Monday, April 2, 2012

Tattletale and other “crimes” committed by Arabs

When Jordan authorities arrest reform activists for the crime of running one’s mouth, one has to wonder if things can get any more obvious and sanitized in the Hashemite Kingdom. If opening your mouth can land you in jail, how will things ever get reformed? It puts in question whether the men in power and the monarchy are at all interested in reform. The “crime” punishable by jail is not insulting or criticizing the monarchy or prominent figures, both have laws to protect them. We’re simply talking about the casual running of the mouth about an issue. The latest arrests are a self-inflicted insult by Jordan’s leadership against itself.

Not far from Jordan, in Syria, people are being pounded rampaged on a daily basis by their own army at the orders of their own leaders for demanding a better life and for willing to fight for change. Now, brave Syrians are called names from terrorists to traitors and treated as such, killed by the dozens every day. Syrians are slaughtered without remorse or guilt by a regime that has a justification for every killing. In Syria, people should not be able to think or speak, let alone demand change or fight to the death towards a regime change.

In Lebanon, a post on social networks, a political graffiti on a wall, or a witty opinion against the wrong person can earn you jail time. In a country that prides itself on openness and modernity, laws still treat women as second-class citizens. The threat of repercussions for speaking one’s mind ranges from assassination to harassment and prison. A constant war is being waged on free thought, free speech and free expression.

In Egypt, as Islamist groups fight over running the new country they have not earned, a ban on showing even small amounts of flesh from some of the oldest films is a good indication of where the country is headed. Harassing local and foreign activists is another alarming sign of what an extremist rule is likely to bring.

That’s not all, in all countries of the Middle East and North Africa, people are committing the “crime” of demanding freedom. They are being denied this precious right in the most barbaric ways. It is an unfortunate reflection of the leaderships of yesteryear and today. Change has not arrived in the Arab world yet, it remains a long way away even for those who have started their revolutions and those who have completed them and begun the process of building their new nations.

To the stateless Bedoun of Kuwait, the Shiites of Bahrain, the muted bloggers of the United Arab Emirates, the brave activists of Saudi Arabia and the freedom-loving people beyond all the above-mentioned countries, a salute of respect and the only promise we can make: To keep a watchful eye on your plights and relentlessly demand a high moral ground towards one brand of equality and freedom for all.


Keep the conversation going...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freedom of speech is a requirement for people to build the life of their dreams. Any country that forbids free speech is outdated and limiting the opportunity for true genius to flourish. Dictators and terrorists who use gunfire and bombs to intimidate or kill people who openly oppose them are pathetic. Humanity demands a voice.
The dictators continue to fall and the world is alive with conversation. Vive freedom.

April 3, 2012 at 8:27 PM  

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