Earlier, Mr. Hussein’s decision, encouraged and supported by other world leaders and powers, to invade Iran resulted in the death and maiming of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Iranian soldiers and civilians.
On the other hand, the decision by American revolutionaries over two centuries earlier, to break away from the British resulted in the formation of the United States and the rising of a new major power in the world. While the decision by Abraham Lincoln to stand up to the secessionists in the South, saved the Union (United States) from breaking up, though not without a bloody Civil War that resulted in the death of tens of thousands of Americans.
Leadership, large or small, can, thus, have a decisive role in matters of life and death for individuals, groups, organizations and societies.
While good leadership could help to produce the most wonderful results, bad leadership is like a bad marriage.
Unless fixed in time, it can destroy everything: home, children, marriage partners and the marriage itself.
Leadership, therefore, is often destiny, whether it is for an individual, group, organization, nation or society.
Holding Leadership Accountable
It is important to watch, monitor, scrutinize, analyze and evaluate leadership on a systematic, persistent and continuing basis.
And to hold leadership accountable.
To hold it accountable for its words as well as for its deeds.
For its ideas and utterances as well as for its actions and performance.
For its decisions and accomplishments.
For its methods, results, products and outputs.
For its successes and failures.
For its insights and errors.
This is particularly true in the case of Muslims.
For, Islam is an accountability-based system at every step and in every aspect of human life, both individual and collective.
“Whoever sees something wrong happening, that person should set it right by hand,” says the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
“Should that not be possible, that person must speak out against that wrong.”
“And should even that not be possible, that person then must resent that wrong in his or her own heart. Someone who believes in God cannot do anything less.”
The fundamental concept of public responsibility could hardly be stated in a more clear, forceful or sweeping manner.
Leadership needs to be held accountable for what it does and does not do.
For what it accomplished and did not accomplish.
Why did it do or not do, accomplish or failed to accomplish, whatever it is said to have done or not done?
And how exactly did it go about it all?
How do we know?
Using what sources of information?
What are the credentials of those sources?
And what is their credibility?
How were these methods and operations arrived at? The methods and operations the leadership used?
Who decided on them?
Using what procedures of debate, discussion, choice, vote, election, consultation and participation?
Using what particular methods of what is referred to in Islamic culture as Shoora?
And what in the West is generally referred to as the democratic process?
Here are some thoughts and pointers on how to do precisely that – on how to hold leadership accountable.
That is what this book is about: teaching ourselves how to hold leadership accountable.
Even the litany of excuses and the rhetoric of rationalizations remain the same.
Time after time.
Day after day.
In case after case.
In situation after situation.
END OF LEADERSHIP PART ONE
© 2003 Syed Husain Pasha
Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at]
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.
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