Saudi Shura Council Member Al-Buleihi: Arab Culture Immersed in Violence and Hatred of the Other
In a recent TV interview, Saudi Shura Council member Ibrahim Al-Buleihi said: "We produce this kind of people [who carried out the Paris attacks and 9/11], this kind of hostility." "We are immersed in this violence, because we are immersed in the hatred of the other," he said in the interview, which aired on December 5 on Al-Arabiya TV. While the West is not perfect, "the Westerners are apologizing today for what their forefathers did, whereas we are still praising the conquests and raids [of early Islam]," said Al-Buleihi.
Following are excerpts:
Interviewer: Are we living in a violent environment? Is our culture violent?
Ibrahim Al-Buleihi: Undoubtedly yes. We are immersed in this violence, because we are immersed in the hatred of the other, and believe that we are always in the right, and that the falsehood of the other is absolute. This perspective makes us hate whoever does not agree with our way of thinking and our way of life.
Since over two centuries ago, since the French invasion of Egypt, we have incurred huge shocks, but have not benefitted from them in any way. We still delude ourselves into believing that we are better than the others, and that therefore, we must not embrace anything from the experience of others.
Interviewer: But we are suffering oppression…
Ibrahim Al-Buleihi: But we also oppress others.
Interviewer: Are we supposed to be held accountable for what ISIS did in Paris or for what Al-Qaeda did in America in 2001? How is it our fault as Muslims? Why should we all be blamed for the crime of a few?
We produce this kind of people, this kind of hostility. The people killed in America or in Paris, for example, are innocent people who have nothing to do with politics.
Interviewer: The people killed in Iraq are also innocent, and so are the ones killed in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. The West is not as noble as you claim…
Ibrahim Al-Buleihi: In Syria today, Arabs are killing Arabs. Muslims are killing Muslims. In Iraq today, Muslims are killing Muslims.
Interviewer: America had its share of killing in Iraq as well, and the Russians are killing today in Syria. All I am saying is that Western culture is not as noble as you are depicting it.
Ibrahim Al-Buleihi: What I am saying is that it is the lesser evil. I didn't say it was perfect. The most important thing is your ability to change. The ability to change is the yardstick of civilization. The Westerners are apologizing today for what their forefather did, whereas we are still praising the conquest and raids [of early Islam]. We even call for new raids, even though we don't have the power to carry them out.