Following are excerpts from an interview with Kuwaiti poet Abd Al-Rahman Al-Shimri, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on December 26, 2010:
Interviewer: You appeared on a radio show, and said that you refused to defend the Prophet Muhammad, during the crisis of the offensive cartoons in Denmark.
Abd Al-Rahman Al-Shimri: That is correct.
Interviewer: You support rapprochement, yet you refuse to defend the Prophet Muhammad?
Abd Al-Rahman Al-Shimri: When talking about the defense, we need to talk about how the attack began.
Interviewer: Where did it begin?
Abd Al-Rahman Al-Shimri: The attack began from our side, not from Denmark.
Interviewer: In what way?
Abd Al-Rahman Al-Shimri: Did Denmark launch a war against the Muslims, and destroy the mosques of the Islamic communities there, or was it an individual who drew the cartoons? It was a single person. Is it reasonable to expect a country – or all the Muslim countries – to sever diplomatic ties with Denmark, because one person drew cartoons?!
What Denmark did – was it the action or the reaction?
Interviewer: You may think it was the reaction, but it was the action.
Abd Al-Rahman Al-Shimri: How many times have we heard, since we were children, Friday sermons – and you know how vehement our religious discourse is, including at school – in which all other denominations and religions are accused of heresy? They pray day and night: "Oh Allah, annihilate them, oh Allah, turn their sons into orphans and their women into widows," and so on. This vehement rhetoric is not in keeping with the Koran, which says: "Do not revile their gods, lest they revile your God." "Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion." We are constantly provoking people, but when we ourselves are harmed, we say: They did this, that, and the other to us. This is wrong. We need to examine ourselves. Who affronts the Prophet Muhammad on a daily basis? We do.
Abd Al-Rahman Al-Shimri: With all our interpretations to hadiths, and the use we make of false hadiths and myths. You see the results.