October 2, 2012 Special Dispatch No. 4980

Article in Saudi Daily: 'September 11 – The America We Do Not Hate'

October 2, 2012
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 4980

In an article titled "September 11 – The America We Do Not Hate" in the Saudi daily Al-Sharq, columnist Muhammad Al-Dumeini claimed that, despite the hatred that Arabs have for the U.S., mostly due to its Middle East policy, they must admit that it is still the world's leading superpower and is a role model for many countries. He added that there is much to learn from its laws and achievements in education and culture, science, and technology.

Following is a translation of the article:[1]

"Eleven years ago today, I returned home early in the afternoon... I was surprised that no one in my family had called to tell me about the magnitude [of the disaster] taking place in New York... The massive global event was being broadcast live on television, but when I joined [my family] to follow it, I discovered that the combination of reality and imagination left everyone too ashamed to admit the truth, and that people might be reluctant to discuss details before they were confirmed as true. Events [of this] magnitude bring one to despair, and a person waits [for evidence] to prove that what happened was real.

"The incredibly influential American film industry has shown the most disastrous scenarios of this sort. How many times have we seen U.S. cities, with their massive buildings and bewitching achievements, crumbling and disappearing in dozens of film productions – from King Kong to The Day After Tomorrow – with countless dramatic scenes, special effects, and science fiction plots in which imaginary characters take over cities and destroy them. [Thus,] many [of us] thought that the events [at the World Trade Center] were a commercial or trailer for an upcoming movie...

"It is so easy for us to hate the U.S. and curse it day and night, especially since its violent and murderous conduct on several continents throughout our history has brought shame on its head. However, how despicable is it to think that punishing thousands of defenseless civilians in two skyscrapers in an American city will free us from our historic failures, or will herald a brighter future for us?

"After all these years in which we cursed the U.S., why don't we recognize its glorious aspects? Why don't we speak of its constitution and founders, who transformed this rabble of rival tribes, nationalities, and religions into a nation that, despite the financial collapse, still leads the world? Why don't we speak of the sacred freedoms, in all their forms and expressions? Or the fact that the law is the absolute ruler there?

"Why don't we speak of the great philosophies, arts, humanities, theories, and ideas that started there or immigrated there in order to find a supportive environment that would develop and magnify them throughout the world? Why don't we admit that [the U.S.] is the land of science, technology and industry, and that every year we struggle to send thousands of our students, experts and researchers to [study at] its universities and centers?

"Why don't we say that it is the homeland that taught other nations the might of the citizen and his supreme value? Why don't we admit that it is a country of rights, and that its cultural and technological products still excite the world? Why don't we learn the values of work, production, responsibility, justice, and accountability from it?

"The U.S. is certainly not an ideal country, but who said that extremist forces can ensure peace or security for anyone?"


[1] Al-Sharq (Saudi Arabia), September 11, 2012.

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