Revenge and the History of the Arabs
Turki Al-Hamad, a Saudi-Arabian political analyst, journalist, and novelist who earned his PhD in political science at USC, takes a rather dim view of his own people’s culture:
What is going on in Iraq and even in Lebanon, the Sudan, Algeria, Somalia and other parts of the Arab world is the result of an antiquated, unchanging and unchangeable culture that is self-producing in an odd way and is protected by strong guards to the extent that even a religion such as Islam could only subdue it for a brief period until it contained Islam. We have become sects, schools of thought, ethnic groups, tribes, clans, customs and traditions; everybody has killed everybody in defense of Islam, while it was power, wealth, fanaticism and ignorance that stood behind all of that.
I have no doubt that Arab culture is “antiquated” but to say it is “unchangeable” goes beyond even my natural pessimism. I’ll certainly defer, though, to Al-Hamad and John Burgess on that part of the world.