A FEW DECENT (AND VERY BRAVE) ARABS
"The acts of terror that shocked New York and Washington... gave rise to a dichotomy of the world before the explosions and the world afterwards: a dichotomy of the forces of destruction and oppression in the world and the victims who died as they worked diligently at their jobs, leaving behind children who dream of their future, and families waiting at the dinner table; a dichotomy of the world of crime, and the world of strict observance [of the law]; [a dichotomy] of the world that tries to build, and the forces of destruction."
"A few, mainly those who claim to know the reason [for the attacks], [claimed] that the tragedy had its roots in American policy... This is a kind of ambiguity, a kind of evasion. Statements such as 'We condemn the terror, but,' or 'We are sorry about what happened, but,' are unacceptable. Either we clearly condemn the terror, or we do not; either we are sorry, or we are not."
"When such human tragedies [occur], one cannot hold the stick at both ends. There is a clear boundary between humane forces and the forces of terror; between human beings and inhuman beings; between criminals and those who observe [the law]; between those who destroy and those who build. Each of us must state his position clearly, with no 'buts.'"
"The deaths of thousands... under the ruins is an unforgivable crime. What happened in New York can happen in Cairo, in Amman, in Riyadh. The hearts of the powers of oppression and destruction have no mercy; these hearts do not acknowledge blood ties or human fellowship; these are the forces that work solely for their own interests."
"According to all reports, Al-Sayyed Atta and his cousin, two of those accused of carrying out the suicide operations, spent their nights in Florida pubs! I do not know what kind of Islamic fundamentalism this is [supposed to be], nor what [kind of] Islam they belonged to?! It is obvious that they are criminals, not Muslims. No matter how [tightly] they envelop themselves in the robe of Islam, the [real] Islam is innocent of their crime."
"The test is now clear: Do you belong to those who want people to be able to live their lives in safety, and work anywhere? Or do you belong to the forces of oppression, destruction, and terror? There is no place to answer 'yes, we're with you, but,' or 'we're against you, but.'"
"White is distinct from black; on one side [stand] righteousness and its forces, and on the other side [stand] injustice, madness, and those who support them. Where do you stand? No 'buts'! This destruction is no longer an American matter. A person's a person, regardless of citizenship, gender, race, religion, or language. Is this not what the Arabs demand of the world? Is this not what we demand from the US when we seek to defend Arab-Americans or Muslim-Americans? We demand always justice; are we not required to act justly towards others also?... We must be just so that when we demand justice someone will listen to us."
"There is oppression, and there are the oppressed; there are murderers and there are the murdered; there is crime and there is punishment. True, these are black and white concepts, but in such cases there is no other color. There is no room for 'justice, but.' In this instance, we must choose whether we support injustice, encourage it to continue its tyranny, and place our fate in its hands, or whether we subject our societies to the forces of justice and righteousness. This is our choice at the beginning of the new century."
"Whatever reservations Arabs have about US policy, this is not the time for grievances. There is an appropriate time for everything. Please, hold the 'but' for another time.
Please, join in to form an alliance against the forces of oppression and destruction; do not allow arrogance to lead you to deny your humanity. This does not mean that I repudiate the conspicuous difference between terror aimed at sowing destruction for the sake of destruction, and peoples' rights to resist the oppressor anytime, anywhere."
"In spite of all the sorrow and anger in American society, President Bush, his secretary of state, his attorney-general, and senators have acted in an exemplary manner by defending Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans at the height of passion. The American media also have been careful not to make generalizations, and they have hosted many Muslims and Arabs, [allowing them] to express their apprehensions. All this is testimony to the humanity of this society, whatever criticism we may level at it. At the height of the anger and pain, the Americans – both leadership and people - managed to differentiate between the criminal and his religion, between him and his people. This is to [American] society's credit... If only we, in our moments of anger, could reach such a level, and not harm people because of the deeds of others... American society's position towards its Muslims and Arabs was a sublime act of the human spirit..."
