It all depends

It is the Muslim world that has serious problems, not the West


It all depends
by Ben Madadi

A few days ago I was in an Arab coffee-shop. I was drinking tea, which is a common practise of Muslim countries, while listening to what the Arab men were discussing. I also heard one woman, I guess, but all I could see were men. They were seated, smoking, drinking tea, while watching Al Jazeera on a TV set mounted on top of the right corner of the room.

I could not understand anything but some of the words, spoken by the Arab public, or said by the Al Jazeera presenter. I thought about joking about what the Arabs, and Middle-Easterners (including Iranians), usually talk about when they get together.

I was saying that they talk about three subjects; first sex, second how clever they have been cunning, or doing something damaging to, some other people, breaking the law, or doing some dodgy businesses they were proud of, and third how Israel and America are treating the Muslims, especially the Palestinians, and some other related issues.

It hadn't been more than a few seconds that I was joking to my friends about the three subjects I just mentioned above that we all heard the words "Filistiniah" and "Israili" said by the TV presenter, then discussed by the Arab public present in the room. And we laughed. The confirmation was so quick. Anything else they were talking we could not understand anyway.

We sat there for about an hour and they never stopped talking about Israel, Palestine, and America. All we could understand were these, and a few other words, anyway.

There are hundreds of millions of Arabs out there. There are more than one billion Muslims out there, and growing in numbers. The population of Israel is just 6 million or something, and that includes more than a million Arab Israelis. These hundreds of millions of Arabs, plus a very large number of the remaining Muslims, curse Israel every single day, or almost every single day.

I am asking you, who do you think is being stupid here? While Israelis are busy running their troubled country which is some sort of democracy-theocracy, where the Arabs have their own seats in the Parliament (Israel is the only country in the world where Arabs, though somehow discriminated, have the best democracy they can afford), Arabs, Iranians, and most of the remaining Muslims, fail to run their own countries where they have unemployment, lack of human rights and democracy, let alone a lot of poverty and illiteracy.

It is the Muslim world that has serious problems, not the West. It is the Arabs who have serious problems, not the Israelis. I am a Muslim too (being born in Iranian Shia family automatically makes a person a Shia Muslim, which is okay anyway) and I do not see Islam as any problem, but how the individuals of the Muslim world behave as a serious problem.

Islam fails to present itself as the motive behind these problems, because no more than seven centuries ago Muslims were simply ahead of the Christian world. Islam was good back then and it is bad now? Christianity was bad back then and it is good now? Religion is something positive for the society, as it can be seen in America. It all depends on the interpretations that are given to religion.


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Ajam is the same as Parkhash?

by Zebel (not verified) on

Dear Ajam,
Are you the same person who has written responses to various articles on this site, using the name "Parkhash" ?!!!!


Nice fiction - We can make a 30minute Muslim demeani out of this

by PresumedIdentity (not verified) on

Nice coordinated effort; I sometimes imagine being a hero and go all the way through bringing peace an dprosperity to all human beings;
Mind is a terrible thing to waste!


RE: wrong

by Ajam (not verified) on

I did not claim to know all about the middle aestern or global politics for that matter. Nor did I mean to judge the Israeli political system's efficiency (or lack thereof). I simply pointed to the numerous flaws in the modes of reasoning in the above article.
Democracy and discriminatoin are conradictory terms. A society can not be democratic and yet discriminate gagainst its people. Had it been the case, then IRI could be considered a democracy too (since it discriminates only against what it considers counter-revolutionaries)!

A quick glance at the history of this troubled region would reveal the hands of forein colonial powers in the major developments of at least past two centuries in the middle east. The blood shed mainly occurs when these colonial powers pit one group (mostly a minority, since could not rule without outside help) against another, and switching sides at convenience (e.g. Lebanon, Rwanda, Iraq...) thus sowing the seeds of genocide. Democratic movements having been crushed in their infancy by the support of these powers, alienating the independant secular movements, could only leave extrimist ideolgies as alternative.

