3 readers online now  |  69 million page views

If only it weren't also true of the leaders and intellectuals

Reader comment on item: [Pew Poll on] How Muslims Think

Submitted by Yale Zussman (United States), Jun 27, 2006 at 13:51

The article notes the acceptance of conspiracy theories among the Muslim masses, but I have had an experience that demonstrates that the same mentality is present among Muslim leaders and intellectuals.

In a March 14, 2006, lecture at MIT, Dr. Rima Khalaf Hunaidi, Assistant Secretary General of the UN and Director of the Bureau of Arab States for the UNDP, attributed the economic and cultural backwardness of the Arab world to three causes: the war on terrorism, the "occupation" of Palestine, and a conspiracy among the Western powers with oil interests in the region to prevent the emergence of democracy.

When I pointed out that the Arab world's backwardness predates the now four-and-a-half year old war on terror by some two generations, she rejected the idea. When I pointed out that the Palestinians enjoyed their best economic and social development during the years when there actually was an occupation, she denied the accuracy of my data. I didn't see much point in pursuing the third "reason" she had offered.

Others in attendance picked up on the issue of when Arabs and Muslims would acknowledge that they are responsible for their own plight, but nothing any of us said could make even the slightest dent in her conviction that Arab backwardness is the result of an external conspiracy.

Submitting....

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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to If only it weren't also true of the leaders and intellectuals by Yale Zussman

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2022 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)