No excuse for our ignorance in an information age

Sawsan Al Shaer
Sawsan Al Shaer
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I understand that people could be deceived at times when information takes decades to be revealed to the public. I understand that people could be driven towards the unknown due to rare sources of information, slow communications and the absence of truth due to a massive amount of falsehood, ambiguity and the absence of information that would take decades to be revealed and published – and which even when published by western media, it needs another decade to reach people in the Arab world.

However, the present is quite different. Digital technology is now available to children who can access information even before their elders and is on hand to both the rich and poor alike. For example, you can read the Washington Post in Bahrain even before it has been published in print yet in the US. Even when you are thousands of miles away, online tools enable you to receive breaking news from, for instance, The Guardian. You’d learn the news even before millions of British people know about it, because you may have been online in Bahrain and notified about it on your Twitter account, while many in Britain were asleep at night.

There is no excuse for our ignorance now as information is easily and quickly available. Meanwhile, we should not ignore or pretend that we are not aware of what is being planned for us due to lack of information, and justify our mistakes at being deceived.

Today, competition between conflicting parties in our world makes information warfare one of its tools. Information reaches more quickly and accurately than one might expect. We now have the proof and evidence that Iran and Qatar were involved in funding armed Arab militias belonging to both sects. The evidence is available for all those who defend these two regimes, thus there is no excuse for their defense.

All you need to do is to use your mobile phones and search on Google or on Twitter to find the evidence. You can search for the keywords Iran and al-Qaeda, Qatar and Qassem Soleimani and you will find plenty of news.

Thus given all these easy methods to attain knowledge, I wish that those who see Iran as a Shiite supporter or see Qatar as a Sunni supporter answer the following questions: Why does Iran harbor al-Qaeda commanders? And why does Qatar pay billions of dollars to Shiite militias headed by Qassem Soleimani?”

These facts cannot be denied, they are out there. They are both assisting each other. Each party claims that it is supporting a sect to protect it from the other. Is not the Iranian-Qatari rapprochement enough?

Does this not sound the alarm to awaken the asleep?

After all this available information for everyone to access, is it logical that any Arab Shiite would still believe that the Iranian regime is good when he knows that it harbors and helps commanders of al-Qaeda, which bombed Shiite mosques and killed Shiite people? Is it logical that any Sunni still believes that Qatar is protecting the Sunni people and is its chief defender, while it provides Shiite terrorist militias with money that was used to kill Iraqi Sunnis and displace Sunnis of Syria from their cities?
Doesn’t this huge torrent of available evidence about the Iranian-Qatari linkage open people’s eyes? Is not Qatar the one that is funding militias which kills Shiite in Iraq? Is not Iran is the one that is funding the Shiite militias that is killing the Sunnis in Iraq? How would one “honorable” party that’s fighting another “honorable” party meet while they are both funding fighting militias?

Did not you realize after all this information which spread quickly over the last year that these states are not about supporting the Sunni or the Shiite, but rather about nurturing terrorist militias without distinction?

If the available information reaches us and we do not analyze and understand it, then ignorance lies with our analyses and understanding, not in the paucity of information, and this is a disaster!

This article is also available in Arabic.


Sawsan Al Shaer is a Bahraini writer and journalist. She tweets under the handle @sawsanalshaer

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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