Three reactions in the Arab press to the Times Square bombing attempt
First from “our friend” Egypt’s Al-Masaa which is the evening edition of the Egyptian government Al-Gumhouriyya. They want to know what all the fuss is about:
“The huge fuss that the U.S. has been making since it announced the exposure of the attempted car bombing in Times Square… is truly outrageous. The U.S. has brought many charges against [the suspected perpetrator], including [involvement in] global terrorism and use of weapons of mass destruction.
“The U.S. seems to have forgotten that it is the world’s number one terrorist. If a couple of propane tanks, some fertilizer, and some fireworks count as WMDs, what do we call the terrible weapons employed by the U.S. in its attacks on the peoples of the world? …Since the Americans occupied the Iraqi city of Falluja in 2004 using phosphorus and depleted uranium bombs, there have been frequent cases of [women who] miscarry [because] their baby is deformed…”
Yeah, so there, we deserve it, by George. And by the way:
“And of course it was some country other [than the U.S.] that used WMDs against the Vietnamese people during the years of [its] occupation [there]. Three million Vietnamese are still suffering from the effects of those weapons, and deformed children are still being born there…”
Of course. As an aside, Arab journalism isn’t noted particularly for having any foundation in truth telling, but it sure can be inflammatory. Suffice it to say, though, this “journalist” is a bit obsessed with deformed babies and children. Unless, of course, they might be walking through Times Square at the wrong time. Then – no biggie.
Saudi Arabia may surprise you just a little. This is from an editorial the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh:
“Even if the investigations have not yet uncovered which [group] Shahzad, who tried to explode a car [bomb] in Times Square, belonged to, this New York incident is one instance of insane delirium. Even if the [police] never get a lead on this attack, its ramifications for the entire Muslim world are deadly. This is because we are incapable of restraining the emotion of the [Western] peoples when they see sights that harm them – even if the U.S. administration headed by [U.S. President Barack] Obama is closer and more open to the Muslim world [than the previous U.S. administration]. Moreover, this attack has become a motive for criticizing Obama for his efforts at rapprochement with the Muslims.
“Another problem is that the ramifications of this affair will ignite enmity towards the Muslims and Islam worldwide…
So Obama is our friend, Western people are reactionaries and stuff like this will “ignite enmity towards Muslims and Islam worldwide.” Well duh. How often do you have to be attacked by people of a particular religion who cite their religion as the reason for the attack (among others) before you begin holding a little enmity toward those who are a part of it?
The editorial then offers a little bit of reality for the terrorists:
“Terrorism will exist as long as it has repositories of human and material supplies, and as long as there are forces, and perhaps even countries and organizations, that support [it]. [These elements should know] that even if [their] adversary is harmed [by terrorists,] he is [still] stronger and has greater capabilities to hunt them down and to start a war [against them]. This happens whenever a superpower [targeted by terrorism] needs to defend its national security.”
And, of course, that will happen as long as terrorists continue to attack it and its interests. Human Nature 101. But nice to see the point acknowledged. Then perhaps the best paragraph in the editorial:
“The Muslim world, including all its governments, institutions, and regimes, must condemn this [Times Square] incident – not out of sycophancy towards the U.S., but because our religion vehemently opposes such actions. Furthermore, if we deal with these events wisely and in accordance with our own interests, in order to protect the reputation of our religion and our collective conduct, this will prove to others that we are a society that hunts down terrorism of any kind whatsoever. It is not enough to reject terror on the grounds that the terrorists harm more Muslims than non-Muslims – because the principle [of opposing terror] is the same, whether [the target is] a foreign country, an Islamic country, or members of other religions.
“In order to persuade the other nations [not to equate] Islam with the actions of the terrorists, we must prove that we are share the responsibility [for fighting terrorism], along with all the countries of the world and their peoples.”
Well said – and a welcome change.
Meanwhile, perhaps the most strange of the three comes from an Iraqi columnist living in the US and writing for www.elaph.com. He explains that most Muslims in the US have no feeling of loyalty to it and actually harbor feelings of hostility toward it instead. He makes the argument that the US is too easy on suspected and potential terrorists and that in order to avoid future attack, the US needs to do a little “infringing” on Muslim human rights:
“America is home to about seven million Muslims. Most of them, even if they are not terrorists, do harbor hostility towards the U.S. and feel no loyalty to it. As an Arab and Muslim, [I tell you] that it is difficult to find a Muslim who loves America; those [who do] constitute a tiny minority among all those millions.
“The rationale and need to defend American security and protect [American] lives make it necessary to make sacrifices and infringe on the [existing] laws and charters of human rights. The Muslims must be subjected to the principle of collective suspicion. Individuals whose presence [in the country] causes concern or who have a potential to cause problems must be monitored, pursued and placed in preventive detention, which is not subject to time restrictions or require [the presentation of] evidence. They must [even] be stripped of their citizenship and deported.
He obviously supports profiling and Joe Lieberman’s “strip them of their citizenship” approach. I know a lot of folks that share his vision of how to treat those like himself.
So there it is – a look at how some Arabs in the press view the Times Square bombing – the good, the bad and the ugly.