What went wrong with the Arab World?

Category: Middle East, World Affairs Topics: Arab World Views: 7672

During the course of the 20th century it became abundantly clear that things had gone badly wrong in the Arab world. When compared with many Third World countries, Arab countries had fallen way behind. They had become poorer, weaker and more politically fragmented. The dominance of the West is clear for all to see, invading every aspect of Arab public and private life.

In the past, Arab modernizers concentrated their efforts in three main areas: military, economic and political. The results achieved were, to say the least, disappointing. The quest for military victories brought a series of humiliating defeats. 

The quest for economic development and prosperity brought, in some countries, corruption, inflation and poverty and, in others, unhealthy dependence on a single resource. The quest for freedom and independence brought to some countries dictatorships and tyrannies. 

There was worse to come. The 21st century brought with it further humiliation and fragmentation of the Arab world. Arabs once again witnessed the return of foreign occupation, something they thought was a thing of the past and long forgotten. 

It was bad enough for Arabs to feel poor and weak after being in a leading position for a long time, but worse still was the humiliation that accompanied the 21st century-a humiliation that dealt a severe blow to the Arab ego. 

There is a general awareness among Arabs that they are falling back in a lengthening line of more successful countries, especially in East Asia. The rise of some Third World countries was reproachful for those Arabs who became aware of their position and their current status vis-a-vis these countries. 

Arabs, proud heirs of an ancient civilization, have the right to question themselves: "Who did this to us?" Although there is no clear foe to blame, this question is, of course, a common response when things go wrong and there is no reasonable explanation. 

In the past the Arabs laid the blame for their troubles and the loss of their glory on foreign domination - western powers that ruled over them for centuries. For a long time, the West was the favorite villain. Recently, however, the role of the West as a villain has been taken over by the U.S. alone. 

The transfer of guilt to America has immediately won considerable support among Arabs who are eager to lay the blame on anybody but themselves. 

However, many in the Arab world refuse the popular theory that the West is to blame. They believe that the Arabs should face up to their responsibilities and shoulder the blame for all their societal ills. What is the remedy for the Arabs' ills? Although many things have been tried, none have achieved desired results. Economic, political and social solutions were tried, but none was able to alleviate the hardship fallen upon the Arab world. 

Foreign domination in the Arab world is a consequence, not a cause. 

The reason for this domination is clear: the absence of a collective policy which unites the Arabs rather than separates them. 

If Arabs were wise enough to resolve all their own differences and benefit from their own resources and direct them towards the general welfare of their own people, there would hardly be any foreign domination. 

Iraq is an example of how a political regime can endanger its own society and causes differences in the Arab world. 

The former Iraqi regime involved itself in political gambles that endangered not only Iraq but also the whole Arab world. 

The Baathists lived in a world of their own, removed from real life and the aspirations of their own people. They dragged their own country into a difficult and dangerous situation. The regime refused to listen to reason or good judgment, and pursued policies that had proved their worthlessness elsewhere in the world. 

Although foreign interests played a decisive role in determining the destiny of Iraq, a wise leadership could have avoided such disastrous impacts. The failure of some Arab regimes to listen to reason is the real reason behind the Arab world's ills. 

To regain their former greatness, the Arab regimes should adopt the authentic teachings of Islam and know the pulse of their people. They should also level up their policies vis-a-vis international and regional players. 

Moreover, they should adopt a more realistic approach, based on discussing specific problems rather than hiding behind unreasonable explanations. 

Most problems of the Arab world are easy to solve if Arabs have the power and determination to forget their own differences and work as a team. Japan provides a good example to follow. It emerged from the shambles of World War II to be one of the world's finest industrial nations. But do Arabs have the power and determination of the Japanese? 

If the Arabs have the will, there will definitely be a way. 

We can only hope that Japan's model is copied by Arabs. It will provide them with a fine example of how determination and merit can produce a miracle. 

