Vice President of the Tunisian Parliament Abdelfattah Mourou gave a lecture in the Dar Al-Hijrah Center of Fairfax County, Virginia, in which he said: "We are a nation that has lost the pillars of civilization: knowledge and justice. That is the reason for our backwardness today." Mourou further said that "the healing of the Islamic nation begins with the exchange of ideas" and called to learn how to talk "without one interrupting the other, cursing him, and calling him an infidel." His speech was posted on the Internet on November 20.
Abdelfattah Mourou: "30% of the [Islamic] nation, which was founded on knowledge, are illiterate. 30% of the Muslims cannot read or write well. A third of all Muslims are illiterate. What is this? The nation that was commanded [in the Quran] to read has become illiterate. How are we supposed to be successful and to progress? Through prayer? Do people make progress when they pray? When people pray, they secure their place by Allah.
"But in this world, you should establish yourself on knowledge and justice. Look at our peoples now! You have been leaving here [in the U.S.] for 25, 30, or 40 years. If you were told that you could return to your country, would you? No! You wouldn't because over there, you would not be respected, you would not receive a fair trial if you went to court, and because our countries are afflicted with favoritism, injustice, and bribery. You would prefer to live in this country, because here, there is justice. If I had a [legal] dispute with a born and bred American, I would get justice if I deserved it. We are a nation that has lost the pillars of civilization: knowledge and justice. That is the reason for our backwardness today. We are being divided, torn apart, bought and sold. We do not have money or a livelihood. Our countries own nothing. Everything is owned by others. The world has devoured us. Why? Because we have no knowledge and no justice. How do you expect us to make progress, my children?
"We must heal our nation. Avoiding treatment constitutes a crime. We must heal the Islamic nation. The healing of the Islamic nation begins with the exchange of ideas. We should sit down with one another, and learn how to talk to one another. In our nation, we are not good at talking with one another. I don't believe that we are capable of talking to one another for even three minutes without one interrupting the other, cursing him, and calling him an infidel."