Skip to comments.The Coming Arab Rennaissance?
Posted on 06/16/2003 12:39:51 AM PDT by TomAdkinsCC
The Coming Arab Rennaissance? In their own words By Tom Adkins - CommonConservative.com
If you listened to the chattering class, you might be tempted to think Arabs hate the United States of America. Watching Al-Jazeera, you might think Arabs are angry that Americans dared send our military troops to violate their sacred land. If you listen to the network talking heads and newspaper editors around the nation, you might be tempted to believe Arabs prefer their 14th century existence, and want nothing to do with democratic ideals that are not in synch with their religious dogma. You would be wrong.
Today, there is a growing movement not only demanding an Arabian cultural renaissance, but pointing out the value of outside forces, notably the United States, to help sweep away the bloody, nationalist and religious dictators who dominate the Middle East. Has this thought gurgled up from Neocon thinktanks? Or from crazed chat rooms at Free Republic? Hardly. And this movement certainly isnt sprouting from those who pontificate from the safety of a New York newsroom, the Capital steps or a comfy chaise in a suburban Philly home office, who visit the Middle East from time-to-time, then return like a pompous messiah, expecting their elitist friends and the New York Times to bless them with adulation and credibility. No, these intellectuals hail from Palestine, Lebanon, Tunisia, Quatar and Egypt. They live the Middle East 24/7/365. When they write this stuff, they face chopped hands and death squads. Its the real thing. And their view is quite different. Enlightened, you might say. And it is exclusively Arab.
In the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Ayyam, columnist Taufiq Abu Bakr noted, "Although no one likes to see foreign soldiers in his country the sons of Uday and Qusay would still be in power into the next century. The idea of 'international humanitarian intervention' must be developed to rescue peoples who cannot, on their own, escape the grip of savage rulers who suppress any opposing voice because these savage rulers suppress any voice of opposition." What does the Arab Street say about such heresy? An opinion poll by Faisal Al-Qassem on his show on Al-Jazeera television [showed] 80% said they preferred [Western] imperialism to nationalist Arab regimes.
Dean of the Faculty of Shar'iah (Islamic Law) at Qatar University Sheikh 'Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, in the Saudi English daily Arab News tells this story The musings of a simple Iraqi from a liberated area caught my attention. He said: 'The Arabs left us and did not liberate us. Why are they attacking the coalition which wants to liberate us?' Why is this simple fact not realized by our men of culture, our intellectuals, our men of the media and our religious leaders, the men who call for participation in 'Jihad?'"
To answer this simple question, lets make a very long story all too short, Arab culture led the world in 800 A.D., but was swept under the Ottoman Empire for over a thousand years. Arabs had the great misfortune of liberating themselves just in time to become carved up into colonialist pieces after WWI and WWII. Without freedom to blossom, only two things simmered under the thousand-year-yoke of alien domination: Islam and nationalism. When freedom arrived towards the end of the Twentieth Century, these seemingly disparate twin pillars were sucked into the leadership vacuum. Bakr notes, "In their attempt to skip over gradual [development, these nationalists] stopped the natural development of their Arab societies. [This movement] was buried while in its cradle in favor of revolutionary ideas, which could not possibility come to fruition." Fueled by emotion and petrodollars, the darkest aspects of hatred sprang forth, creating the strange, sick alliance of religious fundamentalism and agnostic totalitarians. In this environment, modern Arab culture was born.
Bakr continues, 'Over Many Decades, the Trends of Nationalism, Socialism, and Islam have not led to democracy, freedom, or social justice in the Arab World'. Actually, the same can be said for the rest of the world. Theocracies are always hopelessly backward, seeking the comfort of God by fearfully excluding everything else. Socialism is merely Communism's baby brother, and ruins a nation in direct proportion to its embrace. Nationalism is behind almost every war in recorded history. And of course, most western European election campaigns.
But from stoning women or cutting hands off criminals, the sick condition of Arabic culture has been well documented. The Lebanese daily Al-Nahar Columnist, Rajah Al-Khuri admits contemporary Arabism includes tremendous measures of hatred and barbarism. Thats a bullseye. But since the American forces liberated Iraq, the sight of Iraqis combing through mass graves looking for slaughtered relatives has begun to turn heads in the Arab world. Al-Khuri continues, the graves contained bullet-riddled skulls, bodies wrapped in rags Ropes still tied a mother's bones to her infant's, and a father's to his son. Columnist Ureib Al-Rintawi, in the Jordanian daily Al-Dustour, wrote, the dictatorship of the Iraqi Ba'ath dictatorship reached the level of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
Now, the role of Arab media is being questioned. Al-Ansari asks, Why did the Arab Media consent to align itself with the Iraqi regime? The answer was stated by the director of one of the satellite channels: 'It is competition. Either we win the viewers or others win them.' Thus he summarized the Arab media. Their aim is to win the street at any price by fanning the flames of its emotions. The Arab media was characterized by selectivity. Their biased point of view was imposed on listeners. That is hardly an exclusive phenomenon of the Arab media.
