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Index-Wagging Season.

For about ten years now, Arab citizens have been watching dozens of speakers on satellite channels and Internet websites, wagging their index fingers in a cautionary and threatening way.

The latter belong to what has become referred to as being Jihadist Islam, which adopted violence as a means to impose its political, social and cultural vision. They can be seen throughout the sects and powers since no sectarian side monopolized the "honor" of graduating angry speakers. It is known in this context that the index finger carries a symbolic meaning during the performance of the prayer and is pointed up before the end of prayer. The Jihadists of our times favored this symbol and used it excessively in the wrong context. Raising the index finger and wagging it thus became spread out to the point where one understood what the speaker wanted to say as soon as he started making this move. The supervisors over one of their websites, i.e. the Tawhid and Jihad Forum, even went as far as putting a hand with its index finger emerging from an open book as the website's logo.

In general, those wagging their index fingers in the viewers' face want to convey clear messages to the representatives of infidelity and arrogance and especially the tyrants of our times, the United States, Israel and the small demons that are loyal to them, saying that their hour had come and that the speakers who usually carry light weapons behind their backs - based on a tradition instated by Osama Bin Laden - will not allow the American and Israeli corruption to proceed. In many cases, the threats do not extend beyond the people of the country which is afflicted with many challenges, not the least of which being the social environment which allowed the surfacing of the index-wagging speakers in it.

Yet, the index-wagging habit has started to go hand in hand with a second more dangerous and more harmful habit. Indeed, while the Arab viewers are showing patience vis-Ea-vis the words and threats of the speakers, they know in advance that they will be the ones who will pay the price for everything said by the turbaned speakers with all sorts of headgears, in an attempt by the latter speakers to show the authenticity of the origin and the ideology they are coming from. Moreover, each "appearance" made by such speakers is being accompanied by one of two possibilities: either nothing happens and the talk is just a pretext for the security bodies to exert harassment against the Arab and Muslims travelers in airports around the world, or an action is undertaken, thus claiming the lives of innocent people having nothing to do with the policies of their countries that exploited the terrorist acts to expand their interests by use of force at the expense of our oppressed people.

In both cases, the speaker is able to elude direct pursuit, unless he is one of the suicide-bombers who carry out their attacks through the use of their bodies. Nine years after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Bin Laden and his aide Ayman al-Zawahiri are still on the loose while the "Land of the Jihad" in Afghanistan is moving from one catastrophe to the other.

In Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere, there are index-wagging experts, and each time one of them appears and waves his hand, all hearts drop due to pessimism and fear over what is yet to come.

However, all that is said stems from a joint mentality prevailing among the speakers in these barren Arab times. It is the mentality of haughtiness with half knowledge and a disfigured conscience over the citizens who are deprived of their right to determine their own fate. It is a right which the elections held in Lebanon and in Iraq a few months ago (and maybe even in Egypt soon) revealed that the questions revolving around our ability to exercise it were not raised on a whim, and were rather based on palpable shortcomings in exercising politics in its rotational meaning.

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Publication:Dar Al Hayat, International ed. (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Oct 15, 2010
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