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Arab intellectuals are not fulfilling their obligation to their people

Reader comment on item: But He Was Good to His Mother

Submitted by Jonathan Pfeffer, Dec 5, 2003 at 22:03

Dear Dr Pipes,

Permit me to rant, with the memory of the captured terrorists who were assigned to kill school children fresh in my memory. Arab societies are fraught with hate for the Jews. This we all know. But who are the victims of this hate and who is the guilty party? Of course the Jews are victimized by this deliberate hate campaign against them, yet Jewish people are generally not exposed to Arab hatred on a daily basis. And in any case, could easily find cover and protection.

The greater victims are the Arab masses. They are driven to perpetrate the worst form of racism the modern world has known and for their troubles, they remain one of the most under-achieving people on earth. The Arabs masses are taught that the world consists of three types of people, Muslims who are righteous, Jews who are sly bandits, and everybody else. Everybody else must undergo a personal battle to prevent themselves from coming under the spell of the Jews. Arab intellectuals of course, know this not to be true. Yet their own people that they are trained to inspire and uplift are stuck in an ignorant world and the Arab intellectuals are not in too much of a hurry to pull them out.

There is a pervasive tolerance by Arab intellectuals for ridiculous discourse about Jews and to a less extent, Americans. It's as if the collective Arab intellectual community has decided that the best way to get back at the Jews for 1948 is to allow their own masses to live in the dark ages, mired in conspiracy theories and flights of fantasy. Have the intellectual Arabs simply said to themselves, the Jews took part of our land therefore we shall not allow our people to grow intellectually, to understand the nature of humanity of this earth. We will not uplift our own people, so they become a brainless hate filled mob forever cursing the Jew. At least until the Jews of Israel come to terms with Palestine and sign a just deal?

Authors in the Arab world seem to have free intellectual reign to write any garbage conspiracy theory about the Jews that they want. Not a peep from the Arab intellectuals. Books and publications interpreting the Torah, informing Arabs what the Rabbis really meant by this and what Rabbis ask Jews to do about that. No anti-Semitic web site is complete without an "interpretation" of the Jewish Torah. What are these Arab intellectuals really trying to cover up? Is it the only way a society beaten by war can cope with defeat?

In our western tradition, intellectuals generally protect the integrity of diverse religions. They stand up for the minorities, the weak, the oppressed. Books are expected not to hark on the weaknesses of the weak. We expect more from our educated elites. We allow taxi drivers and short order cooks to talk silly talk on a small scale in front of friends and customers, yet rarely does this stuff every hit a printing press. Intellectuals who stumble upon hate theories usually shrug off this stuff, perhaps even a polite laugh for a poor slob who works hard for a living and never really had a chance to go to school. Intellectuals have an obligation to remind people that theories that attack or harm other people are held to a very high standard of proof and consistency. Usually too high a standard for any hate literature to earn any credibility.

Yet what is happening in Arabia? Intellectuals who know a lot better seem to not only to turn a blind eye to hate media, they often encourage it. Such is their revenge to the Jews and their crime against the Arab people. They are deliberately allowing the Arab people to live in the dark ages, denying them the thinking tools they need to advance in this world.

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