Now that the facts are known, indignant questions are being imposed upon the Arab street. Al-Rintawi says, So far, no one heard a single word not an apology, not an announcement to betray an ounce of shame and disgrace, in light of the daily horrific ignominy done to the image of the Arabs by Saddam Hussein's Columnist Rajah Al-Khuri wrote in the Lebanese daily Al-Nahar, "What is required is an Arab apology to the world for the Saddamic crime, an apology to the dead in their mass grave an apology to the slaughtered Iraqi people, after there were among us those who tried to prolong this slaughter by defending Saddam, claiming that they were protecting the Iraqi people!" Good luck, Mr. Rintawi. Cheerleaders boast of their enthusiasm, but rarely repent for their team's performance.
Even the long accepted practice of suicidal martyrdom is being questioned. Ahmad Shawqi 'Iffat, in the Egyptian opposition daily Al-Wafd sarcastically wonders, Oh, geniuses of bygone days, if we want to send a message that the Palestinian people is alive, can't we find a way other than martyrdom operations, that have caused us all this unbearable damage? Furthermore, I think and there are many others like me who aren't [saying] that these are not martyrdom operations. At some point, the fallacy of futility has to dawn upon the people.
Then, is Arab culture approaching a crossroads? We now face a schism in Arab culture columnist Hazem Saghiya wrote in the Arabic-language London daily Al-Hayat, between those who want to eliminate tyrannical dictators, and Those who want to oppose the U.S. in obliviousness Funny, Mr. Saghiya. Thats hardly an exclusively Arabic phenomenon either.
And so, lets applaud the age of Arab Renaissance, ushered in by these wise Arab thinkers. Bakr states, We are in need of a revival of enlightenment, away from the revolutionary [ideas] We will not enter the stage of revival and enlightenment as long as we do not shake up the conventions and as long as we do not thoroughly investigate our convictions. This was the way towards the Renaissance in Europe, and we have no other." Not that Europe is a shining example of intellectual brilliance, but hes on the right track.
So there you have it. The real Arab intellectuals are rising up, believing it is time to face the facts, rethink its culture and end the age of self-deceit. As the Arab world absorbs the rude revelations of Saddam Husseins vicious crimes, its harder and harder to ignore the mass graves, the gassed children, the torture chambers, their biased media and the benevolence of the United States in liberating grateful Iraqis. The new Arab thinkers recognize that they were deceived, at the cost of millions of innocent brothers and sisters. They seek a world in which they can begin an Arabian renaissance, free from religious and nationalist dictators. And they would appreciate the United States if we helped remove the tyrannical obstacles.
Now, we shall see if this enlightenment can extend to the rest of the world, where elite thinkers are more concerned with self-serving political gamesmanship, and have yet to experience the same enlightenment.
-----Tom Adkins is the publisher of CommonConservative.com-----
That is exactly what I get form the liberal talking heads - that sonehow arabs are the latest 'noble savage' to reject modern western ideals. Just look at the latest polls in muslim countries which show generations of ignorance and savagery - yet the most advanced country in the history of makind is somehow to blame the world's ills.
. . . We now face a schism in Arab culture columnist Hazem Saghiya wrote in the Arabic-language London daily Al-Hayat, between those who want to eliminate tyrannical dictators, and Those who want to oppose the U.S. in obliviousness Funny, Mr. Saghiya. Thats hardly an exclusively Arabic phenomenon either.
Hey! I resemble that remark!
Not as much as me!
It's amusing to me when I hear how Islam "brought math and science to the world". As a lover of astrology you should be aware that Saint Augustine, (354 - 430 AD -), accurately predicted solar and lunar eclipes right through the 20th century. The ancient Egyptians, (Africans), who were thriving two thousand years before Islam conquered and infested their culture, were already practicing advanced mathematics and medicine, as well as astrology. To this day scientists cannot figure out exactly how the great Pyramids were constructed. I have no doubt that the Muslims of medieval times, who conquered about 65% of all Christian lands, (North Africa, middle east, Byzantium, Spain, Balkans, etc), learned from those they conquered.
I love that pun that cleverly employs the bi-valent, ambiguous phonetic value of the letter J! I predict this catch-phrase of yours will start showing up frequently and widely in the universe of discourse.
The "arabic number" system also came from India. Islam did OK as long as it had a continuous flow of slaves and loot. When the expansion of Islam was halted and (reversed in Europe), it went into rapid decline. To survive well, Islam needs an inflow of unearned wealth, whether from conquest or oil money