  • Egypt new ambassador to Italy heads to Rome
  • Fatah delegation arrives in Cairo to discuss Palestinian reconciliation
  • Military drills between Saudi and Egyptian air forces is underway

Saturday

  • Egypt’s Court of Cassation upholds ousted president Morsi‘s life sentence over “Qatar document leak”
  • Preliminary death sentences for 7 members ISIS affiliate charged with participating in the beheading of 21 Egyptians in Libya
  • Hamas to open an office in Cairo for security coordination
  • Fresh round of negotiations between army and Warraq residents

Sunday

Good Reports

Good Read

From Twitter

 

Plus

  • Director Amr Salama’s movie Sheikh Jackson has been nominated to represent Egypt in the foreign films section at the next Oscars 2018
  • Egyptian woman to sue father over ‘unprecedented staleness,’ lack of tenderness
  • Cairo’s white taxi drivers enter digital world launching “WhatsApp taxi”

Finally here are Jayson Casper’s prayers for Egypt

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Twitter Thread: Al-Jazeera’s Ahmed Mansour and Hurricane Irma

Al-Jazeera anchor Ahmed Mansour has created contraversy after his Arabic tweets on Hurricane Irma. He apologised  for his Arabic tweets that were considered offensive. Here are few tweets by others who challenged his views and his later apology (in English).

 

 

 

 

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This Week in Egypt – Week 37-2017 ( Sept 4-10)

Top Headlines

  • Bright Star’ military drills kick off between Egypt and US
  • HRW condemns Egypt ‘assembly line of torture’, government denies allegations
  • Egypt blocks HRW site after torture report is released
  • Egypt announces the discovery of a 3,500-year old pharaonic tomb belonging to a royal goldsmith
  • Egypt inflation dips in August from record highs

 

Main Headlines

 Monday

 Tuesday

  • Bodies of 16 migrants found in Libya’s eastern desert near border with Egypt
  • Egypt, China sign agreements to fund a new electric train
  • Reporters without Borders say Egyptian intelligence services extend control over media
  • Egypt’s first lady makes first international appearance at BRICS
  • Ethiopia faces worst drought in years as millions at risk

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Good Reports

Good Read

 From Twitter

Interview

  • Former commander of joint operations Qashqoush on resumption of Egypt- US military exercises.

Plus

Finally here are Jayson Casper’s prayers for Egypt

 

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How can Liberal Muslims win?

Here is an English version of my latest Arabic article published in Al-Hurra

 

Tunsiian women

( Tunisian women- via Al-Hurra)

 

Although attempts to liberalise Islamic discourse have been ongoing for centuries, they have failed to find sustainable general acceptance in Muslim societies. Liberal Islam is a non-literal interpretation of Islamic texts that maintains the spirit and goal of the texts but rejects dogma and regression. The latest call by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi for full gender equality is one of the latest examples of efforts to liberalise Islamic discourse. However, the widespread outrage with which President Essebsi’s proposal was met sums up the extent of the opposition to liberalisation and the challenges liberal Muslims face. Ironically, however, it is not only the stubborn rejection of liberalism by mainstream Muslims that serves as an obstacle to liberal thought, but also the way in which liberals are handling such rejection – and how they are clinging to traditional dogma.

Liberals are facing rejection on a number of fronts – from radical preachers such as Turkey-based Egyptian preacher Wagdy Ghoneim, who insulted Essebsi, and labelled him as an infidel, to mainstream Islamic Institutions such as Egypt’s Al-Azhar, who formally rejected Essebsi’s proposal.

Among the tsunami of comments on social media that formed the verbal backlash to Essebsi’s initiative, I was particularly struck by those reportedly made live in Qatar by the radical leader of Egypt’s Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, Assem Abdel-Maged. On his Facebook page, Abdel Maged unsurprisingly attacked Essebsi, saying he deserves all that Wagdy Ghoneim said about him. The rest of the post, together with a series of other posts, however, is more interesting. Abdel Maged admitted that labelling Essebsi and others as “infidels” could provoke negative responses. He also confessed that the call for the implementation of Sharia is not as popular as it was in the 70s and 80s, and added that Islamists risk another defeat if they repeat past policies.

