Dan­gers in Cold War ab­sence

Kuwait Times - - FROM THE ARABIC PRESS - By Salah Al-Sayer

In my pre­vi­ous col­umn, I wrote about the strange changes go­ing on in our Arab so­ci­eties with the re­sult that all forms of en­light­en­ment and civil life have given way to pedan­tic be­hav­ior, ex­trem­ism and re­li­gious fun­da­men­tal­ism in all Arab cities to the ex­tent that they have started look­ing more like Afghanistan’s cap­i­tal un­der the rule of the Tale­ban. Even­tu­ally, the Arab ‘Hell’ up­ris­ings came to re­veal how deep our so­ci­eties had de­te­ri­o­rated into a state that made us the ‘en­emy’ the West is look­ing for to re­place its tra­di­tional en­emy, Com­mu­nism.

Many in­di­ca­tors show that Western minds tend to search for an en­emy to avoid hav­ing in­ter­nal ones

Af­ter World War II, the Soviet Union and US con­trolled the world and their an­tag­o­nism was hid­den in the name of the ‘Cold War’, which only sub­sided by the fall of the Soviet ‘en­emy’ af­ter that war had al­ready served the West and US through en­hanc­ing their unity and sol­i­dar­ity. There­fore, the ab­sence of the Com­mu­nist en­emy brought back fears of di­vi­sions and in­fight­ing. “We have won the Cold War and that is fine. But the en­emy now is not them.. .it is us,” said Amer­i­can thinker Erv­ing Kris­tol.

Many in­di­ca­tors show that Western minds tend to search for an en­emy to avoid hav­ing in­ter­nal ones. Other in­di­ca­tors show that the en­emy read­ily avail­able is Is­lamism, that turned faith into semi-Marx­ism or other ide­olo­gies that sought con­trol­ling the struc­ture of hu­man com­mu­ni­ties. How­ever, an­tag­o­niz­ing Arab ‘Mus­lim’ al­lies, in­crim­i­nat­ing them and pro­mot­ing Is­lam­o­pho­bia is not con­vinc­ing enough in a free, di­verse and demo­cratic Western world. Thus, it be­came a must to ‘de­mo­nize’ Is­lam and pro­mote its ha­tred amongst peo­ple mak­ing such ha­tred right­ful.

So, if the West is shoot­ing at us be­cause of the ide­o­log­i­cal va­cancy it is suf­fer­ing from, do we in­sist on play­ing goal­keep­ers?! Why not take ad­van­tage of such fears and use them to put our so­ci­eties back on the nor­mal so­cial and cul­tural paths? If op­por­tu­ni­ties are cre­ated dur­ing crises, as Win­ston Churchill said, why not start mod­ern­iz­ing our so­ci­eties? Why not open the win­dows of Arab cities that have been suf­fo­cat­ing with dark­ness and op­pres­sion and bring back light and en­light­en­ment? We are we con­trolled by gloomi­ness, while we know that the Cold War ended the ma­jor power of Com­mu­nism.

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