* We don’t know where Sami Alrabaa is from or where he lives. We can only hope that he is safe, because with these views he wouldn’t last long in an Islamic country…
Arab regime leaders and their affiliatesÂ swim in wealthÂ (luxury private palaces with the finest and mot expensive man has ever produced, private jets, i.e. flying palaces),Â ignore the poor,Â repress the population,Â blame local backwardness on the West, andÂ support fundamentalist Muslims.
Arab regimes have always beenÂ despoticÂ andÂ totalitarian. They have never believed in egalitarianism, economic opportunity, religious tolerance, and self-criticism. They have usedÂ medieval forces of governance:Â tribalism, especially in the Arabian Peninsula, authoritarian traditionalism, and most recentlyÂ Islamic fundamentalism. Arab schools and universities turn out more graduates in Islamic studies, falsified history, and void nationalism than in science, engineering, and medicine. Critical studies and scientific research have screechedÂ to a halt. The majority of Arab professorsÂ translate works and research done in the WestÂ andÂ claim they are their own. Empirical work is almost non-existent. Students graduate without having the slightest clue about what is really going on in the Western world. The only things the majority of them know about the West is that it producesgood car, but it isÂ decadent; people drink much alcohol and women sleep with everybody.
Billions of barrels of oil, fertile land along the Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates valleys, which in the past helped creating great civilizations, yield anÂ excess of miseryÂ rather than riches like in North Korea or Hong Kong, for instance. Billions of dollars are squandered on armament and a lavish life-style enjoyed byÂ corrupt despotic rulersÂ of the Arab world and their affiliates. Totalitarian oil rich Arab grandees from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Emirates, and Qatar, who plunder their countries’ resources, invest their billions of dollars in the West. Countries like Egypt and Jordan, which receive billions of dollars as aid from the America and Europe, spend the money on strengthening their regimes.
Tragically, prospects of improvement are dismal. Arab government spokesmen and the predominantly state-owned mediaentertain the illiterate and semi-literate populationÂ withÂ anti-Western and anti-Israel propaganda.
The Arab media are a great charade and a simulacrum of the West. They lack life-giving spirit and self-criticism. The state-controlled media and the private ones, owned by rich ArabsÂ affiliated to Arab regimes, like theÂ Saudi tycoon Al Waleed Bin Talal, give theÂ appearance of being modern and Western. But their reporters and anchormen and womenÂ are by no means journalists by Western standardsÂ of free and truthful inquiry.
For example, while BBC makes a point of talking to the victims of a suicide bomber in Baghdad and Kabul, al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and the other Arab TV stationsÂ would never interview the mother of an Israeli blown apart by a Palestinian terrorist. To add insult to injury, Arab journalists call Palestinians who clash with Israeli forces and die:Â Martyrs.
Most Arab television stations would never broadcast freewheeling debates, like Meet the Press style talk showÂ permitting criticism of the government, orÂ critical, liberal interpretation of Islam. Commercial TV stations quibble over a high degree of anti-Americanism and anti-Israelism and obfuscate criticism of official Islam.
Creative novelists, cartoonists, and bloggers like Najeeb Mahfouz, Salman Rushdie, Flemming Rose, and Alaa Fattah received death Fatwas (ruling) for blasphemy. Four Egyptian editors of four Egyptian newspapers, Ibrahim Issa, Adel Hammouda, Wael el-Ebrashi and Abdel-Halim Qandil wereÂ sentenced to a year’s hard labour for offending the president, Hosni Mubarak. Instead of getting a prize for literary creativity and civic courage, critics receiveÂ a prison or death fatwaÂ and a mob at their courtyard.
No wonder that aÂ culture of zero-creativity and silenceÂ is pervading the Arab world. On the other hand, a culture ofdemagogyÂ is spreading across the Arab world. Prime examples are the Islamist preacherÂ Amr KhaledÂ and the Palestinian poetMahmoud Darweesh. The Arab current furor is scripted, whipped up, and mercurial.
The Arab regimes and their media focus on andÂ exaggerate the number of Arabs killed in clashes with the Israeli armyÂ andthe coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.Â At the same time, they deliberately ignore theÂ thousands of Shiites, and Kurds butchered by Saddam Hussein and Hafez Asad of Syria.
The murder of some100.000 Muslims in Algeria by fellow Muslims, not by infidels,Â did not provoke so much indignation and violent demonstrations among MuslimsÂ as the so-called “Mohammed cartoons” did, although according to the holy Koran, “If someone kills a human being,Â it is as if he had killed the whole mankind.”
All the conferences held in the Arab world about alleged Western bias and media distortion, and all those open-letters signed by Muslim leaders to Christians for dialogueÂ cannot hide the self-inflicted catastropheÂ â€“ and the growing ostracism and suspicion towards Arab regimes and evil forces in the Middle East. The Arab-Muslim message: “You accept our Shari’a or die” willÂ never be acceptedÂ by the world community. The gloat over thatÂ Islam is engulfing the world is mere self-deception, vulgar and hallucination, at best. What is engulfing the world isÂ extremism and terrorism. And the world will never accept a religion that approves of bloodshed and carnage.
Yet, in sum, Arab regimes remainÂ objectively powerful, at least in one respect, not because of greater courage, higher IQs, or stronger economy, but because ofÂ their unique skills in cultivating fanatics and breeding terrorists. The cultivated West has not yet been able toÂ find an antidote to the culture of terrorism. That is an area where Arabs and Muslims have proved to be superior.