"We must demand such sublime acts from ourselves as well... We must confront these forces with determination. Terror and terrorists have a television channel that presents itself as the only channel [in the Arab world] defending freedom of expression; this is the only channel that encourages terrorist leaders to be interviewed (referring to Qatar's Al-Jezeera television, which has interviewed bin Laden and many other fundamentalist leaders)... The terrorists choose this particular channel... because its crew carried weapons in Afghanistan and today wear three-piece suits and host programs promoting those same ideas (evidently a reference to the Egyptian Ahmed Mansour, known for his connections to fundamentalist elements, who has a talk show on Al-Jezeera)..."
"The vast majority of the Arab peoples were very sorry about the killing of innocent people in New York, in Washington, and in Pennsylvania. These are the [real] Arabs; those who qualify their verbal expressions of sorrow with 'but' are, deep in their hearts, praising the terror..."
Dr. Ma'moun Fendi, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, (London), September 17, 2001.
"...This is America: Their America and ours. [America is] an experiment in pluralism of cultures, races, and languages living in a great society under the rule of law. This experiment does not concern only Americans, but the entire world; the rapid steps of progress spur [America] to overcome the fanaticism of the past, leading it towards a new kind of tolerance based on interests and on the assumption that the Earth belongs to all...
"Perhaps the pluralistic American experiment is manifested in material power and military technology more than it is culturally, despite the active changes that the Americans have generated across the world through cinema, television, literature, and sports. But these changes constitute a basis of popular culture in the four corners of the earth..."
"The United States of America is a global experiment, regardless of its foreign policy which is sometimes idiotic and sometimes humanely sensitive. The American social experiment concerns the entire world. It presents man with a daily test: 'Will he agree to live in coexistence, or will he bring back the war-torn eras that have occurred since the beginning of creation?"'
"Accepting pluralism and actualizing it, requires a unique cultural and historic effort on the part of the Americans, as well as on the part of the rest of the peoples. Now, with the acts of terrorism in New York and Washington... begins the struggle over America - their America and ours - so that it becomes everyone's country, a pioneer in humane globalization instead of an isolationist center..."
"The Arabs have part of America, as do the other nations; they have participated and will continue to participate in shaping the American spirit together with the English, the Irish, the Greeks, the Russians, the Ukrainians, the Jews, the Chinese, the Indians, the Persians, and others too numerous to mention - all of whom came to a new country to begin a new life. All these [peoples] took what they liked from America, while preserving the heritage of their mother countries."
"The destruction of America is the destruction of the human dream across the world; the destruction of America is the cultural suffocation of man, freezing him in his place and in his heritage. America must seek a cultural path. It must [do this] to meet its society's needs for spiritual renewal, so as to add a human aspect to its material and technological progress. What America does not need is for the world to send people to hijack its planes and cast them, as human bombs, on buildings in which people are working."
"This [terrorist attack] is a crossroads. Our America is [more than the] idiotic [foreign] policy that sparks opposition from one people or another. America is the dream of the peoples; it is the paradigm to which the peoples lift up their eyes, and it is towards its light that the countries advance..." Muhammad Ali Farahat, Al-Hayat, September 19, 2001.
"I say to Farahat that I felt ashamed while reading most, if not all, of the commentary [on the terrorist attacks], primarily in the Egyptian press. But your article somewhat alleviated this feeling... All that was lacking [in the Arab world following the attacks] were parades in the Arab towns and cities [whose marchers] call out the infamous and base motto, 'Our soul and our blood we will give to thee, Oh bin Laden.'"
"Most, if not all, of what I read proves that the poison of the undemocratic, military Arab regimes... has also entered the bloodstream of the [intellectual] 'elite'... These [people] no longer see the killing of innocents and destruction for its own sake as disgraceful."
"What murky future awaits this region of the world? When and how will it be possible to restore belief in freedom, respect for the individual, and respect for human life, as it was in the first half of the twentieth century? The phrase you wrote, Mr. Farahat - 'the destruction of America is the destruction of the human dream across the world' - is monumental. How right you are!" Samir Farid Al-Hayat, October 3, 2001.
"Most of the articles published in the [Arabic] press about Operation New York-Washington are no more than symptoms of a mental illness from which we have suffered since we were defeated by Israel in 1948. [This illness is manifested] by blaming others for everything connected to our calamities and mistakes, great as they may be. Even the articles of the intellectuals whom I respect, and by whom I am influenced, such as [Al-Quds Al-Arabi editor] Abed Al-Bari 'Atwan, [the Syrian journalist living in London] Subhi Hadidi, [and the Egyptian journalist living in London] Mohammad Abed Al-Hakim Diyab are included in this category."
