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memri
November 21, 2001 No.
302

Terror in America (27) Kuwaiti Columnist on Arab Political Culture

Kuwaiti university professor Ahmad Al-Baghdadi recently wrote an article titled "Sharon is a Terrorist – And You?"which first appeared in the Kuwaiti paper Al-Anbaa and was later picked up by the Egyptian weekly AkhbarAl-Youm[1]. The article attacked the Arab press for focusing on Israel's actions but disregarding what was beingdone by Arab rulers to their own people. Al-Baghdadi is best known for his October 1999 one month prison sentencefor defaming Islam in an article which claimed that the Prophet Muhammad had failed to convert infidels during histime in Mecca. Following are excepts from Al-Baghdadi's November 2001 article:

"Sharon was a terrorist from the very first moment of the declaration of the establishment of the Zionist entity; on this there is no dispute. He carries out terrorist assassinations of Palestinians; no doubt about that."

"But can anybody prove that Sharon has carried out terrorism against the citizens of Israel who elected him? This has not happened. The Zionist entity does not terrorize and imprison its intellectuals and writers. The Koran orders us to act fairly even to our enemies… [thus, it must be acknowledged that] while the prime minister of the Israeli entity rises to power by democratic elections, in the Arab world or the Islamic world there is no such elected prime minister."

"The Arabs and the Muslims do not carry out terrorism against [Arabs]. This was a fact up until September 11, the day on which a 'group of martyrs' [as bin Laden said in his first recorded speech after the event] killed 7,000 innocent people! But even before that, and up until that moment, didn't the Arab [rulers] carry out terrorism against their [own] citizens within their [own] countries?"

"Islamic religious rulings permitting [people's] blood, about which the Arab Muslim people and its leaders - who believe in the religion of mercy and peace [meaning Islam] - remain silent, exist only in the Arab world. Incidentally, such a ruling permitting the blood of an individual, or even of an animal, has not been heard from a Christian clergyman since the Middle Ages. The Muslims deserve a Nobel Prize for their invention, to allow for such a religious ruling to continue [to this day]."

"Persecuting intellectuals in the courtrooms [of Arab countries], trials [of intellectuals] for heresy, destruction of families, rulings that marriages must be broken up [because one spouse is charged with apostasy] – all exist only in the Islamic world. Is this not terrorism?"

The [Arab] intelligence apparatuses that killed hundreds of intellectuals and politicians from the religious stream itself… The Zionist entity has never done [such things] against its citizens. Isn't this terrorism?!"

"The capability of the intelligence apparatus in every Arab and Islamic country to arrest someone and make him disappear… does not exist in Israel and in the West. Isn't this terrorism?!"

"Iraq alone is a never-ending story of terrorism of the state against its own citizens and neighbors. Isn't this terrorism?!"

"The Afghans were living a good and healthy life - though they fought each other - until the Muslim Arabs came in and brought them into the hellish circle of terrorism, and now they are paying the price!"

"Who hijacked the Kuwaiti plane and killed Kuwaitis? Wasn't it the believing Hizbullah?"

"The Palestinian Arabs were the first to invent airplane hijacking and the scaring of passengers. Isn't this terrorism?!"

"Arab Muslims have no rivals in this; they are the masters of terrorism towards their citizens, and sometimes their terrorism also reaches the innocent people of the world, with the support of some of the clerics."

"Today, the Arabs and the Muslims are paying the price of their terrorism towards their citizens and towards the world. They are persecuted and humiliated across the civilized world. They are rejected in both the West and the East. In restaurants, in airplanes, in buses – everywhere they are spit upon. One cannot complain to the West for what it is doing to them, because the Arab and Muslim world, everyone – governments and peoples – are lying about terrorism."

"The Muslims claim that Islam is a religion of peace and brotherhood. Even Saddam Hussein begins his speeches of menace with the words, 'Al-Salaamu Alaikum.' Al-Azhar comes out in demonstrations against the author of the story 'A banquet for the seaweed,' 18 years after it was written.[2] This is a nation whose ignorance makes the nations of the world laugh! The Islamic world and the Arab world are the only [places] in which intellectuals - whose only crime was to write - rot in prison. The Arabs and the Muslims claim that their religion is a religion of tolerance, but they show no tolerance for those who oppose their opinions."

"For over 500 years, no author or intellectual in the infidel West has been murdered, while religious rulings permitting the blood [of people] in the Arab and Islamic world [are given away for] free. The governments and the people are silent, and this means that they support these criminal rulings."

"Now the time has come to pay the price. Nothing comes without a reckoning, and the account is long – longer than all the beards of the Taliban gang together. The West's message to the Arab and Muslim world is clear: mend your ways or else…"[3]


[1] Akhbar Al-Youm (Egypt), November 3, 2001.

[2] The publication of the book by Syrian author Heidar Heidar in Cairo in 2000 gave rise to student riots, instigated by the Islamic movement.

[3] Ibid.