Naturally, I have no desire to jump in the Arab-Israeli argument. What I'm trying do is to see these events in the larger scope of the continuation of colonial policies in the region to view the big picture. What was initiated by the British in partioning a major (oil-reach) part of the region after WWII (the Ottoman empire) is being carried on by the neo-colonialists (i.e. American neo-cons and Israeli Likudists) through partiotioning of Iraq and eventually (after invading) Iran. That would leave Israel as the dominant power in the region with a bunch of oil-producing , mini states who need the big brother for their survival. Well, this may seem like a delusional stretch at first glance, but a quick research of the neo-con doctrine in the past three decades could prove otherwise!!



by TRUE IROONI (not verified) on


Putin warns US against attacking Iran (Guardian 16-Oct-2007)






I meant to say "Ajam You Got it Wrong"

by I love Iran (not verified) on

I meant to say "Ajam You Got it Wrong"- Sorry.


Azam You got it wrong

by I love Iran (not verified) on

Dear Azam,

I think you got this wrong. No one said Israel was a perfect Democracy. In Israel there is even discrimination against middle eastern jews. In the US, a Democratic Nation, we had government approved discrimination against blacks and woman not long ago. Please look at other great European societies. You think the French don't discriminate? Yes a perfect democracy entails equal rights for everyone, but I ask you again, do we have equal rights for everyone in the US? Please do a search on the equal rights litigation/struggle in the American court systems.

Please compare the rights of Arab citizens living in Israel (not the Palestinians living in West Bank & Gaza)to the rights of Arab citizens in Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia... you know what I mean since it looks like you are very educated from the way you write.

The Arab struggle is being trivialized here because for 60 years, the only thing they talk about is Israel. Meanwhile Arabs have killed 50 times more Arabs than the Israelis and Muslims have killed 100 times more muslims than the Israelis. At the same time, all Arab nations are failures (except for Dubai for now-lets see what happens)and Israel seems to be thriving in economics and technology.
The Arabs (and Iranians) are not dummer than the Israelis. However, their set of values is about 1000 years behind the Israelis. This is the problem of the Middle East- Not Israel.


Muslim Scholars letter to the Pope

by Sasha on

Speaking of Muslim v.s. Western culture. Did you get a chance to read the letter the Muslim Scholars sent to the Pope? I created a blog which contains a web link if you want to see it.


Discriminating democracy?!

by Ajam (not verified) on

There are countless flaws in the reasonings of the above arguments that would be waste of time to point them all out! The reductionist and condescending attitude in lumping all middle easterners together as a bunch of self-pittying failures for whom the antipathy towards Israel comes third in a row after "sex" and "bragging about breaking the law" mirrors the prpaganda methods employed by pro-Israel lobbyists in order to trivialize the struggle of the people of middle east against Israeli/American hegemonic and neo-colonial agenda seeking an overhaul of the geopolitics of the region. These propaganda methods line up the "stupid" and "backward" Middle East (muslim/arab) against the bright and democratic West (that includes, of course, Israel)!

But, what caught my attention the most was the twisted notion of Israel being: "(...the only country in the world where Arabs, though somehow discriminated, have the best democracy they can afford)"! Well, I was under the impression that democracy entailed equal rights for everyone. How could a section of population be discriminated against, yet at the same time be afforded the "best democracy" bestowed upon them by the same rulers! Unless of course there's a new version of democracy that I don't know about! Or perhaps, it mean that this is as good a democracy dosage as they deserve!!!


not a balanced view!

by someone (not verified) on

“It is the Muslim world that has serious problems, not the West.”
It depends on what you mean by the west. As you may know currently one of the most powerful political forces in the US is the Christian right. They are not as backward as some Islamic sects, nonetheless they are very backward, very aggressive, antidemocratic etc., worse than all that, they think they need to create a holly war in the middle east so that the promised one (Jesus) comes. These right wing fanatics currently support Israel, ironically even many Jews (including Israeli Jews) find those ideas and plans repugnant (60 minutes had a report about this).
Added to this is the union of the Christian right with the oil junkies, in the form of current US government. That came clearly into light when Greenspan, and not a left wing intellectual explicitly said Iraq war was for Oil. This is and has been a serious problem for US.


