March 19, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2281

Following MEMRI TV Clip, Arab Liberals Denounce Kuwaiti Islamist 'Abdallah Al-Nafisi

March 19, 2009
Kuwait, The Gulf | Special Dispatch No. 2281

MEMRI TV recently translated and released a clip of a speech by the prominent Kuwaiti Islamist Dr. 'Abdallah Al-Nafisi. In his speech, Al-Nafisi suggested a method for carrying out an anthrax attack in the U.S., lavishly praised Mullah Omar, and expressed the hope that "white militias" would succeed in their alleged plans to bomb a nuclear facility in the U.S. (see ).

Al-Nafisi's speech garnered sharp responses from a number of prominent liberals: Kuwait University professor Ahmad Al-Baghdadi and columnist Ahmad Al-Sarraf, both of whom are Kuwaiti, and the Jordanian-American author Shaker Al-Nabulsi.

Following are excerpts from their responses:

Ahmad Al-Baghdadi: Al-Nafisi's Lecture Shows "The Extent to Which Terrorism Has Penetrated the Arab Mentality"

In a February 24, 2009 article in the Kuwaiti Al-Siyassa daily, Ahmad Al-Baghdadi wrote: "Day after day the Muslims prove to the West, and to others, that they are a nation that encourages terrorism, [though] they become angry if Western authorities accuse them or imprison them. The proof of this is the applause received by the [Kuwaiti] thinker Dr. 'Abdallah Fahd Al-Nafisi during his terrorist lecture in Bahrain, which urged the killing of more than 300,000 Americans in an anthrax [attack] and called the 9/11 attacks just 'small change.' Anyone who listens to this Kuwaiti thinker's lecture and hears his words of support for Mullah Omar, and his call to encourage and support the terrorists and their [WMD] laboratories, will see the extent to which terrorism has penetrated the Arab mentality.

"In addition to these Bahraini supporters [who applauded his speech], along came 'Adel Al-Qassar from America - the country whose citizens Al-Nafisi calls to be killed - in support of Al-Nafisi. [1] Neither did the [Islamist] religious organizations in Kuwait criticize this lecture. This is a further indication of their support for global terrorism.

"In this terrorist lecture, the thinker Al-Nafisi said one should phone people who oppose Hamas - people he described as 'despicable' - and punish them. He made a motion with his hand as though he were holding a razor or a knife, alluding to slaughter! Dr. [Al-Nafisi], you are noble indeed, but you are all talk. I, Dr. Ahmad Al-Baghdadi, oppose Hamas, and I am also against the Muslim Brotherhood to which you belong, as well as the [salafi group] Jama'at Al-Salaf. I will write against you and will expose your traffic in religion. I challenge you to carry out your terrorist enterprise, so we can see if you really walk the walk. I challenge you to match your words with actions, if you truly believe in what you say: personally carry out a terrorist anthrax attack against the Americans. But you don't have the courage, or even the desire, to do this. You leave these kinds of terrorist attacks to gullible and foolish youth who have been seduced into destroying themselves with their own hands."

The Kuwaitis and Americans Should Arrest Al-Nafisi and Prosecute Him for Incitement to Terrorism

"It is an obligation incumbent on the Kuwaiti government - and even more so on the American government - to arrest Dr. 'Abdallah Fahd Al-Nafisi, since he is a prime instigator of terrorism. He should be held responsible, from here on in, for any attack carried out by any terrorist - Muslim or non-Muslim - who uses anthrax against any institution or against people in general, anywhere on the face of the earth. I am amazed that the Bahraini government let this terrorist lecture pass in silence…

"Frankly, I am very happy with Dr. Al-Nafisi's lecture, since it makes clear to all the terrorist orientation of the [Islamist] religious organizations, and affirms what I and other liberals have written about this terrorism, and which everyone says is an exaggeration. Here is their 'Dr.,' publicly and without fear delivering threats about killing Americans, and even explaining to whoever wants to hear how this criminal act should be carried out. He said that a small suitcase with four pounds of anthrax [could] be spread like confetti on the White House lawn…

"It is clear that membership in an [Islamist] religious organization leads to the continual deepening of the abyss of hatred for others - even if this member holds 50 doctorates. Just look at the Kuwaiti parliament and you will see that this degree is worthless in intellectual terms. All of our misfortunes come at the hands of these holders of doctorates. But the difference between them and Al-Nafisi is that his degree is from [the University of Cambridge in] noble London, whereas theirs are from Arab religious universities and are not worth the paper they are printed on…

"Of course I wish Dr. Al-Nafisi well so that he may continue to present us his brilliant terrorist views. If our government does not have state security arrest him and prosecute him for incitement to terrorism, this will mean that our government is in fact the number one terrorist, [just] as the writer 'Abd Al-Latif Al-Du'eij said. [2] Thank God Dr. [Al-Nafisi] has given up teaching, otherwise we would be seeing some of our students fighting the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. But I can assure you that neither the honorable Dr. [Al-Nafisi] nor the senior leaders of the religious organizations are prepared to fight jihad against the Americans; they leave these terrorist missions to foolish young terrorists who are deceived by the kind of vapid lectures they hear from people like Dr. Al-Nafisi, while they themselves live a pleasant and secure life.

"As for the Hamas movement, they are just a mafia gang and a bunch of thieving liars. Here is the proof:

"Amnesty International accuses Hamas of abducting and killing dozens of its opponents. This is the behavior of a mafia gang. And a group of them stole goods from UNRWA, which provides aid to the people of Gaza. At first Hamas denied this theft. Then they said that it occurred due to a technical error. Then they said that this aid was being used for political ends. Then they admitted the theft and returned the goods to the international organization after it threatened to halt its activities in Gaza.

