Following are excerpts from an interview with Saudi liberal Ibrahim Al-Buleihi, which was aired by Al-Arabiya TV (UAE) on April 6, 2005:
Ibrahim Al-Buleihi: Today, the Arabs and Muslims are the laughing stock of the world. We are a laughing stock, and nobody cared, but now we show that we have become innovative in the field of beheading, in the field of killing and in the field of bombing. These are the fields we are most innovative in. This is a complicated problem. We have become a burden, not only on ourselves but also on the world. The entire world is going backwards because of our actions. The Western and democratic countries such as America, Europe, Britain, and others have begun to change their laws to limit liberties.
Interviewer: Some criticize Western civilization for these extreme measures. Do you think [America] has justification for this?
Ibrahim Al-Buleihi: No doubt, it has justification. What's worse than being attacked in your own home?
Interviewer: Don't you think that America made enemies all over the world, including those who attacked it?
Ibrahim Al-Buleihi: They were America's enemies before they attacked it.
Interviewer: Because they think it hurts…
Ibrahim Al-Buleihi: I'm not saying America is innocent, but we must deal with… Look, If we want to confront America we cannot do it by force. The logic of force is a thing of the past. Besides, since we are the weakest people. The Muslims are the weakest people, How can we confront the strongest force in the world with the logic of force? Today we can reach an understanding with the West with reason and with the logic of persuasion.
The Westerners used to hate the Jews more than they hate the Muslims today. But by using the logic of persuasion, by influencing the leadership and the people, and by using the media, the Jews have managed to become the West's favorites. What made the Westerners undergo this change regarding the Jews? It was the ability to use reason and the logic of persuasion.
Interviewer: Which is the logic of the West…
Ibrahim Al-Buleihi: Of course, they were educated in the West.
If any Islamic country with America's strength were to be attacked, it would not be satisfied with the American response. To this day we talk about conquering Rome one of these days. This shows that we would follow the logic of invasion, if only we had the strength.
Interviewer: Many writers talk about a certain issue… I don't know if you don't have an opinion or you chose to ignore it – I mean the moral collapse of the West. Why don't you talk about this?
Ibrahim Al-Buleihi: What moral collapse?! Our concept of morality is mistaken and partial. Whenever we speak of morality we only mention the sexual aspect. This is a mistake because morality is not sex. I have made this observation in the past. It is like a person walks into a magnificent palace, which has wonderful and amazing things in it, but he chooses to look only at the garbage can. When we look at the West we focus on this aspect, but if they were morally collapsed… Culture is not moral values... "Nations with moral values remain standing. When their moral values disappear, so do they." The West has not disappeared. This means that their moral values are lofty. Their humanism is strong. It is most wonderful. Their professional ethics, their punctuality… All these are moral values. What are moral values? Moral values are not the relations with women. This is a small part of moral values.