Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Real Enemies Of The Arab World

Moderate Voices

An article originally published in the Arab News and republished in The Canadian Jewish News says that the Arab world has to stop blaming Israel for its problems. Abdulateef Al-Mulhim, a retired Saudi naval officer, writes:
I decided to write this article after I saw photos and reports about a starving child in Yemen, a burned ancient Aleppo souk in Syria, the underdeveloped Sinai in Egypt, car bombs in Iraq and the destroyed buildings in Libya. The photos and the reports were shown on the Al-Arabiya network, which is the most watched and respected news outlet in the Middle East. 

The common thing among all what I saw is that the destruction and the atrocities are not done by an outside enemy. The starvation, the killings and the destruction in these Arab countries are done by the same hands that are supposed to protect and build unity in these countries, and safeguard the people of these countries. So, the question now is, who is the real enemy of the Arab world?

The Arab world wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and lost tens of thousands of innocent lives fighting Israel, which they considered their sworn enemy, an enemy whose existence they never recognized. The Arab world has many enemies, and Israel should have been at the bottom of the list.
The real enemies of the Arab world are corruption, lack of good education, lack of good health care, lack of freedom and lack of respect for the human lives. As well, the Arab world has had many dictators who used the Arab-Israeli conflict to suppress their own people. 
These dictators’ atrocities against their own people are far worse than all the full-scale Arab-Israeli wars. 

True enough. That the writer of this article is from Saudi Arabia is a pleasant surprise; it also shows that one can never know enough about the currents of though that reside in nations, even ones as repressive as Saudi Arabia. The benefits of such an article are many, and I sense that it will result in many good things, not the least of which is honest discussions between Arabs and Israelis, who have many things in common.

Moreover, the algemeiner reports that Al-Mulhim's voice is not a rare one: “You would be surprised, a lot of people don’t realize how much media freedom we have in Saudi Arabia. The editor-in-chief of Arab News told me from day one I didn’t have a red line. I could write practically about anything that’s of course logical. I never got any hate mail from anybody who was upset with the article because most of the people think what’s in the article is the reality."

You can read the rest of the article at [Canadian Jewish News]


  1. Perhaps if the world of Islam had not been obsessed with the idea of destroying Israel, Muslim women would have the same opportunities that women in Western countries have.

    1. True, and more so, it could have focused on improving the lives of its citizens through better education and healthcare.

  2. I find this testimony a refreshing start towards further self-evaluations, projections and resolutions.

    It is so true to deny the allegation that Palestinians under Israeli governance have little freedom. It is, equally, right to acknowledge that many have far more freedoms than Christians, Jews, women and free thinkers, for example, have elsewhere in the Arab world. But it must be acknowledged. It cannot be forgotten. After that, we must get to the roots of hatred or, if at least, intolerance.

    This was refreshing... and should be used as a stepping-stone towards resolutions and religious freedoms in Saudi Arabia, as a start. It will calibrate dissonance worldwide. But acknowledging the right of Israel to exist must be coupled by the right of Jews and Christians and various Muslim sects to exercise their faith, peacefully, in the heart of the Arab world and elsewhere in the Near East.


    1. Religious freedom and tolerance is one of the historical cornerstones of human freedom.


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