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May 13, 2003

INTERESTING STUFF FROM THE ARAB NEWS, courtesy of an alert reader. First there's this piece:

Who are we trying to fool? Ourselves or the international community? Neither can be fooled.

Itís about time we got our act together. The time of pretending that radicalism does not exist in Saudi Arabia is long past. The time for pretending that we are above errors and could not possibly commit terrorist attacks is no longer with us. It has got to stop. Change must come now. We as a nation cannot afford to leave it to its own slow pace. Itís either now or never. It also must cover all aspects of our life ó the school, the mosque, the home, the street, the media.

How can we tell the rest of the world that we are tolerant of other religions and faiths when some of us are not even tolerant of other schools of Islamic thought?

How can we expect others to believe that a majority of us are a peace-loving people who denounce extremism and terrorism when some preachers continue to call for the destruction of Jews and Christians, blaming them for all the misery in the Islamic world? . . .

We needed to hear three questions that are never asked. Like dust, they are swept under the carpet: Why are more and more Saudi young men being fed with radical ideas? Who are the people brainwashing them? How are they being radicalized?

And so it happens that so much dust is swept underneath the carpet that it finally bursts out in full view of everybody. At last, the truth that was hidden has come out.

And then, there's this:

It goes without saying that those responsible, those who poisoned the minds of the bombers, those who are planning to become bombers, must be tracked down and crushed ó remorselessly and utterly. But crushing them will not be enough. The environment that produced such terrorism has to change. The suicide bombers have been encouraged by the venom of anti-Westernism that has seeped through the Middle Eastís veins, and the Kingdom is no less affected. Those who gloat over Sept. 11, those who happily support suicide bombings in Israel and Russia, those who consider non-Muslims less human than Muslims and therefore somehow disposable, all bear part of the responsibility for the Riyadh bombs.

We cannot say that suicide bombings in Israel and Russia are acceptable but not in Saudi Arabia. The cult of suicide bombings has to stop. So too has the chattering, malicious, vindictive hate propaganda. It has provided a fertile ground for ignorance and hatred to grow.

Interesting reaction.

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