"What message are these respected journalists and others like them trying to convey to us by endlessly reiterating the responsibility of America, Israel, and the West for the development of the Osama bin Laden phenomenon, and reminding us of their terrible record in other times and places? Is America also responsible for our failure in dealing with this policy [of denial] for nearly half a century, [during which] we lost Palestine and nearly lost Iraq, with more to come? I am not talking about governments, as their story is known and they too have turned into [a pretext] allowing us to evade responsibility - as if our rulers fell upon us from [another] place and [another] time and are not flesh of our flesh, part of our mentality and our way of life."
"I am talking about the elite and the educated leaders from all streams who have emerged in the Arab world. Every one of these streams gained power in an Arab state at a given time, and had great influence on the Arab street. We, the Arabs, are a people of adults who came of age and gained independence from Britain, France, and America decades and decades ago. See what we have done with our free will. We became lost in a labyrinth of corruption, economic backwardness, and civil wars on the day we lost our democracy and the right of the people to remain free; [did their mothers not] bear them free men?"
"Bin Laden and his ilk, with their political blindness and stupid and mad radicalism, are a local Arab product, or at least 70% [local]... We must stop presenting him as a stepson of American and Western hegemony; he is the lawful son of Arab-Muslim helplessness. He is a completely legal son, to whom we, with our rigidity, gave birth - [we], the supporters of pan-Arabism, you the Marxists, you the Islamists, and you, the other educated individuals. We undermined our homeland and our peoples to the point where they became easy prey to the interests of America, Israel, and others."
"Presenting the West as Satan is propaganda for the ideas that have transformed our fanatical Islamic youths into human missiles, intentionally murdering civilians off the battlefield, until we have become exactly like the Israelis - victims who turned into hangmen. What is the difference between what the Americans did to the Al-'Amariya shelter [in Iraq] and what Atta and his friends did to the World Trade Center?"
"Do we want to renounce our lawful son so badly that we try to exonerate... someone who carried out a terrible crime by repeating constantly that there is no proof that he carried it out, thus intensifying the fear and hatred that the West feels towards Islam and the Muslims? Don't we know what these radicals and religious extremists, the wielders of knives, do to women, children, and farmers among their own peoples, in Algeria, in full sight of everyone? Don't we remember what their kind did before that, in Egypt and other places? Even in the Sudan, the land of tolerance, they carried out a mass slaughter of worshipers in a mosque, [an act] unprecedented except for the crime of the Cave of the Patriarchs committed by a Jewish extremist. If among us there is anyone who hates the Arabs, the Muslims, their culture, and their way of life so much that he wants to carry out barbaric mass slaughter, is it any wonder that the Christian hates us and sees us as barbarians like the [Tatar] Hulagu, [who fight] Western civilization."
"Renouncing these prodigal sons and attempting to lay them at the door of the West is shirking responsibility. It would be better to admit our paternity, and thus [admit] that our primary mistake in the education we gave them was that we closed our societies, our schools, and our media to freedom and knowledge, to the possibility of learning from mistakes. Once, we did this in the name of Islamic religious law; another time, we did it in the name of progressiveness and the struggle against imperialism. Only when [we are capable] of acknowledging this will we be able to deal with the enemy without, however powerful he may be."
"What is strange is that a few of us -of you - still insist on breeding more bin-Ladens, in the most effective way possible: persevering the policy of hatred of democracy, or avoiding democracy with various and sundry pretexts – first and foremost the war on America." Hashem Hassan, Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), October 7, 2001.
”We should be under no illusions about our struggle against Osama bin Laden and the cultists and terrorists arrayed around him. Although we control the sea lanes and skies of that Arab-Muslim world, he appears to hold sway over the streets of a thwarted civilization, one that sees him as an avenger for the sad, cruel lot that has been its fate in recent years. A terrible war was fought between rulers and Islamists; the regimes in Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt won, but the insurgents took to the road, and vowed to return as triumphant conquerors after the dynasties and the despots were sacked. Rich, famous, free and young, bin Laden taunts the rulers of a silent, frightened Arab world seething with resentments of every kind. He and his lieutenants cannot overthrow the Arab ruling order, so they have turned their resentments on us.
