ARAB HOME TRUTHS.
“They (the Arabs) are painfully conscious of their immaturity, their weakness and their backwardness. They show all the instability and the emotionalism of the adolescent (characterized by) touchiness and…a readiness to take offence at any sign of condescension by their ‘elders’. Slights give rise to outbursts of temper and violent defiance….”
,“…Why they cannot run these things so efficiently is owing to their lower sense of duty and public service. They easily slip into nepotism, dishonesty or favoritism. They nearly all realize this in their hearts, but they resent our saying so.” Glubb Pasha, the British Commander of the Jordanian Arab Legion, 1945,
'Ignominious Terrorism Exists, and One Cannot but Acknowledge its Being Islamic'
"Twelve Nepalese citizens are slaughtered - Islam. A metro station is bombed - Islam. Civilian aircraft crash - Islam. A school is taken and the souls of 50 children [are lost] for the soul of [each] terrorist - Islam. A bus is bombed here, a railway train there, and before that there were hospitals and theaters, etc ... all of them Islamic acts. [Behind] the color green are exposed rivers red with blood, flowing in the streets and public squares. And Muslims everywhere.
"Islam is in the names of all of the organizations that decapitate using knives, all the while saying the Fatiha [the first chapter of the Koran, said as a prayer] before the slaughter. The victims are butchered in the Islamic way ... Christians, Buddhists, and Jews... After all, they are only infidels, fuel for the blaze, enemies, or potential enemies, or the friends of enemies, or their neighbors, and so on. The soul has no value and the body parts are laid out and displayed on the tables of Islam ... Islam ... Islam. The Islamic press searches for something that will absolve 'Islam' of the crimes of the Shahada [martyrdom]... It is Islam that adorns television screens with body parts... Islam - whether those who praise its mercies like it or not - is the foul odor of the putrefaction of Islamic history and its stench, as well as [being] other things that are honorable, which some people like and others do not...
"Ignominious terrorism exists, and one cannot but acknowledge its being Islamic. Anyone who is unable to bear its ignominy and wishes to absolve himself of the ugly mark of terror which is stamped in our soul ... must scrutinize the recesses of his mind and search out there the terror that conceals itself behind pretty and misleading names..."
'What Gets Passed on from One Generation to the Next is the Belief in Legal Rulings that Forbid Thought and Permit Killing'
"Self-examination ... would result in favor of abandoning Islam ... yet what gets passed on from one generation to the next is ... the latest version of Islam - Algeria, Afghanistan, Moscow, and New York, the version of the planes and the buses, the metro stations, the theaters and the residential complexes. What gets passed on from one generation to the next is the faith of Jihad that takes lightly the spilling of others' blood. How easy it is to shove someone into the category of the enemy. What gets passed on from generation to generation is the belief in legal rulings that forbid thought and permit killing... Religious Muslims prepare an offering to heaven - a fresh bit of human flesh, meant to be evidence of the truth and the proof of Jihad for the absolute truth.
"Indeed, we as Muslims produce terrorism, succor it, and praise it. We condemn it only when forced to. Motivated by considerations of power, interests, and diplomacy, we wear a pained expression on our faces but in our hearts we rejoice at the brilliant success - a large number of casualties. Unfortunately, in this black reality it does not matter if it is an American, Israeli, or Russian mind who is responsible for certain terrorist operations ... or whether those who kill themselves are poor, ignorant, or destitute ..."
'Reform is the Only Path to Our Return to History as Muslims and Not as Terrorists'
"This is a reality that must be acknowledged as a first step toward a non-terrorist Islam ... an Islam that teaches the values of truth and justice... Islam as a religious establishment is today in need ... of a precise definition of its position between earth and heaven, between this world and the next. If it chooses the earth, it must accept the laws of politics that regulate earthly affairs, and must leave the holy to those who occupy themselves with the affairs of heaven. If it chooses heaven, it must leave politics and earthly affairs to those who find interest in them. He who cleaves to both realms undoubtedly [chooses] terrorism and certain death...
"Islam is in need of true reform. Islam's need [for reform] - or, to be precise, our need for Islam's reform - is not less than the need for reform in the Arab political regimes... This is the need for people who are capable of fearlessly acknowledging that terrorism nests within us as Muslims and that we must exorcise it... Unfortunately, the meaning of delay is more death... The reform will take a long time and the price will be high, but it is the only path to our return to history as Muslims and not as terrorists..."
Mundir Badr Haloum, a lecturer at a Syrian University, Al-Safir (Lebanon), September 13, 2004.
"The Iraqi people brought down the statue of the tyrant who had oppressed them for 35 years. Millions saw the wretched end to one of the most loathsome and bloody regimes in modern history. With the fall of the regime and the statue, other things fell as well. The great analysts and strategic experts had exaggerated the bloody and oppressive regime and greatly overestimated its strengths."
"So now that the first breath of freedom has been seen, where are all the things the Arab media promised us before the war? Where are the decisive moments and the invading forces buried under Baghdad's walls? Where are the inner-city wars and the street-by-street battles?"
"The Arab media succeeded in deceiving the people. On the whole, the deception was worse than in 1967. Fatwas succeeded - 'Rise up for Jihad!' - in burying some misguided volunteers and suicide bombers. The misguided Fatwas did nothing but confirm those who were already miserable in their misery while those responsible for the Fatwas continued to enjoy life. What are the masses now saying in their happiness to see an end to the tyrant whose photograph they rip apart and beat with their sandals? Only yesterday, they fell in line, actively demonstrating in the street with his photograph, repeating 'Here we are, ready to sacrifice ourselves with our souls and blood for you!' And he led them into defeat!"
"For how long will we be cursed by attaching ourselves emotionally to defeated heroes? Why has it been written about us that we are a nation which does not learn from our defeats? And within one generation, there are other nations who have suffered defeat once and have risen from its ashes...."
"The question is: Why did the Arab media consent to align itself with the Iraqi regime while at the same time pretending that it was with the people?"
"It is my view that the answer was stated by the director of one of the satellite channels: 'It is competition. In such circumstances, either we win the viewers or others win them.' Thus he summarized the way of most of those in the Arab media. Their aim is to win the street at any price. The street is emotional and has little confidence in the Americans. It can be won by fanning the flames of its emotions and encouraging its feelings with dreams of a great Arab victory and a great American defeat."
"To a large extent, the Arab media was characterized by selectivity, and it was decidedly on the side of the Iraqi regime. Our intellectuals took over the line and constantly repeated it. Our media then devoted special programs to disseminating and repeating the falsehoods of Sahaf. Their biased point of view was imposed on listeners. Our media attempted to increase the degree of hatred against the coalition by concentrating on the degree of the destruction and the number of civilian victims, without making clear that this was because the regime positioned its forces and tanks in civilian areas. The army of Saddam of which they were so proud because it was the only army which could protect civilians in fact used the civilians to protect itself."
"It was the Arab media itself which claimed that the aims of the war were to destroy Iraq, put an end to its capabilities, and, in the end, to occupy it. It did not for a moment consider the role of Iraq's ruler in the destruction and ruin of the country over a period of more than thirty years. It did not consider how he had destroyed the country's environment, education, health, and legal systems. He also set oil wells on fire and destroyed bridges, and he transformed the cities, especially in the south, into wretchedness, deprived even of clean drinking water."
"The Arab media attacked the Iraqi opposition and imposed a collective boycott [on them] while satellite stations played host to everyone but the Iraqis who were, after all, the ones most concerned."