The writer is with the History Department, UAE University
Source: www.gulfnews.com

  Category: Middle East, World Affairs
  Topics: Arab World
Views: 7672

Related Suggestions

The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Older Comments:
ELAN FROM U. S. said:

The sister's article, though well intentioned, fails to sufficiently support any of her conclustions. Her essay is more of a laundry list of unfounded assertions rather than a insightful work on the plethora of challenges currently facing the Arab world. Her mention of post-WWII Japan as a model for the Arab world has also been cited by the Zionists and Neo-cons to justify the use of Western intrusion, military or otherwise, in the internal affairs of Arab nations. She vaguely eludes to following the "authentic teachings of Islam", but fails to use those teachings to determine a measure of success to hold Arab nations to. Success in Islam is not measured by GDP or industrial strength, rather it determined by obedience to Allah and his dean, both on the individual level as well as societal. It is quite conceivable to be a successful Islamic nation, yet be one of the poorest nations one earth. The Japan model is also problematic because Japan after WWII became an occupied country that even until today cannot determine its own fate. It still remains dependent on the US for protection because it is prohibited by the US to create an army to defend its borders. Rather than simply reiterating the propaganda blitzing us all across the media waves, we need to turn to those endowed with knowledge of this deen, and seek their guidance. It is Allah and the following of his deen that will ultimately liberate us from the flood of falsehood that we are currently drowning in. After we have liberated our minds and see things for what they are will we begin to progress both individually and as a nation.

I do strongly agree with th econtents of this aricle.What arabs are suffering now a days is a story of self destruction.


Arabs hav lost the leadership of Muslims(Khilafa) 1K ago , to get that dominence back would not take Japenese Model but rather Madina Model(Mihaj-e-nabvi SWT) would do the job for Arabs if ever .



I think that a more likely way to gain control of "a world" would be by attempting to make that world "more worth controlling" (rather than by rendering that world's inhabitants less capable of resisting our influence). In this manner, foreign participation (in our own "big vision" for instance) might be more likely to occur, simply out of an enlightened sense of self-interest on the part of the foreign participants. On a different level, it's seemingly not as important that we accomplish an objective as that we assure something worth doing gets done (regardless of who benefits as a result of the effort). The blessing might actually be found in the ability, itself, to serve a good cause.

In this manner, even if we should fail, my guess is that we would still have more to show for our own foolishness - for example, by having (in our vanity) attempted to control the world. Also - in this manner - Allah's choice of leaders from among an effort's various participants, both foreign and domestic, need not adversely effect our own so-called "rightful position" in the scheme of things - in addition to perhaps leaving us more readily adaptable (to the Beneficent's "big vision" for instance).

In any case, may peace be with you.

--Yahya Bergum

The Arabs must start thinking of themselves as Muslim first and as part of the world ummah. For too long nationalism has caused fragmentations and has weakend our unity.The Arabs have been neglecting their great Islamic heritage by flirting with the West and immitating them in their lifestyle. Saudi has to set the example and use it's persuasive power to unite the Muslim world, they being the natural focus historically and geographically. We have all the resources and men of great ability and to top it the vast and strategic real eatate from Kosovo right up to China and downwards to most of Africa. We have the instuments to unite by means of submitting to Allah's will and follow the examples as laid down by our dear Prophet Mohamed pbuh.The Americans are going neurotic because they don't have the moral values and the priviledge of the perfect guidance as we do. We have the Koran and the Sunnah. All our leaders must remove the egoism and narrow interest only than can we see Islam rising in crescendo and influence the world to the path of righteousness and bring about an everlasting peace. The time is now, and the world is waiting. InshaAlla. We should stop following the way of the West, they have proven to be a disaster.If Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan,Iran and Indonesia to name a few of the Muslim countries can throw away their differences as a start and forge a strong relationship, politically and economically guided by Islamic principles surely we can seek Allah's blessing to revive the superior civilization that Islam can provide. The Science and Technology the West benefited from Islam has done no good to the world. It is like giving a sharp knife for a baby to play with. They don't have the right sence of maturity and piety which only Islam can provide. May Allah guide us with His absolute wisdom.

