Saturday, February 17, 2007

The suffocation and fear that totalitarianism imposes on the creative mind are well known and recorded, from the various criminal regimes that came and went during the twentieth century.

Arab Writers' Union - a racist body of state-enslaved intellectuals...

Najem Wali, an Iraqi writer who lives in Berlin, explains:


About a month ago, the Arab Writers Union held a general
meeting in Cairo. Representatives of subdivisions from all Arab countries
attended, with the exception of Iraq. This is nothing new for Iraqi writers;
they also missed the conferences in Damascus in 2004 and Algiers in 2005. What
is new is that the president of the Egyptian writer's union, previously known in
his capacity as secretary to
Naguib Mahfouz, explained to journalists before the conference that all subdivisions of the union had been invited with the exception of "the union that was created by the Iraqi government following the occupation." This union was suspected of maintaining relations "with the Zionist enemy."

Maybe the president of the Egyptian union, already known to be destined to become the president of the umbrella organisation, simply wanted to spare the Iraqis the arduous trip to Cairo so that they wouldn't be subjected to the indignity of being thrown out of their hotel (Arabian hospitality!), as happened in 2005 in Algiers – although the three conferences were financed by the Arab League, to which the currently "occupied" Iraq is proud to belong.

Anyone who seriously believes that the Iraqi delegation was excluded for the reasons named by the president will be chastened to learn that all Arab writers unions, including the Egyptian, are financed and overseen by the politicians of their respective countries. The accusation of collaboration with the "Zionist enemy" is an invention of the Arabic racist lexicon, a chewing gum term for local, supposedly "revolutionary" consumption and for official professional promotion.


French-Syrian Burhan Ghalioun is another Arab author who dares speak "truth to power", as described here:


Ghalioun was interviewed on Al-Jazeera television
suggesting why things might even be worse. It is to Al-Jazeera's credit that it
let him appear and say these things - though, ironically, the same station is a
prime example of the problem he exposed. What is new, Ghalioun explained, is the
growing control of radical Islamist clerics over the media.


Arab societies," he explained, "are
held hostage by two authorities." One is "political dictatorship - arrogant
dictators, who are inhuman in their oppression of liberties, and in their
crushing and humiliation of the individual." The other are the opposition
clerics "who tyrannize Arab public opinion nowadays."


Ghalioun points out, "There is a kind of undeclared, practical alliance between the political dictatorship and the dictatorship of the religious authority"

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