In an article in the London-based daily Al-Arab, Moroccan Writer Sa'id Nasheed denounced the Arab regime's policy towards terrorism and extremism. He wrote that, for years, these regimes have adopted an appeasing and conciliatory policy towards terrorists and radicals in an attempt to avoid internal strife in their countries, and this has caused the Arab world to lose the war on terrorism. He added that this is not just a military or political failure of the regimes, but the failure of an entire culture.
The following are excerpts from his article:
Sa'id Nasheed (Image: Al-Arab, December 27, 2017)
"There is no doubt about it, we are on the verge of losing the war on terror. We are about to lose it before we even started it. We have clearly not yet started it, at least not with the minimal degree of determination required. There is nothing to suggest that we are willing to join this war in the immediate or intermediate future. Even worse, when we do get up to act, we do the opposite [of what is required]... Every time we meant to amend the curricula, especially the religious curricula, extremists among us raised their voices and incited [against this]. And what did we do? We quaked with fear and formulated curricula even worse than the old ones, in an attempt to avoid internal strife and keep it dormant under the surface until the next crisis emerges. We do the opposite [of what is required].
"In the war waged against us by the takfiri global terror [organizations], the local regimes insist on maintaining the same policy: one that stifles [all] culture, thought, knowledge, creativity and public debate, and leaves the intellectuals alone in the fray, fighting the 'holy ignorance' without support... Sometimes the regimes do not even mind betraying the enlightened intellectuals and stabbing them in the back, using them as scapegoats to appease the custodians of the houses of worship, whose appetite is unsatiable...
"Our readiness [to fight terror] is steadily diminishing. From year to year, the number of preachers doubles and the number of intellectuals, artists and poets falls. The number of organizations devoted to [religious] preaching increases, while the number of associations devoted to development and culture drops. Every day a new house of worship is built, sometimes even without need, while theatres, cinemas and culture centers close. After every alleged reform, there are more religious curricula that reject rationality, and sometimes the laws [ostensibly] passed to fight terror are [actually] intended to crush the liberals. [So] how do you mean to win the war on terror?
"We have nearly lost the battle because we fail to understand its nature, or, to be more accurate, because we deny its [true] nature. Contrary to what some think, for example the Obama administration, this is not a war against certain charismatic leaders that can be won by eliminating these leaders through military or security measures... Rather, this is a war against a very dangerous perception that has diverse manifestations... This is not an external enemy that can be defeated by restoring our internal unity, but rather an enemy that comes from within, from among us. This is a war of ideas more than a military campaign...
"Today we must acknowledge that we have lost the war on terror. We lost it the minute we left it to be handled by outside forces and waited for them to fail so we could blame them [for the failure]. We sufficed with exonerating [the culprits] by denying [their guilt] and even made deals with the terrorists in order to put off having to announce our defeat... This is not just a military or political defeat on the part of the regimes, but a defeat on the part of an entire culture."
 Al-Arab (London), December 27, 2016.