Who Is Responsible

by rosie (not verified) on

Every single human and society is both oppressor and victim and only through continued self-scrutiny can this dichotomy begin to be transcended. The progress of this never-ending journey is something like what is called freedom.

Arabs, Israelis, Americans, Persians, Bulgarians, Tahitians, we all have our dirty laundry. But ask a secular democratic Lebanese since last summer who needs a bigger washing machine. Sometimes it's just a question of who has the capacity to do the most damage. Not one single bridge left standing in the entire country. What FOR? WHY?

Excuse me if I wax poetic but this reminds me of something I wrote a while back:

Oh silent day

We will all be released
When we embrace
Both the captive and the captor
And comfort them.

My friend Matthew says
when you are in prison
you have to wash
your clothing in the toilet
because if you send it to the laundry
you will never get it back.

And Heraclitus says
the way up is the way down

And Rumi says
there is up and down
and front and back
and yet there is only one direction
and that is the way of Eshgh.

Oh silent day
Oh when he washed


Ben Madadi

Look here about GDP per capita

by Ben Madadi on

United Arab Emirates (thanks to oil but also thanks to economic policies) has one of the world's highest GDP per capita, by far ahead of Israel.

Ben Madadi

About Israel GDP

by Ben Madadi on

I said GDP PER CAPITA, i.e. for each Israeli and for each citizen of the UAE. UAE citizens make more money than Israelis ;)


Re: Egypt

by Mash_Ghasem (not verified) on

Ok, first Israel would cease to exist without US aid and now Israel would cease to exist without AIPAC. Ok with me, if that makes you happy.


Re: Israel's GDP vs UAE GDP

by Mash_Ghasem (not verified) on

No need to argue over this: Just Google "Israel GDP" and "UAE GDP" and compare the results. Remember also that Israel does not have oil at all. Israel's GDP for 2006 was $195 Billion while UAE's GDP will reach $188 Billion in 2007. Israel's GDP is all come from industrialization, high tech and tourism while a big portion of UAE's is because of oil income.



by Anonymous Iranian (not verified) on

Egypt has 10 times the population of Israel. Can't compare the two. and don't underestimate the value of private funds in addition to government funds that move to israel. additionally without aipac, israel would cease to exist.

Ben Madadi

Reply 3

by Ben Madadi on

No no no, Israeli GNP, or GDP, is no longer that big. UAE has a much higher GDP per capita than Israel now ;) This goes for those conspiracy-theorists who think Israelis, or Jews, rule the world! They are poorer than the citizens of the UAE, and I guess also some other smaller Arab countries of the Persian gulf.


Re: What you conveniently

by Mash_Ghasem (not verified) on

Israel is a developed nation. It's GNP is bigger than all arab countries, and Iran, put together. Now, you say it's economic and social life would collapse without US aid ? That's just hogwash.
US help is in the form of military aid. Egypt, on the other hand, receives almost as much aid in economic relief and look where they are compare to Israel.

Ben Madadi

Reply 2

by Ben Madadi on

I'm replying to the anonymous Iranian below. Many people say Israel is alive because of the US. The US does help Israel indeed but saying that Israel is alive because of the US is an extreme exaggeration. You know which countries are alive because of the US? The oil-dependant nations of the Middle East would go hungry if the US (and other modern countries) economy would collapse all-the sudden and would not need oil anymore. I was referring to Israel not as a DEMOCRACY. It is written in the article :)


What you conveniently

by Anonymous Iranian (not verified) on

What you conveniently neglected to mention is that Israel is alive because of US financial and material support. Don't think for a second they would survive an arab onslaught without the US! And remember the Israel you call a democracy is in fact an apartheid state.


