An Algerian author who is as bluntly critical of his own community as Gore Vidal is of his.
Algerian Author Anwar Malek: The Arabs Have Lost Their Worth, Their Humanity, and Their Culture
Following are excerpts from an interview with Algerian author Anwar Malek, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on March 3, 2009:
Interviewer: 73% of our viewers believe that the Arabs constitute a great power, and have ability to be influential, and so on.[...]
Anwar Malek: This figure indicates that the Arabs are afflicted with fantasies and obsolete bravado.
Interviewer: False bravado.
Anwar Malek: False, empty bravado, which does no good to anybody. The Arabs invented, or discovered, the zero – but what did they do with it? Some of them sat on it, some put it on their heads, while others wore it around their waists, and began shaking their hips, their bellies, and their breasts, in order to sell to the world the idea that modern Arabs are doing something. Today, the Arabs constitute nothing but thousands of zeros to the left... The Arabs have lost their worth, their humanity, their culture, and everything. There is nothing to suggest that the Arabs can be relied upon to produce anything.
This false bravado is deeply rooted in the Arabs to an unimaginable degree. It is so deeply rooted that the Arabs believe they can go to the moon. If you asked your viewers whether the Arabs would be able to reach the moon by 2015, they would say: "Yes, the Arabs will get to the moon." By Allah, the Arabs will not go more than a few hundred kilometers from their doorsteps. These are empty words.
In all honesty, the Arabs are backward, and are not fit for civilization at all. I am not referring to history. I am talking about the Arabs of today. I'm not talking about the Arabs of the past, in the days of the Islamic conquests. I am talking about the Arabs of today. They have lost their Arab identity, and have begun to export shawarma, falafel, and lupin beans to Europe, and they purport to be bringing something Arab to Europe.
Anwar Malek: They call it civilization.[...]
The Arab rulers are a reflection of the people. The Arab rulers did not come down from Mars or from the sun. They emerged from among the people, and share the same beliefs. If you placed any Arab citizen in power... I challenge any Arab citizen, who may become a ruler, to do anything beyond what the current Arab leaders are doing. There is no difference between the Arab rulers and the Arab peoples. All those who are called "Arabs" are one and the same.[...]
Interviewer: Look what small resistance movements have achieved, by means of very primitive weapons, in confronting aggressors and enemies. Can you deny this? This completely refutes what you say.
Anwar Malek: What resistance are you talking about? If you are talking about the resistance of Hizbullah – Hizbullah has destroyed Lebanon, in the framework of a Persian conspiracy. I say this point blank. As for the resistance in Palestine – they are defending themselves. They are a group of people defending themselves from attacks from all directions. What did they achieve? Did they defeat or destroy Israel? I consider it a miracle when someone manages to even defend himself. The reality of the Arabs is one of defeat, hitting rock bottom... We are defeated, politically and militarily... and economically, socially, and even psychologically. We have a discourse of conspiracy, and we blame everything on others.[...]
Interviewer: Take Egypt, for example. What does Egypt – that superpower – have to offer? I ask you, what does Egypt have to offer?
Anwar Malek: Nothing. It is incapable of doing anything. It has nothing but lupin beans – and I say this in complete irony. It is incapable of doing anything. It lives off American aid. Without it, they would starve. [...]Egypt is incapable of waging war, strategically and militarily. It is incapable of doing anything.
Interviewer: Didn't Egypt win several wars?
Anwar Malek: No. The 1973 war was not a victory. It was another defeat.
Interviewer: It didn't win the war?
Anwar Malek: No. It was followed by the Camp David accords a few years later. It did not win the war. No Arab country has won a war in modern times. There has been no victory worthy of mention. All we have are defeats, which we package as victories.[...]Look at how the Arabs live in the West. By Allah, they are a bad example.
If you hear about thieves – they are always Arabs. Whenever a young man harasses a girl on the streets of London or Paris, he turns out to be an Arab. All the negative moral values are to be found in the Arab individual.