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MEMRI:
MEMRI TV Project: Saudi IQRA TV Examines Public Attitudes toward Jews

The following dispatch, recorded and translated by MEMRI’s TV Monitor Project, are excerpts from a show on Saudi Arabia’s IQRA TV Channel, which featured “man on the street” interviews about feelings about Jews. To view a segment from this show, visit http://memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=275: [1]

Interviewer: ‘Would You, as a Human Being, be Willing to Shake Hands with a Jew?’

Apparently not. And if the Jews are the “eternal” enemy of the Arab or Muslim, then how can anything in the Middle East ever be resolved? The Memri website is a real eye-opener if you haven’t seen it.

Note the following comments that were actually broadcast on Saudi TV:

monger

“Allah’s wrath is upon them, as the Koran says. Allah’s wrath is upon them and they all stray from the path of righteousness. They are the filthiest people on the face of this earth because they care only about themselves – not the Christians, not the Muslims, nor any other religion.

“The solution is clear, not only to me but to everyone. If only [the Muslims] declared Jihad, we would see who stays home. We have a few countries… There is one country with a population of over 60-70 million people. If we let them only march, with no weapons even, they would completely trample the Jews, they would turn them into rotten carcasses under their feet. There is another country that donated money, saying, ‘I am behind you, I’ll support you with weapons, just wage [ Jihad ].’

“But the cowardice inside us, deep within our hearts, was instilled by the Arab leaders, may Allah forgive them. They breast-fed us with it from the day we were born to this very day it has grown with us.”

This is state-controlled TV allowing this to be broadcast. The amount of hate, ignorance and vitriol within that community is pretty disgusting and something we ignore at our own risk. And note, this guy is not a poverty stricken member of the underclass either. This sort of thing is all too common in the Middle East. I would be interested in seeing the same sort of “man on the street” interview in Iraq. While we have skinheads in the USA who have similar views we don’t put them on TV as mainstream representatives of public opinion.



  1. This is the question I’ve been asking the politically correct for years. Why is it right for Muslims to say these things when it was wrong for Hitler to say them? The only difference is that Hitler had the ability to carry it out. But if it was wrong for Hitler to hold those views, then it’s wrong for Muslims as well.

    Say what you will about war, but dollars speak louder. The answer to solving the problems in the Middle East is to buy less gasoline, so they have less money to carry out their hatred. But that means we have to buy fewer monster trucks and more Toyota Corollas and Honda Civics, so I guess we’ll always have problems.

  2. Mike Voice says:

    Interesting, to me, how the interviewee wants a jihad against the Jews, based on the Koran.

    I thought the Koran (Qu’ran?) specifically mentioned that “the people of the book” (Jews and Christians) were to be treated differently than other non-Muslim peoples – since they worshipped the same God (from the Muslim point of view).

    It is truly scary how a people can be called an “eternal enemy”, and genocide can be so easily presented as the preferred solution.

  3. Patrick Rowley says:

    The part that struck me most about this article was the initial question: “Would you, as a HUMAN BEING…” This attitude goes beyond mere hatred. The statement implies that Jewish people are not even considered human beings by these people.

    And we think we can reason with this type of thinking?

  4. Sameer says:

    Well, I understand what you are picking up from the interview. But you must understand, this poll was conducted in an area that has been at war with Israel on-and-off, for over 30 years. Most people in the Middle East have met face-to-face with Palestinian refugees or heard a story of one, they’ve faced the politics & propaganda of any war-waging government, and for those reasons, I think it would be a matter of logic to assume their position on the Jewish state of Israel and its people.

