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Our stand from the political reality

By His Eminence, the late Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)

When we look into the political reality governing the nation nowadays through the conflicting currents and various trends, we will notice that this reality is no longer a mere situation embracing a certain group of people. Rather, it has extended to include the entire nation, and has become more like a daily provision to every person. Moreover, every group turned to adopt a certain trend, whether in the general course or in the more detailed one, for there are certain permanent apparatuses trying to train them on practicing politics according to the lines these apparatuses adopt and follow.

Therefore, we can deduce that politics has begun to represent a special sensitivity in the nations, as it tries and attacks this ruler or the other, or these regimes or the others, in a harsh impulsive manner that every group uses against the other, until it has become a criterion on the basis of which one can put on trial the nature of the thoughts themselves, and the political line that any group adopts turned to be an argument on the basis of which the thoughts it calls for are deemed righteous or not.

Therefore, we ought to be careful when it comes to this reality, as we should not try to support this party and not the other, or side with this party and not the other, for that will make us lose our independent personality and make us carry the burdens of the mistakes of the party we support, which places us in a battle the slogans and inclinations of which we do not believe in, and eventually lead us to some dangerous cliffs that might lead to our fall.

In the light of this, we ought to determine the line that distinguishes the movement of the doctrine, protects its steps and determines its dimensions so that all our actions would be in the service of this line and the work and the activists would acquire an independent personality that does not cooperate with the others except in the course of the lines both parties meet on, in a peer-to-peer cooperation, and not a follower-to-followed one.

Perhaps the issue is better clarified if we managed to take notice of the political reality governing the world nowadays, as it is divided between the right-wing trend represented by the western policy and the left-wing trend represented by the policy of the socialist camp.

In the light of this, we notice that the policy of the right sponsors colonization and backwardness and depends on impoverishing the developing countries and investing their wealths to their benefits, as they regard them as milking cows and a permanent market for their agricultural and industrial products.

As for the left-wing policy, it has adopted the trend of liberation that caters for the peoples’ freedom and independence, as well as their development and progress to make them reach the level of self-sufficiency at the industrial and agricultural levels. Whether that policy or the other is real or just an impression created by the propaganda and accepted by the public and dealt with as a reality, what is our stand from both trends?

Perhaps, some people consider that we ought to follow the right-wing trend, for the camp it represents does not have a certain creed that might clash with the religion and consider fighting it a message that ought to be propagated. On the contrary, we might find that it encourages religion in some of its stands, let alone that it gives it the freedom to work in its general frameworks, being part of the notion of public freedoms that its system calls on the state to protect and guarantee for the people.

Yet, this group of people considers that this is not a sufficient justification to integrate with it (the right trend) at the level of the political line that targets weakening the other camp with which they clash in the lines of the doctrine, which renders the process of cooperating with it dangerous, leading us eventually to ideological collapse.

Another group of people might consider that the seeds of liberation that Islam planted in the field of the doctrine and legislation call on man not to cooperate with those who call for freedom in their countries, for they actually want their own personal freedoms to the detriment of the others’ freedoms, as well as their dignity and honor.

Actually, this group labels cooperation with this trend as an alienation from the vital spirit of Islam and its social system; thus, there is absolutely no way to take sides with the right-wing trend, for we cannot stay in the camp that fights for the freedom of servitude and the protection of backwardness, as well as the policy of starvation and impoverishment, under the pretense of fighting the opposite camp.

As for us, we believe that we ought to outline our own trend that goes with the real supreme interest of Islam and does not deviate from the line of the Shariah. Moreover, our disagreements with the socialist camp on the doctrinal level should not be an excuse to reject all its political moves at the international level, if they conform to the supreme interest of Islam. In the same sense, we just cannot find any justification to go with the right-wing policy, if we disagree with it over all its political steps.

We ought to formulate our independent policy that determines for us where do we meet with the others without becoming their followers or part of them, which grants us more freedom for taking actions on the basis of Islam’s supreme interest, without restricting ourselves to the line of this trend or the other.

In this regard, we ought to make a distinction between the intellectual issues and the political ones, in the sense that differing in terms of the doctrine should not turn into a practical difference in terms of the other issues that do not harm our intellectual course. We ought to be objective in every step we take, provided that we do not turn naïve in the way we practice our objectivity or as we head to it, for being careful in every action we take represents the main pillar our movement should be based on.

Perhaps, it was necessary for us to follow the ongoing events of the reality and its movement in every place by observing the nature of the events accurately and comprehensively, as well as the relations between the influential forces in the world, and how strong or weak they are, not to mention our relation with them, or the possibility of establishing this relation with the least level of negativities within the frameworks of the supreme Islamic interest. Moreover, we ought to keep up with the political changes which might drive us to reconsider several objective plans on the basis of the previous calculations, for the constants in the courses of actions are restricted only to the general principles and broader lines.

It goes without saying that we ought to have specialists in any of these fields to study the political issues accurately, thoroughly and comprehensively for relying on the outer appearance of the events renders the plan shallow, more improvisational and inapplicable, which exposes it to danger, for it is not a matter of a thought going wrong or right; rather, it is all about a movement the deviation of which might lead to falling into a deep chasm.

We need not stress the importance of practice and studying the background as one of the conditions to attain a comprehensive and accurate knowledge, for the political culture is not theoretical and it cannot be attained by merely reading and studying it; rather, it needs, besides all that, feeling the reality in the movement of life…

[Source: Extracted from the book “Steps on the road to Islam”]