More interestingly, Abdel Maged proposed that Islamists should focus on winning and changing the Muslim public, instead of directly attacking what he described as “enemies of the Ummah.” Abdel Maged’s posts reflect a deeper sense of defeat among the Islamist camp, especially after their failure to remain in power after the Arab uprisings. Precisely why he suggested a tactical shift in Islamist discourse is to win back ordinary Muslims.

But while Islamists like Abdel Maged are reflecting on their own tactics, liberals, on the other hand, have failed to do likewise. Liberal intellectuals need to tackle uncomfortable questions such as: Why is the weary public that rejects radical Islamism is so reluctant to swing towards liberal Islamic thoughts and is still clinging to Al-Azhar’s traditional dogma?

The answer is threefold: first, Liberal Muslims fail to appreciate the depth of fear among the public of losing their identity. Second, liberals are using the wrong tactics in their battle against dogma. Third, despite the noticeable dip in the popularity of the Islamist camp, liberals do not genuinely believe in their own ability to win.

The vocal rejection of calls for gender equality does not necessarily reflect a dominance of orthodox interpretations of Islamic texts; it indicates, instead, a growing sense of insecurity and fear among the wider pious Muslim population of losing their own identity in the face of what they perceive as a global cultural invasion. “What’s next after gender equality?” Gay marriage? Banning the Hijab? Amidst that religious anxiety, a literal interpretation of sacred texts becomes comfort food for thoughts that help Muslims to settle their fear.

Within such a climate, liberal Muslims’ attempts to counter literalism with literalism is frankly futile. It is pointless to address a weary public by reciting verses of the Quran or confronting Al-Azhar scholars. Such tactics are doomed to failure and will only trigger reflexive responses in defence of Al-Azhar. It will also create more confusion among many Muslims, forcing them into a bunker mentality that would ultimately lead to more dogma and rigidity.

Instead, liberals should focus on allaying the public fear of liberalism. They have to reassure ordinary Muslims that liberalism seeks neither to dominate Islam, nor spread decadence. The core message of liberals should be the creation of a more tolerant society, in which all shades of Muslims exist under a wide, tolerant umbrella. Such a diverse society has a better chance of maintaining its identity and resist cultural invasion. When pious Muslims start to see liberalism as a non-threatening concept, they will embrace it, or at least stop rejecting those who embrace it.

More importantly, liberal Muslims lack a belief in their own ability to win the battle of ideas. Since the brutal murder of Egyptian liberal thinker Farag Fouda, liberals have sunk into a defeatist mood. Unlike Fouda, few Muslim liberals genuinely believe that liberalism will prevail in the Muslim world; some of them even behave as if liberalism is a sin they have to apologise for. It is no surprise that many ordinary Muslims refuse to embrace lacklustre liberals and would rather fall for the overly confident dogmatic preachers.

It may be hard to agree with Assem Abdel Maged, but he is right in pointing out that the real battle is not between literal versus liberal interpretations of Islam. The real battle is to win the hearts and minds of the wider Muslim public. For liberals to win such a battle they have to change their tactics, and clarify their message; but first, they have to believe in their own victory, because no one will believe them otherwise.

 

 

Posted in Best Read, Islam, Middle East, Terrorism | Leave a comment

This Week in Egypt: Week 36-2017 (Aug 28-Sept 3)

Top Headlines

  • UK lifts laptop cabin ban on flights from Cairo
  • Israel’s ambassador returns to Egypt after 8 months away
  • Israel may reduce Egypt’s fine for halting gas supplies in 2012
  • Egypt blocks more websites raising the total number of blocked sites to 405
  • Human rights group calls on Egyptian government to review website block
  • Sudanese FM: Arbitration or negotiation is best choice to solve Halayeb case
  • Electrical lines that supply power to Gaza from Egypt is partially restored.