"The Kuwaiti media was the sole exception to this rule. Not one satellite channel had the courage to transmit scenes of [the] welcome [of] the coalition troops in the liberated cities. Instead, the satellite stations made a great fuss over what they called the crimes of the coalition and ignored the crimes of the regime. The correspondents continued to impose their political points of view on viewers. Not one of the satellite stations, except Kuwait, had the courage to show a tape of the chemical strike against Halabja. It was the same with the air attack of the 1991 uprising in which holy places were hit and hundreds of Shi'ites were killed and tortured. More than 250,000 Iraqi citizens were killed in the uprising..."
"The aim of the Arab satellite stations was to suggest that the allies were 'savage' in their treatment of civilians. Furthermore, respectable newspapers were not considered to be devout if they did not cover the sorrowful and tragic accident of the journalists who were killed by the coalition forces - in order, they said, to silence Arab satellite stations. Again, the question: Is it possible for the Arab media to be objective?"
"In my view, it is not possible because the Arab media is controlled by the prevailing general atmosphere and by people who have been fed on the slogans of incitement and inflammatory propaganda for more than half a century. They are captives of those who fed them and brought them up, those who controlled their mentality in which long-standing imaginary ideas, fables, and superstitions were planted."
"This is a deeply rooted aspect of the Arab mind, firmly established in Arab psychology and mentality. The same idea was expressed in an outstanding article, 'We are the Nation of Defeated Heroes.' It is a very delicate analysis of the reasons for the defeats of the Arabs. But the deeper question again arises..."
"We are forever listening apprehensively to 'the other,' to him who wishes us evil. Others have had similar problems, but they have risen up and rebuilt themselves because they were able to rid themselves of the fear of 'the other.'"
"It was no wonder then when we called defeat victory in 1956 and 1967 as well as in the Mother of all Battles and Qadisiyya."
"There are still those who justify and philosophize about media partiality. They claim that it is partiality for the honor and dignity of the community. [Have] not honor and dignity been rendered miserable if the dignity of man has not been preserved? There are those who say it was to raise morale, but this is faulty reasoning: It is not necessary to raise morale by trickery and deception of the masses."
"The musings of a simple Iraqi from a liberated area caught my attention. He said: 'The Arabs left us and did not liberate us. Why are they attacking the coalition which wants to liberate us?' Why is this simple fact not realized by our men of culture, our intellectuals, our men of the media and our religious leaders, the men who call for participation in 'Jihad?
Sheikh 'Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, Dean of the Faculty of Shar'iah (Islamic Law) at Qatar University, Arab News, April 21, 2003.
"...All the peoples of the world are moving forward along the course of history towards globalization, a society of knowledge, andpolitical modernization - all but you, who race in the opposite direction."
"The Eastern European countries have moved peacefully and with lightning speed from murderous Stalinist totalitarianism to democracy, and from economic backwardness to continuing economic growth that amazed even the most optimistic predictions. As for you, you're moving in rapid steps from backwardness into sub-backwardness, and from poverty into sub-poverty. As population growth and weapons acquisitions increase, economic growth and education decline into degradation. The peoples of mankind are governed by the law of progress, while you are governed by the law of regression."
"You replaced the dictatorship of the Shah for the theocracy of [Ayatolla] Khomeini, from the pores of whose skin the blood was dripping. In Sudan, Hassan Al-Turabi - nicknamed by our media 'the pope of world terror' - turned against Al-Sadeq Al-Mahdi's elected government after he was toppled by free elections, and established on the ruins [of Al-Mahdi's government] a militaristic and bloody Islamic regime, unique of its kind in the annals of this country, that set it back decades in all spheres."
"Febrile and delusional with the solitary, fixed idea of military vengeance for their two centuries of defeat at the hands of the West and Israel, your political and intellectual elites became crippled. [This is] instead of restoring your legitimate rights through negotiation, as is being done by your contemporaries - except for you who are resolved to achieve through terror what others have achieved through diplomacy."
"This insane obsession with vengeance has robbed your minds of the ability to think reasonably. That is why you are incapable of identifying your real problems and defining your political, economic, social, and educational priorities. In contrast to almost all other societies, your societies are... completely closed. We [missiles] are resolved to purge your madness of vindictiveness and [cure] your historical castration complex by lancing your narcissistic, putrid wound..."
"The neutral, and at times even sympathetic, disregard shown by vast sectors of the Baghdad populace and Iraqi intelligentsia – whom Saddam tortured... for 35 years - towards the fall of Baghdad, was an incentive for us [the missiles] to expand our plans to retake [Iraq] and to intervene in the domestic affairs of other Arab capitals as well, since they refuse to open their societies to political and media pluralism and to respect human rights... as long as they consider - like Baghdad did - acquiring WMD so as to ruin their own people, first economically and then politically and militarily. This is what the moronic and despotic Saddam regime did, more than any other regime in the Arab world and the entire world."
'The Missiles Will Force You - as They did Nazi Germany and Militaristic Japan - to Open to Democracy and Moderation'
"We know that your obscurantist religious culture is a terrible obstacle hindering your transition to a society less closed, less oppressive, and less hostile towards the individual, the woman, the non-Muslim, the rational, the modern, and toward life itself. We also know that your political imagination has learned nothing, from the days of Caliph 'Uthman [the third caliph after Prophet Muhammad's death] to the days of Saddam, except for this saying: 'Nothing can remove a caliph except for death or complete heresy' - but not his oppression [of his people]. We, [the missiles] are targeting this obsolete political imagination so as to force it to open to democracy and its helpmeet, moderation. We know that with you, success cannot be guaranteed, but the experience is worth a shot..."
"We would be lying if we told you that we want you to be realistic, rational, open-minded democrats and modernists for love of your beautiful eyes, because on the scale of our values you will always be a mere mustard seed. [No,] we do this for the sake of our strategic interests in the Middle East and in the oil fields, and for the sake of our security - at which you struck [as soon as you realized] you were capable of doing so, with terror and a frantic race to obtain WMD. This is an explosive mixture that we can't let you play with."
"Our decision - that is, bringing you into modernization, against your will and in the service of our interests - suits the interests of important sectors of your enlightened elites and those who listen to them. [These range from] the elites and the people of Iraq to the elite and the people of Iran, who entertain vain hopes of granting civil and human rights to those whom you have deprived of these rights - like the Sunnis in Iran, whom Khomenei considered 'impure' and who are denied all rights, so that even Friday prayer and burial services for their deceased are held in one single mosque in Tehran."
"[Another example is the] Shi'ites of Iraq, outcast although they are the overwhelming majority, and the same discrimination is applied to Shi'ites of Saudi Arabia, whom the jurisprudents of Wahabbi terror call Rawafidha ("The recalcitrant," a term of abuse used by the Sunnis to describe those who refused to swear an oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr and 'Umar. ) and issue Fatwas prohibiting Sunnis from consuming meat slaughtered by Shi'ites. The same is true also for the non-Muslims whom you have cast into a 'ground-zero' of civil rights. And for women who you degraded to a status half that of men in judicial [affairs] and [in matters of] inheritance, and into nothing at all in matters of civil rights. You even deprived them of the right to drive a car (as in Saudi Arabia) or of the right to a passport without their husbands' permission (as in Jordan and Algiers - although President 'Abd Al-'Aziz Buteflika has formed a committee to prepare a bill on personal status like the law in Tunisia. So, welcome to the club of modernization)."
"Why don't you consider solving your real problems while you squander out of unique stupidity all your material and human resources, thus compounding fourfold this [vicious] circle. Perhaps your fabricated problems have overwhelmed the remnants of your intelligence."
