Stands >2004 Stands >The Stand of Zu elhujja 5  -1424H /January 27 2004A.D.


The dominance of personality cult in the Arab and Muslim nation and the Third World

Sayyed Fadlullah: People in the Arab Muslim world have to acquire the courage of practicing objective criticism to every political, social and religious official. There is nobody above the law.

Asked in his weekly seminar the following question: Our Arab and Muslim nation suffers from a problem that could be considered the mother of its cultural social, political and even religious problems. It is the problem of inflating certain dignitaries and sanctifying those who are not actually sacred… This was reflected even on the way we live. It also trapped the necessary process of change in a vicious circle.

How do you view this state and how could we change it?

The Religious Authority Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah said:

Actually, the problem of sanctifying those who are not sacred in themselves, or even in their aims, is a critical problem the Arab and Islamic society suffer from.

So critical is this problem that it has had negative repercussions, and became an obstacle to intellectual development, scientific thinking and the attempt to understand the controversial issues in a renewed matter that is independent from the approach of old thinkers who lived in a different societies and environments.

If this problem is of a social or a political origin, it has become more dangerous when it finds some guards and sponsors from within our religious circles who guided the nation in the wrong direction, directing it to stand in the face of the religious reform movement that aims at correcting the mistakes and deviation that religious scholars made in their understanding of the texts… Prominent historic personalities were presented as sacred symbols whose ideas can not be discussed, just as the wrong mainstream understanding of certain ideas could not be challenged by obvious facts. Thus, the understanding of these texts become fixed and preventing any new approach in jurisprudence or doctrinal thinking that is supposed to further clarify the issues and respond to new ones that life creates to take hold.

This blind sanctification of past ideas and judgments has contributed in universalizing the culture of backwardness, and in creating a state of stagnancy. It also prevented any creative culture from finding its way into the Islamic community… It was the basis of glorifying certain social symbols that made their fortune or position by means that are not necessarily lawful or virtuous, which in turn led to the collapse of the movement of criticism that constitutes a meter to measure how much the nation is alive.

On the political level, we might find political parties that promote personality cult to the extent that the leadership becomes infallible in the stances it takes. This personality cult would then be inflated to give the leadership scientific, religious and moral qualifications that it does not actually possess. In these conditions, any objective criticism to any idea, would lead either to the kicking out of those who dare to criticize, or punish them in other ways. Adopting such an attitude will make these parties, which presented themselves as an alternative to the kings and regimes, follow the same way of these regimes. This in turn will make our societies ruled by various laws of emergency, whether those of the regimes or the parties.

In these societies, it is impossible to charge or try any official except by a coup or a regime change induced through foreign intervention, even if the charge is that of corruption or theft. And this is especially true in the multi-sectarian societies where accusing an official of a certain sect of any crime will be considered as offending the sect itself. What is more tragic is that this is true even in the case of the regimes that claim to adhere to the teachings of Islam or those that claim to be Arab nationalists.

Why is the law above all in non-Muslim countries? Why should the tyrant Sharon, for example, be tried while no official in our countries could be held accountable? We, in the Arab and Muslim East and in the Third World, make tyrants and worship them ignoring all the dirty crimes they commit.

People have to acquire the courage of practicing objective criticism to every political, social and religious official. There is nobody above the law.

Our Messenger Muhammad (p.) had explained that nations were perished because they had left the thieves if they came from a noble origin and punished the weakened ones. He added: “If Fatima the daughter of Muhammad would steal, I would cut her hand”.