Following are excerpts from an interview with Saudi Shura Council member Ibrahim Al-Buleihi, which aired on Channel 1, Saudi TV, on May 23, 2006.
Interviewer: Some elements in Arab and Muslim societies have intensified the hostility towards Arabs and Muslims, through their acts of violence and terrorism, to the point that we see images of slaughtering the other - American or European - live on TV.
Ibrahim Al-Buleihi: In my opinion, we should not describe these people as deviant. This is the product of our culture.
They are the product of a culture that believes the other does not deserve to live, and is an absolute enemy with whom no understanding is possible.
There is a fundamental flaw in our culture that leads to this behavior. This ideology, which was advocated by Sayyid Qutb, and which is implemented by those who kill innocent people - women, children, and people who have done nothing wrong - did not emerge out of thin air, but is the product of this culture. This is a one-dimensional culture, a culture of tyranny - tyranny in culture, in politics, in society, in the family, and in everything.
The "other" does not have to be someone completely different. When we disagree with someone, even over minor iussues regarding ritual purity, we regard him as the "other," we boycott him, we excommunicate him, defame him, level accusations at him, and so on.