"We have efficiently dealt with a similar crazed obsession with vengeance by means of occupation, in Nazi Germany and in militaristic Japan. Today, the Germans and Japanese have completely forgotten the idea of wasting their resources for the sake of acquiring conventional and non-conventional weapons. They have learned to allocate their resources wisely so as to modernize their economy, [upgrade] their educational [system], and [improve] their political establishments. Similarly, through bombs, we also dealt with Serbia's madness for ethnic purging and taught it how to play the game of democracy and moderation in statesmanship and how to extradite its Saddam... to the International Criminal Court, to stand trial as a war criminal. And here we are, attempting this same bitter treatment with you, lest perhaps... In any case, this is your last chance, O masters of the missed opportunity..."
"There are white days and black days in the history of people. Their white days are those that give them their founding myths - that is, historical and symbolical events that shape their collective human imagination, like the [French Revolution's 1789] Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. There is no substitute for these founding myths in inspiring the [human] imagination and in setting the [peoples'] creative energies in motion."
"The black days are those on which these peoples suffered defeats that they were incapable of absorbing, psychologically or intellectually, in such a way that they could derive the real conclusions. In this situation, people tend to curl up within themselves like frightened snails, to brood about their dark thoughts - their catastrophes and their collective obsession with vengeance - and to use them as a pivot that diverts them to suicidal political and militaristic decisions. [They do this] instead of [using] the same circumstances to elevate themselves by way of dignified and creative collective action, aimed at rehabilitating their self-confidence, and triumphing over those thoughts."
"Throughout modern Arab history, the collective Arab imagination has needed a healthy and inspirational founding myth. Yet this imagination has suffered defeats disproving the Arabs' self-deceiving notions about themselves as 'the best nation that has been delivered to mankind.'(Koran, Surat Aal-'Imran  , verse 110.) They were struck by impossible obsession with avenging [each of] their defeats, from the days of the Mamluk defeat at the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte in the late 1700s to the defeat of [Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser] Arafat at the hands of [Israeli Prime Minster Ariel] Sharon at the beginning of the 21st century. [This] in addition to two centuries of defeat by [Western] imperialism, that left its open, festering wounds."
"This deep-rooted culture of tribal vengefulness in the [Arab] collective consciousness is a fundamental driving force. [This driving force] has transmuted this consciousness into a fixated, brooding, vengeful mentality, instead of transforming [that kind of culture] into a [source of] far-sighted thought and self-criticism, as a grasp for a spring board for a consciousness of the vital necessity to emulate the enemy, that is becoming like him in modern knowledge, thought and politics, so as to reshape the traditional personality and adapt it to the requirements of the time, as did Japan in the aftermath of its unprecedented defeat in the history of mankind in 1945."
"The culture of tribal vengeance haunts... not only in our relations with the other but also our relations with each other, between Arab countries and within each country, from honor crimes [i.e. murder of women] to tribal and factional strife. Rightly, Muhammad Hasannain Haikal(7) called the 20 years of war between the Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiyya and Islamic Jihad organizations and the [Egyptian] police 'the blood vengeance war between the police tribe and the Islamist tribe.'"
"The hysteria of vengeance on the West and on its protégée Israel has disastrous results - for example, the Arab traditional elite's phobia of Western modernism. The Western imperialism that followed this Western modernism crippled this elite, depriving it of the ability of rational statesmanship. [Statesmanship] that includes [the adoption of] constructive [Western] innovation; setting realistic aims; playing the political game rationally; realistically interpreting the [global or regional] balance of power and harnessing [this interpretation] in the decision-making [process]; managing crises sensibly by peaceably bringing the conditions of its solution into fruition; and, finally, developing decision-making procedures."
"The policy of vengeance that prevails today, especially among the influential elites in Palestine, Syria and Iraq, has banished any rational policy from their domestic decision making. In their domestic policy, these elites dismiss all public discussion. In their foreign policy, they refuse to negotiate. This is how these elites increase the likelihood of implosion [i.e. domestic strife] and war. It [also] explains their careening from one domestic outbreak [of violence] into the next, and from one destructive war into the next, much fiercer war."
"These traditional leaderships, saturated with collective narcissism, have undergone the same experience as people afflicted with depression. They are driven by their guilt-struck emotions to self-punishment, which is likely to end in suicide. This collective self-punishment is revealed in many cases, which I will summarize in two [phenomenon]: a) an 'all or nothing' policy, and b) a cult of armament and violence aimed at salvaging the injured face of this collective narcissism through martial victory, hoping that this would wash out the disgrace of military defeats."
"The 'all or nothing' policy was behind [Jerusalem's Grand Mufti] Haj Amin Al-Huseini's rejection of the Peel Commission  [decision] to grant the Palestinians 80% of the land of Palestine, and of the 1947 UN resolution to grant the Palestinians 45% of Palestine. This policy also motivated Hafez Al-Assad, at the end of the summit conference with president Clinton in 2000, to refuse [the offer to regain the Golan Heights except for 200 meters on the eastern bank of the Sea of Galilee, claiming that when he was in the army, he used to wade and fish in the lake! And what was the result? Great difficulty for his successor in regaining even a single meter in the foreseeable future, save for concessions that the Israeli leadership only ever dreamed of."
"The cult of arming with WMD drove Saddam Hussein into delirious... decisions. [Such as the decisions] to strike the Kurds with chemical weapons; shoot tear gas at demonstrators - [tear gas] produced from aflatoxins that cause liver cancer... as revealed by Saddam's former scientific advisor Dr. Hussein Al-Shahrastani; attack Iran with chemical weapons; invade Kuwait; in addition to wasting - over 35 years - his country's material and human resources on the altar of his vengeful obsession and insane passion for martial victory."
"Currently, Iraq's resources, which include the second largest oil reserves in the world, qualify this country, economically and scientifically, to be the Japan of the Arab world. [Instead, it] became one of the poorest, most despotic and bloodiest countries in the world."
"The fanatical and neurotic tenacity of the [policy of] 'all or nothing' and martial victory are, without a doubt [the source] of Hamas's program to 'liberate Palestine to the last grain of earth and to restore it as a Waqf [religious endowment] for all the world's Muslims' - and [the factor] behind [Hamas's] insane refusal to accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem."
"And what was the result, after the suicidal operations had failed to fulfill this impossible aim? Hamas's spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, appealed to Israeli PM Sharon for a 10-year truce [Hudna], in the aftermath of which [the circumstances would be reassessed].
"This kind of suicidal policy was also behind Yasser Arafat's unexpected shift from promising negotiations to futile armed struggle and Intifada, that has proven no less futile."
"And why is that? It was because Chairman Arafat envied Hizbullah's success at 'expelling' the Israeli army from the Israeli security zone [in Lebanon]. Overnight, he decided to shift from negotiating with to expelling the occupying Israeli army, and unilaterally declaring a fully sovereign Palestinian state without [paying] the price of recognizing Israel - as Egypt and Jordan had already done. And what was the outcome of this vengeful and suicidal decision? Unprecedented self-punishment: The occupying army [Israel] returned to 42% of the territories liberated through negotiation."
"By the same logic, Chairman Arafat turned down president Clinton's proposal to regain 97% of the occupied territories, with a promise of $40 billion to resettle the Palestinian refugees within the promised Palestinian state. And what was the outcome of this decision, which was in disregard of any consideration of Palestinian national interest for establishing a homeland and a lasting state? The outcome is that Arafat and his people are today in grave danger."
