Stands >2003 Stands >The Stand of Ramadan 23  -1424H /November 18 2003A.D.


The American Call for a Democratic Change in the Region

Sayyed Fadlullah: Preserving identity is a fundamental condition for change. America is responsible for the stagnation, and its call for change is superficial.

Asked in his weekly seminar the following question: There has been a lot of calls lately for change in the region, especially in the statements made by American officials .
How do you view these calls and the Arab and Islamic reactions they generate. And what is the Islamic position regarding the issue of change and especially seeking the help of foreign powers to establish it?

The Religious Authority Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah said:

First of all we have to say that it is the West and America in particular that forestalled change in the Arab and Muslim world whether politically, economically or even socially… It is America in particular that has been promoting and supporting autocratic and backward regimes to protect its interests. American officials have admitted this fact in their latest statements, with president Bush saying that they have supported dictatorships in the region for the past 60 years. America has also helped in creating the illusion that change in the region is impossible unless America approves and supports it.

Secondly, we also have to know that America does not object any superficial change if it serves for decoration purposes only… we have seen how it welcomed certain formal changes in some of the regimes in the region. In actual fact, America does not allow any movement that seeks change to surpass this superficial level, for in - depth change is not accepted, especially if it leads to the creation of a popular movement that leads the nation to independence and self-sufficiency that would ultimately enable it to hold the position it deserves among nations.

Therefore, when we talk about change in Iraq we ought not to be absorbed in one aspect and forget about the rest, especially those that have to do with the arrogant strategy… To the arrogant power, controlling a small region is but a means to tighten the hegemony over the bigger ones.

Moreover, we should not forget that from the moment the Soviet Union began to fall, the west, and America in its forefront, began to create a new enemy: Islam.

Thus, we ought to be clever enough not to believe all these calls for change that are the result of the impasse the Americans found themselves in… we have to be cautious enough to understand that the kind of change they seek promotes only their own interests… The Americans have declared that this change should adopt American values and rules which could pose a threat not only to the political and social current state of Muslims, but also to Islam and its values, morals and culture.

Thus, as we do not reject out of hand the option of benefiting of the favorable conditions for change, but we should know where we are going to… Change should emanate from the land and its peoples and it should serve the interests of the land and the peoples.

The fundamental condition of change is preserving our Islamic identity… Our condemnation of the current state of affairs in the region should not turn into a weapon that justifies the arrogant aggression… Thus, we should not also accept the claim that we are encouraging violence against civilians, when we do not condemn all acts of violence.

We do not condemn these actions because others want us to do, or because we have a certain interest… We condemn them because our religion and values impel us to do so… And because it is not permissible for any group, for whatever reasons, to blow up religious sites and kill civilians. Such an act would benefit the enemy for it would allow him to find excuses for his crimes, especially after they have been exposed in the West, as the recent poll in Europe regarding the threat to world peace demonstrates.

Nevertheless, we emphasize that violence in itself is not a form of Jihad, we have to study the jurisprudence justification for it, as well as the political consequences, and make sure that those whom the violence targets do not benefit more from it than we do.