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Sep 25, 2009
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Kuwaiti Columnist Fouad Al-Hashem Presents the Reason for the Anti-Hamas Tone in His Articles

#2275 | 10:14
Source: Al-Arabiya Network (Dubai/Saudi Arabia)

Following are excerpts from an interview with Kuwaiti journalist Fuad Al-Hashem, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on September 25, 2009.

Interviewer: First of all, I’d like to talk to you about a provocative article which you wrote during the war on Gaza, under the title: “Use Chemical Weapons, Olmert.” In that December 2008 article, you called upon Olmert to intensify the torment of the people of Gaza, and you used the well-known slogan: “Use chemical weapons, Olmert.”1


Do you believe in that slogan – “Use chemical weapons, Olmert”?

Fuad Al-Hashem: It’s not my slogan. It’s [a paraphrase] of a slogan used by the Palestinians themselves in the days of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, when missiles were falling on Riyadh, on Khobar, and on Kuwait itself. They are the ones who coined this slogan...

Interviewer: Missiles did not fall on Kuwait, because it was occupied...

Fuad Al-Hashem: That’s right. Instead of standing alongside [the Saudi city of] Al-Dammam, which later suffered from the Iraqi invasion as well, they chanted [“Use chemical weapons, Saddam, from Kuwait to Al-Dammam”]. I just wanted to see how they would feel, what their reaction would be, if somebody were to utter a similar slogan.

Interviewer: But you do not subscribe to this slogan.

Fuad Al-Hashem: I don’t control the button for the Israeli nuclear weapons. I never said I did. Olmert controls the nuclear button.

Interviewer: True, but as a journalist, you express your opinions. Were you hoping that Olmert...

Fuad Al-Hashem: No, I just wanted to give them a taste of their own medicine.


Interviewer: During that same war, you wrote about the killing of Nizar Rayan, a Hamas leader. That article was provocative too, because you talked about a struggle “from between eight thighs.” You were criticized in the wake of that article.

Fuad Al-Hashem: Yes. Strongly criticized.

Interviewer: You don’t regret writing this?

Fuad Al-Hashem: No. The people who criticized me should ask themselves one question. In a time of war, when Israel is killing fighters on the streets of Gaza – what is a leader doing at home? He was among his wives when he was killed. What does a fighter do, in wartime...

Interviewer: Maybe he was strategizing...

Fuad Al-Hashem: Strategizing from between eight thighs is not appropriate for revolutionaries. In all the revolutions throughout history – the Cuban revolution, the Bolivian revolution...

Interviewer: Don’t you think that if someone is killed by the weapons of the Israeli occupation, it is inappropriate for a journalist to talk about [his wives’] thighs?

Fuad Al-Hashem: He’s the one who married eight...

Interviewer: Four wives.

Fuad Al-Hashem: Four wives – that makes eight thighs. I got it right. I just translated the number of wives into the number of thighs.

Interviewer: But don’t you think that was offensive?

Fuad Al-Hashem: If that was offensive, I wish they had offended us in such a trivial way during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and had accused us of something, or objected to something that way. But they supported the Iraqi invasion, and that is something we will never forget.


The Al-Watan newspaper has many Palestinian workers, and I help many of them...

Interviewer: You help them personally?

Fuad Al-Hashem: Yes, I help pay for their children’s schooling. They are wretched people. They are the victims of their leaders and their regime, who flung them into this wilderness. Look at the price that the Palestinian people paid for the position taken by the late Arafat regarding the invasion of Kuwait. Look what happened to the Palestinians in the Gulf.

Interviewer: Don’t you think it’s unfair to blame an entire people for the mistakes of its leaders?

Fuad Al-Hashem: If you are talking about the Palestinians around the world – it was really less of a problem. But the people living in Palestine, under occupation, gave the strongest support to Saddam Hussein. Whenever I hear Kuwaitis complaining about the Iraqi invasion, I remind them that the invasion had positive aspects too.

Interviewer: What positive aspects?

Fuad Al-Hashem: 450,000 Palestinians were living in Kuwait at the time, and suddenly, they turned against us. Only two Palestinians joined the Kuwaiti resistance. It’s strange that only two out of 450,000 supported us. One of the positive aspects of the invasion was that the Palestinians left, because the dinar lost its values, and wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on, and they all had children outside the country...