"The last 'hero' of the Arab and Islamic nation, the Wahabbi terrorist Osama bin Laden, wanted to avenge his Arab and Islamic nation on the 'Crusaders' by attacking New York and Washington, D.C. The Arabs and the Muslims, both elites and masses, believed in him and acclaimed him. And what was the result? The complete opposite: The U.S. invaded Afghanistan and expelled bin Laden and his patrons, the Taliban, from the country, with determination to uproot them. In addition, our 'hero' [bin Laden] provided the neoconservatives in the American administration the chance they longed for to implement their geopolitical vision: to redefine and reorganize their priorities independently of their European allies. Abandoning the formalities of international law - which was for a long time a shield for the 'oppressed ones,' of whom bin Laden was the self-appointed spokesman - put an end to the prospects of the emergence of an economically and militarily unified Europe as [another] global pole, [a vision] of which the Arabs dreamed night and day."
"Finally, bin Laden also inadvertently helped [the neoconservatives] to reshape international relationships in accordance with the [new] global balance of superpowers that brought about the U.S.'s ascendancy as the most powerful superpower in the world, economically and militarily. Now, this superpower insists on unilaterally controlling international decision-making in an attempt to curb the proliferation of WMD and liquidate Islamic terror by pursuing it and monitoring the countries that generate terror through religious Jihad education - an education which all Arab countries implement, except Tunisia - and replacing the regimes that arm and shelter terror. "
"These are the disastrous outcomes that the Arabs themselves produced with their own hands, because of their obsession with vengeance..."
"...What many of the official sheikhs and columnists - who do not awaken until a catastrophe occurs - say about the phenomenon is inappropriate, and does not deal with the real causes and roots of the ideology of Jihad and of accusing [others] of heresy. They suffice by describing what took place as an imported ideology, and ignore the roots imprinted in our culture... Our religious message includes many phenomena of religious extremism. A quick glance at the Friday sermons in the mosques or at the Fatwas can attest to this..."
"The Jihad groups find ideological cover in the religious message spread by the mosques and schools... But even if we set aside the main reasons why the Jihad stream was formed, there are many other, selfish reasons... The Fatwas, for example, that are issued by the leaders of the Jihad stream, and even by the sheikhs of the Islamic awakening [stream] in the past two years, have inflamed the emotions of many and provided a legitimate basis for these acts. Some Fatwas justified September 11; other Fatwas depicted these events as 'blessed [Islamic] raids.' During the Afghan and Iraq wars, the Fatwas sent many wretched young men to the hopeless battlefield..."
"The important question is this: What must be done? Many of the pulpits of education, such as the school, the home, and the mosque, need reform today. Anyone who wants to attribute what happened to economic or psychological conditions is missing the truth. These conditions can account for the behavior of criminals, but cannot account for a terror event based on religious belief. Religious terror cannot be contained, because it is part of the religious belief of those who carry it out. What can be done with people who think that anyone who does not agree with their fundamentalist path deviates from the path of righteousness? Those who carry out these deeds are not victims, but criminals..."
"These events are not newborn in our society, as some would like to present them. It is enough to mention the bombings of 1996, and of 1997. Reactions to these events were diverse. What is important regarding this most recent event is that it must not push us towards further religious extremism, as has happened in the past. Further religious extremism will lead us to a 'Saudi Manhattan.'"
"I wrote this article a day before the three bombings [and following the arrest of an Al Qa'ida cell in Saudi Arabia about a week ago], and I am sorry to say that the Saudi Manhattan has indeed happened." Columnist 'Adel Zaid Al-Tarifi Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), May 14, 2003.
"...I picked up an Arabic newspaper yesterday morning. After reading the huge headline about the three blasts that rocked Riyadh, a certain well-known writer began his exposition. And then the magical words came to the surface 'You are not Saudis. You could not have been Saudis. Your actions are despised by us all.'The exact same denial was seen in other publications. Nobody wants to admit that the perpetrators, the terrorists who carried out these heinous acts, were Saudis, many bearing well-known Saudi family names."
"We did it after September 11, denying that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals and we continue to do so now. Of course, how could the perpetrators have been Saudi from this blessed land? We Saudis would never do such things. We Saudis are special. We're superior creatures. Those who have committed these acts must have received their training abroad. It's outside influence, for sure. Oh, and the Saudi who was responsible for the blast - well, he is not an original Saudi but a foreigner who recently got Saudi [citizenship]. A pure Saudi would never do such things. What nonsense! And it has been going on forever. If, when a terrorist act happens in our country, we flatly deny that citizens of our own flesh and blood were the ones behind it, then I think that it is quite likely that we will see many such incidents in the future."
"Who are we trying to fool? Ourselves, or the international community? Neither can be fooled."
"It's about time we got our act together. The time of pretending that radicalism does not exist in Saudi Arabia is long past. The time for pretending that we are above errors and could not possibly commit terrorist attacks is no longer with us. It has got to stop. Change must come now. We as a nation cannot afford to leave it to its own slow pace. It's either now or never. It also must cover all aspects of our life - the school, the mosque, the home, the street, the media."
"How can we tell the rest of the world that we are tolerant of other religions and faiths when some of us are not even tolerant of other schools of Islamic thought?"
"How can we expect others to believe that a majority of us are a peace-loving people who denounce extremism and terrorism when some preachers continue to call for the destruction of Jews and Christians, blaming them for all the misery in the Islamic world?"
"And the media? It seems that if the media are not flatly denying, they are following the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no evil method."
"Just a few days ago, when a large terrorist plot was foiled in Riyadh and the terrorists' hideout was raided, what we read the following day in the local media was the head of the Muslim World League denouncing the act, saying that Islam and terrorism are not linked. The sheikh said that killing innocent people was a crime in Islam. We already knew that. But we needed to hear more than that."
"We needed to hear three questions that are never asked. Like dust, they are swept under the carpet: Why are more and more Saudi young men being fed with radical ideas? Who are the people brainwashing them? How are they being radicalized?"
"And so it happens that so much dust is swept underneath the carpet that it finally bursts out in full view of everybody. At last, the truth that was hidden has come out." Raid Qusti, Arab News (Saudi Arabia), May 14, 2003;
: "...We have to face up to the fact that we have a terrorist problem here. Last week's Interior Ministry announcement that 19 Al Qa'ida members, 17 of them Saudis, had planned terrorist attacks in the country and were being hunted was a wake-up call - particularly to those who steadfastly refuse to accept that individual Saudis or Muslims could ever do anything evil, who still cling to the fantasy that September 11 and all the other attacks laid at the doors of terrorists who happen to be Arab or Muslim were in fact the work of the Israelis or the CIA. For too long we have ignored the truth. We did not want to admit that Saudis were involved in September 11. We can no longer ignore that we have a nest of vipers here, hoping that by doing so they will go away. They will not. They are our problem and we [are] all their targets now."
"It goes without saying that those responsible, those who poisoned the minds of the bombers, those who are planning to become bombers, must be tracked down and crushed - remorselessly and utterly. But crushing them will not be enough. The environment that produced such terrorism has to change. The suicide bombers have been encouraged by the venom of anti-Westernism that has seeped through the Middle East's veins, and the Kingdom is no less affected. Those who gloat over September 11, those who happily support suicide bombings in Israel and Russia, those who consider non-Muslims less human than Muslims and therefore somehow disposable, all bear part of the responsibility for the Riyadh bombs."