Consider the three men who taunted us in the video that came our way on Oct. 7, courtesy of the Qatari satellite channel, Al-Jazeera. In it, bin Laden is flanked by two lieutenants. The older one, a man of 50 years, is an Egyptian physician, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, a sworn enemy of the regime of Hosni Mubarak. Twenty years ago, he had been picked up in the dragnet that followed the assassination of Anwar Sadat. He was tortured, and imprisoned for three years. He drifted to Pakistan, then made his way to the Sudan and Afghanistan, and took to the life of terror.
The younger man, spokesman for bin Laden, is a Kuwaiti theocratic activist by the name of Sleiman Abu Gheith, who hails from a quaint, stable principality, with generous welfare subsidies and an American trip-wire to protect it against a predatory Saddam. Abu Gheith had been an employee of the Kuwaiti state, an imam of a government-sponsored mosque, and a teacher of Islamic studies. Those who know him tell of a man who had become fanatical in his view of Islam's role in political and social life.
A foul wind had been blowing in Arab lands. The rulers had snuffed out endless rebellions and the populace had succumbed to a malignant, sullen silence. It prayed and waited for the rulers' demise. It dreamt of an avenger and a band of merciless followers who would do for it what it could not do for itself.
It is no mystery that reporters from Arab shores tell us of affluent men and women, some with years of education in American universities behind them, celebrating the cruel deed of Mohamed Atta and his hijackers. The cult of the bandit taunting the powerful has always been seductive in broken societies. Bin Laden and Zawahiri and Abu Gheith and Atta did not descend from the sky: They are the angry sons of a failed Arab generation. They are direct heirs of two generations of Arabs that have seen all the high dreams of Asr al Nahda (the era of enlightenment and secular nationalism) issue in sterility, dictatorship and misery. The secular fathers begot this strange breed of holy warriors. A suffocating hate separates the ruler from the ruled in Arab lands. The former own those lands, they have closed up the universe, and their dominion stretches as far as the eye can see. Their scions stand at the ready to claim the good things of the earth. Imagine the way Arabs read the ascendancy of the sons of the dictators of Syria, Egypt and Iraq in public life; a trick has been played on them. Under their eyes, the republics have metamorphosed into monarchies in all but name. Alone, in God's broad lands, it seems to them, they are to be excluded from a share of today's democratic inheritance. The rulers can't deliver to us these sullen, resentful populations and--shrewd men--the rulers know it. They have ducked for cover as America blew in asking them to choose between the terrorists' world and ours.
We were "walk-ons" in this political and generational struggle playing out in Araby. America and Americans have a hard time coming to terms with those unfathomable furies of a distant, impenetrable world. In truth, Atta struck at us because he could not take down Mr. Mubarak's world, because in the burdened, crowded land of the Egyptian dictator there is very little offered younger Egyptians save for the steady narcotic of anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism. The attack on the North Tower of the World Trade Center was Atta's "rite of passage."
In the same vein, bin Laden and Abu Gheith can't sack the dynastic order of the Gulf. (Were they to do so, they would replace it with a cruel reign of terror that would make the yuppies of Jeddah who have been whispering sweet things in the ears of foreign reporters about bin Laden yearn for the days of Al Saud). So the avengers come our way. Our shadow, faint and mediated through hated rulers and middlemen, has fallen across their world. They struck at the shadow, but it is the order that reigns in their lands that fuels their righteousness. And it is the sense of approval they see in the eyes of ordinary men and women in their societies that tells them to press on. The military campaign against bin Laden is prosecuted, and will surely be won, by the U.S. But the redemption of the Arab political condition, and the weaning of that world away from its ruinous habits and temptations, are matters for the Arabs themselves.
A darkness, a long winter, has descended on the Arabs. Nothing grows in the middle between an authoritarian political order and populations given to perennial flings with dictators, abandoned to their most malignant hatreds. Something is amiss in an Arab world that besieges American embassies for visas and at the same time celebrates America's calamities. Something has gone terribly wrong in a world where young men strap themselves with explosives, only to be hailed as "martyrs" and avengers. No military campaign by a foreign power can give modern-day Arabs a way out of the cruel, blind alley of their own history.” Mr. Ajami, author of "The Dream Palace of the Arabs" (Vintage, 1999), teaches at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
An article by Saudi columnist, "...Huweidi cited 'experts' who maintain that it is highly probable that right-wing American militias are behind this attack... I am stunned [by the way in which] half-truths are presented; is it conceivable that Huweidi could write two articles, each covering three-quarters of a page, without mentioning at all that the only person in the world to issue a fatwa - on October 12, 1996 - calling for the killing of American civilians and military personnel is one of the Afghani Arabs [i.e. bin Laden]?..."
