The last week was marked in our life here in Kuwait and in many other Arab countries around the world with bloodshed, hatred and violence, all in the name of defending Islam and the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). As a Muslim I do not believe that Islam as a religion, which has managed to last thousands of years, will be damaged or will collapse because of the production of one movie reviling it. Throughout history, Islam as a religion has confronted so many challenges and yet it has lasted longer, become stronger and spread all over the world.
I think the reactions sparked by this movie have deliberately come to the forefront and angered the Arab world at the present time because of two main reasons, which are to use the current situation to generate more fear and create instability.
I believe that the movie, released in September this year, was to inflame and provoke fresh tensions and possibly incite violence against the American citizens, as it did in Libya, and which could also happen in Egypt and Kuwait, if the security of our country is handed over to maniacal and conservative supporters of the Al Qaeda and if militants are allowed to get closer to the foreign embassies. So creating an endless fuss and confusion over whether the US administration was a target, isn’t that what actually happened on Sept 11, and wasn’t that the exact motive of the people who made this movie? What about the motives of these people and the consequent benefits reaped by them? Don’t we normally look for those two things if a murder or any other crime is committed? In the last few days, the focus has also been shifted from the bloody situation in Syria. What have the Russians, the Chinese and their allies been doing? Taking a break because the world has been consistently blaming them for extending support to a region and a power that should be removed? They have historically been enemies of U.S. interests, so does this make them a suspect? For me, they are. But, they don’t have to do their dirty work themselves. Any militant can do that for them for a fee. Money can buy all. I surely am against the use of religion or any other religious sentiments for killing people, especially diplomatic corps or even threatening their lives and those of their families and staff. This is outrageous.
So, who could possibly fuel this war against the American people and their interests in our country? Are protests the only way people can convey their message or make their anger evident? If yes, then why were some people waving Al Qaeda flags during what was ostensibly a peaceful protest? Clearly some people, whether Kuwaiti or not, had the nerve to brandish black flags marking their support for Bin Laden, who did nothing good for Islam, but destroyed the life of innocents and the reputation and image of Muslims. Bearing in mind that those two countries have their own political agenda, this is doubtful to me.
In fact, I think that because Islam is so strong, some of them have decided to do something, which they knew would provoke the anger of some Muslims, even though not all will resort to violence, but will surely generate some chaos and make things worse. We all understand how a protest is used in any civilized county, and how it is seen as a tool to convey people’s condemnation and rejection of decisions that can harm the life and future of people. I know that but, what I can’t fathom is how some Kuwaitis have been deprived of this thought. Demonstrations take place in Kuwait sometimes in response to local changes.
At times, even demonstrations that are intended to be peaceful can escalate into a violent event and put the lives of the people participating in danger. I believe that the local media and security dealt with the demonstration wisely by allowing them to protest in a limited space and not allowing them to go beyond that secure perimeter. I believe it was conducted well. I also feel sad for the murder of the innocent Libyan ambassador, who was murdered in cold blood while on duty.
I hope such horrific crimes are not repeated in any place and especially not against our allies and friends, the United States. We owe the US for all the pleasures we enjoy, and on top of that for our freedom.
Bin Laden did not set my country free and did not push the dictators out. Bin Laden may be alive in the mind of his followers, but will certainly not be allowed to inch closer to our allies and friends.
The writer is a columnist at the Kuwait Times, where this article was published on Sept. 17, 2012