Arab Animosity

[I intended to shelve this post after I had written it for fear of being too judgmental. However, recent experiences on my travel to Istanbul through the Middle East have cemented my opinions and made me decide to publish this post]

What makes Arabs such a charged, hyper tensed race of people? Readers will rightly argue that I am generalizing here since there are bunches among the Arab race who are the calm-composed types. But having experienced the Middle East, during my growing up years, I have time and again come across Arabs who seem to have very little of  attributes like patience, composure and diplomacy. Don’t get me wrong; Arabs are in general, honest and hardworking people, but they lose their cool more often than not, bickering about the most trivial of things. It is no wonder that countries like England and U.S who descended upon the Middle East with imperialistic intentions regret it for the most part even to this day!!

Many Anti-islamists have blamed Islam to be the reason for such attributes citing evidences of how the religion spread through the sword. Whether Islam spread through the sword is a topic for another day but my view is that Arab animosity comes from a variety of related factors, religion contributing very little. A few years ago, shortly after the Danish cartoon incident, I ran an experiment with some friends who belonged to various ethnicities and religions. I showed them two cards, one with the picture of a silhouette holding a sword and the other of the exact same silhouette meditating- sort of in a saintly pose. I asked them to identify in their opinion which one represented the prophet of Islam (pbuh) more accurately. 90 percent (including a few muslims), chose the card with the sword! It demonstrated to me that often great people in history are misconstrued by popular belief rather than facts. Arabs today are seen through the eyes of the media portraying violence and chaos which may indeed be the case for some countries but not all. This has unconsciously fed the minds of people to think that an Arab prophet could be violent.

The fact is that Muhammed(Pbuh) was introduced to Islam in a cave while he was MEDITATING. The fact is that he never had intentions to fight where force was not required. The fact is he used his sword only where his near and dear ones needed protection and to these near and dear ones, he treated them with respect, honour, humility and kindness. If not anything, the religion he bought turned a race of barbarians into a people with substance whose expanse traversed from central Asia all the way to Europe. At the time, a muslim was identified as one who would leave an ownerless gold coin lying on the road untouched. Where then did these divine attributes disappear in the Arabs of today? 

 The truth is that these divine attributes turned human and thus came about divisions within the religion and a quest for power, fame and wealth. These characteristics passed on from generation to generation inciting hatred and disunity. The discovery of oil in the 19th century created more chaos with imperialistic powers meddling in the affairs of the Arab folk. In the end, the Arab society who were identified by tribes at one point where now identified with wealth. Wealth disparity is so widespread in the middle east, it’s only natural for the common Arab man to be so pissed about everything! After all, while he struggles with unemployment to make ends meet, his tribe member who was once considered an equal, now owns oil fields and enjoys the finer things in life

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