The heresy of the Protectors of the Homeland
It seems the state, as the entity that embraces institutions in the Arab world, is witnessing rare challenges
If each man had his own weapon, this would undermine the state and strip it of its legitimacy. It seems the state, as the entity that embraces institutions in the Arab world, is witnessing rare challenges.
A few days ago, the establishment of a paramilitary organization called the Protectors of the Homeland was announced in Lebanon, based in the north. Lebanese experts say there is a sectarian motive behind its establishment, as Sunnis fear Christian leadership. This is where the crisis of military organization comes.
Lebanon’s interior minister vowed to raise the issue with the cabinet, while Hezbollah overlooked it and did not condemn it, unlike Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, who defended the state against militant expansion.
There are challenges against the concept of the state, from the Houthis in Yemen, the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in North Africa. All these partisan formations are about to become a dangerous and flagrant challenge to state institutions.
The state must monopolize weapons, but amid current crises weapons are threatening ordinary people as militant armament parallels that of the army and state apparatusesTurki Aldakhil
The state must monopolize weapons, but amid current crises weapons are threatening ordinary people as militant armament parallels that of the army and state apparatuses. The infection of shattering institutions will spread, and this is the dome of civil wars.
Prominent German philosopher Max Weber said: “The state is the only human community which lays claim to the monopoly on the legitimated use of physical force.” This is an important vision during this militant time.
This article was first published in Okaz on Sep. 01, 2016.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.