"We cannot say that suicide bombings in Israel and Russia are acceptable but not in Saudi Arabia. The cult of suicide bombings has to stop. So too has the chattering, malicious, vindictive hate propaganda. It has provided a fertile ground for ignorance and hatred to grow.
"There is much in U.S. policy to condemn; there are many aspects of Western society that offend - and where necessary, Arab governments condemn. But anti-Americanism and anti-Westernism for their own sake are crude, ignorant, and destructive [ideas]. They create hate. They must end. Otherwise there will be more barbarities." Arab News (Saudi Arabia), May 14, 2003;
"Had we looked [at] the faces of the 19 accused in the events of September 11 - 15 of whom were Saudis - we would have seen that they were young; when we looked [at] the faces of the 19 accused [a week ago] of attempting to carry out terrorist acts in Riyadh and of possessing firearms and explosives, we would have discovered that they were the same age, and that most of them belonged to respectable families and deeply-rooted tribes that are neither part of the lower classes nor people without an identity... Many attended university. Nevertheless, the ideas in which they believe are unacceptable to any reasonable man, not to mention any man of morality and religion. Where did they get these ideas?"
"If we wanted to evade reality and make false accusations... we could say that they believe in odd ideas instilled [in the Islamic nation], and sum up by saying it was impossible to determine the source of these ideas. Or we could have blamed Afghanistan... But even if Afghanistan is blamed - as most of them went to Afghanistan and returned with extremist ideas on Jihad and heresy - an objective question arises regarding the stage prior to the trip to Afghanistan, that is, the stage during which they were prepared to go to Afghanistan. Was this a pure and innocent stage?!"
"These young men had sheikhs and sources of religious law... We are talking of a broad school of thought with many widespread branches... that believes that it is the group that will be saved [on the Day of Judgment]... this is a school of thought which was politically exploited to accomplish certain goals in the regional and international arenas - and then there was no need for it, and the time has come to get rid of it and destroy it."
"From beneath its ruins came people who believe their battle is a battle of good versus evil, truth versus falsehood... They are the product of a tragedy in whose development many elements assisted, and we hope that the price will not be paid by all. This is a tragedy requiring extensive treatment that surpasses mere reaction, even if it is claimed that this reaction is determined and powerful." Muhammad Ahmad Al-Hassani, 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), May 14, 2003.
"Blaming the extremist phenomenon of people who blow themselves up to harm others on our curriculum is not objective or fair, because this phenomenon is new, and it is inconceivable that it is the product of the curriculum that has served our society for half a century...!! Ideological extremism is merchandise that was never manufactured or sown in this land; it is merchandise imported to this land, duty-free, and the one who exported it got nothing for it, except the pure souls harvested by indiscriminate acts of terror..."
"Today, Saudi Arabia is paying the price for decades of tolerance and flexibility in its [religious] message, after it has worked since its inception to support Muslims everywhere in the world... No country in the world has been spared terror... and therefore we must not go overboard in analyzing these practical ramifications and present them as the elimination of the foundation of stability of our society. On the contrary; these are threats we can deal with as long as we believe that we bear responsibility towards our religion, our homeland, and ourselves. The fact that the extremists of terror reached the point of turning into human bombs attests to the tyranny of despair and frustration in their souls... There is no doubt that these are terrorists in the stages of dying, like their ideology..." Khaled Hamed Al-Suleiman, 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), May 14, 2003.
"If I carry out suicide operations against an enemy occupying my land, killing my children, and expelling me from my home, this is legitimate Jihad. But if I carry out similar operations against innocent civilians who came to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of its government in order to serve the country and train its sons, then this is a criminal and terrorist act. This is the unjust killing that Allah forbade. In this case, taking their own lives is the equivalent of killing innocents, primarily because they caused no damage to American interests, as they claimed, but damaged their homeland..." Abed Khazandar, 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), May 14, 2003.
"Whose interests do what we see today in our peaceful land serve? Who has an interest in this intimidation?... What is the aim? What motivates these crimes? ... Is this Jihad? Is Jihad killing defenseless people who are not expecting to be attacked? Does Islam teach us to stab in the back, even if we assume that these are 'enemies?'... You want Jihad? Wage Jihad face to face with the aggressor. Don't use the tools in the hands of our enemies, and do not destroy your land with your own hands!..." Al-Jowhara bint Muhammad Al-Anqari, 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), May 14, 2003.
"Oh foreign cave-dwellers, depart our country and go to hell!... Leave us. We are a believing people, and our government is wise... Go with all your ugliness and baseness... Go to hell. All your terrorist acts and bomb blasts will not make us bow our heads... Go to the place from whence you came, to the caves of Tora Bora, and kiss the feet of your masters who taught you to spill blood and kill innocents... They were the ones who taught you how to lie, deceive, and mislead the simple folk. Go, cowards... go to hell, or go to the heaven of your leader, who taught you sorcery in the caves of Tora Bora. Sit by his side in the dark paradise of ugly ideas and deeds... which if distributed to all the inhabitants of the Earth would suffice them until the Day of Judgment..."
"Go, idiots, and awaken all the sleeper cells... Wake them, and go with them, far from us. You have no place among us... Go to hell." Hamad bin Hamed Al-Salame Al-Jazirah (Saudi Arabia), May 14, 2003.
IF YOU WANT TO GO FORWARD DITCH YOUR PAST PREJUDICES.
(A Japanese perspective)
'The people walk through the streets (of an Arab city) as if they were being followed, faces frozen and silent, and [there are] long queues. A person is harmed by oppression even in a taxi, as the driver chooses his passenger according to where he [i.e. the driver] wishes to go, and refuses to take someone he doesn't like.' 'the residents of the Arab cities are unhappy and dissatisfied. The people are silent and do not speak, but out of this suffocating silence we hear a cry...!'
The absence of justice means the absence of the fundamental basis for human relations. Thus, people in the Arab countries say time and again that [in the Arab world] everything is possible because the laws that exist are not implemented and not honored.....'
'the ruler rules for his entire life, while the Japanese prime minister's term lasts no more than a few years. In every [Arab] country there is a ban on some newspapers, and authors and publications are subject to censorship....'
'... Anyone visiting Japan sees cars with loudspeakers in the streets [verbally] attacking the prime minister and the ruling party without anyone harassing them... But in the Arab countries the regime and the ruler are one. In most Arab countries, the only criteria for respecting a citizen and for the extent of his patriotism is the degree of his loyalty to the ruler. All these are alien to us Japanese of the modern age...'
'I think that oppression is an incurable disease in Arab society, and therefore any author or researcher who speaks of the Arab society without being aware of this simple and obvious fact is not a serious researcher...'
'As a result of oppression, the people try to be conformist in their opinions, dress, and homes, and under such circumstances the individual's independence disappears. Similarly, the phenomenon of public responsibility is absent. Oppression engenders fear and creates spurious respect [for the government]...'
'Due to the absence of justice, there is no public responsibility. This is why Arab residents destroy parks, streets, public drinking fountains, and public transportation, thinking that they are destroying government property, not their own. Similarly, responsibility for... political prisoners [meaning those fighting for civil and human rights] who sacrificed themselves for society is lacking; society itself has abandoned these courageous people. People in Arab countries see the problems of political prisoners as a private problem of the family of each prisoner....'
'I can understand that the regimes [fight] prominent individuals, thinkers, authors, politicians, scientists, and artists, but why does the people itself abandon them?...'
'the Arab adopts his ideas from outside, while the Japanese shapes his ideas on concrete events in Japan that he experiences every day. In Japan, new facts are added every day, while the Arab makes do with reconstructing events from the distant past...'