Ben God Bless you! you Are 100% Right!

by Ben is Right 100% (not verified) on

Wow! You hit it 100%. Also, look how the jews were devastated at the end of world war two. Look what they have done. You can not even build a steam engine out of
any of the Islamic countries. While Islam was ahead a few 100 years ago, it has not learned the lessons of the past. Leadership is everything. The muslim world's leaders are still busy denying homosexuality, the holocust and basic human rights.......


Ben you are %100 correct on this issue...

by Haleh (not verified) on


Ben Madadi


by Ben Madadi on

Thank you professor about the information about Khomeini's son. Good point! I didn't know that. I doubt they will come to get me just for this ;)


More personal responsibility - yes!

by Mehdi on

I agree that people should start taking more responsibility for the conditions they are in - anybody, any group, anywher. The more we blame others or other entities for our conditions, the more we unwittingly transfer power from ourselves to them, and therefore the more we become victims, unable to change our conditions.


Yeh ..

by 10-cents (not verified) on

years ago, Khomeini's son (Ahmad) wrote a similar letter in Iranian newspaper, in which he suggested that "we should look into ourselves instead of blaming everything on US and Israel ...". A few days later, he died under the most mysterious of circumstances. So Mr. Madadi, do not show up around for a while since you may be in danger :)

I am a university professor and almost all cases of plagiarism among my students come from Middle Eastern Arabs and Chinese. Western, or people who have grown up in west, rarely cheat.

As for Iranian students, when they cheat, they do it so cleverly and professionally that you need to hire CIA to uncover their sham :)



by Mash_Ghasem (not verified) on

Muslims are all victims. They were born victims and raised as victims. Nothing ever is their fault. Their world view is their religion (Islam) and since Islam is simply incompatible with civilization, they assume there is a conspiracy to keep them backward and miserable all the time. That's why the sum total of influence of 1 billion plus muslims in this world is always a big fat zero. They never get united to improve their lot but get united for a cartoon of their prophet.


Don't nuke Iran

by dubidudu (not verified) on

Please don't nuke Iran. Be fair, nuke Islam.


The leech

by Anonymous always (not verified) on

The West was, is and will be in charge. Why? very simple, because they use their brains, they think and they improve. I should not be unfair, muslims also think, but usually with their 'paintane' baraye paintane. Their whole religion is base on 'lust' and perversion. The lust the nomadic half-black arabs of the hot deserts of arabia had. Islam is equivalent to terror and blood. Islam has destroyed Iran and other nations. It's a subculture that stcks to real cultures, sucking the life out of them. It acts very similar to leeches.


Of Course!!!

by Kamangir on

When in a country, an uprising called revolution is based on seeing a someone's face on the 'moon', when during a solar eclipse, people think their messiah 'emam zaman' has returned, when they see their saint riding on a white whorse, here and there, when they do not undesrtand the correct meaning of their own prayares, since it's in another language, when in year 2007 the country's laws are based on 1400 years old backward, nonsenses from the hot deserts of Arabia, when they impose their very mediocre view on everyone, when they still cut hands and arms, hang people 'in public' when they still stone (yes the do) women to death, when they destroy their own valubale cultural and historical pre-islamic monuments, when they separate the public transport in male and female areas.. and when they do all these things and thousands things even worse... Of Course! there's a problem of huge proportions in the muslim world. Iran has become a shame to itself thanks and only thanks to muslims. Now, keep denying eveything, keep getting insulted by films such as not without my daughter (as if that film said any lies) keep making big noise against the film 300 while you don't even know they are destroying your cultural and historical remains by building dams and taking everything pre-islamic under water. Keep fasting, keep praying, keep dreaming of your beautiful paradise with virgins, keep destroying what once was one of the best civilizations the world has ever met.