Projects and the Debate on the Broader Middle East
Fadlullah: The reform we want is one that relieves us from our ideological
backwardness on the basis of the Islamic humanistic principles that
respect man and hold him in charge of change.
Asked in his
weekly seminar the following question: With all that talk about the need for reform in the Arab and
Muslim World, how do you diagnose the conditions of this world?
Does it really need reform? And what about the motives of those
who have raised them?
Religious Authority Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah said:
knows that the reality of Arab and Islamic World is that of the
autocratic regimes that would not allow any political diversity.
The most they would tolerate is a tame opposition that is no
more than a democratic decoration. Even in the Arab countries,
that have some political freedoms, the freedom of speech is
being curtailed for the dominating octopus that controls the
region and the world prevents any democratic change.
wealth of these countries is concentrated in the hands of a
small group of people that imposes its own privileges. Waste and
corruption are abundant, while there is practically no
accountability, rule of law or democratic processes that ensure
change of governments.
As to the issue of
the struggle with Israel, most regimes have either publicly or
secretly begun to open up on Israel, although the latter's
terror on the Palestinians is increasing, which means that the
regimes say one thing in public and practice something else
behind closed doors, with most if not all regimes queuing to
ride the American train and follow the arrogant dictates.
But the biggest
catastrophe is the on-going debate about the so-called “The
Broader Middle East” which is meant to plan reform for our
countries… the G8 countries and the EU have taken part in this
debate, which means that they are planning for a new colonialist
rule that wants to reformulate our conditions to accommodate the
imperial needs, especially that of the United States. Thus, we
are sure that they do not want us to establish institutions that
would give our peoples the responsible freedom to conduct
change, but merely certain decorative talk about freedom and
Even on the level
of the people, we do not find that the individuals practice
recognition of the other whether on the personal level or on the
various political, social and religious levels. Freedom is
missed whether at home, in school or in the society at large
with no respect to human rights, justice and other humane
This backward state
is responsible in one way or another for producing the radical
trends that misinterpret Islam and practice acts of terror and
violence that are not accepted by Islam. These unlawful acts
include killing non-Muslim civilians who live among us and who
have nothing to do with what their administrations are doing.
acts, like the recent killing of a hostage in Saudi Arabia and
like what is daily going on in Iraq distort the image of Islam
and give ample excuses for the American and Israeli aggressive
policies. Consequently, those who are committing these barbaric
acts are serving the arrogant interests, whether they know it or
On the other hand,
the Arab and Islamic regimes have in general adopted the
arrogant war against terrorism that targets the Arab and Islamic
World. But they did not draw plans to confront this unjustified
violence. On the contrary, they follow the C.I.A. instructions
in all domains, whether political, military, social or even
Thus, we reassert
that the question is not about whether reform will be practiced
form the inside or forced from the outside. It is a movement
that seeks to serve both the arrogant interests and the Arab and
Muslims regimes, which means that they will both agree on a
certain formal democratic decoration that essentially promotes
the arrogant interests.
We, in the Arab and
Islamic world, need reform… But it is the reform that is
initiated from our own conditions and aims at changing the
ideological backwardness we live in and open up on the Islamic
values that respect man. Then, we would develop our
understanding of modern issues on the basis of the Holy texts
that could deal with every issue in all times and places, since
Allah has made change in the hands of man, and held him
responsible for what he chooses whether good or evil.