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Libyan Writer Ghoma

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Monday, 15 January, 2007

The Bankruptcy of the Time:
The Soldier is Far Ahead of the Intellectuals!

By: Ghoma

"He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind..." Book of Proverbs

        The campaign still is going on, and which was mounted quite awhile back, on behalf of the Quran and Sunna, in the beginning by bearded and turbaned bunch and now by the more slicked and apparently people mostly with plethora of titles to their names, against the Colonel's stand from the assumed 'foundational sources' to government and legislation: Quran and Sunna. The doctors are accusing the colonel of abandoning the Sunna and only giving lip-service to the Quran ; and, those, according to these literati, were the mother of all sins and the end to all pretensions! The quarrel has overtones of snubbism and elitism: How a mere soldier has dared to raise doubts about issues only they and their cohorts, the phalanx of the learned -the knowledgeables of the occluded sciences- were authorized to expound on, interpret, and thus enlighten the rabble and his likes too.

        To be realistic, there's a historical controversy which goes back to the very beginning, about the issues these respected doctors are attempting to elucidate, if not to take sides on. The question is: What makes them think they've more at stake or even perhaps more qualified than the other side(s) to set the record straight and to say what He and His Messenger(s) meant or wanted to mean? And, though, the Colonel, was no slouch at his game, he, in fact, has used his contradictory stands, about the holy Texts, according to convenience rather than principle. In other words, Qaddafi is no Ataturk. He's mere bumbling Arab dictator, who found himself, at the top of the pyramid, in late 20th-century Libya, to rule and to make sense of a state that, from all the trappings of a country and its where- and how-abouts, had only the geographic name attached to it. One can go that far and say, he, Qaddafi, has struggled (ijtahada) and perhaps even has erred but all in an effort and with the intent to bring a medieval 'society' to face the reality of the modern world. And what are they? Rebels without a cause? A mere bunch of amateurish, or worse reactionaries and opportunists, who Qaddafi, perhaps smartly and intentionally, had thrown a bone their way for them to chew on, only to turn around and say to the Libyans you see what kind of people you've to deal with if I'm gone?

        Of course, Qaddafi's efforts were doomed from the beginning to failure: First, because they were meek and timid attempts undertaken, if for no other purposes and with a half- hearted intent, as a contingent or to meet some circumstantial conditions (just as Quran and Sunna did!); and second, without any due preparation to a decadent and conservative social milieu in which these new "interpretations and findings" were supposed to operate. The legacy of backwardness and conservatism was a high mount to climb and a stubborn tumor to eradicate, as came to be more and more evidenced even by the reactions of the most "educated and enlightened" bunch, the like of the Summa Doctors of politicus and other fields who, wouldn't hesitate to use their acerbic barbs and sharp arrows against anyone daring to attack their sacred cows.

        The pretentious band of these mostly social 'scientists' and in particular from the least scientific of all the fields of the malleable natures, "political science," howl foul to the four corners and hurl all names and epithets to their nemesis, without clarifications to any of the adjectives or qualifications to the epithets -they seem, sometime, as if were intended more to scare the hell out of anyone else too rather than the intended target! The funny thing about the whole scene is its similarity with that old stubborn warrior of de la Mancha (don Quixote), in fighting a retrograde and lost cause. The Phalangists, without adding any light to the controversy, their intentions seem to be to stoke more wood to the simmering fire. Their intent is to show the fallacy of his claims only to fall in a fallacy of their own! Never catch them say what they mean or meant what they say. Their preferred weapons is an esoteric mumbo-jumbo about the complexity and the "apparent and the deep" meanings of the sacred words and terms. Listening to their blathering would make the Quran and the Sunna sound as if were written in hieroglyphics or Sanskrit languages that only the initiates and dedicated could decipher: Where have, then, all the boasted directness, no intermediaries, and the simplicity of Islam gone?

        They argue in the abstract, accusing Qaddafi of having disregarded the Sunna, and is misusing the Quran. They also point out that, contrary to what Qaddafi has been saying, not all "ahadeeth" (sayings) are contradictory, nor the holy Book lacks in details about how to conduct the affairs of the state and its government -it's all in there, they say! However, true to the adage never to impugn themselves or be caught in errors, they stay away from details and precisions. They prefer to swim in their own pond. No extracting of the alleged instructions nor explicating on their presumed applications. All gas and nothing at hand!

        How could, or only in the wretched world of the Arabs, the most secular of the fields, political science, attracted, and produced, the most fanatics in terms of adherence to traditions and the non-separation of state and Religion? Why the doctored -pun non-intended- are the least liberated, intellectually, and how one explains the followers this phalanx get from the other so-called 'hard or exact sciences' majors? Why 'modern' education, in the Arab world, tends to be bounded by, and still reproduces, what its precedent, the 'kuttab' had been producing for the last millennium or so: mere Reciters? Ain't the purpose of education to open the minds and to find the wrongs with society in order to solve them in this world, and not just to blabber and regurgitate what presumably would prepare people for the next world? Why these folks are wasting time, and spending theirs or society's money, going through the troubles of higher education, when they could have learned the tools they're using in the closest of zawias to their homes, and in less time and expenditure?

        When the soldier leads in thinking, then society must be drowsing in deep slump. If political struggles, development, etc. are wars by other means, then Libyans are entering them with a bunch of learned, who have no brains, oops! plans, and a bunch of soldiers who never were good at strategy. Is Libya doomed? Unless miracles really do happen in this world, what can be peeked from the crack of the door is no Spring!


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