Object, but do not incite



IT is quite unreasonable to expect a consensus among people or even the majority of them on any direction or decision of any kind, regardless of its nature, especially when it comes to changing a societal habit acquired over time. And it will become more difficult and sensitive when such a decision is debated in the guise of a religious context or in terms of haram and halal — what is prohibited and what is permissible.

Here lies the problem of resistance to change. Any social change required by the need of time and its variables or the compulsions of life imposed on people makes what was unacceptable in the past a necessity of the present.

For example, it is quite normal for anyone not to agree with the decision to allow Saudi women to drive. This is a right that must be respected, but he or she must also respect those who support the decision and the party that issued the decision. The authorities will not compel anyone to comply with the decision or impose it on their households.

It is acceptable for anyone to express his or her objection as a point of view or even a conviction that does not budge. No one should ignore this right. However, there is a basic and very important condition, which is not to slip into the language of incitement or vilification, especially from a religious angle.

Intimidation, as did by one of the preachers last Friday, is not acceptable. Social media reported the sermon in which the preacher presented a very radical doctrine — from speaking on behalf of what God has forbidden, to conspiracy theories that the West is trying to ruin our society, to the last of the clichés that everyone knows.

Here the situation is no longer about the freedom of opinion and conviction, but an attempt to reenact the imperialist incitement of the past that caused us all types of disasters.

Oppose and object, dear brother, if you like, and you have the right to do so. But do not incite simple people who trust your words, because you will become tired when more decisions follow to make our society as natural as other Muslim societies that practice our same religion.