Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ya, Tunisia: Hikmah Before Action!!

Throughout history, people have engaged and successfully taken control of their own political lives, ending the tyranny of the institutions and people who operated them yesterday, in hope of building something new tomorrow. It is always easy for the outsider to critique for he sits in the relative safety of his home, free of simultaneous emotions of fear, confusion, hatred, and uncertainty. He, on the outside, did not have his brother shot and killed by agents of the State. He, on the outside, did not need to worry about having enough for his daughters to eat. He, on the outside, is not compelled to the streets in order to maintain the life and reason for the peaceful protest of the Tunisian Revolution. Wallahi Al Theem, these are facts and they are indisputable.
Yet, it is because of his capacity to speak from relative safety free from the real, human, and emotional crisis that most of his dear brothers and sisters in Tunisia now suffer, that we ask that you hear him. The request is simple, as is the seemingly immutable and empirical truth of revolutions: far too often, the People never get the ‘end game’ correct. In other words, I, as your brother in Islam; your supporter in this necessary revolution; and in my heart, as a Tunisian who has never seen his homeland: I beg of you to not allow your first victory to descend into a chaos that you prove Ben Ali correct in your inability to govern yourselves under the Principles of Islamic Social Justice and Liberty. Hikmah before action! On January 4th of this year, before the world began to notice, we called upon you to Arise! Arose you did. Now we, out of love for you and for Allah and His messenger (SAAW), call on you to engage in the necessary politics to bring the Revolution to its successful conclusion, Inshallah.

Censorship is no more, and you can speak freely to us. Tell us what you need in conjunction with what is happening. If Mr. Ghannouchi seeks to supplant one dictator with another, we can assist you in stopping this. We can do that which you cannot. We can travel to New York and Washington, not only to protest, but also to speak on your behalf before the world and with those who make decisions. We can go to the United Nations. We can lobby the United States Congress and Mr. Obama, reminding him of his Inaugural commitment that if we no longer clenched our fist, he would extend his hand. We can send food. We can send money. We can ensure that everyone in the Western Hemisphere knows that your Revolution is a peaceful protest for regime-change and democratic transition. Was this not the reason Mr. Bush invaded Iraq? We can answer that this Revolution does not add to the current Budget Deficit in the United States, and that there is no need for American troops to die. We can do all of this, because Wallahi, though we were born in New Jersey or Los Angeles; though we speak neither Arabic or French; though we have never basked in the Tunisian sun, we are your countrymen.

Yet, Inshallah, you must have patience and perseverance in order to make sound, wise, political decisions and finish the game. Moreover, you must continue to be non-violent. No matter what the agents of the government do, you must be non-violent. No matter the water hoses, the armies of police, the bullets, or your own deaths, you must be non-violent. It is not based on the negative public relations that we ask you to do this, but on the words of our beloved prophet (SAAW): "When two Muslims fight (meet) each other with swords, both the murderer as well as the murdered will go to the Hell-fire." You must be non-violent to continue to assure Allah’s Blessing over you. You must be patient, for patience leads to right action. The Ummah is with you. Be patient, be non-violent, and speak to your brothers and sisters in Islam. And Wallahi Al Theem, a Muslim behaving un-Islamically towards you, DOES NOT give you the right to behave un-Islamically in return. Remember who you are, and let us move forward together as one people, Inshallah.

Isma'il ibn Bilal

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