December 22, 2004 Special Dispatch No. 832

Syrian MP Dr. Muhammad Habash Denounces the American Culture of 'Violence' and 'Cruelty'

December 22, 2004
Syria | Special Dispatch No. 832

In May 2004, MEMRI's TV Project reported on an interview that Syrian Member of Parliament Dr. Muhammad Habash conducted with Iran's Al-Alam TV, in which he criticized the U.S. for imposing a culture of violence and hatred on the world.

On December 19, 2004, Dr. Habash sent a statement to the Damascus office of Al-Arabiyya TV, and subsequently called in to an Al-Arabiyya news show, to express his indignation at being denied entry to the U.S. just a few days earlier. Dr. Habash criticized the U.S. for turning him away, arguing that he had in the past organized several Syria-U.S. dialogues through his role as head of the Islamic Research Center, and demanded an explanation from the U.S. government: "What do the Americans want? The Americans don't want to hear any Arab voice, any Islamic voice." [1] Dr. Habash further said, " I was going to America to represent the tolerant voice of Islam." [2]

The following are excerpts from Dr. Habash's May 9, 2004 interview on Al-Alam TV: [3]

"When the American adventurer arrived [in America], the good Indians carried his luggage and rejoiced while shooing the flies from the face of that American adventurer who came to them. They did not notice the dagger he concealed.

"I want to talk about the philosophical roots of this condescending culture, a culture that realizes the desire for expansion at the expense of others. Take for example Nietzsche, the 19th century philosopher. I personally view him as the philosopher of American administrations and philosopher of American policy. He speaks very clearly about the need to create a superman and that the creation of superman, the creation of a strong man, requires the annihilation of the weak from the face of this earth. Nietzsche said through Zarathustra in his book 'Thus Spake Zarathustra' and which angered the Zoroastrians who condemned these words… Nietzsche says, 'If we want to build our culture we must crush the weak, oppress the weak, crush them, climb all over their corpses. We must fulfill this duty in order to build our culture.' Nietzsche says that Christian values are lethal poison [impeding] any cultural development. He said, 'We work and our fathers worked just to sustain the poor, the miserable, and the weak. We must supply the poor with an honorable and quick death so we can build the culture, this cultural giant, this superman.' These words are not an attack on American culture. This is exactly what a well-esteemed philosopher wrote… You cannot claim that Americans are Nietzscheans in this sense, because the American fighter now operating in Iraq has probably never heard of Nietzsche…

"Let me tell you. I must clarify this idea. The culture that is exported today, through Hollywood, for example, is a culture of violence, a culture of films ending usually with the policeman bleeding and the robber hugging his lover and smoking a cigar. These images glorify cruelty, glorify force, glorify the man who is victorious because of his might and his weapons. This is the language that still controls these people's culture…"

[1] Al-Arabiyya TV (UAE), December 19, 2004.

[2] New York Times, December 21, 2004.

[3] Al-Alam TV (Iran), May 9, 2004. Please see MEMRI TV Project clip #64,

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