Fanaticism in the Third World
the people, especially the intellectuals, ought to change this sad
reality of growing fanaticism so as to stop producing more dictators
in the name of sects, parties and the like.
in his weekly seminar the following question: How does Islam view fanaticism and its political and social effects
in our contemporary world?
Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, said:
The Problem that faces man in his religious,
racial and political affiliation is being totally overwhelmed by
his subjective emotions. This will lead him to fanaticism, which
will make him unable to open others.
He will not care about the meaning of his
commitment, and his only concern will be to side with those who
are with him. He would be applying the old pre-Islamic rule of
supporting one's brother whether just or not.
This would also extend to the social and
political fields. The individual will thus turn into merely an
echo or a shadow of others.
Such people will lose their intellectual or
We are not against believing in a certain
ideology or becoming a member of a certain party.
This is a natural right, but fanaticism leads to
an instinctual reaction which denies the right of others to
believe in their ideology and leads the fanatic to refuse to
engage in dialogues with the other.
There is a big difference between believing in
certain beliefs and striving to realize them, while at the same
time being convinced of the right of the others to believe in
different ideas, and between fanaticism which cancels the
others. Such fanaticism might turn into a personality cult.
In this respect, we remember that Imam Zein Al-Abideen
has described fanaticism, as a negative values because it makes
one see the bad among his folk better than the good in others.
He also added: "It is not fanatical to love
your own people, but to help them commit what is wrong".
But the kind of fanaticism our societies are
living is dangerous: There is no objective citeria to judge any
individual or party. They all enjoy prior support that cancels
all mistakes and does not recognize any mistake. There was some
hope that political parties will constitute a forum for internal
debate, but they turned into prison where members suffocate and
where cult personality thrives at the expense of the institution
and those who belong to it.
Minorities in our party life are suppressed, and
discussions are oppressed if they involve internal matters. In
contrast, we see in the West that parliament member may even
vote against his own party, for he considers himself responsible
before the people and not the party leadership.
We do not want to talk about the West as a role
model, for they have the same sickness, especially in the United
States where its president has appointed his close associates
and even his lawyers as new cabinet members.
Such appointments are based on the personal
relationship that does not take the required qualification into
This proves that political primitive is imposing
itself on many positions in the West although its holders
present themselves as messengers of change and reform in the
But what we have to do in our own world is to
work on reforming our parties and sects, where fanaticism has
become abundant and where the political parties have turned into
Our political parties have imported the
illnesses of the sects, and all we have done is adding new sects
to the already existing ones, but with modern names.
The problem is that our political, sectarian and
party entities did not turn into institutions.
It lacks the spirit of criticism. We, the
people, especially the intellectuals, ought to change this sad
reality of growing fanaticism so as to stop producing more
dictators in the name of sects, parties and the like.