To the Arab nation we belong
By Khalaf Habtoor
in the Arab world, and the Gulf region in
particular, are deteriorating. The region is on
the verge of uncertainty, with grave economic,
political and social consequences. No one can be
sure where this will take the whole region.
Day after day we see the beginnings of growing
sectarian disturbances. Wedges are driven along
social and sectarian lines in the body of the same
society, the same country and the same faith.
Efforts are intensified to deepen the schisms
through sectarian and other controversial
The Islamic world is undergoing unprecedented
crisis. This is especially true of the Arab world,
which is suffering severe splits and witnessing
the symptoms of a new, weird societal culture. Odd
religious rhetoric and practices are unfolding
under the disguise of Islam. But they are, in
fact, far from its noble teachings or rules.
Ugly manifestations of sectarianism are being
exported to us, leading to more fragmentation.
Traditional, hateful nationalist attitude is
reemerging to interfere in our unity, faith and
beliefs through different repulsive and
reprehensible ways. God forbid.
Central parts of the Arab world are currently on
the verge of disintegration because of the
sectarian finger-pointing wrapped in glittering
slogans that are recycled for the purpose of
contemptible and obscene public consumption. Other
parts are gradually progressing to similar
Abhorrent attacks are taking place in Iraq against
its original Arab population. Being deeply
concerned about unity of Muslims, I find it
inescapable to indicate things by name: it is a
war against Arabs.
This said, I do not mean or believe that the
culprits are Iraq's Arab Shiites. Never. The
sectarian strife is a catastrophe exported to Iraq
from outside its territories. The evolving drama
is a recall of ancient vendetta, a retrospective
representation of archaic legacy of antagonism
when Muslims and Arabs were flagrantly targeted.
Unfortunately, Iraqis today are being slaughtered
by the same sectarian propagandists. They have
marginalised even the occupation problem into a
minor priority and made Iraq's Arabs the focus of
their efforts with the aim of spreading "culture
imported from outside Iraq".
Thanks to the same interference, the Palestinians'
dream of regaining occupied land and holy places
has been destroyed. The situation deteriorated
into clashes among Palestinians themselves. The
"state" and "authority" were divided, threatening
the destruction of not only what had been achieved
till now but also the ones who achieved it.
All this is being done with premeditated planning
and interference by the same power on the borders
of the Arab world, under the disguise of extending
a helping hand to the Palestinians.
In Lebanon, many are using the pluralist society
to run their regional and global proxy wars.
Economic needs of the Lebanese are availed for
political ends that have nothing to do with the
Islam or any other faith.
Sectarian disturbance is being instigated through
the same "grand" slogans, while the hidden agenda
is the termination of historic Arab nationalist
movement and its stronghold in the Mediterranean
This grave intrusion, the gradual interference
advancing through our Arab world and towards our
resources, has so far resulted in 3 million Iraqi
refugees in Syria and other countries. Moreover,
it has been successful in opening the Lebanese and
Palestinian wounds. The still, silent smoldering
in some parts of the GCC countries is one of its
Let me restate something: being Arabs, our culture
has never been discriminatory or divisive. We have
been worshipping Almighty Allah, reciting that the
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is Allah's messenger to
all people, and believing in the prophets and holy
books of all monotheistic faiths.
The enmity is evident and the means are clear. The
target is the Arab as a historic entity and nation
with old and deep roots. The attacks are taking
place on two fronts:
1. Economic resources, success and unity of the
Arab world, in particular the Gulf.
2. Arab nationhood and future ambitions.
Using certain parts and strategic locations of the
Arab world as battlefields for some outside
enterprises has become a priority on the agenda of
Faced with such existential threats now and in the
past, Arabs as one nation have repeatedly restated
that they have come of age and that their national
belonging is not on offer in any bargain. Arabs,
as they have always done, will face this divisive
onslaught against their region. We must rescue our
Arab brother from this cancerous sectarian malady.
No effort must be spared to defeat the sectarian
plague advancing towards our shores. Our Arab
nation will be better off without the current
inward flow of money. Arab leaderships have been
the main reason behind this loophole through which
these maladies have been infiltrating to our
This would have not happened if some Arab
leaderships observed their responsibilities
towards other Arab countries. To face the current
situation, we need a detailed road plan. The
following can be preliminary blueprint.
First, Arabs must reiterate that they belong to
the Arab nation. Second, we need to get rid of
past agonies and to deal with historic experiences
through the perspective of modernity and
Third, protecting any Arab country is a collective
responsibility of the whole Arab nation. We must
maintain our nation and its multitude of beliefs
and faiths. Fourth, GCC countries, Egypt and
Jordan must establish an integrated bloc with
equal and balanced obligations and
This bloc must maintain the Arabhood of every Arab
country and enjoin them to uphold the historic
responsibility to protect it from nationalist
intrusion of any foreign power.
Finally, Arab Muslims and Christians need to make
clear that belonging to this nation is a matter of
pride for them. Otherwise, no one in this world
will respect us.
Respect and consideration in this world is only
won by active nations. Belonging to religious or
sectarian ethnicities is not the way to get
respect or consideration.
The need for immediate action has never been more
pressing than today. I do not have any doubt that
our leaders are fully aware of the current grave
situation. Nevertheless, I cannot but remind
everybody that it is the time to act seriously.