In the Mideast, immoral politics reign supreme

The Middle East has entered that zone a while back and it continues in a free fall without much hope left for salvation

Octavia Nasr
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You can write all you want, demonstrate all you can and shout as loud as possible; nothing will change. Simply because those you are trying to reach have already crossed the threshold of morality. They live in a zone where immoral politics reign supreme.

At this level, if you reason with them, they take it as a sign of weakness and submission. If you criticize them, they take it as an insult and a good excuse to retaliate. The only acceptable option to them is for you to do as they say.


The Middle East has entered that zone a while back and it continues in a free fall without much hope left for salvation.

When the Arab uprisings exploded across the region and dictatorships fell like dominos, some of us celebrated the youth finally taking the reigns and shouting out their dismay at decades of backward thinking and reverse actions that led to retarded mentalities drowning out forward-thinking and creative leadership models.

We rejoiced because we believe that the future belongs to the youth and that we owe it to them to give them room to breathe fresh new ideas into our lives and our world.

This is in direct conflict with those who love the status quo, hate change, and are bound to power like beings are bound to oxygen.

Despite progress, injustice remains

When an already failure of a system is overtaken by bullies and others who lost their minds and consciences, how can logic serve anyone anymore? How can anyone promote dialogue and peaceful resolutions when faced by only stiff opposition and nonnegotiable disagreement?

When certain groups hijack religions, political systems, even slogans and ideologies, extremism prevails. It pushes moderates to become passive and move out of the way or turn violent and extreme to deal with the imposed challenges.

That’s when words don’t matter any more. Ideas and suggestions have no listeners let alone takers and adopters. Thus, everything dies at the doorstep of hope and the future.

In the age of unethical politics, a mass murderer imposes his person “elected” president over the ruins of Syria, ignoring the stench of death and destruction and the longing of millions of displaced citizens.

In the age of unconscionable politics, mass murderers continue to rule in Lebanon. They dare point fingers at one another while driving their nation into the drain of a constitutional vacuum.

When corrupt politics lead to corrupt times, good people are faced with a dilemma: If peaceful action seems like a useless dream, violence is undoubtedly a costly nightmare, and inaction is as immoral and villainous as the vile, immoral politics themselves!

This article was first published in al-Nahar on May 5, 2014.


Multi-award-winning journalist Octavia Nasr served as CNN’s senior editor of Middle Eastern affairs, and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the use of social media in traditional media. She moved to CNN in 1990, but was dismissed in 2010 after tweeting her sorrow at the death of Hezbollah’s Mohammed Fadlallah. Nasr now runs her own firm, Bridges Media Consulting, whose main aim is to help companies better leverage the use of social networks.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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