Myth No. 9: We Evolve
Although Karfan was a bit upset about it at the time, later when he thought about the whole matter he decided that those foreigners might be very right in deed! We have not evolved an inch. Evolution means that a person in the twenty first century should think differently from someone who lives in the tenth century. But unfortunately, if there were a time-machine that could transfer all of us here in Syria to the tenth century, there would be very few who would take more than two hours to adapt fully to that environment.
Karfan finds it alright to respect Islam, Christianity, Alawism, Durzism, etc.. at the times when they emerged and respect those who brought those new ideas to the open. But he can not figure out why one should give a damn bit of respect to people who are still believing in the exact same things more than a thousand year later without trying to change the slightest detail. As he puts it in his own words: In the period between when Ibn Nusayr came up with the Alawie religion idea in the ninth century and today, there must have been some warms that evolved and developed wings and became able to fly. Meanwhile, not a word has changed in our books or a thought in our minds.
That is the reason why Karfan, unlike his fellow Alawies or Druz, never curse Ibn Taymyyah. Ibn Taymyyah is a Sunni scholar dickhead who lived in the thirteenth century and wanted to become famous. So he came up with this wonderful idea of issuing a detailed religious edict describing all the new religious ideas at the time (Alwis, Druz, Ismailies, and all other Sufi or Bateni sects, etc..) as heretics and sinful bullshit that has nothing to do with Islam. He then issued a religious edict, which has never been revoked since, to fight the followers of such sinful ideas and either “eliminate” them or re-convert them to the mainstream Islam. Karfan sees nothing wrong with that; Karfan himself might issue a book tomorrow for example saying that we should blow up the sun. If thousand years later when technology permits, some stupid monkeys decide to follow Krafan's words and go and actually blow up the sun, who should you blame then? Do you curse Karfan or the stupid monkeys who still believe what another stupid monkey said a thousand year earlier?
The unrest that chook the city of Misyaff few weeks ago is a big example of such stupidity. Of course, not many have heard of this unrest outside Syria because apparently the foreign media decided it was not as important as the Kurdish unrest in Kameshli which took place last year. Maybe it is not as important since Misyaff cannot be claimed as separate sovereign country as Kameshli could be. But it underlines the same principle: people here are still thinking the same way their ancestors did a million light-year ago.
Here is what happened three weeks ago with no comments at first:
- A quarrel started between few Alawie and Smaeili taxi drivers in the Taxi center at Hama City. All of those drivers came from Misyaff or the surrounding villages (Misyaff located on top of the mountains overseeing Hama city and belongs to the province of Hama).
- The Smaeili drivers, being more numbered than the Alawie ones, beat the shit out of those Alawies.
- The Alawies then went back to their village, brought backup of Alawie young men fully armed with Kalashnikovs and pistols and established checkpoints on the way between Misyaff and Hama. They dragged every single Smaeili driver out of his car and beat the shit out of his living soul.
- Angry Smaileis in Misyaff then attacked some Alawies living in the city, beat them, and told them to leave the city back to their villages.
- Alawies from a near by village famous for arm smuggling came to Misyaff with vehicles fully armed with heavy machine guns and RBGs and started shouting in the loudspeakers that they will fuck the biggest Smailie in the city and kick the Smailies away from the city back to whatever the hell they came from.
- Smailies then complained to the region governor in Hama, who happened to be a Sunni. His reply was: [What the hell, they are both Shiaa heretic sects, let them kill each other to the last living soul.] He refused to act.
- Angry Smailies then went to the streets of Misyaff in large numbers and started stoning houses of Alawies and the matter grew up to a near total civil unrest.
- By that time, our Lord King Lion the 2nd had heard of this turmoil that might disturb his calm and peaceful kingdom, so he sent the Army and anty-riot troops to calm the situation. He also ordered the careless Sunni governor to be replaced.
- The matter was contained but the people of both sides are boycotting the other side. The city looks like a dead city because what Misyaff lives on mainly is the trade between the Smailie merchants and the Alawie peasants.
Eventually, what was started by uneducated insect-brain taxi drivers spread all over the whole social and educational spectrum of both parties! In the entire world, educated and smart people inspire uneducated and stupid mob and lead them the way they want. Only here, the reverse is true. Time after time, a stupid high-school educated officer took the lead with a coup d'etat and assumed the presidency. Time after time, stupid mob started quarrels over things happened thousands of years ago and the supposedly-smart people just followed like sheep.
