By Fakhri al-Arashi
Over the past few days, we have come to learn the sad news that Qassim Aklan, a Yemeni citizen and employee of the American Embassy in Sana’a for the past eleven years, was targeted and shot dead in the street. While we understand that we will all face death one day, that it comes to people in such a manner is unacceptable by the terms of any religion.
After strong military actions were taken against them, with this killing, Al-Qaeda militants have demonstrated a willingness to turn their attention to Yemenis. It is beyond difficult to see how the justification of fighting enemies of Islam and Muslims can be extended to anyone innocent of such perceived ‘crimes’, and no less so when such distorted justice is meted out to local poor citizens.
The strictures of Islam and the behavior of true Muslims have nothing at all to do with such actions, as such evil works is as far away as possible from Islam. I can only assume that foreign militaries arrive on Yemeni soil because of such attacks. With such attacks come further barricades in the streets, heightened security, and increases in security budgets to the detriment of funds which would otherwise go towards sustainable development projects and efforts.
If Al-Qeada continues its bloody battle against innocent citizens, it will only call into question its own purported aims amongst its own steadfast followers and adherents. Yemeni communities will only find themselves lost between confused, corrupted and distorted ideas about the ‘nature’ of Jihad, Al-Qaeda …and the absence of security where security is most needed.