    The wars waged because of the Arab-Jewish conflict, post World War II, have generated a sense of hatred on both sides. From emotions to physical violence, war brings out the worst in people. If you were to ask a group of ignorant Americans how they felt about Iraqis, I’m sure you would get a similar, hateful response. In all cases, there exists the conservative, ignorant, and extreme, these ideological groups tend to absorb the media because they have something different to say; but the majority of Muslims, being mainstream moderates, have nothing interesting and therefore nothing media-worthy. This interview should not be taken as a label for all Muslims, but only for those interviewed. In the comments above and even in the post by Dvorak, it seems you guys are using the term “Muslim”, almost labeling all Muslims to have the same thinking. If you do not want the truth, you will never find it.

    And as for the man interviewed citing the holy book, known as the Quran, he is clearly using the text to his liking. Only few, learned scholars are able to interpret the holy book, in the classical Arabian language it was written in. It is becoming more and more common these days for people to take the words entirely
    out-of-context and using them however it suits their argument. For true and accurate meanings of the Quran, ask a local Muslim leader or scholar, instead of basing entire arguments on media.

    And as for, “Apparently not. And if the Jews are the “eternal” enemy of the Arab or Muslim, then how can anything in the Middle East ever be resolved? The Memri website is a real eye-opener if you haven’t seen it.”

    How was it that the Ottoman Empire, reigned for hundreds of years with a mix of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian people? And in response to a question from a comment, the word “jihad” means to struggle in the way of Allah. Furthermore, physical struggle is only one type, there exists other types of Jihad, all of which have nothing to do with war/violence. Also, it is said in the Quran to treat the people equally. The messenger Mohammed himself, dealt with those outside of his religion, yet he treated them with great kindness and respect. Clearly, false interpretations and extreme individuals have scarred the religion which was once so pure. This interview in my opinion seems made to generate controversy. There are over 5 million Muslims in America, why not ask any one of them, instead of XYZ News Corp.

    And in response to the individual above me, I think you can clearly see that they meant you as a human being, for the purpose of taking culture, religion, and background out of the question.

    Instead of fostering and promoting such ideals, why not instead seek to change them. To me, it seems more people are trying to make the situation worse, rather then easing it.

    Islam is a religion of peace, and unfortunately, due to the horrid acts of few individuals, it has been scarred. As I said above, if you have questions about the religion, or you find certain aspects you have heard disturbing, visit this site http://whyislam.org/877/ . The organizations that run the website, represents the entire muslim community in North America (ICNA & ISNA).

    I appreciate you people taking your time to read this and sorry for the lengthy comment 🙂

  5. When I lived in Riyadh about 10 years ago, I used to hear this kind of stuff all the time on the radio, even English-language radio. However, I believe they were usually giving the answer they thought the interviewer wanted to hear. Most Saudi’s were very polite and would have been gracious toward anyone they met.

  6. John C. Dvorak says:

    I think you may be missing the point. Like I said, Skinheads would say such a thing and yes, most Muslims are not like these idiots. The point is that they broadcast this stuff at all. Why? And where’s the censor? It is government controlled after all. So I assume it’s broadcast to promote this hatred. And I don’t want to debate the Palestinian issue on this weblog. There are plenty of forums elsewhere.

  7. Anonymously says:

    Yeah, you’re point was really clear. :p

    If the issue is why it the state would broadcast this, it’s impossible to say without some more context. Without that, I don’t think you can say that the Saudi Arabian broadcast of these people was meant to show them “as mainstream representatives of public opinion.” Do you know that?

    I didn’t know anything about MEMRI until your latest post, and as I was typing this post, I did a quick Google search of it and came up with this article from the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,773258,00.html

    As the author says: “To anyone who reads Arabic newspapers regularly, it should be obvious that the items highlighted by Memri are those that suit its agenda and are not representative of the newspapers’ content as a whole.

    The danger is that many of the senators, congressmen and “opinion formers” who don’t read Arabic but receive Memri’s emails may get the idea that these extreme examples are not only truly representative but also reflect the policies of Arab governments.

    It seems that this is exactly what you did. I don’t know if they sent you an email or what, though.