Interviewer: But almost all the Kuwaitis left as well. Only a few hundred remained. How can you complain that the Palestinians left, when the Kuwaitis did so too?

Fuad Al-Hashem: On the contrary, I think that Saddam Hussein did us a favor. The 450,000 Palestinians in Kuwait were a ticking bomb.


Interviewer: How many legal suits have been filed against you?

Fuad Al-Hashem: Over the past 30 years, more than 230 suits. I have been sued by countries and governments, most recently by Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem and by Al-Qadhafi.

Interviewer: Are there many Arab countries that you cannot enter?

Fuad Al-Hashem: A top Kuwaiti official once told me that not only can I not enter Arab countries, but I can’t even fly over them.

Interviewer: You are forbidden from entering Arab countries?

Fuad Al-Hashem: No, but I refrain from this. These are not the kind of countries over which one sheds a tear if one cannot visit. It would bother me if I could not go to Switzerland, but the countries of the Third World do not interest me.


With regard to religious ideology – you have the theocratic regime in Iran, the rule of groups in Somalia, and in Mauritania, which has become Islamic.

Interviewer: There is a religious stream in Kuwait as well.

Fuad Al-Hashem: What stream? It is a tsunami, a tidal wave.

Interviewer: Does it annoy you that the Kuwaiti people are religious?

Fuad Al-Hashem: No. What annoys me is the peddling of religion. The Kuwaiti people have always been religious. My grandmother used to pray five times a day, without ever having read Sayyed Qutb’s In the Shade of the Koran. Today, they philosophize so much that praying has become like Coca-Cola, like McDonalds.


Interviewer: You fight the Islamists, but you welcome singers. You write regularly about [Lebanese singer] Haifa Wehbe, writing: “Oh Allah, Nancy Ajram-ize our women!”

Fuad Al-Hashem: Nancy Ajram-ize them and Elissa-ize them too. Like [Lebanese singer] Elissa.

Interviewer: So you fight the religious, but you welcome female singers.

Fuad Al-Hashem: Would it be better if I said: “Oh Allah, Bin Laden-ize our women”? Would it be better if they looked like him, or like the beautiful women you show us on MBC and Al-Arabiya TV, like the TV presenters I saw when you gave me a tour of the Al-Arabiya studios?

Interviewer: Do you think it’s just a question of beauty?

Fuad Al-Hashem: Looks alone are not enough, but I don’t have time to look for content. Let’s feast our eyes on them, after constantly watching sheiks singing Islamic songs, the sheiks of terrorism, and of fatwas...

Interviewer: Do you have a problem with sheiks singing Islamic songs?

Fuad Al-Hashem: Yes.

Interviewer: Why? They don’t support terrorism. They call for peace. So they sing. What’s wrong with that?

Fuad Al-Hashem: What’s religion got to do with singing? Why shouldn’t they sing like Omar Diab?

Interviewer: What do you care? You can watch 500 channels. You don’t have to watch this.

Fuad Al-Hashem: When I was a kid, 40 years ago, we never heard of singing sheiks. But now, it makes money. Every singing sheik has his own TV channel.

Interviewer: In the past, people would write without getting a salary for it. The world has developed.

Fuad Al-Hashem: I’m not ready to watch someone with a beard singing religious songs.


Interviewer: On September 1, 2009, you wrote an article about the booby-trapped backsides of the mujahideen. You wrote: “The technique invented by Al-Qaeda, to stuff explosives into the backsides of the mujahideen, is not new. The novelty is that they stuff a receiver inside along with the explosives, so that they can blow up the mujahideen’s backsides from a distance, by means of a phone-call. This new tactic is dangerous not only for Saudi Arabia and the targeted Gulf states, but for all the security agencies in the world, as well as the airlines.” Do you think this tactic is dangerous?

Fuad Al-Hashem: Definitely. When a British guy booby-trapped his shoe, they began to make us all take off our shoes [at airports]. Following this terrorist tactic – what will they do to us Arab and Muslim passengers? These terrorists will get us all naked, and they will cause us endless embarrassment.

Interviewer: Thank you very much.

Fuad Al-Hashem: Will you keep those laughs, or edit them out?

Interviewer: We won’t cut anything.

Thank you, dear viewers. See you again in the next show. This is Turki Al-Dakhil, goodbye and Allah’s blessings upon you.

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