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Stands >2005 Stands >The Stand of  Ramadan 21, 1426H /October 25, 2005 A.D.
 

Role of interests in foreign relations

Sayyed Fadlullah: the American offensive is accelerating its pace to establish breakthroughs either in Lebanon or in the neighborhood, by building on the several mistakes that occurred to change the region in a way that serves Israel. This cannot be accepted by our peoples who will not be deceived by the American propaganda to polish its image, while at the same time strives to make the temple fall on the heads of all us by the internal strife it tries to create or by supporting Israel's crimes and practices.

Asked in his weekly seminar the following question: How does Islam view the prominence of national interests in relations with the others especially with respect to the problematic relation with the West ?

The Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, said:

Since its advent of its merciful Message, Islam has sought to save all mankind. Muhammad (p.) was sent as a Mercy to the worlds and the new religion serves the interests of all people in this world and in the Hereafter.

That is why the researchers noticed that Islam has sought in its laws and ethical framework to present solutions for all mankind, regardless of their creed, color or race, despite the fact that it laid the foundations for protecting those who belonged to it, for this aimed at protecting the new religion itself to make reach the furthest places in the world.

As Islam honored the human race as a whole: "We have honored the children of Adam ” it was concerned with building a moral shield that preserves man, as well as the other elements that enable man to secure his welfare and his legitimate ambitions that do not disrupt the general balance that organizes human relations within the framework of the general interests of all nations.

As for the Muslim community, Islam stressed the need of safeguarding the Muslim internal unity, and tried all those who threatened it. It believed that the nation's general interests necessitate this, even if it meant sacrificing some of the individual interests. And that is why we saw Imam Ali (a.s.) declaring: I will keep the peace as long as the affairs of Muslims are safe and the only injustice in inflicted on us personally.

Furthermore, if Islam was concerned with protecting the general interests of the nations, it did not neglect the interests of the individuals.

It gave them (individuals) the right to make lawful money whether in trade or other business. It also took the rights of the weak and poor from the strong and rich. Moreover, it embarked on providing the Muslim community with security, psychological and political protection and organized its relations with the world on the basis of universal justice.

Thus Islam was realistic when it dealt with the issue of interests on the basis of its ideological background that maintains that religion came to serve man and not vice versa, thus maintaining that on the individual and community levels seeking to promote interests should not defy the ethical values and principles.

But this does not mean that the Islamic conception is idealistic, meaning that it imprisons man and forbids him from fighting for his own rights. On the contrary, these values can be frozen at certain times when the general interests of the individual or the community are threatened. Morals in Islam are relative, and they aim it safeguarding and protecting man. Consequently, if they turn to a weapon against man, and threaten his life, then we have to choose what enables us to protect ourselves. That is why we used to say: We refuse that they should tie us to our values to prevent us from taking our rights as a nation, especially that the Messenger says: "the ways to God are as numerous as the breathes of His creations". But this does not mean that we have to discard the Islamic ethical and judicial system, whenever we seek minor or major interests. Instead, we have to adapt our movement in a way that conforms to the general outline of Islamic goals and principles.

On this basis, we have always insisted on rejecting the notion that aims justify means. Instead, we believe that the legitimacy of the goals should lead us to purify our means.

Therefore we do not – in principle, refuse to respect the aspirations of others who believe that they have certain interests in our region.

We admit, for example, that the West has such interests. But at the same time, we have certain interests in the West, which it has to respect. The West should also respect our principles and values when it moves to promote its interests in our region, just as it expects us to respect its laws and priorities when we seek our own interests in the West.

We, the Arabs and Muslims, do not have any complex towards the Western nations, although we might oppose some of its policies towards certain countries, we believe that we have, for example, the right to oppose the policies of the American Administration in our region, just as the American citizens feel that they have the right to oppose its internal policies. If those citizens have had to bear the catastrophic consequences of some of their administration’s wrong political or economic polices, we have had to bear the catastrophic results of its foreign polices, and we believe that we have the right to engage in an open confrontation with these policies, provided that we stick to the legal methods embodied in international law which are not rejected by the heavenly ones.

As we respect the scientific spirit adopted by several research and academic centers, we have to point out that some of them are sponsored by certain giant companies of vicious economic or political goals, or that they might aim at promoting Israeli interests, which could drive them to change the facts and become subjective and biased in their analysis and conclusions. Thus, they become enemies of our nation, which gives us the right to hold them accountable and review their political aims and intentions.

But, on another level, we cannot deny that the West has established a relationship between the people and the leadership on the basis of institutions, while the leadership in our region depends on tribalism, sectarianism or even individualism. That is why we find the Western leaders in general respects their people and fear them, while our leaders deal with the people in a personal and oppressive way.

Nevertheless, we have, as a nation and also as individuals, to build a new generation of leaders who are concerned with confronting the great threats, the nations faces, and at the same time preserve the rights of their peoples. We are afraid that we live on the one hand in a state of leadership vacuum, and that, on the other hand, the American offensive is accelerating its pace to establish breakthroughs either in Lebanon or in the neighborhood, by building on the several mistakes that occurred to change the region in a way that serves Israel. This cannot be accepted by our peoples who will not be deceived by the American propaganda to polish its image, while at the same time, strives to make the temple fall on the heads of all us by the internal strife if tires to create or by supporting Israel's crimes and practices.