RasheediOur nation suffers from severe political ‘illiteracy.’ Criticizing a politician, a lawmaker or an active party does not mean you understand politics. It would rather be like someone questioning the competence of a hospital’s doctors, which, by no means, mean that this person knows as much as Hippocrates did about medicine. In Kuwait and Arab countries, in general, when people talk about politics, they criticize and attack. Some of them even commit the mistake of making political analysis and judge this or that minister or lawmaker. They would accuse a government of treason and negatively criticize a certain political bloc, mainly driven by blind fanaticism that flourishes with ignorance of the simplest political principles. Therefore, most common Arab men’s superficial opinions accuse politicians of treason and question their intentions, their financial integrity or morals.

The latest of such trend is accusing entire regimes or countries, including governments, people and rulers, of treason. It is that simple. A nation can be ripped off religion and Arabism. To explain how deep a wound we have in the Arab political body, let me mention this experience. Years ago, I visited a friend and a discussion started about the Kuwaiti parliament’s performance. Another visitor started analyzing the parliament saying that it does not represent the nation and he started accusing individual MPs with certain things until I stopped him. “Can you name the political blocs in parliament and to which each lawmaker belongs?” I asked. “Of course not, how would I know? What does this have to do with what I just said?” he said. “Can someone who does not know the difference between defense, midfield and forward players analyze a soccer match?” I asked. And he said, “No.” “Well, that is exactly what you have been doing. You know nothing about political blocs and alliances within the parliament and yet you analyze the parliament and lawmakers’ performance,” I told him. Unfortunately, this is the bitter truth about real life in the Arab world.

This is what we witness daily on Facebook and Twitter and that is why we have over 400 million politicians in the Arab world! — Translated by Kuwait Times

By Thaar Al-Rasheedi