 Main Headlines

 Monday

Tuesday

  • Israeli ambassador returns to Egypt after 8 months away
  • Russian- Egyptian exercise in Krasnodar by September
  • Foreign Affairs Ministry denies signing agreement with Germany to establish refugee camps in Egypt
  • Egypt’s FM signs agreements with Romania on visas, tourism and political consultation
  • Egypt signs oil and gas exploration deals with Shell

Wednesday 

Thursday 

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Good Reports

  • TIMEP’s briefing on U.S. aid to Egypt.
  • Border dispute with Sudan could isolate Egypt in Nile talks. Menna Zaki
  • 14 days of a storm in July: Recounting what happened in Arish. Mada Masr
  • How Egyptian vegetarians avoid meat during ‘Eid Al-Adha’. Taha Sakr
  • Cairo seeks to boost trade with Ankara, overlooking political deadlock. Albaraa Abdullah
  • Feminism is ‘booming’ in Egypt despite controversial ‘man up” campaign. Al-Bawaba
  • The battle for the Nile riverbanks. Hadeer El Mahdaway

Good Read 

(views expressed do not reflect my own) 

From Twitter

https://twitter.com/FCOJohnCasson/status/9035903040869294

Plus

  • Egypt’s hijabi Radio report BBC World Service
  • Egypt to turn administrative building of Suez Canal to a museum by 2019
  • An iconic sculpture by the legendary Mahmoud Mokhtar was discovered accidentally in Port Said

Finally here are Jayson Casper’s prayers for Egypt

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This Week in Egypt: Week 35-2017 (Aug 21-27)

Top Headlines

  • U.S. to withhold up to $290 million in Egypt aid
  • Egypt’s Sisi and Shoukry meet Kushner after US holds back aid
  • Egypt says US gave “just a few hours notice” before announcing massive aid cuts
  • After aid crisis, Trump calms atmosphere with telephone call to Sisi
  • Al-Azhar’s grand imam says Islamic inheritance law is ‘not up for reinterpretation’
  • Despite intimidation, Coptic Christians in Minya celebrate Assumption of Mary

Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday 

  • The United States has decided to deny Egypt $95.7 million in aid
  • Russia to supply Egypt with 15 combat helicopters by end of 2017
  • Security forces prevent Copts from holding feast day prayers in Minya
  • Police officer, 2 conscripts injured in a shooting in North Sinai
  • Aya Hegazy announces plans to establish Belady in US, prioritizing child political prisoners
  • Egyptian academic is accused of ‘glorifying Satan’ after teaching Milton’s Paradise Lost

Wednesday

Thursday

 Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Good Reports

Good Read

Twitter

Finally here are Jayson Casper’s prayers for Egypt

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The Road to Barcelona

 

Here is an English version of my second Arabic article, the Road to Barcelona, initially published in Arabic in Al-Hurra

King of Spain

Photo of King of Spain attending minute of silence for victims of Barcelona’s Terror attacks- Via NYT/Getty Images

Al-Andalus, Year 1010 – Muhammed II appealed for aid from two Catalonian leaders, the count of Barcelona and the count of Urgel, to regain Cordoba from his rival Sulayman. A raging civil war was unfolding in Cordoba. Muhammad II initially dethroned his cousin, Caliph Hisham II, in 1009, but the Berber generals of the Umayyad army preferred Sulayman. With Catalonian help, Muhammed II prevailed, but he was later assassinated, and the civil war [fitna] continued for years. It ultimately ended the Umayyad rule in Cordoba.

Last week’s horrific terror attack in Barcelona invoked memories of several discussions I had in the past with many Islamists. As a rule of thumb, the word “Al-Andalus” would always be mentioned in any conversation with any Islamist, regardless of his affiliation.

During 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic, my praising of the hosting city did not please an Islamist acquaintance. It triggered a long debate on various topics – from why revealing sport clothes are forbidden for women to why we Muslims should not be fascinated by the West. Al-Andalus, off course, was mentioned, with the usual romanticism of the golden era. But he casually added an intriguing sentence, “even the Catalans killed Muslims.”

It took me years to discover the historical origin behind his twisted allegation. Only a sick mind would see this brief historical encounter as an example of Christians killing Muslims. Inter-Arab divisions and Arab–Berber rivalry were the main reasons behind the civil war in Cordoba. The Christian role in the war (Catalans or other) was a secondary detail.