salams again, the hadith says that the downfall of the Arabs will be black gold towards the e and the middle east will have high rise buildings, so we are living in Akhir Zaman. The reference to oil is wrong, the Arabs were richer before, Queen Zubieda of Ommayad dynsaty was the first to put diamonds on her shoes, the "petro dollars" term is used by the west who value a person's worth by money and they invent terms such as old money and new money to give the newly rich and the old rich different level of importance. The muslims were richer before when the west was in the dark ages, they adhered to the Sunna so they were prosperous, they used to feel the same pain if a person in Africa was hurt or in the Hijaz, alas not anymore! Now all muslims see the "whites" as the best, the browns and yellow skin next best and blacks the worst like the Christians. Little do they know that the reason there is unequal distribution of wealth in the "developed" nations because of skin color is due to the Bible.Its kufr for us to discriminate on skin color or gender. The Arabs see the world as Arabi and Ajami which is also negating the hadiths of the Nabi Kareem (S.A.W! the other thing is that there is no such thing as a muslim illiterate, they could be unschooled but never jahil because Islam spoon feeds the knowledge required to survive in this world. Only now the western economists are distinguishing between education and schooling, they maintain that everyone is educated but not everyone is schooled. A rocket scientist cannot grow the food with the same precision and skill that a peasant does. But Islam told us this centuries ago, i.e. never to be proud of what you know because there is always someone who knows more than you. Its said that Galileo used to talk to people in a very condescending manner, its not surprising because he was not a muslim, but the muslim scientists of the greatest calibre never called anyone a "Jahil" because of the forwarning of Allah in the Quran.

Short & Sweet. Though it may seem too simplistic it is non the less an accurate asessment of the predicament of not only the Arabs but also the Muslim world as a whole. We must unite. Put our differences behind us.

i would like to add beside this analysis, that the Arabs the failed to protect their third holy places of Islam. i would like to ask you: what do you expect for those kind of dunkies, while they left the holy authenthic book behind them?

Esselamu 'alejkum

The question here is,will it be possible for the world to release from this dominance?
If so, will the Muslims be able to achieve this goal??
This cannot be guaranteed to happen,and there is no room for optimism becose the task is now even bigger,since Europe joined a larger forcenamely,America.
America and the west aretrying to change the methods of dominance byreplacing one method of oppression for anather.Consequently,the problem of liberation become a doubtful matter.It become nathing but a whirpool turning peaple around to keep them busy,thereby resulthing in the west's permanentdominence.For these reasons,it is doubtful whether the world can liberate it self from the west.This applies equally to us Muslims as well as non Muslims,since both move in the same ENDLESS SPIRAL.
Unfortunately,we muslims also fallow the methods of the rest of the world in their fight,which is why our fate will not be any different from the rest of the world-ENDLESS TURNS IN AN EMPTY CIRCLE AND DWELLING ON THE ROAD WHICH HAS BEEN PRESCRIBED BY THE WEST TO FUTHER IT'S DOMINANCE.
In order to correct our erroneous ways,it is necessary that we Muslims MUST recognise that the case is not just one of leberation from the western dominance,but is a reactions against dominance itself,since man refuses enslavement.
In other words,the corect path is th enter a struggle with mankinde for the purposes of spreading Islam and applying its rules.
This is the thru path.We Muslims have no choice,if we desire to remain thre Muslims and a Muslim Ummah.However,entering a struggle for this cause,cannot be realised without a STATE.However,it cannot be any state,it has to be the Islamic state.The existence of the Islamic State must come first in order to enter the struggle with other mankinde.Thes two points have been so camouflaged,!!that Muslims think that the establishment of the Islamic authority in their own countries is IMPOSSIBILE.
Itis therefore necessary to re


I certainly agree with some of the points the author has raised, however as someone else mentioned, the Arabs still 'dont get it'.

They are still seeking something which has passed them.

I am no historian, but I ask the author to look through her history books, paying particular attention to peoples such as the Huns, Arab (Muslims), Mongols, Moghuls, Ottomans. Infact even the peoples such as the Macedonians under Alexander, Romans, Vikings, Normans, Spanish etc.

There is a pattern, and it goes something like this.

The people start of living semi nomadic, they enjoy warfare, they have no fear of Death (infact some even revel in death). They conquer and extend their nations, they get rich.
THEN they stop conquering, settle down and start to endulge in the luxories of life.
By now they are fearful of death, and have no appetite in risking all of their wealth and gains by dying.

This pattern as rough as it is, is one of those universal constants for all civilisations.

The torch of Islam was forfeited by the Arabs, to the Mongols, Moghuls, Ottomans who inturn did the same.

We are currently in a situation (or have been for nearly a hundred years) where we are in effect waiting for the next nation who will arise to challenge the current order.

Allah swt made a covenant with the Muslims to spread his laws across the world, each torch bearer managed to get so far, before succoming to the luxories of 'Dunya'.