    From earlier in the linked to article: “The second thing that makes me uneasy is that the stories selected by Memri for translation follow a familiar pattern: either they reflect badly on the character of Arabs or they in some way further the political agenda of Israel. I am not alone in this unease.

    Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations told the Washington Times: “Memri’s intent is to find the worst possible quotes from the Muslim world and disseminate them as widely as possible.”

    Memri might, of course, argue that it is seeking to encourage moderation by highlighting the blatant examples of intolerance and extremism. But if so, one would expect it – for the sake of non-partisanship – t o publicise extremist articles in the Hebrew media too. ”

    The article goes on to talk about Memri and its founders.

    One could argue that the Guardian author has his own agenda, but it seems pretty clear that Memri has a pattern of taking things out of context and translating texts into the most unfavorable light possible.

    So to go back to the original question, I repeat that it’s hard to comment or come to any conclusions about the Saudi government from this one thing that is lacking in any context.

  8. John C. Dvorak says:

    This stuff has been long since documented by others. Of course Memri has an agenda and it’s not to translate marriage notices and the press blurb about new restaurants. Duh!

    So you’re denying that the area is rife with anti-jew propaganda? Are you just being silly?

  9. Anonymously says:

    So you’re denying that the area is rife with anti-jew propaganda? Are you just being silly?

    What’s your question? You keep going back and forth (and tell me I’m missing the point!). In your previous post, you narrowed it to:

    “The point is that they broadcast this stuff at all. Why? And where’s the censor? It is government controlled after all. So I assume it’s broadcast to promote this hatred.”

    You make the assumption that the government is broadcasting to promote hatred. I don’t think you can make that assumption based on this evidence. It lacks context, and Memri has an agenda. That’s my point.

    And I don’t want to debate the Palestinian issue on this weblog. There are plenty of forums elsewhere. *cough*

    Sorry, I don’t know where that came from (;)). I mean, I’m wasn’t debating whether the area is rife with anti-jewish propaganda. Because it obviously is (AFAIK; FYI I spent two months in Israel this year, so I got to see it a little closer up). You asked a much narrower question about what the Saudi government is promoting though these broadcasts.

    To say that a government is promoting “hatred” requires some pretty substantive evidence. This one article/broadcast, isn’t sufficient. First, I don’t have the ability to judge the veracity of the translations. The Guardian article seems to indicate that they can’t be trusted if they are done by Memri.

    But assuming that they are accurate (a big assumption), I don’t know whether this broadcasts said, prior to the segment starting, “hey look at these wackos I found” (as in a Jay Leno Street Walking sense) or if he said, “look at these perfectly normal people I found that are saying what everybody says (and should say).” What kind of show was this broadcast on? Was it a well-respected newshow, or something Jerry Springer-like? The lack of context makes it hard to judge what the point of the broadcast is.

    While “this stuff” (I assume you mean anti-jewish propoganda) has a long documented history, has anti-jewish propaganda on Saudi controlled-television been well-documented? That would go a long way to evidencing that they are trying to spread hatred.

    Let’s assume again that it has. Then the question is, what kind of controls do they exercise over state-run TV? For example, on the Memri site, they talk of a cleric calling for Jihad on a TV talk show. Now, because that made it on the air, should I blame the Saudi government or should I blame the cleric? Do I blame both? Do they typically censor everything and if it gets on the air, it means it has been specifically approved? Or is the process more passive, similar to the BBC?

    I have no idea. All these questions require answers before I can assume that the Saudi government is spreading hate.

    But I go back to my first point that our priority ought to be focused on the wackos in our own backyard. If you go looking for wackos abroad in any country, you’ll easily find them, so I don’t see a lot of point to it.

  10. johnsmith says:

    It’s a mystery to me how so many people can ‘understand’ something like this broadcast from MEMRI. This is plain disrespect for the human race as a whole and yes it is mainly the arab leaders of the region who are to blame.