A misguided perception, prevalent in the Arab world, is that radical ideology is irrelevant to them. That is not entirely true. Although the actual culprits behind Barcelona’s terror attacks may be ignorant, radical Islamists base their actions on a wider, well-established political Islamist ideology that has its own interpretations of Islamic history and is specifically obsessed with Al-Andalus.

Two moths ago, on June 11, Egyptian Islamist Ayman Khamis spoke on the Turkey-based Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood channel Mekameleen TV and described Al-Andalus as an occupied land, adding, “We shall take Al-Andalus back from Spain just like we shall take Palestine back from the Jews.”

In their quest to dominate the political scene, Islamists needed an example from the past in support of their claim that a Sharia-based governance can be multicultural and successful. With that goal in mind, Al-Andalus has become an important pillar of the Islamist propaganda machine. Islamists beautify the past, cherry-pick historical details, and enrich themselves with religious justifications.

This propaganda machine, however, does not exist in a vacuum. Islamists exploit a much wider nostalgia, which is prevalent among ordinary Arabs, toward what they perceive as their “golden age” of Islam. But while ordinary Muslims are proud of the open, tolerant history of Al-Andalus with its romantic poems, music, and architecture, political Islamists focus on the religious domination and how it had once been a road for empowerment.

Amidst the endless political turbulence in the Middle East, many see this nostalgia toward Al-Andalus as a benign, harmless, and much-needed morale-boosting exercise to restore the Arab’s faith in his own abilities.

The terror attacks in Barcelona, however, should challenge that naïve assumption. The road to Barcelona started long ago as benign nostalgia to the land of glory, Al-Andalus. Then it has evolved into an obsessive fixation on the past by political Islamists and has now taken a dangerous, violent turn by radical groups.

We Arabs have every right to be proud of our past civilisations, but we should not let our pride distract us from historical understanding. Our past civilisations were not perfect. Al-Andalus was a land of love and romance but also the land of bloodshed and betrayal. Arab ventured into the Iberian Peninsula with deep mistrust between them and their Berber cadres. It ultimately led to a destructive civil war that effectively ended the Umayyad rule and paved the way to the final decline.

Arab tourists happily pause next to Granada’s magnificent Alhambra palace, but perhaps a visit to the ruins of Cordoba’s Madina Azahara, and its tragic tale of the medieval civil war, would help them to complete the picture.

Empires rise then eventuality fall. Al-Andalus was no exception. It is not a model that can be replicated. The context in which Al-Andalus existed is impossible to emulate in our modern time. We should not let the Islamists manipulate our psyche. Romanticising the past will neither resurrect it – nor bring a better future for the Arab world.

 

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El Viaje A Los Atentados De Barcelona

Escribí este artículo para Al-Hurra Está es una versión traducida al español

 

Barceloan attack photo

La fotografia de un sospechoso del atentados de Barcelona-  AFP

Al-Ándalus, Año 1010 – Muhammed II pidió ayuda a dos dirigentes catalanes, el conde de Barcelona y el conde de Urgel, para recuperar Córdoba de manos de su rival Sulayman. Se estaba desarrollando una violenta guerra civil en Córdoba. Muhammad II destronó inicialmente a su primo, el Califa Hisham II, en 1009, pero los generales bereberes del ejército de Umayyad prefirieron a Sulayman. Muhammed II se impuso con la ayuda catalana, pero posteriormente fue asesinado y la guerra civil [fitna] se prolongó durante años. Lo que a la postre hizo que el Califato Omeya en Córdoba llegase a su fin.

El terrible ataque terrorista de la semana pasada en Barcelona me hizo recordar varias discusiones que mantuve en el pasado con muchos islamistas. Como norma general, siempre se mencionaba a la España árabe del “Al-Ándalus” en cualquier conversación con cualquier islamista, sin importar su afiliación.

Durante los Juegos Olímpicos de verano de Barcelona en 1992, mis elogios de la ciudad anfitriona no resultaron del agrado de un conocido islamista. Esto desencadenó un largo debate sobre diversos temas, desde por qué la sugerente ropa de deporte estaba prohibida para las mujeres, a por qué los musulmanes no debían sentir fascinación por occidente. Por supuesto, el Al-Ándalus fue mencionado con el habitual romanticismo de la época dorada. Pero añadió de pasada una frase intrigante: “incluso los catalanes mataron musulmanes”.