I look across the world, and I see something not to dissimilar to the time of the Prophet pbuh.
We've had 2 superpowers who were in effect at war (as were the Romans and the Persions).
Now we have one 'superpower', who would like to convince the world of their superiority, but in reality they are already in decline. Their power is just perception, that is attributed to them by the ignorant masses who are hooked on their propoganda.

The nail in their coffin will be a combination of their actions in Afgha

Yes, it's the west wich should be blamed for the misery that arab countries live in today. througout the history, since crusades, the west worked hard to keep their close neighbors behind and suck their wealth. They gathered against Mohamed Ali (a former Egyptian ruler in early 1800's) because he planted the seeds for a new arabic and islamic sovreignty in the region that could've inherited the falling Ottoman Empire. This was followed by the western occupation for decades which oppressed and prevented us from developing and improving ourselves. And when they couldn't afford the occupation they divided the arab world into small entities and made sure that their loyals are put on the head of each country so that they can control without having to pay. They planted in the heart of the arab world an exotic body that worked as their policeman, so that the arab world will always be busy with an enemy that always feels hungry to take over our lands. Yes it's the west which prevented us from developing even after arabic liberation movements. Take an example the refusal of US to let the international bank to support the building the high dam in Egypt (during Nasser era). And when Nasser nationalized the suez canal company to support the building, UK, France and Israel invaded Egypt. Read the history very well and rethink what you've written...

Wow, someone FINALLY speaks the truth. I'm sure there will still be millions who try to blame the US, West, East, South, Martians...

As already hinted in Hadith the Arabs are on the verge of bieng kicked out of religious leadership of the world on account of the corruption nurtured by their regimes in several ways.On paper most of their political leaders are muslims but efforts had been to destroy Islam and the muslims.They are characterwise the worst creatures on the earth today,of course with few exceptions that is found every where. They are worst enemy of Islam. It is impossible for them to regain their lost glory because they are left with not time to think over their pitiable conditions after drinking,womanising and playing with purchased teens and wives.They are the most coward people today in the world and have no sense of diginity

I have studied this a good deal lately. The Arab and Mideast troubles I mean, and the only difference I see is the HATE factor. You seem to have to much of that going on. What gives? Arabs hate each other.They hate the Western world and cultures, which some I hate myself but I'm not going to go out and kill people for it. In the christian world catholics and baptists disagree every day but I do not see them killing each other like the sunni's and the shia's in Iraq. Like I asked before what gives? According to Western and Islamic history the Father of all Jews and the Father of all Arabs were half brothers. Come to think of it Cain and Able were brothers also. Is it the climate over there, cause I concluded after much reading and study that you are all just cousins nephews aunts and uncles having one major family feud in the supposed cradle of civilization. Makes me glad to be here in the USA where civilization has progressed past the point of barbarism. Clue me in please!

As you wish Romesh. Never the less, I love you - for the sake of Allah. Peace be with you.

People have asked me to accept Islam. Usually, I would not answer any question like that.

Has anybody done an analysis that Religion has become the root cause of most of our current problems in the world, whether, it is Kashmir, Palestine, Middle East, Chechnya, Algeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Twin Towers; and this problem has started proliferating into the western world. Just look at the last couple of weeks. Carnage in Bombay, Iraq and Israel/Palestine. Is this not the fruit of religion? I will say, yes. Do you want me to be part of that problem? Hell, no. Religion is the poisonous fruit of the religious tree; get rid of this tree from the roots and destroy it. Love thy neighbour! Come on. Religious zealots prefer bombs over love; rather they love death and destruction over life; they even hate their own existence.

I like this decadent life rather than heavenly afterlife. I am a devout athiest and love it. I think anybody who follows any religion is totally insecure psychologically, mentally disturbed, and we should create 'Hell on Earth' for them and forgotten altogether; I wonder even this solution will even work.

As I have said before, people who provide 'Islam is the Solution' are the biggest hypocrites because they love the decadent life of the west. I don't want to be a hypochrite.

I, too, invite you to accept Islam, Romesh. Peace be with you.

