Lessons for the Middle East from MLK

16 01 2012

On this Martin Luther King holiday, it is all the more fitting to shake our collective fingers at violent dictators like Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, and remind them that, as MLK put it so eloquently, “unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

Truth and justice do not hide behind guns, bombs, and torture devices.  And, history has shown that the former carry moral legitimacy that far outweighs the morally bankrupt expediency of violence and brutality.  The former also is more powerful in disarming the bully than the latter will ever be in oppressing the innocents.

Fear is never the best weapon.  It’s a temporary emotion, and tyrants will only have temporary effectiveness.  Noncooperation, noncompliance, and disobedience will always be stronger than tyranny, especially when they are infused with an infectious stubbornness that will not die.   This is Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy, and also MLK’s.

Today Al Jazeera is reporting that Imad Ghalioun, a member of the Syrian parliament, has defected and joined the opposition.  According to Al Jazeera –

“Imad Ghalioun, who represented the central city of Homs, told the Dubai-based al-Arabiya TV on Sunday night that the city is “disaster stricken” and has been subjected to sweeping human rights violations. Ghalioun said he was able to leave Syria before a travel ban was imposed on officials.

He said there are many legislators who support the uprising but have not said so publicly.”

It’s just a matter of time, for fear is temporary.  Stay stubborn in the path of truth and justice.  I leave you with a quote by MLK:

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

NOTE:  Everything I write in this blog constitutes my personal opinions and views.

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3 responses

17 01 2012
jonolan

“unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word” is only true when the enemy is weak and forgets that populations are renewable resources that can survive heavy culling.

Fear is temporary. Death is a permanent solution. To believe otherwise is foolishness, potentially of a lethal sort.

Remember that Gandhi and MLK only had successful legacies because those they struggled against could be shamed and were reluctant to remove the problematical demographics in their respective populations – though the Brits did manage to remove most of the Muslims from India.

17 01 2012
drhayat

Good points, thank you for your comments. I have one minor point to rebut: your last line, “though the Brits did manage to remove most of the Muslims from India,” is not completely accurate. While massive numbers of Muslims left for Pakistan, many Muslims decided to remain within post-partition India. Today, both countries possess hundreds of millions of Muslims; combining both populations would total approximately 330+ million. So, clearly, the British did not remove most Muslims from India, but did facilitate huge numbers of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and a few other minority religions to migrate from and to India and Pakistan with catastrophic violence. It’s one of the great tragedies of the 20th century.

17 01 2012
jonolan

At the time in question it was a significant majority of Muslims and almost all the problematical ones who were convinced / coerced into leaving for the two Pakistans (we do tend to forget that there was both East and West Pakistan).

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