Maashouq and Qassir – two assassinations in the span of a week. Someone out there is making it quite clear for one and all that there is no room for dialog or negotiations. Indeed, a war has obviously been declared against the voices of reason and moderation in the Region, one that is likely to have disastrous consequences for the immediate future.
For the voices of reason and moderation in this bedlam Region have always been too few, a determined effort to silence them in this manner could produce the “desired” results in a relatively short period of time, leaving the Region to be torn apart by the dark forces of ignorance, avarice and extremism.
Unless a stand is taken now, unless moderate activists from all different parts of the political, social and economic spectrum get together and agree on a basis for mutual cooperation and on a vision for the future of the Region, all could be lost.
Our failure to come together as independents dissidents, reformers and activists from around the Region, and inside every country, our failure to agree on specific and concrete visions, programs, milestones and implementation strategies have cost plenty before, and it will soon cost us, and our children, the future.
Time is on the side of those who have a plan and a vision, no matter how defective or lacking they could be. As such, at this stage, we cannot think of time as being on our side.
For all their corruption and ignorance, the regimes have a better chance of coping with the current mayhem than we do, because the existing states they happen to rule, for all their structural and developmental defects, represent certain visions for the future.
The extremists too present such a vision, that of a constant struggle against “the powers of evil.”
So, what do we present? What do we have to offer to our anxious peoples?
The lack of a specific platform for which we can lobby and attempt to establish some grassroots support and inspire some young minds, continues to weaken us. We need to amplify each others voices so that we can be heard and that our cries keep on resonating in peoples’ minds long after we are dead, the manner of our death notwithstanding.
As such, Maashouq and Qassir’s tragic end should serve as a wakeup call for us. It is now or never for the forces of moderation in both Syria and Lebanon. We either come together now in order to work out the future salvation of our respective countries, or, it will soon be too late.