Also (this may not be the right moment for this, but...) I don't go in for verbally bashing others. It would seem to me that actions (rather than the "actors") are a more proper subject for debate. This applies to those who may appear to have suffered setbacks. Who am I to know what is in their hearts? May peace be with them - as well. (Ameen)

Asalamu Alaikum,
Arabs brought this upon themselves. I think nationalism is another cause for their problems and going away from the Quran and the Sunnah of prophet (SAWS). Also demeaning themselves and being a slave to this world. I think it is time Arabs get their act together, by stop blaming others for their woe's and taking responsibility by starting to get rid of their crooked leaders first. One gets leaders, according to how the people of a nation act. Stop drinking your coffee/tea, smoking Marlboro's and blaming others and act now. Tomorrow you will be six feet under. What matters is now.
With Peace.
Abdul Rahman

Dear Romesh:

Agreed. You have all the right to call us Hypocrites. And we are. However, we Muslims have found a more open platform in the west than our Muslim ghettos to take out our expression and frustration. A person like me who is a staunch advocate of freedom of speech had no choice but to come to the west. Is Islam solution for the Muslims? Yes. You might have experienced Muslims, not Islam. Today, I inivite you to accept Islam. Oh' don't look upon us, we are hypocrites. I am trying to be Shuja and trying to be a good Muslim. Shuja

So what is the meaning of Quran 1:2 - if there is no such thing as the Arab World? And thank you, Allah, for Akbar Khan's comment. (Salam/Peace)

this remind me of what the prophet (pbuh) said about the sings of the end of the world...
when the belevers become unbelevers...and the unbelevers become belevers...

most of the arabe nation have chosen the life of this world and they have forgoten the herafter...

most of them spent their time and money in the western world, suporting the enemy of islam
look at egypt..jordan..saudi arabia..ect..

their billions of dollar is used against them by the jews who control their banks in the western world ..the same jews who are killing the muslim people in palestine...

while in the other hand we got ISLAM which is the fastest growing religion in the western world...
more people are becoming muslim in the western world every day...

this is a prophecy coming true!


Nice to see Romesh C, a fellow Indian becoming a regular visitor to this site. He seems to be as 'Paranoid' about the environment as I am but with a different perspective.
Romesh, Recently there had been a talk of abolishing H1B and L1 visas especially for Indians who have been targeted in hate crimes and racial abuses over the past year since news about massive outsourcing to India leaked in the press. All natives are getting increasingly paranoid about us Indians who seem to be over patriotic and funding hate crimes back in India through RSS fundings like IDRF etc. Some Indians in London hailed Modi recently as saviour of India and welcomed him wholeheartedly. But think about it, hoping and praying Good for our motherland, how many of us are prepared to go even when we are jobless here? Haven't you heard stories of ex-IT profs serving in Macs and gas stations to earn money? Why aren't they going back to their beloved India?

Now listen to this: "I find ironic that the people who sing with such fervour 'East or West- India is the Best' or 'Mera bharat mahaan' upon the arrival of Modi or Advani in downtown New York and commend Modi's ethnic cleansing of Muslims as a solution for Indian poverty, unemployment and misery are the ones who live in the decadent/christian missionary ruled/neocon evangelist west and probably have no intention of going back to their beloved 'Bharatma' even when CIO magazine calls Indian techies as passe flavor of the week?

No Romesh. We all love India just as those of Arab origins love their countries. When they see their countries have developed, reflecting on true Islamic values where democracy reigns supreme and dissent is not met with a death sentence, they might all return. America is a better country still, despite all these Acts. People can still turn to law. Everyone has Right to wish well for the countries where they were once born and brought up. We do the same for India.

Interesting article with some agreeable points. Part of the problem with the modern Arab world is their dogged adherence to Arabism. As if Arabism in and of itself spells splendor. Lets be realistic, every glorious period of the Arabs has been accompanied by at least a marginal adherence to Islamic principles of government and foreign policy which include with it a healthy domestic and global perspective. As if that is not bad enough, it's Arabism coupled with state-by-state nationalism, which in its current form is largely invented and encouraged by the west. The concept of pan Arabism died with Jamal Abdul Naseer.

The problem with the Arabs is that they are unable to reconcile Arabism, nationalism and Islam. Unfortunately in this modern age, it is difficult to have all three. They need to make up their minds and let one of the three be the primary determinant of their future aspirations. One of the things that make the United States great as a world industrial and economic power is their ability to change and allow assimilation. We have gotten past what is good for white people, black people, immigrants, native born, Christians, or Jews. Our aspiration as an American people is determined by what is good for America period, nothing else matters. I'm not so concerned that the Arab world is fragmented. It's the fragmentation of the Muslim world that frightens me.

