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Jul 10, 2004
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Egyptian Researcher Wahid Abd Al-Maguid: Among Arab IntellectualsThere is an Inclination Towards Violence

#156 | 02:10
Source: Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar)

Dr. Wahid 'Abd Al-Maguid, Deputy Director of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, spoke on Al-Jazeera TV about 'an inherent flaw in Arab culture.' The following are excerpts:

Dr. Abd Al-Maguid: One of Egypt's greatest poets wrote in praise of Saddam Hussein, and mocked of Salah Al-Din Al-Ayubi. No more than two weeks after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, he published a collection of poems condemning Saddam Hussein. We must know that there is an inherent flaw in Arab culture and among Arab intellectuals. There is the problem of searching after false heroism. Heroism, in my opinion? In our days, the people's heroism is in labor, production, inventions, and building technology. This is what creates the real base of power of the countries and nations and not only the leaders or the intellectuals, who make empty speeches.

There is a problem in this issue. Also, among Arab intellectuals there is an inclination towards violence. Saddam Hussein was not the one who created the violence in Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a product of violence that spread in Iraq, among others it spread among all the Iraqi political circles and among many Iraqi intellectuals. The great poet, the late 'Abd Al-Wahab Al-Biati, wrote a poem while he was a member of the Iraqi Communist Party, threatening the Ba'ath Party members. The poem has a frightening stanza saying, 'We will turn your skulls into ashtrays for our cigarettes.'

There is an inherent flaw in the Arab culture. This culture glorifies violence and lacks the ability to conduct peaceful dialogue. There is a flaw in our democratic culture, responsible for many negative phenomena, including the phenomenon of Saddam Hussein and the instability that exists among all Arab countries. We must recognize the fact that Saddam Hussein did not fall from the sky. These Arab rulers did not parachute into these countries. There is an inherent flaw in our countries, societies, and cultures.

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