That was how Dr Edward Said put it. He is right but the powers
that be in the Arab World simply don't understand, ignore it or have all covered their
ears not wanting to hear how badly and damaging they have been conducting themselves.
Ululating unilateral independence of Palestine does not really scare anyone if it's value
is just for posturing and for inconceivable threats. The goal and plan towards achieving
such an independence, now that would make the major powers tremble. Such an an example was
the once call to jihad by the Saudi Head of State some years back which upon much
duress from the West corresponded by climbing down and trimming it to a jihad on the
personal level. If such a jihad was pronounced as an organised action plan it would have
changed the world. If only it was sincere and spoken from one with the truth in his heart.
The point that here is that there must more serious effort and work towards some attainable goals for the ummah and the priorities should be in the organisation and preparation of future leaders.
Dr Siddiq Fadil has this to say about rejuvenating Muslim leadership:
Leaders who are enlightened and who do not succumb to favours, rewards and riches. Leaders who know that real wealth really lies with the ummah in their belief. This richness lies in the hearts and minds of Muslims having the vastness of the al Qur'an, the Sunnah of the prophet s.a.w. Within them is Islam, the hidayah, the confidence and the contentment. Remember the Quraishi were in the beginning definitely more powerful and materially well off. The Roman and the Persian Empires vanquished in the face of an Islam without any material superiority at that time.Leaders had the confidence and the ability to convince all others of the truth that they brought and the credibility to inspire. Leaders who made the sacrifices themselves for no one remembers the prison warder but everyone knows the prisoner of conscience.
They could move things unlike the way it is now it is more to
responding to things and trying to work together to accept dictates from the West. Instead
they should be leading and debating with the West to seek solutions for just causes and
fair consequences. They will be doing that with their people's loyal undivided backing and
full trust. The way it is now the man on the street pours the same scorn onto their
leaders and diplomats just as but more subtly as the Western official does so. No wonder
they can swallowed up in the face of adversity on the negotiating table and also in the
Hamdan Muhammad Hassan
8 July 1998.
[Currently, he is a Senior Civil Engineer at the University Science of Malaysia. He is involved in youth activities with the Muslim Youth Movement in Malaysia. He is also the President for the Muslim Staff Association in his university.]