'The Japanese had to deal with the bitter and difficult experience of the Japanese military taking control of the emperor, the government, and the people and leading the country to war... But we recognized our mistake and decided to correct it. We expelled the military and decided to rebuild what was destroyed by the military oppression. We learned that oppression leads to destruction of national resources and the murder of innocents... Self-criticism is a great value in the life of every people, and people need domestic and external criticism....'
When asked, 'The U.S. destroyed you by dropping two nuclear bombs on your cities. Why don't you hate America?' ..'We must admit our mistakes. We were imperialist and we conquered peoples and destroyed many lands - China, Korea, and Oceania. We must criticize ourselves and then correct our mistakes. As to feelings, this is a limited personal matter that does not build the future.'
'The Arabs: A Japanese Point of View,' by Japanese researcher Nobuaki Notohara. (who has lived among the Arabs in Arab countries for forty years and speaks Arabic like an Arab.)
Zionism and Imperialism have Nothing to Do with Our Culture of Violence
"... Slaughter, destructive abuse, anarchy, and bloodshed in no way resemble Jihad according to Shari'a and resistance. These are anarchy and terrorism [and not Jihad], and they are indications of frustration and of a culture of collective suicide reminiscent of whales.
"This culture emanates from objective and personal reasons. But I maintain there is another reason for it ... and that is the spread of the extremist religious trend that intensifies the frustration of the young people because it tells them, 'You must obtain [one of] two things - martyrdom or victory.' [This trend] beautifies the culture of violence and portrays it as resistance and Jihad. But the idea of Jihad in Islam is innocent of these acts. I maintain that we must reexamine this culture...
"I maintain that unfortunately many in television, radio, and the press act according to the story of the one who murders and than attends the funeral of the victim. It is they who have pushed these young people into frustration and caused them to die for nothing and kill others with them, and to divide the world into black and white. I maintain that we are all responsible for this culture, and that Zionism and imperialism have nothing to do with it..."
"It is wrong to say that violence is the result of occupation. The French occupation left Algeria after a million fell, and then within less than a decade 10,000 Algerians were butchered in Algeria by other Algerians in the name of Islam - that is more than even Israel could have butchered during the period of the Intifada.
"The words 'assassination' and 'political violence' are Arabic words, lent to all the languages of the world. I say this as an academic linguist. The root of the word 'assassination' is the word 'hashashiyoun,' the name of Hassan Al-Sabah's group that came from Isfahan in the 13th century.
"This violence has cultural roots, and is unconnected to the occupation. And there are those who justify it. I do not want it to be understood in any way from my words that I am defending and justifying the occupation. But I say that this logic, which I reject, is [used] as justification to the [violence] that takes place in Iraq and in other places."
"Iraq was occupied [by the U.S.] a year ago. [However], before that, there was violence in Iraq that killed over one million Iraqis, Iranians, Kurds, Kuwaitis, and others. This was not done by the Zionists, the occupation, or America. This was done by Arabs and Muslims of Baghdad.
"The number killed in Algeria and killed by other Arab regimes surpasses the number of Palestinians killed by Israel. Those who were slaughtered in Saudi Arabia a few days ago were peaceful Muslims who were walking in the street... There is no occupation in Saudi Arabia, no American bases, no American presence or American army...
"I maintain that there is, unfortunately, a culture of violence that existed before the Americans came to Iraq and the Gulf, even before the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and before the American occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.
"In my opinion, it is [precisely] this comprehensive logic that is harming these young people and making them think there was [once] a good [Islamic] empire reaching from China in the East to Andalusia [in the west], including Chechnya..."
Journalist and former Kuwaiti communications minister Dr. Sa'ad bin Tefla Jordanian TV, June 8, 2004.
THERE ARE NO JOURNALISTS IN THE ARAB WORLD.
"'There are no journalists in the Arab world,' the editor of one of the Arabic papers said to me when I asked him why [his paper] was not covering a particular journalistic story. I heard the exact same complaint from one publisher who said, 'We have authors, but no journalists.'
"[Judging by] the Arab media coverage of events such as the trial of Saddam and the situation in Iraq in general, this lack of [Arab] journalists is embarrassingly obvious. We know little about Saddam, who ruled Iraq for over 30 years, except for a single hackneyed story about a doorman or greengrocer in Egypt, where Saddam lived in his youth. If only this story was true! This greengrocer has already changed his story more than once.
"It is interesting to know why Arab journalists have not succeeded in conducting hundreds of interviews with people who knew Saddam up close, or with entire families that were victims of the Saddam era. Weren't some 300,000 Iraqis buried in mass graves? Or is this, too, an American lie? Didn't [the victims] have families and relatives who can be interviewed, or aren't their pain and their lives important?
"It would be interesting to know, for example, about the life of a woman whose husband and children were murdered by Saddam. [It would be interesting to know] how exiled Iraqis moved from place to place and country to country, and whether their children speak Arabic. [It would also be interesting to know] how the French or German-speaking [raised in exile] children will adapt to the Arabic language in the new Iraq. What is their attitude towards the Arab resistance fighters and Al-Zarqawi's cronies? Do they prefer to maintain relations with the neighboring Arab [countries] or with Europe? These are all people with names and with opinions on these matters.
"Thousands of stories should be written on the lives of Iraqis - but where are the journalists?! Is it the lack of professional journalists that [makes] these journalistic stories remain unknown?"
"There are many ways to investigate this matter. A newspaper owner or a television channel owner can, for example, show us evidence of ordinary citizens talking or writing of their personal experiences with oppression, emigration, and the loss of family. [But] there are problems facing the newspaper supervisor or the radio or television [editor] when they want to do this.
"The first [problem] is that our culture is not like the Catholic culture that emphasizes confession, particularly when the individual has sinned. Likewise, an individual confessing a crime against himself or others [is considered] unacceptable among us. We raise our sons [with the belief] that it is not manly to confess, to cry, or to acknowledge that repression and oppression have broken an individual's determination and perhaps damaged his masculinity.
"Our newspapers will focus only on heroic deeds and overcoming difficulties. This is praiseworthy. But there are many personal defeats, retreats, and torments, and we must let those who have experienced them talk about them. This requires change in the newspaper culture, or in the so-called newsroom culture.
"This also requires that the papers realize that not only a certain group of people exclusively represents the view of all the Iraqis, Syrians, Saudis, or Moroccans. This also requires that the papers understand that everyone has his own opinion, and that given the chance, someone may perhaps express his opinion better than the regular columnists, because he has personal experience...
"Why, for example, doesn't a soldier who has confronted [terrorists] write about terrorism? Why can't we hear the opinion of the commander of the urban patrol of an Arab capital where there are clashes with terrorists, or his comments on our [i.e., journalists] role ... [that is,] are we helping or hindering them? What is their view on the entire matter? Up until this very moment, we have heard no detailed explanation of their view from any of them - except for a statement here and there, conveyed by a novice journalist, as a sidebar."
"It is no shame for a senior official to write a long article for a newspaper's opinion page presenting his policy in general and the policy of his ministry. Why does U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell write an article about every three months in The Washington Post and The New York Times? Why does he write an article as long as an entire study for Foreign Affairs? Powell and Rumsfeld write [in the press] to persuade the public of their policy, and if they feel that the public grumbles after one article, we find they write another one...
"In our case, the senior [Arab] official sees no need to explain his policy because he thinks the people support him unquestioningly, and that there is no need for explanation and no need to seek their support.