    I would also like to understand how is it possible that a state that allows its state television broadcast something like this can have a right to a sit in the UN (see Universal Declaration of Human Rights —

    “Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”>

    I truly believe that most muslims are a peace loving people who just want to go on with their lives but it is not entirely true to say that Islam is a peaceful religion because its roots are set on a war that consolidated the country wich we today know as Saudi Arabia and from there his followers set off to conquer an empire that would go from the Atlantic to the Indus river.
    I think we can know all this and still have respect for the religion and the muslim people, I know I have.

    To return to the modern days the sad thing about all this is that ninety percent of the demands made by Nobel Prize Winner Mr. Yasser Arafat were met in the Oslo Peace Accords and what did he do? He went and started the second Intifada (I don’t know if Mr. Yitzhak Rabin had not been assassinated history would be otherwise — I suspect not). Maybe if Mr. Arafat delivered in the UN and to western newscasters the same speaches he delivers to his people more of the rest of the world would see the hate he has in his heart and, to be more specific, to take full control of ancient Jerusalem make it the capital of ‘his’ Palestine and maybe build some more modern mosques in that ancient city.

    Meanwhile this bloody and dirty war between palestenian and israelis (which are in fact the same people — they speak the same language ) serves as a focal point for the arab world to unite against a common enemy and as an excuse for poverty and a diversion from its real roots (their Medieval rulers) to the people of Israel’s neighbouring countries (why did Israel succeed in making in just half a century a successeful democracy in a region so empoverished? For sure it was not only the financial aide from other coutries and from jews around the world — arabs also have access to huge financial resources — they did it by themselves).

  11. Tal Rotbart says:

    It shouldn’t suprise anyone that state-run media in the Arab world is intent of inflaming the hate against all Jews, not even against Israel itself. Note especially the rise of European-style anti-semitism (only the anti-jewish part obviously) such as the Elder’s of Zion crap.
    The incompetent and corrupt dictators of the arab world have latched on to the oldest trick in the book. Everything is going wrong in your country, and you want to avoid the citizens hating your esteemed guts? Do you want to direct the unrest elsewhere? Cover your blame? Well, the solution is simple, blame the Jews.
    They, and not your squandering, is the reason that none of the oil money means schools for kids. Naturally. Unemployment? The Jews faults. No social services, its all because of “The Jews. “…

  12. Mike Voice says:

    Sameer

    You make several good points about statements that are too general, i.e. This interview should not be taken as a label for all Muslims, but only for those interviewed. In the comments above and even in the post by Dvorak, it seems you guys are using the term “Muslim”, almost labeling all Muslims to have the same thinking.

    But, at the beginning of that paragraph, you state: The wars waged because of the Arab-Jewish conflict, post World War II, have generated a sense of hatred on both sides

    That struck me as odd, since – as an American – I usually read/hear that referred-to as the Arab-Israeli conflict. I am curious why you chose to use “Jewish” instead of “Israeli” – since I have no doubt you would object to the use of “Muslim” instead of “Arab”, in the same context. Are the terms jewish and israeli interchangeable because it is the “Jewish state of Israel” – or is there more to it than that?

    Only few, learned scholars are able to interpret the holy book, in the classical Arabian language it was written in. Which touches on one of the many things I have read, and liked, about Islam – the idea that to receive the full measure of the Prophet’s words, one needed to read/hear them in Arabic – and not via the dilution of a translation. (I wish more Bible-literalists would explore that concept, in their beliefs).

    And as for the man interviewed citing the holy book, known as the Quran, he is clearly using the text to his liking. …. It is becoming more and more common these days for people to take the words entirely out-of-context and using them however it suits their argument andClearly, false interpretations and extreme individuals have scarred the religion which was once so pure Sadly, Islam is not the only religion suffering from these issues – and it is not just “these days”.

