Kuwaiti liberal Ahmad Baghdadi was interviewed by Al-Arabiya TV. The following are excerpts:
interviewer: You don't distinguish between armed religious groups and unarmed ones. It seems as though you perceive them almost the same.
Dr. Ahmad Al-Baghdadi: Yes, they are the same. There are no moderates in the religious groups. If you put them to test, their true essence will come out, and you'll see that they support violence.
Interviewer: I mean they are all cut from the same cloth.
Dr. Ahmad Al-Baghdadi: Yes.
Interviewer All the religious people are the same.
Dr. Ahmad Al-Baghdadi: I am not talking about individuals. I am talking about a phenomenon. Read their books. I am not referring to someone who goes to the mosque but never writes anything, I am talking about writers, members of the Muslim Brotherhood, about members of Jihadi Salafism. People who are active in these groups. I think that what is happening today in Saudi Arabia proves this to a great extent.
If you go back in Western thought, you will find, in 500 BCE, the writings of Aristotle, the ideas of Socrates, The Republic of Plato regarding the polity, and other matters. Who do you find in your heritage?
InterviewerAl-Kawakibi, for instance.
Dr. Ahmad Al-Baghdadi :Al-Kawakibi is modern and based himself on Western thought.
Dr. Ahmad Al-Baghdadi :Ibn Khaldun contributed nothing (new) except for his theory of tribal zeal. He contributed nothing about liberty or democracy.
InterviewerYou mean that there is nothing in all the Arab and Islamic thought?
nothing pertaining to liberties and (political) regimes?
Dr. Ahmad Al-Baghdadi :Yes, nothing.