Dr. Mohammad T. Al Rasheed, a columnist for the Saudi government English daily The Saudi Gazette, responded to President Bush's demand that Arab leaders cease calling suicide bombers "martyrs." In an article titled "God Bless Our Martyrs," Dr. Al-Rasheed criticized the U.S. The following are excerpts from the column:
"The 'Dudn't' President Has Overstepped His Mark"
"Yes, those being mowed down in Palestine are MARTYRES [sic] to their cause, their honor, their dignity, their land, and their religion - the morons in Washington notwithstanding. We have had enough of double-dealing, double standards, double talk, and double acts on a lousy stage. The 'dudn't' President has overstepped his mark: he has given the green light for a massacre to commence conducted by the most brutal criminal this side of Caligula."
"A few weeks ago a couple in San Francisco were found guilty on behalf of their two dogs that mauled a neighbor to death. The same law is applicable to Bush and Sharon: the dog and its keeper. We do not need a Cicero to pontificate before a court for us to get a verdict. The issue is clear. We also cannot enter into high legal parlance or into philosophical argumentations. The dog and its keeper are not versed in this sort of dialogue. Nevertheless, let us try and simplify it enough for the keeper to understand why the world is not against dogs per se, but against his dog in particular..."
"The Americans used to say that they do not have the power to curb or influence Israeli decisions, but every time they tell the Israelis to do something, the Israelis do it. How are we to square this circle? The world watches in horror, and we have Europeans now bellowing at America to do the basic decent things in life. The Europeans are not exactly Arabophiles, but they retain a semblance of their humanity yet..."
"…Fourteen hundred years ago, the second Khalif, Omar, entered Jerusalem and was invited by its archbishop to pray in [the] Nativity Church. He refused; not because he did not think it suitable, but because, as he put it, 'Muslims will want to build a mosque on the spot.' Sure enough, he prayed on an adjoining piece of land, where we now have Masjid Omar, the Mosque of Omar. That too was bombed and desecrated by the modern Hun."
"The progress of humanity seems far from inching its way to better human nature. Or is it simpler: we lack education about others, and an ingrained sense of respect for others and, more tragically, ourselves."
"A Billion of Muslims Are Being Turned into Raging Volcanoes"
"A billion of Muslims are being turned into raging volcanoes by this disrespect: Docile bookworms, redundant bureaucrats, pregnant women usually preoccupied with their pains, doctors busy cutting up humanity for repair work, and countless others usually preoccupied with their lives, are now seething. Is this sanity on the part of policy-makers ruling the world? Caligula's madness never really reached outside Rome itself for obvious reasons. Now CNN can deliver its warped audio-visual accounts to the world."
"Better still, others have learned the trick of the trade. Ironically enough, Caligula wandered too far in Palestine where angels feared to tread before him. He wanted the Jews to worship him in their temple…, the rest is history as they say. Can the 'dudn't' man be brought to read some of this history? Condowhatever Rice should bring some of those wonderful books published by Stanford for him to read. On a personal note, I am ashamed now to say that I went to the same university."
"Let us say it once and for all: We have nothing against Jews. This is a fact. We have nothing against any people for what they believe or how they believe. Those of us who do are interpreting Muslim scriptures as American fundamentalists are interpreting Christian scriptures. It is hard to believe the Pope, of the Vatican as an institution, endorses Jerry Falwell - just to give one example. But, like the French during Nazi occupation, the Russians against the French occupation, the Americans against the British occupation, we take issue with the occupier. Hence our sense of martyrdom."
President Bush Should Read Arab History
"We also would wonder these days about our own sense of comprehension when we hear Bush telling the world that Arafat 'betrayed his people.' Who are you to issue such a judgment Mr. President? Who gave you the right to speak for the Palestinians, or any other people who are not Americans? They elected him, they support him, and now they are dying for him. That, I should think, is more than most of your people are willing to do for you. Your father, in his heyday, asked your nation to read his lips. Since reading is a family tradition with you, could we ask you to simply read our history before trying to rule over us?"
"You [The U.S.] Will Vanish, But We Will Remain"
"In case you do not have the time or stamina, let me tell you this: we are as old as the stone that Jesus walked on, pure as the water Muhammad was given to wash for prayer from, and severe as the laws Moses brought down from the Mount. You will vanish, but we will remain… the world will advance to oblivion, but our date palms and our olive trees will survive your nuclear bombs. And, somehow, something of us will remain. You have it written, not in Holy Scripture, but on the green back you so adore, especially on Christmas Eve: In God We Trust."