AS every era has its own tools, people and countries; it also has its own recriminations and epithets.
In the middle of the last century, after the Free Officers Movement succeeded in overthrowing the monarchy in Egypt in 1952; the accusation of being an agent of the US, Zionists and regression was common.
The then Egyptian president Jamal Abdul-Nasser hurled this list of accusations at Arab nations in order to ignite their zeal and boost his leadership gains.
He always concluded saying, “Whatever was taken by force will only be returned by force,” until Egypt fell prey to the occupiers of some of its territories in the 1967 war.
Over the last three decades, calls for human rights, anti-corruption and protection of public wealth have been trending; especially after slogans, which were common during Jamal Abdul-Nasser’s era, faded. This led to a phenomenon in which anyone can accuse a certain official of being corrupt.
This phenomenon was enough to trigger an orchestra of the ‘rumormongers agency’ to dedicate stories and fabricate accusations; up to the extent that many Arab officials distanced themselves from public work in order to protect their dignity and integrity, while those engaged in blackmail continued with the tunes behind these officials until they realized their objective.
Considering Kuwait is an Arab country to its bone, it is natural that it endures such a phenomenon.
Since the liberation until this day, we have been enduring a ‘hearsay’ group who preaches about water while drinking wine. They accuse others of corruption, graft and fraud; while they practice all that sometimes under the dark cover, and at other times through blackmail. A clear manifestation of this HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Muhammad, considering the ‘rumormongers agency’ did not spare him accusations.
Actually, they introduced many adjectives which no one can bear to be described with. Despite all that, HH Sheikh Nasser dealt with them with forbearance and prudence by rendering the court as arbitrator – an attitude in line with an Arab adage, “You won’t fear as long as you don’t steal.”
His accusers talked about the multi-million scandal, foreign agency and corruption. When such accusations were discussed in courts, they failed to prove them; yet the wickedness of such people continued in their attempt to mud the cloth of this man.
In most countries, no one has the audacity to accuse political elites who hold the least national responsibility without presenting evidence. This applies even in salons – the equivalent of our ‘diwaniyas’. They do not accuse anyone without basis because they know that they will violate someone’s dignity and transgress the integrity of relevant agencies. They know that the judiciary has the sole right to judge people.
In Kuwait, it is enough to launch a figment of a sick mind in a diwaniya to trigger accountability on this and that individual while disregarding the dignity and reputation of the person, as well as his relationship with his family and those around him.
Once such case reaches the judicial corridors, the accusers are seen looking for ‘wasta’ here and there, kissing this and that hand while asking to be pardoned due to the fact that they realized their accusations are just illusions in a sick mind.
All of these rumors failed to hold water. The one whose dignity has been humiliated is paying the price, while the rumormongers claim to be exercising their freedom of speech. In reality, it is freedom of filth which has nothing to do with speech and opinion.
They talk about graft, money laundering and ‘wasta’ in everything that violates the law in order to fatten their pockets. This means they are talking about crimes punishable by law; hence, they must be held liable for filing a false report if they fail to support their claims with evidence.
In Gulf countries – whether in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates or Oman, there is no place for this obscene behavior. Thus, in Kuwait, people believe major rumors at the expense of a small truth.
The State will never grow as long as it has a political elite and legislators who hide behind their immunity from prosecution to tarnish the dignity of people, and by God, this is the biggest affliction of corruption. Indeed, the corrupt mind and intention always end up in treachery because whoever tarnishes people’s integrity and reputation cannot safeguard a nation.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times