In this editorial in Asharq Alawsat, Editor-in-Chief Tariq Alhomayed argues that the Arab world is in dire need of some introspection. While various sources calling for temperance in discourse, society seems to turn a deaf ear. People seems to be able to turn anything into a shouting match or a fist fight. The lack of tolerance can be seen in classrooms and in the violent actions of those who seek to justify terrorism. The cause of all this, Alhomayed argues, is unsound education. Professors, he says, aren’t professional. Instead of educating students, they seek to convert them to particular ideologies. Nor is there accountability in either private or public life. He points to the example of Saddam Hussein. While he may no longer be on the scene, the hundreds and thousands who accepted gifts from him still are, with not a whisper that they might share in his guilt through enabling and supporting him.
Why Don’t We Admit the Truth?
There is a defect in our ethical system, and it’s one of values, there is also a defect in our culture system, and it’s one of education. We are not good at managing disputes and dialogue, despite the fact that we hide behind a mountain of slogans and proverbs and verses of poetry, all of which say that there should be civility in disputes, hostility, and even war.
Clashes and political crises take place as a result of football games, and there are insults and abuse in the newspapers, in the corridors of politics and even at Arab Summits, and those who tell lies do so without being held accountable or removed from the scene. Saddam Hussein was removed from power however none of his agents in the Arab world have followed him; none of those who accepted oil coupons, or even any of those who accepted a case of whiskey from him as a gift. He died and we forgot all about them and they remained on the political and media scene…and there are no checks and balances.