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Culture of " bakshish" in the Arab world

Reader comment on item: What Riyadh Buys [in Washington]

Submitted by Ron McGail, Phd (United States), Dec 14, 2002 at 18:16

To the Western eye it looks corrupted, but in Arab culture it is VERY acceptable.
I would even say it is normal.

Even intellectuals in Arab world totally accept this practice. In fact there is no way you can advance in this society without " bakshish" (bribe) to the official. I am not trying to blame this culture. This is just the way it is. Like "honor" killings. The fenomenon just not really known to general public, to my regret.

The morality and the way we in the Judeo-Christian West understand the role of government, clergy and society is totally allien to the Arab world. We are so ignorant and naive about it... Fighting their way of thinking without minimal understanding of their world and civilization...

Now Bush trying to teach them "democracy". It is easier to educate AIDS infected Africa to use condoms. But good luck anyway.

Dr. Pipes, thank you for your important work of educating us, the American public. Your articles are fact oriented and to the point. After 9/11 we can not afford to ignore those who try to kill us, no matter what their reasoning.

Please consider an article about corruption culture in the Arab world. The culture of BAKSHISH.

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Excellent topic, though I don't know that I am the right author for it.


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