Why Arabs Don't Say Sorry


By Nonie Darwish
FrontPageMagazine.com | May 25, 2004
In Moslem culture, during the Daheyah (Sacrifice) feast, Moslems bring a lamb into the home for a ritual slaughter accompanied by the invocation 'Allahu Akbar', in the presence of the family and the children. Now we see the Daheyah of Radical Islam to be Jews such as Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl, who were beheaded with no mercy, accompanied by the same pious invocation. This is a perversion of Islam, but don't expect an apology.

To expect Arab and Moslem leadership to apologize for the barbaric murder of Nick Berg is a reflection of the West's naïve and wrong expectations of Arab culture. In the Arab world to take responsibility and say sorry is taken as an unmanly sign of weakness that may get a person into more trouble. Those who admit guilt, even if it is accidental, are given no mercy and may end up taking all the blame and being brutally punished. It is the norm for Arabs to deny a fact (however blatant) and blame others rather than admit to the wrongdoing and apologize. Honesty is not rewarded.

Bush apologized for the humiliation and abuse of Iraqi prisoners. His apology was taken by the Arab media and the 'Arab Street' as an admission of guilt and a sign of weakness. It was not appreciated as taking responsibility to find out the truth behind the events that happened due to the actions of a few Americans.

If 19 Americans had committed a terrorist act comparable to September 11, and belonged to a terrorist American network against any nation on earth, the reactions on all sides would have been very different than what we have seen. Any sitting US president would apologize and take immediate action to stop the terror coming from America. Americans would be outraged. In our 'politically correct' liberal culture, the media and academia would urge all of our citizens to a collective self-psychoanalysis, to uncover the 'root causes' of how WE could have caused such evil behavior. They might find the American terrorists to be victims of the American culture that drove them to become monsters, and would blame themselves and everything American for their behavior. A cultural war would break out with each camp blaming the other for the creation of American terrorists. Money to fund studies would start pouring into college campuses and think tanks to get to the bottom of the issue. In fact, some hate-America activists already blame the US for the acts of rage-filled Muslim extremists, and leftist think tanks are examining how we can make amends to them for "forcing" them to attack us.

The fact is, we have a commitment to moral values and hold ourselves up to an ideal. This is not the case in the Arab World, where our enemy operates without any moral restraints whatsoever.

Terrorism is the direct result of the radical Islamist culture that is flourishing all over the Arab world and promoted by Arab media, governments, educational systems and religious leaders. Terrorists are given training camps, money, power and respect for doing God's work for Jihad. Arabs understand that they cannot win a war against the West. All they can succeed doing is to indoctrinate one generation after another for martyrdom. Their secret weapon is the anger and rage of the Arab street. It is a powerful weapon that they treasure. They will not allow the West to undo the fear and anger fed to the beast on the Arab Street waiting for the next explosion. How can anyone expect them to apologize for a deep-rooted cultural and religious mission to defeat or kill infidels, especially Jews?

Most Arabs still blame Israel for 9/11 and even 3/11 in Spain. We cannot expect these countries to sincerely cooperate with the international community to end terror and its barbaric brutality. Americans should stop expecting Arab/Moslem culture to respond rationally. Arab power is derived from oil, terror and manipulative PR campaigns.

Most Arabs do understand America's current dilemma in Iraq and they do not sincerely want to help. They know we want to leave honorably after stabilizing the situation and establishing a new Iraqi democratic government. We set a date in June to hand over power. You would think that if they want America to leave they would be on their best behavior so we could finish the job painlessly. However, the opposite is happening. They have increased the violence and brutality.

Many have said "we want a Vietnam with America" and seek any excuse to hurt us. Arab media and leadership are promoting a bloody scenario. They want to see America leave humiliated, even if it is at the expense of the Iraqi people and the region. Above all they do not want to see America, a non-Moslem Superpower, succeed in bringing a better life to the Iraqi people, especially when all the Arab countries stood by doing nothing to stop Saddam's brutal regime.

The Arab media understand that America has no desire to occupy Iraq, but they never miss an opportunity to give the raging masses their daily dose of anti-America rhetoric. "America wants to hand over the keys of Iraq to Sharon" was a recent heading in Egyptian newspapers. The fact that our own media does not take steps to counter Arab media games obfuscates the situation even more.

There are many reasons for Arab and Moslem silence. However, fear of speaking out is no longer a credible excuse. Day in and day out all we see out of the Arab world is anger, revenge. Their culture is out of control. The Arab street is afraid of Arab leaders and Arab leaders manipulate and foster this fear, and unleash it on America, Europe, Israel and innocent victims such as Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl.

Ms. Darwish is an American of Arab/Moslem origin and a former editor and translator. Her e-mail is noniedarwish@hotmail.com

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