"Second, Prof. Huweidi tried to deny that Arabs were involved in this act of terror by saying that [the operation] required a high level of technical capability in flying planes, in addition to the imagination and inventiveness that are lacking in those Middle Eastern elements to which the acts of terror (of September 11) are attributed! I am amazed at this interpretation, and want to ask Huweidi...:"
"'Didn't Arabs try to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993? Aren't Arabs capable of flying planes? Aren't Arabs responsible for suicide operations in Southern Lebanon and in occupied Palestine? Didn't Arabs come up with the idea of hijacking and blowing up civilian planes in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and then give it up after it turned out that this method failed abysmally in achieving their political goals...?'"
"Third, Huweidi expressed exultation over the U.S.'s misfortune... In my opinion, the success of the terrorist action is a 'tax' paid by the U.S. and the good - yes, 'good' - and peaceful - yes, 'peaceful' - American people because of their civilized treatment of anyone, without exception, who comes to the U.S. legally. I say this from personal experience, and I can swear that anyone who has ever visited the U.S., or lived there, joins me [in this statement]. Does Fahmi Huweidi know that every tourist, even if he looks like an [Islamic] fundamentalist like myself, could have toured the White House, the Capitol buildings, the Supreme Court, and the FBI building? Doesn't Huweidi know the freedom in which the Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. live? Doesn't he know that 'extremist' Islamic preachers curse the U.S. on its own home soil without being harmed - something I witnessed personally?..."
"Fourth, Huweidi cited, and adopted, a suggestion made by a teenage girl on an Internet chat: to establish an international investigative committee to examine 'what happened' (note the genteel expression) [on September 11], because the FBI, Huweidi claims, is, historically, notorious for 'influencing the process of investigation and fabricating its results'... Personally, I maintain that establishing an international investigative committee would be a wonderful idea had the terror attack occurred in some banana republic, but no way after it occurred in Uncle Sam's home! I suggest [to Huweidi] that he show some humility when he puts forth suggestions of this kind. The American legal system is superb, and unequaled with regard to protecting the rights of the accused... Besides, did Huweidi forget that The Washington Post caused President Nixon's resignation?... Wasn't President Reagan investigated over the Iran-gate scandal?... I am embarrassed for Huweidi's selective memory, and leave the decision up to the readers."
"Sixth, Huweidi cites an 'item' from Hizbullah's television channel (notice it's not Reuters), according to which 4,000 Israelis [who] work[ed] at the World Trade Center (notice it doesn't say 'Jews') were all absent from work on the day of the attack! All right; let us analyze this 'item' rationally: The Mossad planned the action and, so as not to harm a single Israeli, reported to the 4,000 Israelis 'perhaps by means of the Internet' not to go to work that day. Of course, 'all' 4,000 Israelis carried out the order they were given without asking why, and also did not report it to their 460,000 colleagues!!! I was in shock when I read these words, and I leave the decision regarding this 'item' up to the readers."
"Seventh... Huweidi posited the question, 'Would the U.S. have been attacked had it been less biased towards Israel?' My small brain is incapable of linking this question with Huweidi's claim that it is reasonable to assume that this terror attack was carried out by extremist American militias!..." Hamad Abd Al-Aziz Al-'Isa, Al-Qahira (Egypt), October 23, 2001.
"Huweidi's opinion astounded [I didn't expect] such an opinion from a sheikh as enlightened as he. Not only does the man believe [in the conspiracy theory], but he has also begun to prove it, and to market absurd, improbable explanations that are no better than those [explanations] rife among the simple folk - such as the story about a number of Israelis being arrested at the scene of the events as they were filming the catastrophe and exulting over the Americans' [misfortune].
