Stands >2004 Stands >The Stand of Muharram 24  -1425H /March 16 2004A.D.

The emergence of tribalism in the West

Sayyed Fadlullah: We ask all Arabs and Muslims not to retaliate by hurting the security of their hosts. They should respect the laws in the countries that received and welcomed them.

Asked in his weekly seminar the following question: How do you view the emergence of tribalistic trends in West?

The Religious Authority Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah said:

History -as well as what is happening in the present- talks about the tribal mentality that dominates the East. Such a mentality that holds the group responsible for any act committed by any of its members, and then the group would subsequently be punished, even at the political level.

This is also true in the sphere of the relations between confessions that coexist in the same society. If a member of one confession or sect offends another doctrine, the whole sect would be responsible and the Christians would have offended the Muslims or the Muslims would have offended the Christians.

However, Islam does not have anything to do with such practices, as some might claim. It teaches that the responsibility lies on the individual who commits the act.

The Quran explicitly says: “No bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another. Imam Ali (a.s.) told his relatives on his deathbed:

“The only one who should be killed for killing me is my assassin”.

Nevertheless, we notice that this backward tribal mentality has begun to impose itself even in the West.

To prove this, it is enough to point out to the reaction against the Arabs and Muslims in America, Europe, Australia and Canada in the aftermath of 9/11. Every Arab or Muslim had felt that he was accused, and consequently prosecuted not only by the governments but also by some of the citizens as well.

In this respect, we are afraid that the accusations and the negative stands that we have heard by some officials and parities in Europe concerning the bombings in Spain constitute a new attempt that falls in the same context.

It aims at holding all Arabs and Muslims responsible, despite all the unequivocal condemnations by many Arab and Muslim personalities and officials of this barbaric crime that contradicts with the spirit of Islam and its respect to man. Such crimes could not be justified by any logic; let alone any religion. Moreover, the Muslims themselves have paid a big price in their own countries as a result of these attacks which targeted the Arab and Muslim countries too, and even their shrines and mosques.

Nevertheless, we call on the Muslims and Arabs not to act in the same way. And we ask them to continue to act as guests whose relations with their host demand that they would respect his human rights especially that of being secure and safe.

To those countries in the West that have Muslim communities we say that it is their right to protect their security against those who try to disrupt it. However, it is not rational to accuse all Muslims and start to pass laws that violate human rights; even they are pressured to do so by the Americans or the Israelis.

We call on the Europeans in general and the Spaniards in practical not to adopt these unjust measures, and not to permit any wrongdoing to the Arabs and Muslims who have been loyal to the countries that received them and gave them citizenship.

Such an attitude would lead to new and complicated problems all over the world, creating more violence and new acts of terror that they claim that they are doing their best to curtail.