Let’s Stop Blaming America

June 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Dr. Khalid Al Nowaiser

We are still the prisoners of a culture of conspiracy and inferiority

I am a proud and loyal Saudi citizen, but I am tired of hearing constant criticism from most Arabs of everything the United States does in its relations with other countries and how it responds to global crises. No nation is perfect, and certainly America has made its share of mistakes such as Vietnam, Cuba and Iraq. I am fully aware of what happened when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the unprecedented abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. However, what would we do if America simply disappeared from the face of the earth such as what happened to the Soviet Union and ancient superpowers like the Roman and Greek empires? These concerns keep me up day and night. It’s frustrating to hear this constant drumbeat of blame directed toward the United States for everything that is going wrong in the world. Who else do we think of to blame for our problems and failures? Do we take personal responsibility for the great issues that affect the security and prosperity of Arab countries? No, we look to America for leadership and then sit back and blame it when we don’t approve of the actions and solutions it proposes or takes.

For instance, if a dictator seizes and holds power such as Egypt’s Mubarak and Libya’s Qaddafi, fingers are pointed only at America for supporting these repressive leaders. If the people overthrow a dictator, fingers are pointed at America for not having done enough to support the protestors. If a nation fails to provide its people with minimum living standards, fingers are pointed at America. If a child dies in an African jungle, America is criticized for not providing necessary aid. If someone somewhere sneezes, fingers are pointed at America. Many other examples exist, too numerous to mention.

I am not pro-American nor am I anti-Arab, but I am worried that unless we wake up, the Arab world will never break out of this vicious and unproductive cycle of blaming America. We must face the truth: Sadly, we are still the prisoners of a culture of conspiracy and cultural inferiority. We have laid the blame on America for all our mistakes, for every failure, for every harm or damage we cause to ourselves. The US has become our scapegoat upon whom our aggression and failures can be placed. We accuse America of interfering in all our affairs and deciding our fate, although we know very well that this is not the case as no superpower can impose its will upon us and control every aspect of our lives. We must acknowledge that every nation, no matter how powerful, has its limitations.

Moreover, we conveniently forget that America’s role is one of national self-interest, not to act as a Mother Teresa. Every great nation throughout history has used its power and gained ascendancy in order to serve its own strategic interests. America is not just its foreign policy. We must not forget who promoted education and respected learning, who took on research as a way to discovery, who made the airplane that carries us to our destination and the luxurious car we want to own, who created the Internet and developed social media that has transformed the way we do business and interact with one another, who conducted the scientific research that has saved lives and treated cancer, renal failure, AIDS, malaria, poliomyelitis, and who discovered genetic engineering. When man walked on the Moon, it was an American. Who did Japan turn to for help after the devastating earthquake and tsunami? America that led and organized the international relief effort of the Red Cross. Who do people turn to for support when their leaders seek to brutalize them? Who organized NATO air cover and saved the Libyan city of Benghazi from certain destruction by Qaddafi’s brutal armed forces?

Anyone who is a student of history knows that America is simply doing what all other civilizations before it have done for thousands of years, which is to protect and further its own self-interest. The Greek civilization could not have lasted had it not served its own interests, and the same applies to the Persian, Roman, and Chinese civilizations. All of these civilizations put their own welfare before all others, and by doing so, they strived to achieve great things. The truth is that no nation can ever become great without understanding this reality. Indeed, the Islamic civilization has been through horrible and cruel phases. Hideous events that send goose bumps up one’s spine can be extracted from Islamic history, such as that of As-Saffah (The Shedder of Blood), founder of the Abbasid Caliphate, who took out the remains of the caliphs of Bani Umayyah, one after the other, but found nothing but the tip of a nose from the remains of Hisham Bin Abdul Malak. He took him out and whipped him. He then crucified and burned him and sprinkled his ashes in the wind, without mercy, oblivious to any religious or moral restraints.

There are many other similar examples. But does this mean that Islam is unholy? Of course not. Does this imply that Islamic civilization only had Saffahs? Absolutely not. Islamic civilization has given the world brilliant examples in the areas of art and education and promoted a culture of forgiveness, peace and love. However, today, we as people, not Islam, are in desperate need of an intellectual earthquake, a cultural tsunami to get us back on track, to revive Islam’s cultural intellect and combat our undeniable inferiority complex.

The Holy Qur’an states Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. He has the power to change them, but He prefers that they change with their own will power which He respects.

What we are seeing now in the Arab streets is a new hope and a step forward to change what is in ourselves. I remain very optimistic because we have now begun to realize that simply blaming the United States for our problems will not help us progress toward great personal freedoms. Our enemy is not America but an inferiority complex from which I am sure the Arab world with its rich culture and history will eventually recover.

— Dr. Khalid Alnowaiser is a columnist and a Saudi attorney with offices in Riyadh and Jeddah. He can be reached at: Khalid@lfkan.com and/or Twitter (kalnowaiser).

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  Arab News.com

A Good Reward For Those Who Do Good

April 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS

There is something we Muslims have that no other people on the face of the earth have.  We have the comfortable feeling that we posses the last and most perfect scripture from ALLAH and it is 100% TRUE.  Therefore we don’t have to guess or wonder about which direction to take or which decisions to make.

This is an example of what living the positive life through positive thinking means.

“Say:  “O ye My servants who believe!  Fear your Lord.  Good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world.  Spacious is ALLAH’s earth.  Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure.”

As the above directive points out, if you want good to come to you, you only need to do good yourself.  And, of course, the more good you do, the more good you can expect in your life.  It is written, “The more you give of what you get – the more you get of what you give.”  This includes money (material, giving zakat), happy existence, good wishes from everybody, and anything else you can think of.

What enables you to think positively about life is to be a devout believer in the Word of ALLAH.  When you believe and act on what ALLAH tells you to do, you are guaranteed success.  But you must believe this for it to work.

If you don’t believe it, you will eventually deny it and slide backwards.  It is similar to a person trying to quit smoking cigarettes.  There is a big difference between “quitting” and “stopping.”

If you just “stop”, eventually you will slip and smoke again – and you will want it until you get that puff.  But when you quit, you are not tortured because you know you are never going to smoke again.

It is the same with belief and disbelief in ALLAH.  In order to not backslide you must believe that what you read and feel is True.

If we take a look at the world today, we see many people, Muslims included, influenced by the ravages of Satan.  We see families breaking up.  We see children going astray influenced by the negative images they see on TV and in the movies, and the music they listen to.  With so many negatives, positive thinking may seem like it is fighting a losing battle.

But, once again, that is where belief and faith come in.  ALLAH has revealed a remedy for every assault Satan places on the human being.  ALL you have to do is THINK positively about the revelation of ALLAH and the healing begins.  ALLAH is real and His solutions are real.

If you believe ALLAH will do great things for you, it will happen.  Your whole life and everything connected to it will begin to change.  To make this change, you must first fill your mind with the powerful words of spirituality of the Holy Qur’an.  Focus your actions to be like the actions of Prophet Muhammad.

This will change your thoughts from negative to positive.  Then give thanks to ALLAH for what He has given you.  And you know, it is a curious thing – the more you thank ALLAH, the more He gives you.  This is because He knows you are appreciative.  If you never thank Him, He knows you are not appreciative, and responds with less help.

So let us think positively about everything.  Believe and have faith in ALLAH… and expect a miracle.

As Salaam alaikum
Al Hajj Imam Abdullah El-Amin

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