In a TV discussion about the reasons for the failure of the Arab Spring, Tunisian professor Muhammad Hneid of the Sorbonne University said that the Arabs destroyed their revolutions with their own hands. The discussion was aired on Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) on July 14, 2021. Hneid continued to say that the Arabs have become "addicted" to occupation and colonization and they are killing and slaughtering one another. He added that that the Syrian shabiha militia, the PA security services, and the Iraqi PMU, all treat their people worse than the Russians, Americans, or the Israelis. Hneid said that if the Arabs do not assume their historic responsibility, then they will remain on the margins of history and they will reach the state of apes, "fighting each other on trees." Syrian journalist Ahmad Kamel said that the Syrian revolution failed because of foreign intervention that caused Hizbullah, Iran, and the Russians to invade Syria. To this Hneid replied that anyone who blames foreign powers is just trying to escape facing the problem. He added that only when the Arabs admit they are the problem will they begin their revival.
Muhammad Hneid: "Why have we deteriorated to such an extent? Was it due to external reasons, foreign conspiracies, Zionism, imperialism – all the narratives of the disgraceful elites and the Arab regimes? Or was it us who destroyed our revolutions with our own hands? From mere acceptance of being occupied and colonized, we moved to a complete addiction to occupation and colonization. Today, we are killing one another. We are slaughtering ourselves with our own hands, from Mauritania all the way to Iraq. You mentioned many examples, and in all these cases, Arabs are killing one another. We are killing one another, using various means: sectarianism, partisanship, and whatnot. The foreign [powers] play a secondary, modifying role, having found fertile ground for this ruin and destruction.
"If you asked today any European country like France or Germany – or the U.S. – to occupy our [countries], they would refuse. The local minions of colonialism have grown more vicious than foreign ones. When a Syrian is nabbed by the pro-Assad shabiha militia...They are more vicious than the Russians, the Americans, and others..."
Host: "And more vicious than the Israelis, too..."
Hneid: "When PA security forces nab a Palestinian, they are more vicious... Yes, they are more vicious than the Zionists. When an Iraqi is nabbed by the PMU militias, he prays to Allah that he would have been nabbed by the Americans. We reached such a level of brutality and slaughter that we dig out bodies from their graves and burn them. If we do not extract ourselves from this level of deterioration, and if we do not assume our historic responsibility, we will remain on the margins of history, and we will reach a stat that was mentioned by the late Dr. Mustafa Mahmoud, who said that we had transformed into monkeys, and are like apes on trees, fighting one another, and the gap of knowledge between us and the other nations is the same as the gap between humans and animals."
Ahmad Kamel: "We acknowledged our mistakes, our maladies, and the state of our society. We determined the goal, set our sights on it, and we accomplished it. The first goal was to topple the regime. We cannot reform society, the education system, and the media, as long as we have such a regime. It is impossible. The first step is toppling the regime. We set our sights on this first step, and we toppled the regime. The regime crumbled in 2012.
"A certain party in this world, said to Hizbullah: 'Invade Syria.' Invading Syria is no trivial matter. A certain party said to the Lebanese Shi'ite Hizbullah army: 'Invade [Syria] and finish off this revolution.' It didn't work for them – we defeated the [Syrian] regime and Hizbullah. There is a certain party – foreign, not local – who said to the Iranians: 'Now you invade [Syria], and take the Iraqis, the Afghans, and the Pakistanis with you.' It didn't work for them. We defeated them. We defeated them several times. So they brought in the Russians."
Muhammad Hneid: "People who blame foreign [powers] are trying to evade the problem. They are like a child who, when asked why he did not do well on an exam, says that the teacher hates him, or like a soccer team that, when asked why they were defeated, say that the referee was against them, there were no fans, and the wind was blowing...When you assume your historic responsibility and admit that you are the reason for the problem, then you will begin your revival."