Friday, November 19, 2004

Don't get your hopes up too high

Too bad a 'disease' like reason isn't contagious. Too bad also that most Arabs are innculated against it, and anyway have a strong natural resistance against it.
But at
Memri they've discovered an Egyptian who is slightly aflicted by it. Although this man still has a very good chance of 'recovery' and can still be saved for true Islam, he nevertheless says things that give sane people some hope.
"Why can't we see things as the rest of the world sees them? Why do we always feel that someone is conspiring against us, and that he is the cause of our problems and our cultural and economic backwardness?... Why are we not able to criticize ourselves and [why do] we view anyone who tries to do so as an enemy of the nation and of its principles, and other things of this kind that make some people afraid to think?...

"Why are we the only nations in the world that still use religion, Islam, and the name of Allah in everything - in politics, economics, science, art, and literature. We kill in the name of Allah, blow up cars in the name of Allah, and slit throats in the name of Allah and Islam, and then we protest when others depict the Muslims as terrorists. We indiscriminately kill doctors who went to provide medical care to Afghans, and then we protest when the world describes these acts as acts of terror. We blow up embassies and trains [and consequently] children, women, and citizens with no connection to our cause are killed, and then we protest when the world describes these extremists, who view themselves as Muslims, as terrorists.
So far, so good. Tears of joy were running down my face as I was reading this. I should have expected a snag of course, and yes, my tears quickly dried up when I read the following:
"We do not ask ourselves why no other religious group perpetrates these acts of atrocity, and when a terrorist country like Israel does so, it does not say it is killing in the name of the Lord or in the name of Allah, but claims it is doing so out of self-defense.
Wether out of a necessity to at least make this article digestible for the general (Arabic) audience, or because the author really thinks Israel is a terrorist nation (stranger things have happened...), it doesn't strike him as odd to call Israel a terrorist nation, while at the same time doing such apparently earnest soul searching.

At first glance then, the article gives hope, at least to the West, because here's an Arab who recognizes the madness of the Islamic extremists, and is not afraid to call a spade a spade. However, if even an enlightened Arab such as this one is incapable of at least leaving Israel out of the equation (let alone adopting a neutral position), then I can do without such 'progressive' elements in Arab society. In fact, in some ways intellectuals like these are more dangerous to Israel than the extremists. Because to the West, they appear as human beings you can actually talk with. While it should be perfectly clear that calling Israel a 'terrorist nation' disqualifies anyone from serious and sincere discourse.

Read it all. And think of it what you will.


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