    And in response to a question from a comment, the word “jihad” means to struggle in the way of Allah. Furthermore, physical struggle is only one type, there exists other types of Jihad, all of which have nothing to do with war/violence
    Which is fine, except calm discussions like this are the only times I hear about the other, non-violent versions. For decades, we have been shown people – who loudly proclaim themselves to be devout Muslims – calling America the “great Satan” and chanting “Death to America”, etc – and in more recent years, taking active steps to attack America or it’s interests.

    The vast majority of Muslims, worldwide – who I believe are all decent people – have had their protests against stereotyping them as terrorists drowned-out by the noise of the fanatics.

    As you state:
    Islam is a religion of peace, and unfortunately, due to the horrid acts of few individuals, it has been scarred.

  13. Wingless says:

    Sameer, spare us your pathetic excuses for the vehement hatred espoused by your people.

    “But you must understand, this poll was conducted in an area that has been at war with Israel on-and-off, for over 30 years. Most people in the Middle East have met face-to-face with Palestinian refugees or heard a story of one, they’ve faced the politics & propaganda of any war-waging government, and for those reasons, I think it would be a matter of logic to assume their position on the Jewish state of Israel and its people.”
    —————

    They said nothing of Israel, they said a Jew, not an Israeli, not Zionist – JEW. Do you get the difference? Spare us your moral relativism.

    Secondly, this is in Saudi Arabia. An area not affected by Israel AT ALL! An area that has never been attacked by Israel – or faced her in intense combat.

    Lastly: DON’T PUT WORDS IN PEOPLE’S MOUTHS. THEY EXPLAINED QUITE WELL THEIR REASONS. They won’t shake hands with a Jew because of the : they see them as ‘eternal’ enemies based on Koranic verses and a culture of hate that indoctrinates them from the time they are babies…

    Israelis have lost far greater numbers proportionally, yet nearly every Israeli will or HAS shaken the hand of an Arab. Fully 25% of Israel are Arabs, who carry full Israeli rights (same as their Jewish brethren)…

    Arabs serve in the Israeli supreme court, they sit in parliament – can the same be said of Jews in Iraq? in Iran? in Syria? NO NO NO! Jewish populations in these areas have shrunk due to systemic persecution and outright exile.

    So much is made of the so-called “Palestinian” Refugees but fully 80% of these so-called refugees left their homes without seeing an Israeli soldier!!! They because they THOUGHT the Jews would be as cruel to them as Arabs are to their enemies (see King Hussein Black September or the Hama massacres or the (insert name of Arab on Arab massacre here) – in 1 year King Hussein killed more so-called “Palestinians” in PEACE TIME THAN ISRAEL DID in 50 YEARS OF WAR!.. Yet, these Arabs would shake hand with a Hashemite).. Of course, these fears were unfounded – those that stayed in Israel or came back to Israel after the war were granted full citizenship and Israeli rights! HOW DO WE KNOW? WHAT IS THE PROOF? Today they number over 1,000,000, they carry Israeli ID cards, Israeli passports, they vote in elections, they are teachers, doctors and neighbours – they are the Israeli Arabs.

    ——————
    The wars waged because of the Arab-Jewish conflict, post World War II, have generated a sense of hatred on both sides.
    ——————-

    Are you kidding? If anyone should have a grievance, it’s the Jews. The Muslims have persecuted, hunted and otherwise victimized them for CENTURIES. From the start of Islam, Jews have been villified in the Koran, backstabbed by the “Prophet” (at Khybar), Dhimmified (at best) in Islamic lands, moved around (via Surgun movements), forced to pay a form of extortion to their Muslim overlords (Jizya, which is a far higher tax than the Zakat, so spare us the old potAtOe, potatoe argument).

    When Israel was created nearly 1 million Jews were forcibly exiled from areas they had lived in for generations. Once vibrant communities in Syria, Yemen, Iraq & Jordan were erased due to Arab racism and prejudice.
    (yet we never talk about the occupied Jewish land do we… after the racist Ottoman Empire fell the Arabs were given 99% of the Middle East… Yet even that wasn’t enough)

    ——————-
    From emotions to physical violence, war brings out the worst in people.
    ——————-

    Really? So it’s war is it… So these people are at war? They live in Saudi Arabia, exactly what war are they fighting? Exactly WHY are they shell-shocked?