"Senior Arab officials do not respect the press as a means for conveying information. The responsibility for [conveying information] lies partly with the journalist and partly with the senior government official. The journalist's part is that no [Arab] journalist can make the official respect him. An official's respect for a journalist can come only from the journalist's respect for his own profession... The journalist can make the official respect him if he is well-versed in the subject about which he is talking - and doesn't just position the microphone in front of the official and let him say whatever he wants...
"But even our officials behave differently [than officials in the West]. Instead of rebutting the author of an article by [writing another] article, he picks up the telephone and talks to the newspaper's owner to [have him] silence the author.
"The main [problem] is that we still have no professional journalists. The proof of this is [first], that the [media] coverage of [events in] Iraq to date have given us nothing but many slogans, [and second], that the [Arab] officials do not respect the press."
Expert on the Arab media Dr. Mamoun Fandy, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 5, 2004
"Any resistance that depends on suicide bombers to destroy its target is a desperate and futile movement. Such a resistance hasn't succeeded in evicting Jews from Palestine or ending the misery of Palestinians. It has also failed to curtail the political authority of Jews over Palestinians. Those who still employ this method - covered by slogans of Jihad and promises of a place in heaven for the suicide bomber - wrongly believe it is an effective method.
"They are living in the past and they can see only the history of the United States. They think America is the same country that withdrew from regions where it incurred heavy casualties, such as Vietnam, Beirut in 1982, and Somalia. They refuse to see the recent history of the US in Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and in the war to liberate Kuwait. Americans weren't fazed by suicide bombings. Trucks laden with deadly bombs and driven by suicide bombers failed to scare them. Instead, such attempts have steeled their resolve to accomplish their mission in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places.
"Regrettably, some myopic Arab leaders can see only the negative side of the U.S. army's history. All their speeches are stale and full of lies and their people are sick and tired of their meaningless slogans. These leaders delude themselves trying to lead their people towards mass suicide. They are not aware history is changing and they don't realize any self-respecting military will learn from its past mistakes. The U.S. has chosen to take terrorism head on by launching a war on terror. Nobody, except these handful of Arab leaders, are surprised by America's resolve to fight terrorism.
"Saudi Arabia - which was earlier ambivalent towards terrorism - has been forced to join the war on terror. The tone of Saudi media has changed and they want to eliminate the dangers of international terrorism. They now proclaim terrorists violate the teachings of Islam. Kuwait and Egypt have also been fighting terrorism for a long time. The latest victim of terrorism is Turkey where a number of innocent civilians were killed...
"This will only result in an international war on terrorism which will have legitimate reasons to continue till the fountainheads of terrorism are smashed. Those who lead revenge operations - for their defeats in Kabul and Baghdad - in the name of resistance are unwittingly strengthening the resolve of the United States to face and defeat terrorism. The United States is not going to quit. Instead, it will convert poles of Jihadi flags into arrows to pierce the hearts of terrorists - who ultimately will be consigned to the dustbin of history."
Ahmad Al-Jarallah, the Editor-in-Chief of the Kuwaiti dailies Al-Siyassa and Arab Times, Arab Times (Kuwait), November 23, 2003.
Qatari Intellectual on the Islamic Roots of Antisemitism and 9/11 Conspiracy Theories
"The third anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11 has passed, and the Arab world is still asking itself who was behind it. Despite the clear-cut evidence, and the many confessions and investigations ... the Arabs are unwilling to accept that the ones behind the deed were a group from among us - the '19 Exalted Ones,' as they were called last year by the fundamentalists at their London convention.(Referring to an annual convention held since 9/11 to celebrate the attacks organized by the London Islamist organization Al-Muhajiroun.)
"The Arabs keep insisting on their innocence and accusing the Mossad of planning the deed with the aim of launching an aggressive war against the Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq... But this tale clashes with the fact that Jews are cowards and do not commit suicide. So the theory was amended, and it was claimed that the Mossad had planned and funded [the operation], and a group from among our innocent young people was deceived and ensnared by the Mossad, and that it was they who carried out [the operation].
"I do not know how long this [Muslim] arrogance will continue. Why don't we want to acknowledge that these young people were the sons of a culture that is hostile toward the world, not idiots or mad. No one enticed them, and they did not suffer from oppression, repression, or poverty. They carried out the operation because of their belief that it was Jihad and martyrdom. They were our young people and our sons, and they were our responsibility."
"It is we who stole their future, and we have sinned against them because of our backwards education, because of our harmful religious views, because of our inciting preachers' pulpits, and because of our violent media. It is we who have not succeeded in giving their existence value and meaning, and have not made life better for them than death. We have incited them to die for the sake of Allah, and have not taught them how to live for the sake of Allah.
"How long will we make life hell for our young people? How long will we continue to replay the record about American injustice and world justice towards us as pathetic justification for the violence and terror among us - as if we are the only nation suffering from injustice...
"Why, in fact, are we the only nation enchanted by the theory that a Jewish conspiracy stands behind events? Why does the tree of conspiracy bloom on our soil...? And why are we still prisoners of theories whose falsity has been proven...?"
"In my opinion, this theory has very deep roots connected to aspects of belief, historic factors, and political circumstances. Among the reasons [for the conspiracy theory] are:
"The words of the Koran regarding the deception of the Children of Israel against their prophets and against the other nations.
"The words of the Sira [biography of the Prophet Muhammad] with regard to the dangerous conspiratorial role [played by the Jews] already in the early days against Islam, against the Prophet Muhammad, and against the Muslims and their new empire.
"The words that fill the books of [Muslim] heritage ... [say] that the Jew Abdallah ibn Saba is behind the great conflicts [among Muslims].
(Abdallah bin Saba was a Jew who converted to Islam. He considered the Fourth Caliph Ali bin Abu Taleb to have a divine element, and some, mostly Sunni, writers attribute to him the establishment of Shi'ite sectarianism. Some also claim that he was a legend invented by the enemies of the Shi'ites who sought to prove that Shi'a Islam was not true Islam, but was invented by a Jew. Also, he is thought to have incited against the Third Caliph Uthman bin 'Affan and caused his assassination.)
These conflicts shattered the strength of the Muslims, and therefore in our [school] curricula we make sure ... to remain silent and skip over the political disagreements and armed conflicts about power and rule that arose among the Companions of the Prophet, [presenting] them all as using religious judgment, and as loyal and just. These conflicts [are presented as if they] occurred only because of the deception of Ibn Saba the Jew and that he is responsible and to blame. As we know, historical research has proven that Ibn Saba is a legendary figure, and that even if he existed it is impossible for any man, however devious, to play such an important and excessive role [in the history of Islam]. [If we believe this,] we must assume that the Companions of the Prophet were so careless and naive that a single Jew could deceive them, and thus we ostensibly decide that the Jews have superhuman genius.
"The words that our culture implants in the souls and minds of the Muslims, [i.e.] that that the Jews are the source of evil in the world. It appears that we are the only nation that still thinks that 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' are real - even though they were compiled by the Russian intelligence service in order to torment the Jews of Russia in the days of the Tsar, [as] the expert in Jewish affairs Abd Al-Wahhab Al-Masiri [wrote] in his famous encyclopedia.
"The words of the stories of the final days, concerning the eternal conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, until the Day of Judgment when the Jew will hide behind [the tree] and the rock, and [the rock] will say [to the Muslim], 'O servant of Allah, o Muslim, a Jew is hiding behind me, come and kill him.' These traditions make the Muslim suspicious, and he interprets every event as if a Jew is behind it. This is why Sheikh Fadhlallah and others have not ruled out a Jewish role in the tragic incident that took place in the school in Beslan.