"Is there anything honorable about belonging to an organization that abducts and kills its opponents and steals food and blankets from its own citizens, and [then] lies [about it]?

"I'll say to the fools and the terrorists: Israel is going to steal this article and post it on the website of its Foreign Ministry, without my consent. But remember that your friend Al-Qaradhawi lives in Qatar, and he didn't say a word against the Qatari regime when it hosted Peres, the president of the Zionist entity, in the Islamic land of Qatar - so it would do you some good to not be so shameless…" [3]

Ahmad Al-Sarraf: "Are Our Feelings and Emotions So Dead That We Are Not Bothered by [the Prospect of] the Deaths of 330,000 Innocent Americans?"

In a February 15, 2009 article in the Kuwaiti Al-Qabas daily, columnist Ahmad Al-Sarraf summarized Al-Nafisi's speech, and then remarked: "I do not know how one can describe as a 'fighter' or 'courageous' someone who undertakes to smuggle four pounds of anthrax into America and disperse it among the Americans, killing 330,000 of them in a single hour, [as Al-Nafisi did]. How could we justify to the world the fact that the person who did this would then emit 'cries of joy'… and pray for the Prophet and his family, directly after killing 300,000 innocent human beings - among whom would surely be thousands of Arabs and Muslims [as well]?

"How can we wonder at the feelings and emotions of the riffraff among us, when this is the 'logic' of our 'intellectuals'?

"More importantly, what would we, the Arabs and the Muslims, or [anyone else], gain if a religious fanatic carried out to the letter what this 'great thinker' said? For example, would the world be a more just, good, and peaceful place, or would this be this be the first sign of the coming of the awaited Mahdi, [who is said to arrive] when the world is filled with injustice and oppression?

"What would be the response of the U.S. government and its people if we killed 330,000 innocent Americans in a single hour? Would we then become capable of getting Palestine back from the Israelis, the [UAE] islands back from the Iranians, Alexandretta back from the Turks, and Andalus back from the Spaniards? And what good would all that be if nuclear bombs fell on our heads and destroyed the little that is good in our countries?

"And are our feelings and emotions so dead that we are not bothered by [the prospect of] the death of 330,000 innocent Americans in a single hour - among whom may well be some of our own people, and true friends - just because the government of this country has helped one of our enemies? And as though we ourselves haven't been our own enemy for hundreds of years? Oh logic, oh reason: how beautiful you are, and how rare." [4]

Shaker Al-Nabulsi: Al-Nafisi Is More Dangerous than Bin Laden

In a March 3, 2009 article in the Elaph e-journal, Jordanian-American liberal author Shaker Al-Nabulsi wrote: "… The aim of this article is not to reproach or condemn the Kuwaiti political scientist 'Abdallah Al-Nafisi. It is simply an attempt to analyze the importance and danger of his political discourse, much of which is a call to the culture of terrorism, glorifies terrorism, encourages terrorism, and says that it is necessary to carry out terrorism. This has made him a new, Kuwaiti, Bin Laden.

"The importance and danger of 'Abdallah 'bin Laden' Al-Nafisi lies in the fact that he is the greatest media propagandist for terrorism in the Arab world. He wraps his terrorist speeches in a layer of buffoonery, joking, and laughter, which makes them enter more easily into the heart and mind of the listener. He travels freely in the Arab world, and speaks freely and with great audacity.

"The danger of 'Abdallah 'bin Laden' Al-Nafisi is that he does not hide in Tora Bora or in the caves of Afghanistan near the Pakistani border; he is not wanted, and is not being pursued by anyone; he doesn't hide or dissimulate his beliefs. Rather, he travels throughout the Arab world giving speeches unabashedly encouraging terrorism, slaughter, and suicide [attacks]. He propagates his ideas and his calls for mass terrorism and the killing of hundreds of thousands of people openly and audaciously, and openly prays for [the terrorists'] victory and success…

"[I have] absolutely no opposition or objection to 'Abdallah Al-Nafisi's condemnation of American policy or his staunch opposition to its foreign policy towards the Palestinians and the Arabs. There is no reasonable person in the Arab world who doesn't oppose this policy, and especially [America's] behavior towards the Palestinians - and I am the first to oppose this. But I denounce, reject, and express indignation, in the strongest terms, to the manner in which we [Arabs] express this indignation, [if we do it in] the manner in which 'bin Laden' Al-Nafisi does. Is dispersing deadly anthrax powder in Washington, as 'bBin Laden' Al-Nafisi called for, and killing 330,000 Americans the only way for us to rectify America's [foreign] policy and [bring it to] an upright, humane attitude towards the Palestinian cause?...

"'Abdallah 'bin Laden' Al-Nafisi is a leader who openly and clearly calls for the 'greater terrorism', i.e., the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocents - and not just thousands, the number killed by bin Laden in the September 2001 catastrophe. For this reason, he is a much more dangerous terrorist than Osama bin Laden, and [also] because he is more cultured than the original bin Laden, more eloquent, more charismatic, and enjoys much greater freedom of movement…" [5]


[1] Cf. Al-Qabas (Kuwait), February 18, 2009.

[2] Cf., February 1, 2005; reposted from Al-Qabas (Kuwait).

[3] Al-Siyassa (Kuwait), February 24, 2009.

[4] Al-Qabas (Kuwait), February 15, 2009.

[5], March 3, 2009.

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