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ONE of the most dangerous situations that can happen to a country is when the leadership loses its reverence due to political circus, and not due to hunger, poverty and social want. In that case, transgression against the symbols of the state becomes the norm, and laws become opinions that are interpreted based on impulses.
More than 1,380 years ago, the third Islamic Caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab said, “The reverence of leadership is not in terrifying people, but in securing them, stopping the oppressor, and giving the weak their rights so that the strong will be deterred, the weak will be reassured, and people will cling to the state instead of anything else and protect their strong and just prince by rallying behind him. Anything else will lead to loss for both the people and their ruler.”
However, when institutions do not perform their role, and corruption in all its forms prevails, then everyone dares to provoke and insult officials from the highest ranks. Political immorality became a general feature, because the hands of government were tied up, and it was unable to secure the people and maintain their security. What Abdul Rahman bin Khaldun said regarding the reasons for the collapse of the state became a reality that everyone witnessed with their own eyes.
There is no good in us if we do not say it explicitly – The situation today in Kuwait has become so sensitive that the public dares to insult the country’s symbols on social media and in open and private gatherings because there are no longer limits governing the behavior of ministers or MPs.
Everyone is dancing to the beat of his own drum. How I wish for the drum to beat for the sake of the country, but in reality, it is a game of personal interests, pursuant to the popular proverb – “Whoever hunts it down, his children live”. Hence there is no longer any respect for the constitution and the law.
Ibn Khaldoun wrote seven centuries ago, “When nations fall, many astrologers, beggars, hypocrites, pretenders, scribes, cacophony singers and average poets appear, along with agitators, mouthpieces, palm readers, revelers, politicians, meddlers, satirists and opportunists too.
Terror reigns under such conditions. People seek refuge in sects, rumors prevail, friends turn into enemies and enemies into friends, false becomes truth and true voice fades, suspicious faces emerge, sociable faces disappear, dreams become scarce and hope dies, and the sane grows more alienated.
People become more attached to their tribes and to homelands such that it will be a form of delirium. The voice of the sages becomes lost in the noise of preachers, along with the outbidding of the concepts of nationalism, patriotism, belief and the fundamentals of religion.
People of the same household accuse each other of betrayal. Rumors of a great escape, intrigue and conspiracies become common, with advice coming from all ends. Outsiders plan everything for the locals. Worst of all, the homeland becomes a transit station that everyone is ready to leave.”
There are countries where leaders witnessed their fall and did nothing, or left their fate to the advisors and servants who seek to embellish matters in a way that makes them preserve their positions, privileges, and gains.
While some leaders worked with all their might and effort to correct the political, economic, social and cultural path, they struck with an iron fist on the corrupt, and did not leave matters to the servants. They were thus able to reform the affairs of their countries, advance them and make them among the best countries.
When decision making is absent, institutions lose their role, political circus increases, empty slogans prevail, the prestige of the law and the constitution fades, and the government loses its prestige because the lead strings are not tightly braided.
A soft hand leads to chaos, which is the beginning of the collapse of the state. In modern history, there are many examples of the reasons for the fall of some Arab countries. I hope someone is listening.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times