Friday, September 07, 2007

Anger as a way of life:

The New Centrist pointed my attention to this mischievous take on Islamic Pillarism:

Hatred of the West: the *7th* pillar of Islam

Hatred of the West has become the seventh pillar of Islam
(with Palestine being established as the sixth)

And they wonder why people ask “if they hate it so much, then why
do they come?

Criticizing things from time to
time is one thing - and is fair. However, going on these weekly rants about the
evil of the West - while not addressing any of your own problems - gets stale.
Then on top of all of that, these very people who make their career out of
hatred of the West - when threatened with deportation - will claim all of their
Western rights in order to stay and are only dragged out clawing, kicking and

I believe the author, Tariq Nelson, is on to something.

Take a look, yet again, at the astonishing views from one of the Arab-Muslim world pillars of intellectual progressiveness, Al-Jazeera editor-in-chief :

At whom are you angry?

It's not only the lack of democracy in the region that makes me worried. I don't understand why we don't develop as quickly and dynamically as the rest of the world. We have to face the challenge and say: enough is enough! When a President can stay in power for 25 years, like in Egypt, and he is not in a position to implement reforms, we have a problem. Either the man has to change or he has to be replaced. But the society is not dynamic enough to bring about such a change in a peaceful and constructive fashion.

Why not?

In many Arab states, the middle class is disappearing. The rich get richer and the poor get still poorer. Look at the schools in Jordan, Egypt or Morocco: You have up to 70 youngsters crammed together in a single classroom. How can a teacher do his job in such circumstances? The public hospitals are also in a hopeless condition.
These are just examples. They show how hopeless the situation is for us in the
Middle East.

Who is responsible for the situation?

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most important reasons why these
crises and problems continue to simmer. The day when Israel was founded created
the basis for our problems. The West should finally come to understand
Everything would be much calmer if the Palestinians were given
their rights.

Do you mean to say that if Israel did not exist, there would suddenly be democracy
in Egypt, that the schools in Morocco would be better, that the public clinics
in Jordan would function better?

I think so.

Can you please explain to me what the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
has to do with these problems?

The Palestinian cause is central for Arab thinking.

In the end, is it a matter of feelings of self-esteem?

Exactly. It's because we always lose to Israel. It gnaws at the people in the Middle
East that such a small country as Israel, with only about 7 million inhabitants,
can defeat the Arab nation with its 350 million.
That hurts our collective ego. The Palestinian problem is in the genes of every Arab. The West's problem is that it does not understand this.


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