Quest of a Tyrant Savoir!

Statue of Salahuddin Ayubi in Jordan

Statue of Salahuddin Ayubi in Jordan

I will not start with how Pakistan came into being; I will not mention that a nation struggled for a separate piece of land because they did not want to live as a suppressed minority in that country. And I will certainly not touch the “separate story” that after the Promised Land was acquired by that nation they started suppressing the minorities they had. However, this is how, mostly, in Pakistan you are required to talk or write about issue of Gaza. Every time you construct an intention to speak up you are asked to “zip it” because you forgot to talk about another issue or you did not spoke about it with the same amount of zeal.

So rather than beating around let me come back to the point of quest. Whatever happening in Gaza is nothing but cruel and the way so called international stakeholders and influentials in Muslim countries have reacted is utterly repugnant. Furthermore, all is being done in the name of right to defence; perhaps I have not reached the level of wisdom that can help me in understanding how such brutal offensive is the line of defence. Anyhow, since the new wave of torture has punched Gaza, like always, Pakistanis have shown their rejoinder and social media feeds are full with their memos of solidarity. Though, possibly out of fashion or lack of knowledge or out of sheer naivety a fraction of them is committing a mistake.

I know Israel attacked Gaza and Israel is a Jewish state but does that make all the Jews accountable for that? Is calling for all the Jews not the same mistake that many perpetrate when they try to clasp all the Muslims and Islam guilty for the act of few? I certainly am not shielding what Israel is doing to the people of Gaza. However, is not it vindicated to be tinny little bit raciest (or bigot if that word suits you) towards all the Jews out of anger because a certain fraction of the Jews are committing war crimes (that is another debateable topic if its war after all or not).

Interestingly many fellow Pakistanis are raving for another Hitler, messages like Hitler we miss you are all over the social media. Perhaps this is out of lack of knowledge of history otherwise I do not think the name Salahuddin (or Saladin) is less glamorous as compared to Hitler. We only remember Hitler for one act and completely forget that our favourite savoir was more of tyrant than virtuous.

Saladin the Muslim military leader from 12th century defeated crusaders at the battle of Hattin in 1187 and as a result, Muslims regained Jerusalem. Upon reaching Jerusalem, he ordered his men not to cause any damage to the city, not to rob anyone, and not to kill any civilian. Saladin is the man who sent ice to be used as water and fresh fruits to his opponent army when he realised that the army of Richard (the lion heart) is out of water and food. He did not regain the city of Jerusalem for Muslims but also he lifted the ban from Jews to live in the city. He permitted Christian pilgrimages to Jerusalem, church of holy Sepulchre remained in the hands of Christian. Perhaps the list might go on but yes, Hitler beats Saladin without trouble in the list when it comes to war crime.

Hitler the savoir we are raving for these days has a long list of “achievements” such as the Holocaust, Massacres of Le Paradis, Wormhoudt, Lidice, Ardenne Abbey, Malmedy, Wereth, Kalavyrta, war crime of Gardelegen, Sub-Marine warfare against     merchant ships, destruction of medieval churches in Novgorod, burning of villages in Belarus with entire population, and list goes on.

I am not an expert but the definition and image I have for savoir is free from the list above. A savoir is brave not cunning, savoir is just not tyrant, and savoir is kind not barbaric. Even so, we like to keep prejudice alive and cheer for someone without flicking through the list of his “cons”. Yes people of Gaza are in trouble, yes what Israel is doing is no less than what Hitler did in the past, and yes people of Palestine are looking for a savoir but does that savoir has to be Hitler like or Saladin like?

The concept of cursing should be like the due respect concept it should be given according to the fair share. I am asked to hate all the Jews because a section of Jews is committing crimes. What should I say about the Jews who are also against such crimes, who perhaps are more vocal against the recent attacks on Gaza by Israel? Or at least, more vocal than any leader from Muslim countries. Why we tend to forget the simple fact that, perhaps, a normal/common Jew is as innocent as a normal/common Muslim?

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