Me llevó años descubrir el origen histórico tras su retorcida acusación. Sólo una mente enferma vería este breve encuentro histórico como un ejemplo de cristianos matando a musulmanes. Las divisiones entre árabes y la rivalidad entre árabes y bereberes fueron los principales motivos de la guerra civil en Córdoba. El papel de los cristianos en la guerra (catalanes u otros) era un detalle secundario.

Una percepción equivocada, extendida en el mundo árabe, es que para ellos la ideología radical es irrelevante. Lo cual no es totalmente cierto. Aunque los verdaderos culpables de los ataques terroristas de Barcelona puedan ser ignorantes, los islamistas radicales basan sus acciones en una ideología política islámica más amplia y bien establecida, que tiene sus propias interpretaciones de la historia del islam y que está específicamente obsesionada con el Al-Ándalus.

Hace dos meses, el 11 de junio, el islamista egipcio Ayman Khamis habló en el canal de la Hermandad Musulmana Egipcia con base en Turquía Mekameleen TV y describió el Al-Ándalus como una tierra ocupada, añadiendo: “Recuperaremos el Al-Ándalus de España igual que recuperaremos Palestina de los judíos”.

En su búsqueda por dominar la escena política, los islamistas necesitaban un ejemplo del pasado para respaldar su afirmación de que un gobierno basado en la sharia puede ser multicultural y exitoso. Con este objetivo en mente, el Al-Ándalus se ha convertido en un pilar importante de la propaganda islamista. Los islamistas adornan el pasado, escogen detalles históricos que les favorecen y se enriquecen con justificaciones religiosas.

Sin embargo, esta máquina de propaganda no permanece en medio de la nada. Los islamistas explotan una nostalgia mucho más amplia, que está extendida entre los árabes de a pie, sobre lo que perciben como su “edad de oro” del islam. Pero mientras que los musulmanes de a pie se enorgullecen de la historia abierta y tolerante del Al-Ándalus, con sus poemas románticos, música y arquitectura, los islamistas políticos se centran en la dominación religiosa y en cómo fue una vez un camino para la adquisición de poder.

En medio de la interminable turbulencia política en Oriente Medio, muchos ven esta nostalgia hacia el Al-Ándalus como un impulso moral benigno, inofensivo y muy necesario para restablecer la fe del árabe en sus propias capacidades.

Los ataques terroristas de Barcelona deben, ​​sin embargo, desafiar esa suposición ingenua. El camino a Barcelona comenzó hace mucho tiempo como una nostalgia inofensiva sobre la tierra de la gloria, el Al-Ándalus. Más tarde se convirtió en una fijación obsesiva en el pasado por parte de los islamistas políticos y ahora, ha tomado un giro peligroso y violento por parte de grupos radicales.

Nosotros los árabes tenemos todo el derecho de estar orgullosos de nuestras civilizaciones pasadas, pero no debemos permitir que nuestro orgullo nos distraiga del entendimiento histórico. Nuestras civilizaciones pasadas no fueron perfectas. El Al-Ándalus era una tierra de amor y romance, pero también la tierra del derramamiento de sangre y la traición. Los árabes se aventuraron en la Península Ibérica con profunda desconfianza entre ellos y en sus mandos bereberes. Esto condujo finalmente a una guerra civil destructiva que concluyó de forma efectiva el reinado de los Omeyas y preparó el camino para el declive final.

Los turistas árabes hacen gustosos una pausa junto al magnífico palacio de la Alhambra de Granada, pero tal vez una visita a las ruinas de Medina Azahara en Córdoba, y a su trágica historia sobre la guerra civil medieval, les ayudaría a completar el cuadro.

Los imperios se elevan y con el tiempo caen. El Al-Ándalus no fue una excepción. No es un modelo que se pueda replicar. El contexto en el que existió el Al-Ándalus es imposible de emular en nuestros días. No debemos permitir que los islamistas manipulen nuestra mente. Idealizar el pasado no lo resucitará ni traerá un futuro mejor para el mundo árabe.

 

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