"If this is the condition of the enlightened elite [to which Huweidi belongs], what can be said about the cave-dwellers of Kandahar? Unfortunately, if we examine modern Arab thought from this angle, we will find that it is collapsing under the weight of these delusions. The Arab thought completely lacks the rationality or critical spirit required for Arab and Islamic societies today and in the future..."
"Most of the Arab and Islamic commentators have not eliminated the possibility of conspiracy in one way or another. Naturally, the conspirator is always Israel; alternatively, the finger is pointed at the Jews. If it seems inconceivable logically and in light of events that this catastrophe was perpetrated by the Zionist movement or that Jewry had a hand in it, we tend to stress the Jewish influence on decision-making [and on American] public opinion, or even their control over the American business and financial community. These claims appear somewhat convincing, but there remains one point important for [Arab commentators] to ignore, and that is that American society is a democratic, open society, and there is no way of hiding the truth from it to please anyone, even if it concerns Israel itself..."
"Some of us make assumptions, and [settle for] determining that there is nothing to do but to [conclude] that the Jews assisted in the planning [of the attacks], and hinting that U.S. intelligence [apparatuses] could have carried out such an action. In that case, [it is claimed] that Israel was not directly involved, because the American people is likely to find this out with its advanced [security] apparatuses. We do not forget [to point out] that the Jewish soul always tends towards adventurism and haste..."
"Throughout history, there has not been a single instance of proof of the veracity of the assumptions underpinning this [conspiracy] theory. Nevertheless, Arab thought has become enamored of it..."
"The truth is that we are not capable of formulating an interpretation [of the events] from scratch, and therefore we recycle this idiotic culture, the same improbable and stupid theory... Despite the changes in the Arab world and in the world around us, the Arab citizen still does not have a complete character that could have enabled him to independently impose on the Arab rhetoric his own position regarding the events ..."
"In conclusion, do any of you remember the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? They too spoke of a Jewish conspiracy against the world, even though no one in his right mind in the world today can view them as the truth. Suleiman Al-Nkidan, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), October 25, 2001.
"I am looking for sponsors for the establishment of a modern kindergarten for extremism, for children under four (because after age five, you cannot teach a person anything new). Thus, I would guarantee that when they reach high school and university, these children will remain extremists; no creature nor any scientific curriculum could undermine their extremism, or tame them. We will make the clever ones our journalists and intellectuals, our editors-in-chief, our radio broadcasters, and our officials in all areas of life."
"Give me your children, and I promise you that they will become bona fide extremists. I swear to you that any of them who show genius in [his] extremism will join the Supreme Academy of Terrorism, even if his terrorism ranking does not qualify him; it is enough that he is sincere in his desire, has a gift for terrorism, or is a terrorist by nature."
"I will say to them: 'Kids, don't believe that others worship the same god as we; they are infidels who worship other deities. You must always think of ways to force them to worship whom we worship - the others are foreigners, and foreigners are infidels. The task for which I am preparing you is to purge the world of them.'"
"This is your holy message: 'Don't believe the story that they stick to about freedom, democracy, human rights, progress, and civilization; they are liars and deceivers. They hate us because we are better, greater, and stronger than they.'"
"You will easily notice that they love life, and that is the weak point that we will exploit. We, in contrast, love death and protect it. Do not believe that Allah created life for us to live, build, and enjoy. [No,] Allah created us to test our ability to rebel against life, to despise it, and to get rid of it at the earliest opportunity. Each and every one of you must seek out your first chance to die - but you must not die for free. You must take with you as many of the infidels as possible, and send them to Hell. You must know, dear children, that our martyrs gain entry to Paradise, while their dead are [sentenced] to the fires of Hell. These idiots do not believe in Paradise, in the fires of Hell, or in the Day of Judgment, and the proof is that they insist on turning the world into Paradise [on Earth], in which they enjoy everything."
"Any wise observer can discern how [the infidels] each day, each hour, even each moment, invent ways to turn human life into Paradise on Earth. If they truly believed in Allah or in his prophets, they would make sure that their people lived like the Afghan people, and they would rule their countries as does the great Mullah, Muhammad Omar [head of the Taliban]. In every generation, children, there appear two great men named [Omar]. In our generation, they are Mullah Muhammad Omar and [Sheikh] Omar Abd Al-Rahman [blind Egyptian sheikh convicted after WTC bombing in 1993]; the only time an Omar appeared within the infidels' [ranks], it was Omar Sherif [the actor]!"
