Liberty and Stolen Identity in the Middle East
People say: What is in a name?
I think Shakespeare’s Juliet asked that question and then went on to give a rather sweet reply herself.
But my answer to that question is somewhat different from Juliet’s.
To Juliet the name did not matter. For, it was the name “Capulet” that was the source of her sorrow and misfortune.
On the one hand, she, a Montague, loved Romeo, a Capulet, with a love that hurt as only true, divine love could.
On the other hand, each one of these two names, Montague and Capulet, was anathema to those in this equation that did not wear it.
That meant so long as she was a Montague, and Romeo a Capulet, their love was, with the certainty of death, headed for heartbreak.
For, neither family would let a member of the hated other family become a part of theirs.
Hence, Juliet’s youthful eagerness to get rid of all names, so her beloved Romeo will bear the hated Capulet moniker no more.
Exactly what a spirited young woman in love would do – anytime anywhere.
But my answer to that question is different.
What is in a name you say?
My answer is: History and identity, not just of individuals and groups, but of entire nations and societies and cultures.
That is what!
Name of nations and societies is often the key to their past as well as to their present and future.
It is the code to their identity. And to their conduct and character in this world.
And some would say to their destiny.
It is the name that tells us who nations, societies and cultures are; where they came from; and how they are likely to behave in this world.
And also to some degree how they may end up: whether in the landfill of history or in the vanguard of nations, societies and cultures on the march.
That, if you ask me, is part of what is a in a name. And there is much more in a name after that.
That is perhaps why God Almighty himself gave the name Muslim to Muslims.
He named you Muslims, says the Qur’an: Huwa sammaakumul Muslimeen! A very special and unique distinction conferred on a nation or society by God.
The custom of this world is that owners and masters brand names, numbers and identities of their choosing on their possessions.
Muslims are those who opt for slavery to their master and maker, God Almighty, in lieu of slavery to their own fellow humans.
That, then, is part of what is in a name: Nations’ past, present and future.
Their very identity and destiny.
Middle East, did you say?
Middle to what?
And East to whom?
To Britain, “Great” in terms of all the lands it had conquered and colonized and plundered and all the peoples of the world it had subjugated and enslaved?
Or to a host of European countries, with similar credentials and accomplishments, such as Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands and Spain?
So, just an appendage to someone else’s identity and a convenient shortcut to others in their often bloody march to fulfill their own personal, national and racial desires, dreams and ambitions?
Middle East! What a name to name someone!
And what a story of stolen identity, adulterated history and compromised destiny does the expression “Middle East” tell!
And how happily the slaves embrace and flaunt that name!
And even translate it in their own languages through mostly unthinking, uncaring and uncultured translators, many of them without any care or respect for their culture, creed, history or geography.
Ash-Sharqul Awsat! That is what they call it.
Exactly what it says, no matter how mindless it may sound: Middle East.
Just like translating “overseas” to Maa Waraa-ul Bihaar, don’t you think? Even if you are only going from Kuwait to Iraq.
And how happily and proudly slaves embrace and flaunt the names and identities their owners and masters slap on them.
To the so-called Middle East, this name “Middle East” means a loss of their true identity and history as independent nations, societies, tribes and people with their own culture and character.
Shu’ooban wa Qabaail, as the Qur’an called them.
What most people don’t know is that your name – your true identity – is often the first target of those who wish you ill: those who have designs on you and what you have and want to steal that from you.
Those who want to steal your wealth.
Or your land.
Or something else you may possess.
When people want to demonize and destroy people and places and things, they often begin by destroying their identity.
And their name.
They give them a name of their own choosing, rather than call them by the original name that these people and places had chosen for themselves.