I watched in early June the speech of Senator Hillary Clinton, former First Lady of the US and the Democrat nominee in the presidential race 2008. In the speech, Ms Clinton announced she was suspending her campaign for the presidency and asked her supporters to fully support Barack Obama’s campaign to put him in the White House. Ms Clinton assured her supporters that the Democrats are one family and a united political entity.
For a European or an American audience, it was a normal move by a politician to quit and pledge support for a former competitor. But for people who are familiar with politics in the Arab World, it is an extraordinary move in a political career. People cannot help but compare Ms Clinton’s action with the killing and violence that we have been seeing here in the Arab world, by politicians competing for meaningless positions and objectives. Before Ms Clinton concluded her speech, my mind was crowded with images of fighting for power, any power, even for chairmanship of a municipality or a parliamentary seat in an Arab country. In contrast, Ms Clinton decided to withdraw and pledge support for a former competitor’s presidency campaign in the US.
The mere comparison might seem like a fallacy, an irrelevant idea or a mistaken intellectual approach, unfair for the two parties of the equation. Well, it really is. However, I could not help but make this quick and even irrelevant comparison.
Addressing her supporters, Ms Clinton said she stood behind Obama in his bid for the White House. Is this the greatness of the American only, is it the greatness of this woman and a nation that respects their country and civilization, is it the greatness of political practice, the greatness of national experiences that supersede us by ages, or it is all of these?
Ms Clinton could withdraw from the nomination race for whatever reason be it personal, family, career or anything else, to leave in peace and retire to her family house or to have a vacation before resuming her business later on. No one would have blamed her. She could quit her fight and start working for the campaign of her former competitor and ask her supporters to follow her lead, in an action that would deserve everyone’s praise. Here we have a woman that has put the interests of her nation and her political party first before her personal interests. When she acknowledged that dictated her withdrawal, she was responsive and faithful and withdrew in peace. She was as self-confident and honest when she withdrew as she was when she joined the race.
Here I’ll quit my comparison between real and the so-called democratic politicians in some of our Arab countries. However, I must express my fear because of the way those people practice their in their countries. Democratic competitions here might open the doors for civil wars and social blights. An election competitor in our countries is always an enemy, a traitor and an agent for foreign powers who must be destroyed. In public office here there have always been ongoing battles and war scenarios that sacrifice nations and people for the sake of power.
Our is a world of absurdity. We do not have the sincerity, responsibility or the freedom to be democratic. We do not have the democratic culture and development or even the hospitable environment for to enjoy a democratic life. We do not have sufficient love for our nations, homelands, history, or heritage even to claim we are democratic or to claim that we live on the fringe of the democratic world.
We are claimants of . We do not even know how far we are from real . We imagine things that we cannot even do or approach. Many black films prevent us from seeing realities. There are many things that we have fabricated in our minds and things that we do want to see. Cloning, or aping, experiences of the west is not .
I do not know why we refuse to recall our golden era of real , such as that of Rashideen Caliphs. At such a time, the Arabs were proud of their nation and the dignity of their homeland. I would like to remind you of just two examples of the great and real Arab Islamic . A messenger of the Roman Emperor came to the Holy land. There, he asked people where he would find the Caliph’s palace. Laughing and baffled, a man told him the Caliph’s palace was there. And he indicated towards a palm tree where the Caliph Omar (May God Be Pleased with Him) was having a nap under its shade. Seeing the Caliph sleeping on the sand in a public place, the Emperor’s messenger said: “You have ruled and brought justice to your people so you can sleep in peace”.
In another event, the Caliph Omar was addressing people in the Friday congregation prayer. A man disrupted the Caliph’s speech and said: “Omar, you are not entitled to our obedience! Where is your justice? How could you wear such a long dress from Baitulmal (public treasury) but we could not?” To answer, the Caliph Omar summoned his son, Abdullah, who came in a short dress and said: “The Caliph took a part of my dress to lengthen his dress.” (Omar was a tall man.)
These are two documented events. Well, I do not ask the so-called democratic people today to be like the Caliph Omar. I think no one in any Arab country can be like him. But I tell the two stories to show that what some of our Arab countries really need is a just ruler who can bring security and peace to the people. Our people need to live in dignity, not in copied elections and imported democracies with political parties and ideologies that have nothing to do with our reality.