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What would Umar bin Abdulaziz say to Bashar?   

Asharq Al-Awsat - 27 March, 2012
Author: Dr. Hamad Al-Majid

Jarrah Ibn Abdullah, Governor of Khorasan, once wrote to the Umayyad Caliph Umar ibn Abdulaziz stating that the people of Khorasan were wild and rebellious, and nothing but the whip and the sword could control them. Umar replied: “Your theory that nothing but the whip and the sword could control your people is absolutely nonsensical. Truth and justice can control them; spread truth and justice in your reign”. Umar said that it was a “lie” to believe that the sword and the whip could guarantee to solve the people’s worsening temperament, so what would Umar tell Bashar al-Assad today, who has deployed his tanks, armored vehicles, army, intelligence, henchmen and Shabiha to kill, torture, rape and terrorize?

In fact, Umar could not deter the criminal tyrant from his crime by merely chastising him with the word “lie”, because the Bashar al-Assad regime is based on denials, hypocrisy and falsifying the facts: His statements are lies, his parliament is a lie, and his explanations of the suffering of his people are lies. In his people’s demands for freedom Bashar sees nothing but lies, because he is a liar who ultimately believes his own fabrications. Here we see a revolution that has been ongoing for over a year and neither the President nor his regime recognizes that their fall is inevitable, and that the debate only centers around the question of “when?” Bashar lies and then believes what he is saying, and the problem is that he does not realize, nor does he want to realize, that he is working against his own interests, those of his family and his inner circle.

I hope that Bashar and his wife stop being preoccupied – even for a few minutes – with the trivialities of their leaked emails, in order to pay attention to the rare courage of the Syrian people. This courage has transformed from confronting al-Assad’s brutality, dictatorship and Shabiha with bare chests, into scenes of dancing and singing songs of death, as if the people are heading towards “joy” rather than the death and arrests that no one knows the true scale of except God. The Arab people can no longer bear the horror of what has been transmitted by mobile phone cameras, which are only the tip of the iceberg. Yet the brave Syrian people hold a firm belief and remain certain to the point that they do not pay attention to these painful, tragic scenes, these proud people have begun to see this wicked, arrogant regime as nothing but a handful of despicable mercenaries and intoxicated thugs

“And [remember] when He showed them to you, when you met, as few in your eyes, and He made you [appear] as few in their eyes so that Allah might accomplish a matter already destined” (Surat al-Anfal, verse 44). I am impressed that the Syrian people no longer care about the defeatist international attitudes, or the empty promises coming from near and far. In short, what is taking place in Syria is now outside the realm of human beings; God will accomplish a matter that is already destined.

Bashar al-Assad and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi are two grotesque examples of the sons of bloody, autocratic tyrants. They are the ones who disproved the theory that only rulers who come to power riding on the back of a tank will naturally govern their people in accordance with their military backgrounds and harsh upbringings. Bashar al-Assad told his people that he was a humble, civilized doctor, and he was incapable of being like his father. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was a graduate of British academic institutions. Both of them lived amongst Western democracies, but then returned to their countries as if nothing had happened. Prophet Nuh, peace be upon him, was wary of this and warned against the tyrants of his time: “My Lord, do not leave upon the earth from among the disbelievers an inhabitant…Indeed, if You leave them, they will mislead Your servants and not beget except [every] wicked one and [confirmed] disbeliever” (Surat Nuh, verses 26 and 27).
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