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Culture Clash

Reader comment on item: [Saudi Arabia:] Not Friend or Foe

Submitted by Tom Dykes (Canada), Oct 7, 2002 at 19:06

...I am a Canadian, born in the England, nurtured by America's Marshall Plan.

I stopped and thought of how lucky we are to be part of a cultural mix that has astounded humanity with so much benefit - science, the arts, governance, etc. and, even with our 'warts', we are a society that seeks to do good. I am blessed with access to wonderful art, literature, music, sport, humour, cinema and the list goes on. Then I thought of the Saudis, the Al-Qaeda, and all the Muslim fanatics who have, in the last few decades, leapt from a 12th Century existance based on hate and fear, into a modern world. What music, art, humour, sport or literature do they enjoy?

What have these "cultures of hate" contributed to the betterment of humanity? Why are we so deferential to them? How can we allow these entities to dictate and distort? There has to be a new political/diplomatic thinking 'outside the box' in order to deny them the disproportionate power they currently enjoy by default.

Our schools and educational institutions are bending over backwards to initiate programmes that promote understanding and appreciation of diversity. This cultural consideration is not reciprocated in much of the Arab World - in fact, in many Islamic states it is dangerous for anyone to discuss other religions or advocate an appreciation for them. In Saudi and Pakistani Madrasses, hate of the west is a curriculum requirement.

I note that today, from his cave (an appropriate abode) bin Laden has issued further threats to America and the west. His Youths of God will strike again. I wonder, what kind of God would tolerate this evil individual?

The eradication of this culture of hate has to be Job One. There are great things to be achieved in this new century and the Saudi backed Al-Qaeda et al must not be allowed to put the rest of the world off track.
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