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Security or freedom?

A preacher recently asked his followers on social media if priority should be given to security or freedom

Turki Aldakhil

Published: Updated:

A preacher recently asked his followers on social media if priority should be given to security or freedom.

The way he phrased the question was wrong because security and freedom are not two principles we choose from or which contradict each other. Security includes some sort of freedom within. It enables individuals to move from one place to another, to work, to speak, to get engaged in discussions and to express one’s mind.

There’s this passion to go back to the years of the Arab “revolutions” where the street was boiling with rage and where there was madness seeking political change and freedom from regimes. However, people have become more aware. The response to this preacher’s tweet proves this point.

The preacher submitted to the people’s voices as they expressed their desire for security and stability away from the mad dreams of change which have so far inflicted societies.

Security includes some sort of freedom within. It enables individuals to move from one place to another, to work, to speak, to get engaged in discussions and to express one’s mind

Turki Aldakhil

Ensuring security

Considering how the question is phrased, I would say security is more important than freedom. Owing to security, one gets to follow their religion and one’s life is protected. It is the security that safeguards religious practices and protects our wealth and our children.

On the other hand, it is the calls for freedom during which dignity of people have been violated. People have been killed and there have been bloodshed and chaos in several countries in the region.

The concept of freedom itself varies depending on several factors. Some people, like the preacher, may believe freedom is achieved by restoring the Caliphate. Someone else may believe it is achieved by going back to the beliefs of al-Qaeda while some may see freedom in Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

If the preacher’s question requires a direct and decisive answer, then yes, security is more important than freedom.

This article was first published in Okaz on Oct. 3, 2016.
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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.

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