Bin Laden, the Arab Spring and the Changing Face of the Arab Enemy
by Said E. Dawlabani
With bin Laden’s killing occupying most of the Western media one can’t turn away without hearing terrorism experts assess the dangers that the world still faces even with him gone. I would like to offer an alternative view as to what might be happening to the machinery that produces Arab-brand terrorism.
Al-Qaeda came to prominence by perpetuating the notion that the evil ways of the West were responsible for all that’s wrong with Islam. From supporting brutal regimes to keep oil flowing to the unconditional support of a non-indigenous brutal enemy called Israel. In the Middle East, everything that was wrong from the moment you woke up till the moment you went to bed was Israel’s fault. Israel was supported by a mythical devil called America who rose to Quranic levels upon which the pent up anger of a culture that’s moving through a tribal-feudal developmental stage was directed everyday for decades from every part of the region. All dictators from al-Sauds to al-Assads made sure that these views were imprinted in the psyche of every man woman and child projecting all the ills of their lives on the far enemy as a way to vent out their ever increasing anger. Meanwhile these dictators were wasting no time in lining their pockets with Billions from oil revenues and foreign aid from the very Western (far enemy) powers they were blaming for their people’s misery.
Terrorism directed outwardly became the only place to vent out the brutality from the pent up energy of this cultural developmental stage and leaders like bin Laden provided the perfect network for Jihadists to do so. Al-Qaeda became a natural outcropping of a system that wouldn’t allow for the feudal stage of emergence to reach full expression. That very same system of repression produced thousands of angry Imams who projected their own repressed value systems through their sermons and that became the motto under which dictators held on to power – blame “The Other”, “The Stranger”, “The FAR ENEMY”.
The brutality of this repression could no longer be contained. After years of questioning their leaders’ explanation for their misery and seeing how far ahead the world has moved without them, an educated Arab street became fearless of their dictators. In January of this year a new paradigm started to spread. An Arab youth who would’ve joined Al-Qaeda ten years ago today just has to walk out his front door and to the closest gathering place and fully express his or her intent to be a martyr or a hero. For the first time since the end of the colonial era, this form of expression was not being repressed and more importantly, it was being pointed at the right source. The Arab street can no longer be fooled by its leaders pointing a gun to its collective head. The long awaited realization has finally come and it all points to the enemy within.
Although it’s heartbreaking to see hundreds of demonstrators being killed on the streets of Libya and Syria every day, from a human evolution perspective, this is laying down the proper foundation for a culture that subscribes to the ideals of an order value system. Arab feudalism is being channeled away from future Lockerbie bombings, Iraqi terrorist infiltrations and Al-Qaeda Jihadists to a feudalism on which the future generations of Libyans, Syrians and the rest of the region can start to build a solid foundation that sees its citizens and the citizens of the world as equal under the law. What a great way to pull the rug out from under the bin Ladens of the world and start the healthy emergence of a whole region into the community of nations.
Said E. Dawlabani is Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Center for Human Emergence Middle East. A real estate developer turned social entrepreneur. He has a prominent 25-year career in the brokerage, development and investment counseling sectors of the real estate industry in Boston, Scottsdale, and San Diego. In recent years he’s been applying his vision to build sustainable capacities in people as well as sustainable habitats. He studied the Integral approach to solving world problems for years and has been an advocate of Dr. Don Beck’s work world wide and in the Middle East, specifically, as he sees his theoretical framework as the only comprehensive approach that will bring lasting peace and prosperity to the region. To reach Mr. Dawlabani or for additional information about the CHE-Mideast’s work go to www.che-mideast.org