[Homestead] First self-cricism of Arab states
tvoivozd at infionline.net
Sun Sep 5 00:00:03 EDT 2004
This is without precedent in the lockstep Arab world. I don't give it
much credence---the flow of money to Al Aksa, Hamas, Hezbollah will go
on unimpeded. You cannot reverse the investment of $70,000,000,000
Saudi dollars and thirty years of preaching vitriolic hate for Israel
and the West, with a fleeting sense of revulsion, quickly extinguished
with the next newspaper headline advocating nuking Israel and
handclapping over the next bombing of Israel buses, restaurants, a lot
of it by brainwashed children.
Sep 4, 2004
Russian School Siege Prompts Horrified Self-Criticism in Arab Media
By Maggie Michael
Associated Press Writer
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Muslims worldwide are the main perpetrators of
terrorism, a humiliating and painful truth that must be acknowledged, a
prominent Arab writer and television executive wrote Saturday, as Middle
East media and officials expressed horror at the bloody rebel siege of a
Unusually forthright self-criticism followed the end of the hostage
crisis, along with warnings that such actions inflict more damage to the
image of Islam than all its enemies could hope. Arab leaders and Muslim
clerics denounced the school seizure as unjustifiable and expressed
Russian commandos stormed the school Friday in Beslan, Russia; it had
been taken over by rebels demanding independence for Chechnya. Russian
officials said Saturday that the death toll was in the hundreds - many
of them children.
Images of terrified young survivors being carried from the scene aired
repeatedly on Arab TV stations. Pictures of dead and wounded children
ran on front pages of Arab newspapers Saturday.
"Holy warriors" from the Middle East long have supported fellow Muslims
fighting in Chechnya, and Russian officials said nine or 10 Arabs were
among militants killed.
"Our terrorist sons are an end-product of our corrupted culture,"
Abdulrahman al-Rashed, general manager of Al-Arabiya television wrote in
his daily column published in the pan-Arab Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. It
ran under the headline, "The Painful Truth: All the World Terrorists are
Al-Rashed ran through a list of recent attacks by Islamic extremist
groups - in Russia, Iraq, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen - many of which
are influenced by the ideology of Osama Bin Laden, the Saudi-born leader
of the al-Qaida terror network.
"Most perpetrators of suicide operations in buses, schools and
residential buildings around the world for the past 10 years have been
Muslims," he wrote. Muslims will be unable to cleanse their image unless
"we admit the scandalous facts," rather than offer condemnations or
"The picture is humiliating, painful and harsh for all of us," al-Rashed
Contributors to Islamic Web sites known for their extremist content had
mixed reactions on the hostage crisis, with some praising the
separatists. Others wrote that people should wait until the militants
had been identified before implicating Arabs in the drama.
Ahmed Bahgat, an Egyptian Islamist, wrote in his column in Egypt's
leading pro-government newspaper, Al-Ahram, that hostage-takers in
Russia as well as in Iraq are only harming Islam.
"If all the enemies of Islam united together and decided to harm it ...
they wouldn't have ruined and harmed its image as much as the sons of
Islam have done by their stupidity, miscalculations, and
misunderstanding of the nature of this age," Bahgat wrote.
The horrifying images of the dead and wounded Russian students "showed
Muslims as monsters who are fed by the blood of children and the pain of
Mohammed Mahdi Akef, leader of Egypt's largest Islamic group, the
outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, said in general, kidnappings may be
justified, but killings are not. He said the school siege did not fit
the Islamic concept of jihad, or holy war.
"What happened yesterday is not jihad because our Islam obligates us to
respect the souls of human beings; it is not about taking them away,"
Akef told The Associated Press.
Ali Abdullah, a Bahraini scholar who follows the ultraconservative
Salafi stream of Islam, condemned the school attack as "un-Islamic," but
insisted Muslims weren't behind it.
"I have no doubt in my mind that this is the work of the Israelis who
want to tarnish the image of Muslims and are working alongside Russians
who have their own agenda against the Muslims in Chechnya," said Abdullah.
An editorial in the Saudi English-language Arab News put some blame for
the bloody end to the school siege on Russian President Vladimir Putin,
saying he couldn't afford to lose his "tough-man image." But it added
that "the Chechens, with the choice of their targets, had put themselves
in a position where no one would shed tears when the punishment came.
They reached a new low when they chose toddlers as bargaining chips."
Heads of state from Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait and Yemen offered their
sympathy Friday to Russian officials and to the families of people
caught up in the hostage drama. A prominent Muslim cleric also denounced it.
"What is the guilt of those children? Why should they be responsible for
your conflict with the government?" Egypt's top Muslim cleric, Grand
Sheik Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, was quoted as saying during a Friday
sermon in Banha, 30 miles north of Cairo.
"You are taking Islam as a cover and it is a deceptive cover; those who
carry out the kidnappings are criminals, not Muslims," Tantawi, who
heads Al-Azhar University, the highest authority in the Sunni Islamic
world, was quoted by Egypt's Middle East News agency as saying.
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