"Do you really believe that they are fighting the Taliban in revenge for what befell them? To avenge their casualties? Of course not. They want to take over the oil of Caspian Sea. They have already taken over the Arabs' oil and had to put on this show in order to obtain the oil of the Caspian Sea. Repeat after me: 'Death to America, death to the West! Death to us, and may life be the lot of the abject cowards.'"
"You know, children, or you may have heard, that there is a country called Indonesia, that is the largest Muslim country in the world. Don't believe it. The proof is that they allow a woman to rule them... Look at what this woman has done: She was the first to run to America to declare that her country stands by them. I recommend to you, children, to despise women. You should fear them, because Satan's role is to seduce people. By necessity, we allow women to live, but only to bear children."
"Dear children: 'Hate the beaches. Hate the flowers and the roses. Hate the wheat fields. Hate the trees. Hate music. Hate all manner of artistic, literary, or scientific endeavor. Hate tenderness. Hate reason and intellect. Hate your families and your countrymen. Hate others – all others. Hate yourselves. Hate your teachers. Hate me. Hate this school. Hate life and everything in it.'"
"Go on, get to class."
Egyptian Satirist Playwright Ali Salem Al-Hayat (London), November 5, 2001.
"Sharon is a Terrorist - And You?"
"Sharon was a terrorist from the very first moment of the declaration of the establishment of the Zionist entity; on this there is no dispute. He carries out terrorist assassinations of Palestinians; no doubt about that."
"But can anybody prove that Sharon has carried out terrorism against the citizens of Israel who elected him? This has not happened. The Zionist entity does not terrorize and imprison its intellectuals and writers. The Koran orders us to act fairly even to our enemies... [thus, it must be acknowledged that] while the prime minister of the Israeli entity rises to power by democratic elections, in the Arab world or the Islamic world there is no such elected prime minister."
"The Arabs and the Muslims do not carry out terrorism against [Arabs]. This was a fact up until September 11, the day on which a 'group of martyrs' [as bin Laden said in his first recorded speech after the event] killed 7,000 innocent people! But even before that, and up until that moment, didn't the Arab [rulers] carry out terrorism against their [own] citizens within their [own] countries?"
"Islamic religious rulings permitting [people's] blood, about which the Arab Muslim people and its leaders – who believe in the religion of mercy and peace [meaning Islam] - remain silent, exist only in the Arab world. Incidentally, such a ruling permitting the blood of an individual, or even of an animal, has not been heard from a Christian clergyman since the Middle Ages. The Muslims deserve a Nobel Prize for their invention, to allow for such a religious ruling to continue [to this day]."
"Persecuting intellectuals in the courtrooms [of Arab countries], trials [of intellectuals] for heresy destruction of families, rulings that marriages must be broken up [because one spouse is charged with apostasy] - all exist only in the Islamic world. Is this not terrorism?"
The [Arab] intelligence apparatuses that killed hundreds of intellectuals and politicians from the religious stream itself- The Zionist entity has never done [such things] against its citizens. Isn't this terrorism?!"
"The capability of the intelligence apparatus in every Arab and Islamic country to arrest someone and make him disappear... does not exist in Israel and in the West. Isn't this terrorism?!"
"Iraq alone is a never-ending story of terrorism of the state against its own citizens and neighbors. Isn't this terrorism?!"
"The Afghans were living a good and healthy life – though they fought each other - until the Muslim Arabs came in and brought them into the hellish circle of terrorism, and now they are paying the price!"
"Who hijacked the Kuwaiti plane and killed Kuwaitis? Wasn't it the believing Hizbullah?"
"The Palestinian Arabs were the first to invent airplane hijacking and the scaring of passengers. Isn't this terrorism?!"
"Arab Muslims have no rivals in this; they are the masters of terrorism towards their citizens, and sometimes their terrorism also reaches the innocent people of the world, with the support of some of the clerics."
"Today, the Arabs and the Muslims are paying the price of their terrorism towards their citizens and towards the world. They are persecuted and humiliated across the civilized world. They are rejected in both the West and the East. In restaurants, in airplanes, in buses – everywhere they are spit upon. One cannot complain to the West for what it is doing to them, because the Arab and Muslim world, everyone - governments and peoples - are lying about terrorism."
