Wednesday, June 23, 2004

:: Here’s this week’s round of Arabs’ comments from the forums on the BBC Arabic website.This time the visitors are discussing the murder of Paul Johnson in Saudi Arabia.
Most of the posts came from Saudis of course, the rest came from Egyptians, Iraqis, Jordanians and from people in the Emirates. What caught my attention here was the total absence of comments from Syrians and Palestinians who used to flood the forum with their posts!!
The majority of comments showed frank condemnation and shock but I selected posts that reflect varying points of view and I have to mention that the positive/negative posts ratio you’re going to find below is a little bit less than the actual one I found in the forum.
I hope that reading these comments will provide a better view about the reactions of people who are close to the field where events happen.

“ Thanks to this site for providing this opportunity, especially for us-the Saudis-who are the most concerned about this issue. We are innocent from what those ignorant criminals did.
I’ve studied the Quran and the Hadith of the Prophet and I find nothing that supports the doings of those criminals who are in great need to understand Islam; the religion of forgiveness and kindness before sword and violence”

“Condemning this crime won’t have any real influence on those who are damaging our countries.
Enough talking, yes, the murder of Mr. Johnson is a coward terrorist attack, etc. we, as Muslims and Arabs must agree to say to the whole world NO TO TERRORISM. YES FOR FREEDOM AND REFORMS. The Arab regimes that are oppressing their peoples and depriving them of their freedom must leave peacefully. I believe that these regimes contributed-directly or indirectly-to the foundation of those fanatic groups, especially in KSA that have always encouraged violence elsewhere. My point is that the Arab world will change and his thoughts will change, only if we decided to deal with the origin of the problem (the persistent regimes) not with the branches. Finally my condolences to the family of Mr. Johnson.”

“Each human being has the right to live, no one has the right to deprive him this right no matter what he did unless by a clear law from the creator who brought us to life and changing one’s mind should be done with reason and only reason, not with violence”
Mohammed Shakir-Al-Riyadh/KSA

“Why do all these disturbances appear now in KSA in this particular timing? Isn’t KSA one of the countries that the US want to make changes in them? Who’s going to benefit from this crime? Islam and Muslims? This crime was carried out by Muslims but these are most likely to be hired and there are foreign hands behind them and these should be the ones to be sued.”

“I’m against killing foreigners because they came to our country for work and to serve our country. We can invite them to become Muslims rather than murdering them”
Mohammed Zahrani-KSA.

“Everyone is condemning this crime and saying that it’s against the teachings of Islam but still we’re doing nothing about it. I think that fighting these sick ideas is the clerics’ responsibility; they should start to educate people and they have to announce Fatwas that forbid and condemn murdering innocent people. Why do they clerics spend their time giving Fatwas about kids’ toys while they bury their heads in the sand when their words are needed to save lives”

“Slaughtering the American hostage is much less than what America did to harm Muslims in general and Abu Ghraib prisoners in particular”
Abu Hasan-Qutaif/KSA

“Killing Mr. Johnson is a crime that ignores all the values of humanity”

“ This is a reaction to the American terrorism in the ME”
Ashraf Mohammed/Cairo.

“Terrorism is a serious phenomenon that must be dealt with, not only condemned. All this is because of the wrongful concepts that some clerics, who know nothing about Islam, call for. Moreover, poverty and lack of education create fanaticism. Governors of the Arab and Muslim nations: fear Allah and be fair. May all the fanatics and the radical extremists be damned forever.”
Mohammed Sherif-Baghdad/Iraq.

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