Leaders lead, in speech and in action. They inspire their people to aspire to better. They challenge their surrounding to a higher moral standard. Unfortunately, this is a pipedream for Muslims in the Middle East. Why? Because the heads of state are hypocrites.
It’s easy to accuse someone of being a hypocrite, but what exactly is a hypocrite. Well, hypocrites are a special breed of people, and I don’t mean special in a good way. If they “are Muslim”, they display their Islam on the outside but conceal their disbelief in their hearts.
So if hypocrisy is in the heart, how can we know if someone is a hypocrite… By his deeds.
…but you will surely know them by the tone of [their] speech…
Surah Muhammad (47 – 30)
Have you not seen those ˹hypocrites˺ who ally themselves with a people with whom Allah is displeased? They are neither with you nor with them. And they swear to lies knowingly.
Allah has prepared for them a severe punishment. Evil indeed is what they do.
They have made their ˹false˺ oaths as a shield, hindering ˹others˺ from the cause of Allah. So they will suffer a humiliating punishment.
Neither their wealth nor children will be of any help to them against Allah whatsoever. It is they who will be the residents of the Fire. They will be there forever.
Surah Al-Mujadalah (58 – 14-17)
They have made their ˹false˺ oaths as a shield, hindering ˹others˺ from the Way of Allah. Evil indeed is what they do!
This is because they believed and then abandoned faith. Therefore, their hearts have been sealed, so they do not comprehend.
When you see them, their appearance impresses you. And when they speak, you listen to their ˹impressive˺ speech. But they are ˹just˺ like ˹worthless˺ planks of wood leaned ˹against a wall˺. They think every cry is against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. May Allah condemn them! How can they be deluded ˹from the truth˺?
Surah Al-Munafiqun (63 – 2-4)
The Prophet Muhammad has also underlined the characteristics of a hypocrite:
“Four are the qualities which, when found in a person, make him a sheer hypocrite, and one who possesses one of them, possesses one characteristic of hypocrisy until he abandons it. These are: When he is entrusted with something, he betrays trust; when he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he acts treacherously; and when he argues, he behaves in a very imprudent, insulting manner.”
Sahih Bukhari and Muslim
Now, tell me one Arab leader that does not check all of the boxes listed above…
Hypocrites are distasteful at best when among the population, a scourge when given rank, and a catastrophe when in charge. So imagine when a hypocrite is a state leader… You don’t need Freud to analyze where things can go wrong from there.
These people are not interested in pleasing Allah, they are not interested in pleasing their people, they are only interested in indulging in their passions. That is why you see them like lions with their own people and like sheep with their puppet master. At the least, someone who has a little self-respect would act the opposite way.
As it goes for world leaders, they all act hypocritically. The only difference is that it varies in degrees. However, the Middle-East has a way of infusing a special flavor and aroma of hypocrites; one of tyrants, despots, and dictators; kings, generals, and princes.
Muslims in the Middle-East bear the brunt of hypocrite leaders; imprisonment, torture, and executions on a personal level; and on a global level, normalization of relations with the Zionist state, trivializing France’s actions against Muslims, and controlling what religious scholars can say.
In the end, Muslims have a saying:
People become corrupt when the leaders become corrupt, and the leaders become corrupt when the (religious) scholars become corrupt. This is the kind of world we are living in, but that does not mean you can’t change it!