When the mob threatens

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Tariq Al Mubarak, a columnist and high school teacher based in Riyadh, was detained since the 27th of October for helping and supporting the Oct26th Women Driving Campaign. This is the lastest article he wrote for Al Sharq Al Awsat and published the day before he was arrested:

After the events of 9/11, a growing number of Americans became too afraid to board airplanes and public transport, and became fearful of being in crowded enclosed spaces, such as restaurants and cafes. This was a natural result of the horrific scene they lived through at the hands of terrorists whose bombings claimed the lives of thousands. Yet counter to this growing fear rose another approach that insisted that the correct response to terrorism is for people to continue practicing their normal lives, with caution, but without fear. They would not let fear prevail by depriving them from enjoying their daily freedoms. Thus giving Al Qaeda and the rest of the terrorists what they want; a retreat as a reaction to their threats. Ultimately Americans were drawn to the second approach of not succumbing to the main goal of extremism and terrorism which is the confiscation of the freedom of others through intimidation and threats. American society stuck to their freedoms and did not hide in burrows. They even began resisting and fighting government sectors that eavesdrop on people under the pretext of pursuing Al Qaeda.

What is happening in our society is also terrorism; an innovation occurs or rights are about to be given to some minority, and this sets off a small group to threaten to use violence to derail the project and imprison society in their extremism. These extremists intimidate people into not exercising their natural lives. In fact, the aims of most extremists do not focus on their own practices and rights, but on suppressing the rights and freedoms of others. In the name of reorganizing society according to their vision, they kill a group of people to subject the rest of society to fear. They would even destroy a place of worship in order to ensure people do not exercise their religious freedom.

Last April a judge sentenced a US marine, convicted of burning an Ohio mosque’s rugs, to 20 years. The marine committed the arson to revenge the American soldiers who were killed and injured at the hands of Muslims. But the judge in his ruling responded to the marine’s justifications, saying that the perpetrators of hate crimes like him want to destroy what is beyond buildings. They are targeting their way of life. The judge went on to state that their freedom is greater than this man’s hatred. The Egyptian writer Amr Ezzat remarked on this judge’s statement, saying that you will not find the last phrase in the preamble of any Egyptian court’s rulings on one of the aggressors on churches or even mosques that were assaulted or subjected to arson or even those that were partly or completely demolished.

It is true that you will not find in our courts sufficient provisions to deter those who threaten and terrorize others from exercising their everyday lives and freedoms because the rights and freedoms guaranteed to every human being are not instilled in our culture, nor our interpretation of religion, and of course are not protected by our laws. Thus it becomes easy to subject society as a whole to the mob’s threats of violence against exercising our natural freedoms.

Let’s look around and see how many innovations have we stalled and how many freedoms have we deprived people of through the terrorism of a violent group of extremists. We can be cautious of their threats but we cannot hold society hostage for decades during which they are not allowed to practice their natural lives and take advantage of modern technologies. These extremist are the ones who should go hide in their burrows instead of holding us in a burrow of fear.

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Petitioning King Abdullah Al-SaudThe Saudi King & government: Free Tariq Al-Mubarak

13 Comments

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13 responses to “When the mob threatens

  1. Not only are the extremists holding society hostage, but endangering the security and stability of the country. It’s time to expose them for who they are: a segment of society whose overriding objective is to keep society backward, fearful and submissive, not to god, but the ruling elites who use them to maintain total control over every aspect of people’s lives.

    Tariq Al Mubarak and citizens like the editor of this forum and many others are enlightened nationalists who risk their lives and livelihood to promote decency and respect for human dignity and better future for their country. They deserve the Saudi people’s support and respect.
    These visionary and courageous citizens will save Saudi Arabia from the extremists who are determined to destroy it.

    • Just immigrate! It's easier.

      I hate to be pessimistic, but those ultra-conservative religious freaks are not the minority in Saudi Arabia. The only solution to this problem is to educate the public that civil rights are really beneficial to society.

  2. Reblogged this on Tamador Alyami تماضر اليامي and commented:
    He told his story before it happened! May God be with you Tariq.

  3. MizLiz

    Thank you for sharing this on your site. It is one of the most moving pieces I have ever read. In the future when referencing the Saudi Age of Enlightenment, Tariq and Eman will certainly head the list.

  4. mohd noh majid

    The legitimacy of the House of Saud rests on its allegiance to the severity of Wahhabi doctrine, which has not only encouraged militancy and fanaticism but elevated the hypocrisy of the royals, who live alternate lives in their luxury Manhattan penthouses, London townhouses and mansions in the English countryside, and fritter away millions in the casinos of Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, Cannes, St.Moritz etc.
    (The Day where neither wealth nor sons will avail, but only he who brings to God a sound heart.). Qur’an S26-v88

  5. “After the events of 9/11, a growing number of Americans became too afraid to board airplanes and public transport, and became fearful of being in crowded enclosed spaces, such as restaurants and cafes.”
    This sounds made up. Never met or heard of a single person afraid of boarding anything. The authorities adviced people to keep alert of any suspicious activity, but that’s all.

    • MizLiz

      Admin, I can’t agree with you about this reflecting back. I had just moved from Manhattan so I was in constant contact with my friends there. There was a fear BUT there was also the collective thought with the majority of Americans that this country was founded on the principles of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The author, El Mabarak, continues on to explain to explain that we didn’t let the terrorist dictate our lives.

      I don’t want to say you are being cavalier with the facts but it is never easy to face fear or ones individual demons. That is why terrorists, dictators, and absolute monarchies can only rule by depriving their citizens of a democracy or a republic. Could it be that is why there are so few left?

      You have to admit that the Pentagon has some brave people working there and some of my friends were “concerned”. So we didn’t all jump on planes and go to crowded restaurants the next day. I didn’t and I have spent a lot of time living and traveling outside of the USA.

    • It’s not made up. A simple Google search could have confirmed the author was correct but you chose to express your unsubstantiated doubts instead.
      __________________
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/sep/05/september-11-road-deaths

      “In the months after the 2001 terror attacks, passenger miles on the main US airlines fell by between 12% and 20%, while road use jumped.

      Professor Gerd Gigerenzer, a German academic specialising in risk, has estimated that an extra 1,595 Americans died in car accidents in the year after the attacks – indirect victims of the tragedy.”
      ___________________

      • Nothing to do with fears. People were adviced not to travel by air. Your own reference show that they continued to travel and even increased their travels, just not by air. Following 9/11 the government was in process of putting together new safety measures.

  6. Riyaz

    As a follow up to one of the comments below, I may wish to add:
    The legitimacy of the wahabi ideology rests on the allegiance to the wealth of the house of Saud. Without the latter too, the former would have failed to survive till now.

  7. Maxwell Glen

    The presence of extremists are more often created, I believe, by government to hold society hostage at large with their own hysteria, and the rules that are created as a result of that terrorist threat that might not really pose any threat. Laws are generally never retracted in America.

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