August 13, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8222

Saudi Journalist: Why Do Arabs And Muslims Criticize The West – When In The West They Enjoy Equality And Full Human Rights, And Attain High-Level Positions?

August 13, 2019
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 8222

In an August 1, 2019 article in the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat daily, Saudi journalist Mishal Al-Sudairy considered why fundamentalist Arabs and Muslims accuse Western countries of racism even though they are home to millions of Arabs and Muslims who enjoy full human rights and even hold high-level positions such as government minister and mayor. While he agreed that the West was involved in wars and had committed serious crimes, he added that it had mended its ways and continues to lead humanity on the road to progress, democracy, and human rights. He concluded by quoting an Iraqi author who had once hinted that Arabs who choose a religious state for themselves but themselves prefer to live in the secular West are hypocritical.

Saudi journalist Mishal Al-Sudairy (Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, August 1, 2019)

The following are translated excerpts from Al-Sudairy's article:

"... I hope that no one will think that this article of mine is simply mockery, or, heaven forfend, an attack [on the Arab world]. But I would like to state things clearly. The West, whether we like it or not, continues to lead the course of humanity toward progress, after discarding the constraints of superstition, from the Renaissance to this day. It's true that it was involved in horrifying and serious wars, but it quickly mended its ways, using democracy and human rights to help it do so.

"I was compelled to write [this article] today after hearing by chance from a fundamentalist [Muslim] who  was pouring out his rage at the 'colonialist' Western countries. [He claimed] that they are scheming against the Arab and Muslim countries with the aim of preventing them from advancing. This, he said, is because – pay attention – they 'fear them'! He cited Britain as an example, and stressed its racism, [adding]... that it is the 'source of all disasters,' according to him.

"I was surprised [by his sentiment], and wondered how he could accuse [Britain] of racism while millions of Arabs and Muslims live there lawfully, it has thousands of mosques, and numerous women in hijab and even niqab are out in its streets – and the English allow them to do this...

"He may not be aware that the current British prime minister [Boris Johnson] is of Muslim-Turkish origin, and that in an interview... with the Egyptian MBC TV he spoke about his family's historic roots in Egypt, where his grandfather worked as a cotton grower in the [Nile] Delta.

"Does he know that [British Chancellor of the Exchequer] Sajid Javid, who is of Pakistani-Islamic origin, was a minister in various ministries [in Britain], including the Home Office?! Does he know that London Mayor [Sadiq Khan] is a Muslim, that Lord Mayor of Birmingham [Mohammed Azim] is a Muslim, that Blackburn Council Leader [Mohammed Khan] is a Muslim, that the [former] Sheffield lord mayor [Magid Magid] is a Muslim, that the [former] Oxford lord mayor [Mohammed Altaf-Khan, currently Deputy Lord Mayor] is a Muslim, that Luton Mayor [Naseem Ayub] is a Muslim, that the [former London Borough of] Waltham [Forest] mayor [Saima Mahmud] is a Muslim [woman], and that Rochdale Mayor [Mohammed Zaman] is a Muslim?!

"The late [Iraqi author] Dr. Ali Al-Wardi said: If the Arabs were asked to choose between a secular state and a religious state, they would vote for a religious state but go live in a secular state...'"[1]


[1] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, (London), August 1, 2019.

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