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memri
December 1, 2003 No.
618

U.S. Liberal Arabic Website Rebuttal to Mahathir's Speech

In response to former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Muhammad's address at the Islamic Summit Conference on October 16, 2003, Bassam Darwish, editor of the U.S.-based liberal Arabic site http://www.annaqed.com, wrote an article, titled "A Complex Waiting to be Solved." [1] The article was a rebuttal to Mahathir Muhammad's speech in which he claimed that Jews control the world and encouraged Muslims to unite to achieve a "final victory." The following are excerpts from the article:

Mahathir's Speech Encouraged Ignorance Among Muslims

"'Despite its relatively small size, the Jewish society has become a force, and we [the Muslims] cannot fight it only by means of force [but must] fight it also by means of our wits… We need today cannons, missiles, bombs, fighter planes, tanks, and destroyers in order to protect ourselves…'

"These are some of the words included in the speech of [former] Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Muhammad at the opening of the conference of the Organization of Islamic Countries, which demanded of Muslims 'to use their wits' and urged them 'to adopt science and education as means' in the war against the Jews – whom he described as 'ruling the world.' The leaders of the Muslim countries who were present at the conference all stood up and roundly applauded the speech.

"Certainly, none disagree with Mahathir's call 'to adopt science and education,' and no one in the free and civilized world longs to see one-fifth of mankind rotting in the darkness of ignorance – as their ignorance causes more damage to the world than it does to them. The problem is that this statement came from a man who does not understand the meaning of science… When a Muslim leader… encourages the Muslims to adopt science for only one purpose – in order to be better and stronger than the Jews, Christians, Buddhists, and others, and in order to be able to annihilate the Jews – he is actually not urging Muslims to cling to science but to cling to ignorance itself, and to a mad dash backwards…

"When Louis Pasteur consumed his days and nights with searching for a cure for rabies, the goal before him was man, whoever he may be, and not proof that he was better than the Jews or the Muslims. This is true for every Western scientist, whether he be a Christian or a Jew, and there is no doubt that it is also true for every Muslim scientist. When Ibn Sina wrote his medical books… he did not state that their goal was to achieve superiority over the Jews, Christians, or Hindus… and when the heads of universities in the West speak before students, they reiterate to them that they [i.e. the students] are about to obtain for themselves higher scientific education so as to take part in building a better world – and not that the purpose of their scientific studies is to achieve superiority over the Muslims and other people."

Muslims' 'Jewish Complex' Began With Islam

"The Arab Muslims are not the only ones suffering from a 'Jewish complex'… Even a Muslim living on the most remote island suffers from this complex, which appeared not because of the founding of the Zionist movement or the establishment of the State of Israel, but with the creation of Islam itself.

"For the sake of balance, we must point out that even in the West they suffered from this disease, but with one difference: the roots of the disease among Westerners are [not] religious, [but] man-made, while the roots of the disease among the Muslims were and remain religious and made by Allah. Therefore, it is no wonder that it was easier for the Westerners to rid themselves of their disease, while among the Muslims the disease became malignant, and can only be gotten rid of by a divine instruction that will 'abrogate' Allah's previous instruction…

"'The Jews control the world' is the chorus of all those who cannot swim with the flow [and cannot use their minds like] the Jews use their minds. The Jews never controlled the world. They survived in this world despite their small number, and despite the persecution that they suffered throughout history. They were merchants, scientists, physicians, lawyers, and wealthy men, as well as ordinary people who worked hard for their bread and their existence. They helped each other, lived a communal life, and united [as a society] not with the goal of taking over and controlling the world but in order to continue to exist in it as a minority, against the majority that never stopped attempting to destroy them.

"Had this basis of the Jewish existence developed to the point of ruling the world… they would have deserved it by rights, because they did not consume their days and nights with consulting over questions [such as] whether it is legitimate for a Muslim or a Christian to greet them first, or whether it is permitted for a Muslim to wish the Christian well on the occasion of his holiday. [Instead], the Jews devoted themselves to learning and working, and in this way preserved and based their existence.

"Mahathir Muhammad urged the Muslims of our time 'to cling to science' in order to produce cannons, missiles, bombs, fighter planes, tanks, and destroyers to defend themselves – but to defend themselves from whom? From a mere 14,000,000 [Jews] who managed, throughout history and by their wits alone, to protect themselves from persecution and annihilation?!

"The Muslims do not need missiles, tanks, and cannons to rid themselves of their 'Jewish complex.' This complex will be resolved when the Muslims try to see the world through non-religious glasses. The Muslims' belief that the entire world is a single front against Islam is correct… and how can it not be correct, if the Muslims [themselves] see the world strictly through religion?"

The Muslims are Responsible for Creating A Cultural Separation Fence

"Everywhere in the world, and in Israel as well, people, politicians, and Christian and Jewish clerics go to demonstrations and declare their solidarity with the Palestinians and the Arabs. And what, in contrast, is happening on the Arab and Islamic side? It is not the Israelis who elected Sharon as Israeli prime minister but the Arabs and Muslims. It is not the Israelis who are working to build the separation fence, but the Arabs and Muslims.

"When we hear of spontaneous marches in the streets of the Arab and Muslim countries condemning the suicide and terror operations aimed at innocent people in Israel and other places, and demands for trials for those who encourage them – then the fence will fall without using a single axe.

"When we hear of an Arab leader standing and delivering a speech fervently before his people, saying that the time has come to reach out to the Israelis and cooperate with them in order to create a just peace in the region for us and for them, then Sharon will retire and open a coffee shop in Tel Aviv.

"When we hear of an imam in a mosque giving a sermon to the worshippers and saying to them that the most supreme form of worship is for them to go out and shake the hands of their Jewish and Christian neighbors, or bear in their hands olive branches and throw them [at their neighbors] rather than stones – then the separation fence will fall by itself and the Israelis will beat their tanks into plowshares for building both Israel and Palestine. "Then the memory of Mahathir Muhammad and his ilk will fade into the dustbin of history."


[1] www.annaqed.com/news/complex_waiting_to_be_solved.html, November 2, 2003. The site states that it is for "Arabs in the U.S..... to work as a catalyst to their minds, educating them about the importance of loving this great country, by criticizing the wrong and the wrong-doers whatever and whomever they might be." For the English section, see http://www.annaqed.com/english.html