"These are the deep roots that arbitrarily control both us and how we see the world around us. How can they be circumvented so that we can better and more accurately understand and grasp what happened and is happening in our complex world?"
Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, former dean of the Faculty of Shari'a at the University of Qatar, Al-Raya (Qatar), September 20, 2004.
Egyptian Intellectual: Al-Azhar University Curricula Encourages Extremism and Terrorism
'A Few of the Sheikhs at Al-Azhar are Trying to Drag it [Back] to the Middle Ages'
"Let us take a look together at the curricula of Islamic jurisprudence, which are taught in Al-Azhar's intermediate stages, not in order to call for the banning of [books on these curricula], but in order to understand that their removal from the curricula is the first step required for reform. They should, of course, remain in an Islamic library as a source for whoever wants to know what the Muslims thought in the golden era of Islamic jurisprudence and in order for us to understand the way of thinking of [certain] sheikhs [today] and what they want from our youth...
"Al-Azhar continues to be a place of acquisition of education and defense of moderate Islam and of the [generally] accepted ideas. Nevertheless, a few of the sheikhs at Al-Azhar are trying to drag it [back] to the Middle Ages and to draw [their ideas] from some radical schools of thought. If Al-Azhar gets rid of them and of their ideas, it will remove those black stains from its garments.
"If we examine some of the extremist curricula, we will find that the principle of fighting any non-Muslim and killing him is not an offensive innovation by [founder of Wahhabism] Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahhab and by [Ayman] Al-Zawahiri, [Osama bin Laden's deputy and the head of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization]. This [is] because a book of the Hanafi [school of thought], 'Al-Ikhtiyar fi Ta'lil Al-Mukhtar' [by Abdallah Ibn Mahmoud Al-Mawsily] teaches the next generation that 'the war against the infidels is an obligation of all intelligent, healthy, free, and able men... And when the Muslims besiege their enemies in a town or a fortress, they must call upon them to convert to Islam. If they convert, [the Muslims] must cease fighting them, and if they do not convert, they must call upon them to pay the jizya [poll tax]. If they refuse to pay the jizya, the Muslims must call upon Allah's help in the war against them, to erect catapults, to destroy their fields and their trees, to burn them, and to pelt them [with catapult stones], even if [the enemies] use Muslims as a human shield...'"
'What Kind of Thinking are We Teaching Our Next Generation, that It has the Right to Attack Other Countries in Order to Convert Them to Islam?'
"The book then instructs [Muslims] to act with compassion in this war: 'The Muslims must not breach a contract assuring protection [of the subjugated], must not take more than their share of the booty, must not mutilate bodies, kill madmen, women, children, cripples, one whose right hand has been amputated, or an elderly man, unless one of them is a king or a person able to fight, to incite [to war], to give advice about war or to instigate [fighting] by means of his possessions.' The stipulation that women, elderly, and cripples would be pardoned if they did not incite to war implies that everyone, in effect, should be killed, since no citizen living in a country attacked by foreigners does not incite to battle...
"Let us continue to read from some of the curricula of the extremism ['Al-Ikhtiyar fi Ta'lil Al-Mukhtar']: 'When the imam conquers a country by force, if he so desires - he will divide it among those taking the spoils, [and] if he so desires - he will execute the prisoners, subjugate them, or leave them under the patronage of the Muslims. [Moreover,] if he wishes to return [to the country] [and has] livestock, which he cannot take with him, he will slaughter and burn it.'
"What kind of way of thinking are we teaching our next generation, that it has the right to attack other countries in order to convert them to Islam or to [make them] pay jizya, and that if they don't - we will annihilate them down to the very last one? [That it has the right] to pillage countries and return with the loot, and [that] if it cannot transport the booty - [that it can] burn it? Can anybody imagine a member of another religion, paying jizya, in a state of subjection, to a people he does not recognize, merely because it is able to attack, to kill and to slaughter?..."
(The concept of the jizya to be paid in a state of subjection appears in Koran 9:29: "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, of those who are the People of the Book, until they pay the jizya in a state of subjection.")
'One Must Degrade Dhimmis [Non-Muslims Living in Muslims Countries]'
"And what about after the conquest, the emigration and the taking up of residence in the conquered land alongside its non-Muslim residents, who pay the jizya? [On this matter] there are guidelines [in 'Al-Rawdh Al-Murabba Sharh Zad Al-Mustaqna' by Mansur Ibn Yunes Al-Buhuti] [through which] one can see what the position of an Al-Azhar graduate [will be] towards his [non-Muslim] brother in the [Arab] homeland: '... The [hair] on their foreheads must be cut... They are permitted to ride [mounts] other than horses, such as donkeys, without a saddle... [One] must not rise in their honor or precede them in greetings... [One] must not offer them condolences, visit them in sickness or participate in their celebrations. They are forbidden to establish new churches or to rebuild those that were destroyed... They are forbidden to build a structure higher than those belonging to Muslims... They must be forbidden to raise their voice in mourning the dead.' If a dhimmi(A non-Muslim under Islamic rule whose life and property are protected, while living in an inferior status). invites a Muslim to a wedding celebration, he must not go, 'because one must degrade dhimmis...'"
'This is What is Taught at Al-Azhar ... and there are Other Things that Arouse Disgust'
"What else do these extremist curricula contain...? In 'Al-Rawdh Al-Murabba' ... we find the following legal issue concerning relations between the dhimmi and the Muslim: If someone of the People of the Book,(A Jew or a Christian, who may be offered the choice of living under Muslim rule as dhimmis while retaining their religion.)
If the dhimmi, avoids paying the jizya - his life and his property are permissible. If [the dhimmi] kills a Muslim, he must be killed, but if a Muslim kills him - the Muslim is not to be killed, but must pay blood money, and the blood money for [the killing of] a dhimmi is half the blood money for [the killing of] a Muslim. The height of justice.
"However, in addition to all this darkness and ugly tyranny, there are anecdotes. Thus, in a chapter of 'Al-Rawdh Al-Murabba' dealing with endowments, you find that it is permitted to endow [property] for the benefit of an infidel who is not an enemy or of an apostate. Why is this? [You will] enjoy this [explanation]: because it 'will not be forever, since they both will be executed shortly.'
"In addition, one must prevent the irreverent from reading the Koran and [one must] forbid an infidel to read it even if one wants him to convert... In a chapter about amputation [as punishment] for theft, [it is written that] amputation is conditional upon the stolen [property] being respectable property. [This means that] it is permissible to steal musical instruments...
"This is what is taught at Al-Azhar ... and there are other things that arouse disgust and are hurtful, such as the purification condition after relieving oneself... It is forbidden to use respectable paper, meaning the kind on which the name of Allah or a private name is written, such as [books of] Hadith and Shari'a [Islamic law]. However, it is permissible to use disreputable paper, the kind on which philosophical or logical sciences are written, providing one verifies that Allah's name is not mentioned [from 'Al-Iqna' fi Haqq Alfaz Abi Shuja' by Mansur Ibn Yunes Al-Buhuti].
"And we wonder where terror comes from. This is just an example of the writings of extremist sheikhs who have infiltrated our noble religious institution. We present [these writings] in the hope that these curricula will be reexamined, that Al-Azhar will attend first and foremost to what is happening within its ranks, and will place the interests of the homeland at the top of its priorities..."
Progressive writer and Cairo University lecturer on the sociology of religion Sayyed Al-Qimni Roz Al-Youssef (Egypt), July 10, 2004.
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