In a recent article in the UAE daily Al-Khaleej, Bahraini author and intellectual 'Ali Muhammad Fakhro condemned the suicide attacks being carried out in the name of Islam, and called on the new Islamic regimes that have recently emerged in the Arab world to cooperate in eradicating this phenomenon.
The following are excerpts from the article:
"Every day, we read, hear, and see news about some Muslim youth or youths – men and sometimes also women – who don an [explosive] belt and blow themselves up in a marketplace full of people, in a hotel full of carefree guests, in the yard of a school where innocent young children are studying, or outside a hospital [full of] patients, elderly people, and [medical] staff who have dedicated themselves to the service of humanity. All this is done in the name of sacred terms like jihad and martyrdom – [and thus] the name of Allah the Merciful, the Just, the Compassionate and the Forgiving is dragged into the realm of bloodshed, severed body parts, and scorched, scattered limbs, while the cries of the crippled and wounded, of bereaved mothers and lost children are heard in the background.
"Because this happens daily, both inside and outside the Arab and Islamic world, the Arabs and Muslims have become accustomed to it; it has gradually come [to be seen as] a tolerable evil, a tragic [but] unavoidable fate. It has become an acceptable plague that kills people. Funerals are held, tears are shed on graves, and mourners' tents are erected – and then everyone disperses until the very next day, when a new tragedy strikes someone else...
SUPPORT OUR WORK
"This situation – welcomed only by the devil, who laughs heartily over it – turns our Arab and Islamic culture into an ostracized culture, its people into brutish gangsters, and its lands into an unbearable hell. This situation causes bookstores throughout the world to be filled every day with innumerable books about 'jihadi suicide bombers.' [Thus,] our image is completely distorted, and it will be generations until it is rehabilitated...
"Are the reasonable and influential social forces in the Arab and Muslim world, those with faith in justice and tolerance, fulfilling their crucial duty?... [Are they working] night and day to enlist all the media and the mosques to convey a uniform message, agreed upon by all the intellectuals and clerics from all schools of Islam?...
"Can it be that the [various] organizations of Islamic action – [including] government and regional institutions, [political] parties, associations, media organs, the thousands of mosques, schools, and universities, as well as authors and intellectuals – are incapable of forming an active and persuasive religious-ideological stream to compete with the stream that enlists innocent young Muslims and urges them to commit so-called acts of jihad and martyrdom?
"These questions must be raised as Islamic parties and groups – which [now] bear responsibility for the [challenges] facing the [Muslim] nation – rise to power. The regimes that preceded them [employed despicable] means in the name of combating terrorism – [namely] tyranny by the [state] security apparatuses, deception by the media, and the promotion of agendas of foreign countries which themselves commit crimes and terrorism.
"[Dare] we hope that the new regimes in countries such as Egypt and Tunisia might cooperate and coordinate their efforts for the sake of Allah, in order to solve the problem [of terrorism], whose daily manifestations have become unbearable?"
Al-Khaleej (UAE), July 2, 2012.