Don’t Be a Victim

Yes, we have a discrimination problem. Racism, regionalism, tribalism, sectarianism, etc. You name it. We have it. Discrimination in many different forms and on many different levels. It is good that we are finally acknowledging this problem. But acknowledging it is not enough. We have to confront it. We have to work on it.

Ali al-Mousa wrote about this in al-Watan last week. He admitted that we have this problem, which is great. But then he followed this with another admission, one that was rather shocking and disturbing to me. “I’m the first to practice discrimination in marriage and tribe, for instance, and I will inherit this to my kids, as a will and a way of life.”

Some might read that and think: what a brave admission. But is it, really? I understand that we all have our prejudices, but simply admitting that they exist will not take us anywhere, it will not move us forward. What is the difference between those who deny the discrimination and practice it, and those who admit it’s there but also practice it? It is good to know our prejudices, it is great to talk about them, but it is fighting and not acting on them that truly counts.

I find it scary that an intellectual like al-Mousa feels comfortable about justifying discrimination for himself (and probably his readers as well) simply because he thinks we are all “victims of a long legacy of social hierarchy and the weight of tribe.” I refuse to be a victim. We should all reject this twisted logic. I wonder, if people like him, supposedly leaders in our country, do not push for change and start with themselves, how can we hope for anything to ever change?