By Mohanna al-Hubail
This is the first article I am writing for readers of Gulf Times , Doha.
So, I start with greeting all readers with Salam Alaikum, peace for you, which is a phrase that covers the meaning of greetings, friendship and esteem among all the vast human family; it is our human tribe. Hence comes the significance of reviving the message spread by the Islamic civilisation, as the language of opening international dialogue among the various parts of the Islamic world, and address the whole world civilizations based on partnership and building values.
Here comes one of the most important tasks of the international language of dialogue today; how to create such a language and work for spreading it. This entails the values of co-operation and respect among the components of this new world, where new perspectives, and new multiple ethical and behavioural trends are opening. Some of these are useful and others need philosophical and objective evaluation and correction. Still, others are overcome by the negative implications, as the foundation of contemporary cognitive development is its validity for an ethical patronage of all the human family. In my view, this is the prime ethical question of the world.
It is the question that should be promoted at vivid, free and more independent platforms rather than the political instructions dictated by the members of the UN Security Council, being in a position that resembles the military rulers of the world. Their power was built on a war triumph. Accordingly, can the tasks of the world that seek to spread the values of moderation and tolerance be produced by an equation based on the victory in a war?
The second most important question: can a system of values accrediting social justice in the world be established based on the Western countries’ authority and interests, or should we as a human family look for the original values in our culture, and build on them a new system that would be mature with the future generation into concepts that enhance real tolerance among the peoples.
Most properly the message of this writer who has been interested in the civilisation of the East presents its view today through its message that the greater East, which includes Indian Asia, East Asia, Turkey, and all the culturally rich content, and through the civilisation concept that includes other areas in the world, based on the actual division between the South and the North. Let me halt here for a moment before going on and ask myself on your behalf: What does it mean? Does it mean that we the oriental nations should go back to create an ethical structure and cultural values away from the Western world?
No, it cannot work like this. I live today in Canada, and have joined such a civilian modern and Western country, and highly appreciates its stands. It has thankfully granted him political asylum, protection and residency. The journey of the development to the civilian state in the West is very dramatic. I have a study that has been going on since January 2016, exploring the question of the possibility of reorganising the intellectual talks between the Islamic civilisation and the Western world under the title: “The Western Islamic relationship... the third way”.
Consequently, we in the East are keen to maintain a common view of values but it is not limited to the desires of the politicians in Europe and America, or the dictatorial rule of the states of the East. Each of them has his own share of responsibility, regarding the spread of religious fanaticism and armed extremism. However, the rules of the international game are in the hands of the West surpassing the capabilities of the East.
That is why I have been keen to explore the relationship between us as Orientals, and as part of the southern world with the civilian Western world, while appreciating its cultural activities, philosophical view, and its success in the areas of constitution, and the individual rights’ values, even though there are failures on the ethical or philosophical levels or change of these principles, when the West deals with the southern world through the imperial interests of the West.
This ongoing political conflict was about to lead to a destructive war and dangerous clashes that would have converted what remains of the GCC stability to a frenzied hell after the US war on Iraq in 2003, and what pursued of ethical and humanitarian degradation ahead of the political degradation among the peoples of the region because of it. This was about to happen in a passing moment when US President Donald Trump gave the green light to the breaking out of the GCC crisis only due to his consideration of the US national interests, according to the equation of jobs for his citizens or the US companies.
Consequently, the distinction of stands among the peoples and societies of the East and the West, and among the policies of the government is a necessity for the ethical and moral communications to promote a real culture of moderation, not occasional festivals of clamour, held with the regimes rather than the peoples’ thoughts. Therefore, I opted that this article of mine to be both intellectual and political that it may participate towards the return of different communication of civilizations. This argument does not mean rejecting any positive participation in civilization dialogue by official Eastern or Western organisations. It is not also meant to overshadow the efforts of the diplomats that believe in the dialogue of civilizations, but it is important that the rule of international justice and ethical balance are the yardsticks.
Today, we are in desperate need to go back to the values of the East to address ourselves in the first place with them. We need to regain the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi, Edward Said and others of the philosophers of the Orient or those interested in its values of civilization.
This is to establish a platform to push forward peace and reconciliation among us, and to make our civilized culture an excellent bridge for communication with the Western civilization, and to build foundations for a convention of values shaped by philosophy, not war decisions and the interests of politicians who prey on the world. Peace is the concept that counteracts war and violence. War should be the final resort for only counteracting injustice, as it was rejected by Allah, the prophets and the philosophers of life, Salam Alaikum, peace for you.
*Mohanna al-Hubail is an independent Arab researcher. He is also Director of Oriental Studies Office, Istanbul.
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