    And who cares if they are? How does that explain their view of a whole peoples as inhuman?

    —————
    If you were to ask a group of ignorant Americans how they felt about Iraqis, I’m sure you would get a similar, hateful response.
    —————

    Yes, but these aren’t a group of ignorant Arabs, they represent the mainstream. To state otherwise would be laughable to ANYONE who has travelled or even visited the area.

    We both know what would happen if somebody walked down Riyadh with a large, visible star of David. We both know that Jews aren’t even allowed INTO Medina or Mecca (Wouldn’t want them to dirty up those ‘holy’ places… I mean, you know how ‘dem joos get into places, they be like ratz, they get in, take over and then it’s hard to get rid o dem’)

    And we both know that these comments are more the rule rather than the exception.

    ——–
    but the majority of Muslims, being mainstream moderates, have nothing interesting and therefore nothing media-worthy.
    ——–

    REALLY? Maybe that’s the problem! Maybe they should be saying something!

    If you really are the ‘majority’ then do explain how it is you’ve allowed tyranny, persecution, indoctrination of children, & a culture of stagnation and self pity to become the NORM in ISLAMIC NATIONS WORLDWIDE.

    Look around, nearly every conflict in the world today involves your people.

    In Sudan/Darfur Arab Muslims are killing Black Muslims… Refugees who escaped from Sudan have been abused and killed in Arab nations they seek refuge in (see Egypt)…

    In Iraq, you have a Jihadi mindset that is waging war on the people of Iraq – their war has nothing to do with America as the VAST MAJORITY of bombs kill Iraqis in markets & on public roads (it’s almost killing for killing sake, with no rhyme or reason or logic dictating their actions!).

    In Afghanistan you have decades of raping, killing, pillaging and other Muslim on Muslim crimes.

    Although Israel has made Gaza 100% Jew Free and offered 97% of the West Bank and East Jerusalem (see 2000 Peace Deal, Barak-Clinton), the “Palestinians” have rejected this deal twice and have only escalated their violence. IF THIS IS ABOUT LAND, THEN HOW COME EVERY ISRAELI CONCESSION RESULTS IN INCREASED VIOLENCE? The peace process turned rocks into Guns, then guns into suicide bombs… If this was about land, woulnd’t concessions at least stabilize? What possible reason does Hamas have to launch 5000 rockets from Gaza?! GAZA IS JEW FREE! WHAT OCCUPATION ARE THEY FIGHTING?!

    In Gaza and Judea/Samaria the enforcement arms of Hamas and the PA kill, maim and torture daily (the greatest killer of Arabs has always been Arabs)

    In Yemen we have Muslims killing Muslims in a ridiculous ‘civil war’

    In Iran, the Islamic Revolution has so far claimed 2 million lives, and counting…
    In Phillipines, there’s Abu Sayaf
    India’s tourism industry is threatened by a wide array of Islamic terrorists.

    IF THE MAJORITY ARE MODERATES – THEN EXPLAIN! Surely, if you are the VAST MAJORITY, then this should not be the case.

    ———–
    Only few, learned scholars are able to interpret the holy book, in the classical Arabian language it was written in. It is becoming more and more common these days for people to take the words entirely
    out-of-context and using them however it suits their argument.
    —————

    So only a few learned scholars are able to interpret the holy book?! Really now… So Muhammed gave the last true Word of G*d — to a FEW LEARN’D SCHOLARS?

    I have read the Koran myself and it is NOT a book of peace. It is a book absolutely chock full of calls to war and destructions. Non Muslims are repeatedly referenced as inferior, they are to subjecated themselves in front of Muslims, they must pay a Jizya. (care to debat the koran? visit wingless.aoriginality.com)


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