Thursday, April 16, 2009

On Arab Civilization

With remarkable timing, after my post on the Crusades and the Arab world, John Derbyshire points to this clip from Al-Jazeera of Algerian author Anwar Malek decrying what Arab civilization has become (subtitled by the invaluable MEMRI-TV):
Anwar Malek: The Arabs are afflicted with fantasies and obsolete bravado... the Arabs believe they can go to the moon. If you asked your viewers whether the Arabs would be able to reach the moon by 2015, they would say: "Yes, the Arabs will get to the moon." By Allah, the Arabs will not go more than a few hundred kilometers from their doorsteps. These are empty words...

Interviewer: Look what small resistance movements have achieved, by means of very primitive weapons, in confronting aggressors and enemies. Can you deny this? This completely refutes what you say.

Anwar Malek: What resistance are you talking about? If you are talking about the resistance of Hizbullah – Hizbullah has destroyed Lebanon, in the framework of a Persian conspiracy. I say this point blank... The reality of the Arabs is one of defeat, hitting rock bottom. We are defeated, politically and militarily, and economically, socially, and even psychologically. We have a discourse of conspiracy, and we blame everything on others...

Interviewer: Didn't Egypt win several wars?

Anwar Malek: No. The 1973 war was not a victory. It was another defeat... No Arab country has won a war in modern times. There has been no victory worthy of mention. All we have are defeats, which we package as victories.
The 1973 war is rather famously the war that both sides won, and the Egyptian "victory" is one of the great sacred cows of the Arab history of the 20th century. This whole interview is a great example of how Arab media is far more open in some ways than our own.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Terrific to see (read) an honest Arab.

Thank you!