Karfan met with couple of Smailie and Alawie friends who were educated and supposedly had evolved a little bit. Although this meeting did not end up as a boxing match, it was nevertheless as frustrating to Karfan as this frustrating life could be. Instead of just agreeing that what happened was a stupid act of stupid people, they started throwing accusations at each other. Here is a briefing of those marvelous accusations:
The Smailies accused the Alawies of having a plot to drive them out of the city of Misyaff. They said that this plot goes back to an attempt in the nineteenth century and after that to the days of Saleh-El-Ali, whom they described as a gangster whose revolution's sole purpose was to kill the Smailies. It might come as a chock for the majority in Syria who were told during schooling years that Salih-El-Ali was a hero who revolted against the French occupation in the 1919. Naturally, the Alawies in that meeting were offended that their Alawie hero was called a gangster. Karfan was not offended though. Karfan considered "a gangster" every single person who belonged to any of the generations that was born before him and somehow contributed to the fucked up miserable state that we ended up in. Karfan have heard before those stories and other stories about every single hero of our history from Salah El Dine to Jamal Abdul Naser. You can always find a group or sect who considers some hero a gangster because what he did to them. Ask the Druz about Adnan-Al-Malki, ask the Alawies about Yousef-El-Azmeh, ask the Sunnis about Sultan-El-Atrash, and etc.
The Smailies also accused the Alawies of trying to extend the massacre of Hama in the eighties to Misyaff. They claimed that the troops of the White Knight of Tadmur (brother of King Lion the 1st) were just about to enter the city of Misyaff and erase it as they did to Hama if it was not for the last moment intervention of some Alawie clerk. This accusation was new for Karfan actually. Karfan knew very well that, unlike what most people think about Smailies and Alawies being very close and similar and all that, they both consider each other as different from the other party as they are different from cow-worshipping religions. But he was sure that this difference does not go all the way up to plotting the extermination of the other party. It is an example of how smart people regurgitate what some stupid uneducated monkey might have said.
The Smailies emphasized that the Alawies plot was to take over the historical city of Smailies, Misyaff, in which the Alawies never had a presence before King Lion the 1st took the lead of the country. The Alawies denied all of the above and accused the Smailies of trying to kick them away from the city which they had presence in since the creation of the universe.
It is not very surprising to hear people throwing accusations against each other regarding things that happened in the very faraway past. After all, we live in an area where people speak about what happened between Ali and Muawia 1500 years ago like it took place last Friday. In this area there are entire religions and ideologies based on distrusting the other and defined as merely the opposite of that other. Although quite different, Alawie and Smailie might still the closest sects to each other in comparison with the other sects and groups. You may imagine what the situation of distrust and myths-circulation might be between two not-so-close sects. Karfan has heard the funniest stories about Smailies from Sunni people, and about Druz from Alawie people and so on.
You think that a thousand year was enough to evolve and become like those foreigners, who asked Karfan about his religion, free in what you choose to believe in. Free from the sets of ideas and myths that your sect created about the others. Free from being a prisoner of notions that have been invented by stupid uneducated brainless people.
At the end of that gathering of Karfan's Alawie and Smailie educated friends, he stood up and told them that out of all what he heard about this turmoil, the one and only person that was completely right was that discriminating Sunni governor. If people are so stupid to carry-on a turmoil that was started by stupid brainless taxi drivers, so stupid to believe what those brainless suckers said, and so stupid to quarrel over things that might have happened or might have not happened a hundred year ago, then you should let them kill each other to the last living soul without intervention.
But, as Karfan says always, King Lion and his regime, will never let things go that far. They encourage people to distrust and hate each other but they do not want things to go out of hand and threaten their rule. It was always like that in this land since the times of Muawea really. The kings always played a game of balance between inflaming hatred and containing its flames from going so high as to burn their rule. Still, people have never evolved and they are still playing the same game. Even those who somehow acquired some education and supposedly walked a bit the path of evolution are still clueless players in the same game.
Karfan cannot really blame his friends on the way they think. After all, people need to belong and have an identity, unless they want to end up like him; a senseless sarcastic gloomy bastard that doesn't care if the whole universe collapses tomorrow. No one believes in the Arab identity joke anymore and our Kings have made all efforts to erase and destroy any attempt of creating a Syrian Identity that gathers all of us. Eventually people find that those stupid sectarian and religious identities are the only way to belong. If the Smailies for example do not believe they are only Smailies and act like it, then what is left for them to believe or belong to? Nothing, either that or the Karfanian way; but it is not fun to be Karfan, believe me.
But then again, what makes us so different from monkeys? Karfan saw once on TV a program about jungle monkeys. When a monkey from a group starts a fight with another monkey from another group, the entire group starts fighting with it without even questioning what the hell was that quarrel about.
Karfan was silent when he came back after that gathering. I asked him what he was thinking of. "I am working on an alteration of Darwin's theory", he said. "You see, if this bugger Darwin has ever bothered himself and visited the Middle East, he would have altered his theory for sure. He would have distinguished between physical and mental evolutions, and proved that there are people who cannot evolve. More importantly, he could have proven that some people actually can un-evolve back to their monkey state after they have acquired some brain. I feel like eating a banana now, next time you go to Lebanon for blogging get me some, the smuggled ones are tastier than the one they sell here."