Lebanese researcher Rafic Nasrallah, Director of the Lebanese International Center for Media and Research, recently said that the Arabs “are not cultured enough to engage in freedom and democracy.” Nasrallah, a supporter of Hizbullah and the Assad regime, said that “there is no such thing as democracy in the Arab world,” because the Arabs have not overcome tribalism and “the spirit of the knife within us.”
Following are excerpts from the interview with the Lebanese Al-Jadeed network, aired on February 8, 2016.
Rafic Nasrallah: Give me one example of a democratic regime in the Arab world. Where? Where? In Saudi Arabia? In Jordan?
Female guest on TV show: What I'm trying to tell you is that democracy is built through heated confrontation. When everybody agrees on everything, you cannot build a democracy.
Rafic Nasrallah: There is no such thing as democracy in the Arab world. We are still controlled by tribalism. Even the Islamic religion – since the death of the Prophet Muhammad and to this day – could not overcome our tribalism, or the spirit of the knife within us. We are not cultured enough to engage in freedom and democracy. Democracy is a culture, not a slogan. You cannot just have elections. It's a culture!