Following are excerpts from an interview with Bahraini Shura Council member Samira Rajab, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on October 22, 2010:
Samira Rajab: In my view, [9/11] was a fabricated operation, which occurred following the end of the Cold War, in order to create a new ghost, which would replace the ghost of Communism.
Interviewer: Was Al-Qaeda fabricated or not? Does it even exist?
Samira Rajab: Basically, there is no organization called Al-Qaeda.
How many incidents were contrived at specific points in time, in order to support certain causes? For example, in the US elections, a certain political party might be in need of an attack, and indeed, an attack is carried out on that day... Many things need to be discussed at length.
Interviewer: Weren't the prisons packed in the days of Saddam Hussein, who ruled the country with fire and brimstone?
Samira Rajab: These things have often been said, but even if we assume that there is a grain of truth to them, is there any comparison between what is happening in Iraq today and what was happening prior to the occupation? Prisons are being inaugurated all over the world. Today, the US does not make do with the prisons it built on remote islands...
Interviewer: You are saying that the prisons are packed in Iraq, but they were packed in the days of Saddam Hussein as well.
Samira Rajab: No. it was not as bad as the anti-Iraqi media depicted it. In today's Iraq, it is not just about the prisons. Blood is being shed, and when people leave their homes in the morning, they cannot be sure that they will return home safely, in light of all the bombings.
Interviewer: Do you believe that security takes precedence over democracy?
Samira Rajab: There is no democracy without security.
Interviewer: The Bahraini press has criticized you harshly. In 2005, the press denounced what you wrote about Imam Sistani. Do you regret what you wrote about Imam Sistani, following the reactions, the protests, and the threats you received?
Samira Rajab: I do not regret it. What I wrote did not justify all this mayhem.
Interviewer: Don't you think that this is an affront to a religious symbol revered by millions?
Samira Rajab: When such a religious symbol engages in politics, he becomes a public figure, and he must be held accountable.