Men With Two Faces
by Yassin Aref
In speaking of hypocrites I do not want to repeat for you what philosophers have to say about “human beings” because for hypocrites no such philosophy will apply. Hypocrites have no faith and no principles or manners. Their only philosophy is cowardice, their faith is money and their only principle is rest and joy for their bodies. They are fine with humiliation and insults as long as their body is protected and they get enough money. Cheating is just a form of fun for them, and a lie they see as simply a job that they have to do.
I like what Dr. Alexis Carlyle said about human beings – that they are an “unknown creation”. Look what God said about humans. “Verily we created man in the best of moulds. Then do we abase him to be the lowest of the low (Quran, Surah 95, verse 4-5). We can be the best creation and the head of this universe, with clean hearts and pure souls and our desires so controlled that we are like angels. Or we can go down and do evil things and become worse that the devil. It is our choice and either is possible. Life is the theater in which this drama is played. We can disagree about the reason for our existence, and the source of the greatest benefits of our lives, and even the definition of what it means to be human. But by our nature we all tend to agree about the main principle and manner without which our lives would be miserable. In relating together we must balance and unite our intelligence with our behavior, our minds with our hearts, science with feeling, power with justice, theory and action. Uniting these together makes us a complete whole. Separating them is a disaster and produces hypocrisy – or two faces.
Hypocrites receive nothing in the end except the wrath of God, the curses of nations, and a harsh judgment in the court of history. The Kurds, as one of the poorest nations suffered from the cancer of hypocrites for a long time and we have many proverbs telling us to avoid them and be careful of them. Let me share some of these proverbs with you, not just as a saying or theory but as a statement of our nation’s experience.
AGRI ZER KAYA (He is the fire under the Grass)
Kurds depend mostly on farming. In the summer they collect as much dry grass as they can and store it for the winter when snow prevents their cattle from foraging. The dry grass is at a great risk for fire – a little fire near the grass in an instant can become huge and uncontrollable inferno. That is why they say about a person with two faces that he works in secret to destroy other people’s relationships – that is he is a fire under the grass. You may not see it, you may not pay any attention to it, but all of a sudden everything is on fire and destroyed. Our nature and faith requires that we think positively about everyone. We must respect justice and trust people especially those in which we do not see any short comings and who speak in a friendly manner. How painful it is later to discover that such a man betrayed you and was the fire under the grass – looking for any opportunity to destroy families and communities. It is their job to say to A all kinds of bad things about B, and then going to B to say things totally the opposite of what they said to A. Only those who never listen to such hypocrites are successful. They allow no one to speak badly about people who absent.
As humans, it is our duty to build the earth and save our planet. This cannot be done unless we all work together and help each other. And we cannot do this without knowing and understanding each other. Unless we all have “one face” cooperation between us is impossible. We must all do exactly what we say, our appearance must match our hearts. Speaking like angels while acting like Satan; smiling together while cursing each other silently; praising each other to the face, while say evil to the back, is a sickness – a cancer which spreads among the community. Then all peace will leave all of their minds and life until the stop the hypocrisy.
In Kurdish we call hypocrites, “dorow” which means two faced. They spread propaganda to scare people and to split communities by destroying relationships and ruining families. Their tongue is sweet. Their outlook is nice. But their hearts are dark and full of jealous enmity. As the Prophet said, “The worst person is the two faced who comes to some people with one face, and goes to other people by another.” It is true and sad in many poor countries. Under the regime of a dictator people are forced to live like hypocrites to protect their life and to obtain food for their families. For me nothing justifies hypocrisy. Remaining hungry, going to prison, even accepting the death penalty is better than living a lie and having two faces. Our humanity and our value as humans are tied to our honesty and our commitment to serve others. No good can come from cheating and deceiving people or lying to them.
LA QOEWA BA BE SHAN DAKA (He goes with the Wind)
This proverb describes someone who has no principle, and no direction. Which ever way the wind blows he will go in that direction. One day he is a communist, the next day he is religious, the third day he is a nationalist, then he is a liberal. He will sing and dance for whoever is in power. In the Middle East the wind changes direction almost every day. Revolutions and coups never end. You go to sleep with a song of praise on the TV about the president, and wake up the next morning to hear curses for the old president and praises for the new one.
I am not against changing my mind to reflect the best of a new reality. I believe we must change our mind when we find new truth. But this is not the situation for hypocrites. The people have no faith and do not use their minds except to cheat. They do not care about the right or the truth and all they look for is money and personal benefits. They victimize many people for a bottle of wine, and give away the nation’s future for dinner. The same political party, lead by the same persons for decades often changes political orientation; in the 60’s they fought with people to establish socialism; in the 70’s they fought against the Socialists because these people were not Nationalist; in the 80’s they fought against the Nationalists for not being Islamic; now they are fighting the Islamists for not being Liberals. Only God know what will provoke the next series of accusations and fights, but still the same people are leading the same group! In Afghanistan you could see people who were fighting for the socialists in the 60’s, fighting against the socialists and in favor of the nationalists in the 70’s, then became Mujahideen in the 80’s and fought the Russians, then became Taliban and fought against the Mujahideen who fought the Russians, and now are fighting with the Americans against the Taliban. We must wait to see who such people will fight next. These are the people the Kurds are describing when the say, “They go with the wind”. They cannot be trusted.
ALEI NICKA BARAW PSTI BO NIA (He is like a lentil seed with no front and no back)
Again this describe people with no direction, no principle, who will go anywhere and do anything in order to be everything to everybody. These hypocrites are just opportunists looking for a chance to take advantage of someone. All they care for is their desires, their stomach, and their personal benefits. Their nation, their country, their community, their honor means nothing to them.
This is not about changing your mind. I am strongly in favor of people changing their minds to reflect the best of a new reality, but these hypocrites to not do that. Since they have no ideology and their thought is only on cheating, their have no mind to change. They simply do whatever they want. They have no heart, no feelings, no idea, and no religion except to benefit themselves and destroy their country. History tells us that anyone who depends on such people is wrong, because all ways will eventually turn back on them.
Read the question Steve asked Yassin about Hypocrites in "Ask Yassin"
Posted March 27, 2008
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