On an Al-Jazeera TV show, Kuwaiti journalist Abd Al-Aziz Alqenaei said that while democracy, human rights, and secularism were universal principles, there was no "essence of freedom" in Islam. It would be better to have no democracy than a "demagogic democracy," which ultimately would evolve into corruption, he argued, adding that he was talking about the entire Arab and Islamic world. Speaking on the network's "Opposite Direction" show on April 25, he said that Western countries were "justifiably" afraid of the Islamic peoples. "These peoples are undergoing Islamic brainwashing. They are time bombs," he said, getting into a shouting match with the show's other guest, Tunisian Professor at Sorbonne Muhammad Hneid, who argued that intelligence agencies were carrying out the terror attacks in Europe and that Islam was a religion of tolerance that does not advocate death.
Abd Al-Aziz Alqenaei: "The West teaches us about democracy and spreads it, and we learn about it through our curricula and the social media, as well as through our books of philosophy and other books. It teaches us about human rights, democracy, and secularism, but does it force each and every one of us to learn about these notions and values? No. It leaves it up to the people. The principles and values of democracy, human rights, and secularism are universal principles..."
Interviewer: "Not just Western ones."
Alqenaei: "That's right. The world has gone through globalization, and (ideas) are not restricted to a specific group of people... It's not that democracy and secularism are strictly American, whereas the Arabs - or others - are not allowed to enjoy them. No, these ideas are open for all. Take them, and put them to good use. You tell me that (Arab) peoples are demanding freedom. Brother, the Arabs can't even stand in line. They do not know how to ride a bus or stand in line for bread. What freedom are you talking about? They are demanding the 'freedom' of the Islamic shari'a, which calls for criminal and repugnant 'rights,' like stoning criminals and chopping off hands. Are these human rights? What 'essence of freedom' is there in Islam? I see none."
Interviewer: "98 or 99 percent of the population of the Arab and Islamic region are Muslims. Are we supposed to round them up and drive them out of the region, and replace them with secular peoples to your liking? Brother, the culture of these people is Islamic and Arab. Turkey is a Muslim country. 99 percent of its people are Muslims. Are you criticizing Erdogan and the Turks for praying and practicing Islam? When will these attacks stop? These Western attacks are anti-Islam, not pro-democracy. You say that in Turkey, they want to change (the constitution), but who is behind this? It was voted for by the Turkish society."
Alqenaei: "The people who voted for this lack a culture of democracy. If there was an established culture of democracy... True the vote was real, but when it is a demagogic democracy that brings about the change..."
Interviewer: "Are you talking about the entire Arab and Islamic world?"
Alqenaei: "Yes. Thousands of years ago, Plato and Aristotle warned us that a culture of demagogic democracy will evolve into a corrupt democracy. In such a case it would be better to have no democracy at all."
Interviewer: "The West does not want us to have democracy. Look how the West supported the new democracies in Eastern Europe, when they revolted against the communist system. They embraced them, gave them money, and supported them. But what did the West do in our own countries? These are peoples who have given rise to terrorism."
Alqenaei: "What terrorism are you talking about? The western countries are afraid of the Islamic peoples, and justifiably so. Most of these (Muslim) nations are criminal. These peoples are undergoing Islamic brainwashings. They are time bombs."
Muhammad Hneid: "Didn’t Mufti (of Syria) Hassoun and Bashar say that they would send people to carry out bombings in Europe? Who is doing the bombings? Who is carrying out the terror attacks in Europe? They are being carried out by (intelligence) agencies."
Alqenaei: "None of it is done by agencies, brother. It is done by Muslims."
Hneid: "Islam does not advocate death. 'Whoever kills another person - unless it be for manslaughter or corruption on Earth - it is as if he killed all mankind.' 'Whoever does not rule according to what Allah revealed - they are infidels."'
Alqenaei: "Just as there are verses in the Quran that call for tolerance."