Monday, January 30, 2006
Two Instances, Worlds Apart!
Yesterday I was struck by a great example which depicts the dichotomy in our Arab society.
I was watching "Super Star", the Arab version of the American Idol show, where three contestants were competing for the Super Star title: one Syrian, one Tunisian, and one Saudi. There were two women from the audience, looking glamorous and young, carrying the Saudi green flag, showing support for the Saudi contestant.
This picture struck me, because just a couple of days back, Hamas won the parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories, and they too carry the green, Saudi flag, which contains the shahadatan inscription on it and symbolizes the Islamic umma. This flag is also used by the Jama'a Islamiyya of Lebanon as their emblem.
In one instance, the flag was used to support the Arts in the Arab world, a cultural aspect which is viewed as disgraceful and blasphemous in some Islamic fundamentalist circles; not only that, a cultural aspect that has become in the Arab world extremely vulgar and commercial as well.
In the other instance, the same flag is used to stand for politics in the Arab world, which carry notions that nowadays have become increasingly extreme, fundamentalist, and violent. Think resistance, jihad, religious puritanism, death cults....and mob rule.
But this is our Arab world for you, symbolized and nicely summarized in these two instances...and pictures speak more than one thousand words....
"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."