In a 2005 address, Saudi writer Zuhair Kutbi said that the Saudi education system and media preached hatred toward others - toward Jews, Christians, and Shiites. Kutbi said: "We must stop fooling ourselves, and we must stop saying: Thus said Allah, and thus said the Prophet." Hatred "has already taken root within us," he warned. The address was posted on the Internet on December 15, 2005.
Following are excerpts:
Zuhair Kutbi: "Our Saudi people has a high propensity for rejecting the other – home and abroad. If we go back 30-40 years in time and listen to address by (Saudi) officials, we will see that these included nothing but curses against the infidels, the people of the Book, and the Jews. In Friday sermons in the KSA, we do nothing but curse the Jews and Christians. We have been taught – and it is written in our textbooks – that they are 'the People of the Book.' Our textbooks have also taught us that the Shiites are apostates, ant that the Islam of the Sufis in incomplete. The Saudi man on the street says this. It is said in public meetings. We have acquired hatred. We have created this hatred by out pedagogic means. The media does nothing but write about the Zionist, the Jews, the infidels, and so on. We have forgotten how dangerous this huge media machine is, and what influence it has upon the people. Therefore, it is hatred that drives us.
"If we want to live side by side with others, we must be realistic. We must stop inventing theories, we must stop fooling ourselves, and we must stop saying: Thus said Allah, and thus said the Prophet. We read the Quran and the Sunna, but we heed them not.
"Our children grow up in our homes, but we do not give them a chance to talk. The teacher can do whatever he wants. The university professor can do whatever he wants. The president of the university can do whatever he wants. The minister can do whatever he wants. And now, out of the blue, we want to conduct reforms?! Well. I think it's difficult. We have been fooling ourselves for 50-60 years, and now we want (to fix things) through the official National Dialogue Center... I am certain that this will be futile. I am desperate. The reason for my pessimism is that (hatred) has already taken root within us. "