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A Precondition for Popular Normalization

To tackle this issue, the effort of Israel and the West must be placed squarely on empowering a counterforce.

The normalization of ties between Israel and its Arab neighbors should transcend the narrow elitist realm of governments and its mandarins and businessmen to include the great mass of the population, the ordinary people who should be the main target of such normalization. For without the consent and conscious endorsement and active participation of the Arab population, the normalization of ties would only be of minimal effect, as it would be confined to few areas of interactions such as economy, diplomacy or tourism, just as of the Erdogan’s Turkey model of normalization, or for that matter, Egypt and Jordan.

At first sight the normalization with the people has to take in consideration the hegemony exerted by Qatar on the Arab world both on the elite and subjects, illiterates and academics. Qatar today is a giant among dwarfs, a rich among unfortunates. The upstart tiny sheikhdom who had only gained its independence from Britain in the 1970s, is now politicly and culturally more influential in the MENA region than its arch-enemy Saudi Arabia. Qataris are the ones pulling the strings, effectively controlling the minds and hearts of the Arabs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf. They are in fact imposing their doctrinal will even on the totalitarian regimes themselves-some of which once were quite secular- without a military conquest, their intellectual dominance of the Arab world is all but complete and scary.

The ideology they feed to the people have no rivalry, no objectors. It is the whole and sole dish served at the dinner table of every Arab and Muslim family, its tentacles reached into every nook and cranny of people’s lives, while religious powerhouses like Saudi Arabia or UAE are themselves adherent of the same doctrines of Wahabism even if they are Qatar”s political enemies. We have no left or right, no secular or liberal, no public debates to challenge the TRUTH put forward by those Gulf states ever since they rose to prominence after the discovery of oil.

Islam had already antisemitism as one of its founding pillars

In an Orwellian version of the Middle East, Qatar would be the Big Brother, and the Muslim grassroots all members of the thought police, while the Islamist vanguards would be members of the inner party. As one prominent islamist thinker puts it: We don’t need Islamic movements any more.

As it became a structured ideology at the hands of Abu Ala Maududi, Hassan El Banna and Sayed Qutb in the 1940s and forward, Islam had already antisemitism as one of its founding pilars. One cannot be a Muslim without hating the Jews—for that matter Christians let alone non-religious people—who are portrayed in the Quran itself as descendants of pigs and apes, and accused in the Sunnah of poisoning the Prophet Mahomet.

The ideology coated in oil money has made its way in modern age to the internet, it has flooded the social media with a deluge of the more angular features of the Wahabi doctrines, creating an insulated environment wherein Arabs are almost completely cut off from the outside world, even among Muslim diaspora of Europe and United States who lives in self-imposed ghettos, sanctioning only purely materialistic western products and innocuous technologies as opposed to intellectual material, and that blockade is made more solid due to the language gap between the Arabs and the rest of the world.

The only alternative is to take the battle to the gate of Dar al-Islam

As I sit at my table in my habitual café in a Marrakech neighborhood, my ears often catch whispers of people conversations which very often revolve around religious issues or as of currently glorification of Hamas, antisemitic stereotypes and the war in Gaza. If they are not conversing then either they are watching news on Al Jazeera, or football matches on the café television broadcast by beIn sports channel which is as well owned by Qatar, or—if left alone—immerse themselves in their smart phones consuming large amounts of capsulated Islamic doctrines through Tik Tok videos, Facebook posts, or YouTube Shorts and podcasts.

To tackle this issue, the effort of Israel and the West must be placed squarely on empowering a counterforce, to create a new generation within the Arab world to counterbalance this Islamic take over of the internet and the Arabic social media, to spread a new narrative throughout the platforms, one that is pro-Western values and challenging the Islamic TRUTH. The manpower is there, even if it is obscured by the prevailing cancel culture.

Waiting for the new world of renewable energy to come wherein Gulf State would in all likelihood retreat to the desert losing money, prestige and influence and as a result the dwindling of their religious politics, is going to take decades as some project it to be around the year 2050 when the world would finally be free of fossil fuels, so the only alternative is to take the battle to the gate of “Dar al-Islam” (“ the dominion of Islam”).

About the Author
Taha Lemkhir is a Moroccan writer and photographer. Degree in Arabic literature and Islamic studies. Critic of Islamism. languages: Arabic, English and Spanish. He Lived part of his life as an Islamist— until enlightenment flashed through his heart.
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