"The Muslims claim that Islam is a religion of peace and brotherhood. Even Saddam Hussein begins his speeches of menace with the words, 'Al-Salaamu Alaikum.' Al-Azhar comes out in demonstrations against the author of the story 'A banquet for the seaweed,' 18 years after it was written. (The publication of the book by Syrian author Heidar in Cairo in 2000 gave rise to student riots, instigated by the Islamic movement.) This is a nation whose ignorance makes the nations of the world laugh! The Islamic world and the Arab world are the only [places] in which intellectuals - whose only crime was to write - rot in prison. The Arabs and the Muslims claim that their religion is a religion of tolerance, but they show no tolerance for those who oppose their opinions."
"For over 500 years, no author or intellectual in the infidel West has been murdered, while religious rulings permitting the blood [of people] in the Arab and Islamic world [are given away for] free. The governments and the people are silent, and this means that they support these criminal rulings."
"Now the time has come to pay the price. Nothing comes without a reckoning, and the account is long - longer than all the beards of the Taliban gang together. The West's message to the Arab and Muslim world is clear: mend your ways or else..." Kuwaiti university professor Ahmad Al-Baghdadi, Akhbar Al-Youm (Egypt), November 3, 2001.
"Twenty years ago, the position of a writer such as Edward Sa'id, who defended Iran's Islamic revolution when Western hostility towards it was at its peak, did not embarrass me, even though he was a Christian living in New York. His position was based on moral and scientific arguments that made him the…No. 1 warrior in defense of Islam in the West. But the increase in Islamic extremism has weakened the arguments of all non-Muslims who defended Islamic extremism, among them Prof. Sa'id himself, because of the dreadful image of Muslims that emerged following the events of September 11."
"Why, then, does a group of people [destined] for slaughter by Al-Qa'ida defend [Al-Qa'ida's] ideology and supporters? I maintain that this is part of Arab hypocrisy, whether we refer to Christians, Shiites, Druze, or liberal Sunnis."
"The truth is that even before recent events… I sensed a sycophantic tendency on the part of many Christian Arab intellectuals who set themselves at the forefront of defending extremist Islamic movements. I am referring to their overstated defense of these organizations' barbarity, which went so far as to give Osama bin Laden the titles of 'Sheikh' and 'Great Jihad Warrior.' It would appear that this is an attempt to prove the Christians' belonging to the ranks of the Arabs [by expressing support] for the demagogic Muslim minority whose voice is the loudest today, while ignoring these movements' errors and the risk the methods they employ pose to the future of the Arabs, whether Muslims or Christians."
"I am not denying that there are non-Muslims who sympathize with the Islamists, and that there is intellectual convergence [between the Islamist and] the Arab left – among them Christians – with regard to hostility towards Western political institutions."
"However… just like the majority of intellectual Muslims, so should the majority of Christian Arabs, primarily the intellectuals, refrain from supporting extremist groups when they see the flames of the fire everywhere in our region, and when they see [these groups'] hatred of anyone not fundamentalist and their genuine desire to destroy the existing institutions…"
"It should be stressed that supporting a fundamentalist is not an essential element in the rhetoric of solidarity [between Muslim and Christian Arabs] – unlike the issue of the Arab right to Palestine. There is no reason for certain Christian intellectuals to run after every Arab demonstration, even if it is a demonstration against Christians themselves, as they do now in their support for Al-Qa'ida and its men
"The exaggerated fear demonstrated by Christian Arab intellectuals (by their defense of Islamic extremism) has given rise to a sense of repulsion – even, in all honesty, rage – about the opportunism of those who at the same time demand to remove religion from the politics [i.e. Christian Arabs]."
"These intellectuals' support of extremist Islamic groups stems from hatred of the West. However... Christian Arab intellectuals defend a man like Osama bin Laden, who calls openly for killing Christians. If someone asked me for tangible proof of the hypocrisy of most of the Arab intellectuals, Christians and others, who defend Al-Qa'ida - I could send him their manifestos and articles, which attest to crude political hypocrisy. It would be better for them to be silent.”
Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat December 2001
MOSLEM REACTIONS TO 9/11
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