I agree with your point that the Arab world needs to return to the authentic teachings of the Quran and the Sunna but wouldn't that to a degree involve the dismantling of Arabism? Following the Japanese model wouldn't work for the Arabs because the Arabs are not the Japanese. Granted, Arabs as well as Muslim states can learn from other nations and cultures and the prophet (SAWS) has said: "Wisdom is the lost item of the Muslim, so wherever he finds it he has more right to it". However, no people who championed Islam and then abandoned it can expect much success in this world.

Imam Abu Laith

I find ironic that the people who are advocating 'more of Islam' as a solution for Arab mess are the ones who live in the decadent/unchristian/unislamic west and probably have no intention of going back to their beloved Islamic Arabia even when John Ashcroft comes up with his new Patriot Act II and his newest Victory Act. These people do not want 'more of Islam' as a solution for their own lives, only for the lives of unfortunate muslims already living there. Hypocrites.

Just forget this article...THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE ARAB WORLD! how ignorant of a title can you use? Do you refer to China, Japan, Vietnam,Korea (N,S), Hong Kong etc., as the Oriental world? First let's get our language right adn then maybe we can talk about what is wrong in the WORLD! The first foremost step before anything else, before pointing fingers, before saying who is good and who is bad, is to fix ourselves, let's look at ourselves, as humanity, and correct our individual lives instaed of playing the blame game. Muslims in the world are suffering because in recent history we have been deviating from the commandments set out by Allah (S.W.T.), on a large scale,that was emphasized in explicit detail by Prophet Muhammad (S.A.A.W.). How many of us care for or neighbours as we love ourselves? The human aspect of caring for others, giving Salaam to someone just for sharing your love and affection for a fellow Muslim...to not be so secretive and selfish in your affairs and create unity between yourself and those around you...this is what went wrong with the Muslim states worldwide (NOT ARAB WORLD!).

Let Halaal Muslim corporations based in Muslim countries develop inter-trading between each other instaed of dealing with Europe and the Americas just because it yields higher profits! Economic development and prosperity as mentioned in the article are neglecting due to Muslim countries allowing the WTO to put its noose around their necks. This is Economic slavery where they tell rich Muslim nations, what goods that you own, that you are allowed to sell and to whome, and which one's u cannot...then they control the prices! Why don't Muslims turn around and stop eating out? Cook your own food, stop throwing your money at McDonald's, BK, JC Penney, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, GAP, they all HARAAM! Buy a $5 shirt that is the same quality as from the GAP, from your local flea market. If it's what you gotta do!! Be smart, not saturated.

Arabs still do not get it. The only solution to the Arabs mess is Islam. Nothing will elevate the levels of humiliation. The Arabs predicaments will get worst.

A real Jewish commander - Moshe Dyan - returned control of the Temple Mount (immediately) back to the "vanquished" (in that particular situation). Why? My guess is he didn't want to see Israel used as an military adjutant by certain "outside interests" - or perhaps just wanted to avoid situations that might lead to such circumstances. This is why I suspect that the "Christain Zionists" (after breaking their nightly-fast with strips of crispy bacon) try to incite American Jews into moving to Israel (as in, "anywhere but here") and rebuilding the Temple on the Mount. No offense - but that's what I would guess was "striving after wind." As for me, my joy is to pile up the harvest for those our Lord considers worthy of it.

If you have any doubts about the right course, consider what sorts of hymms don't seem to interest revisionaries. Perhaps even consider restoring some of the original lyrics of those hymms that have been tampered with by official doctrinists. On the other hand - if you subscribe to Matthew 18:18 - perhaps you should speak up about appointing, to church offices, those who publically flaunt their "rights" to commit sin. (But what sayest thou?)

My opinion is that America ought merely to insure that Israel can defend herself - while (essentially!) remaining on her side of the green line, that is. Personally, I think that Iraq is better suited for the role of "regional adjutant" anyway - as perhaps does D. H. Rumsfeld. Who knows? Hey - it's okay, Donald - don't get upset. If someone like me can perceive a long-range objective - reading publications of the tightly controlled "global Zionist media" - trust me, I would guess it's probably been out of the bag for quite a while now. (And Godspeed, sir!)

Peace and blessings, everyone.

--Yahya Bergum


I find it ironic that America wield enormous military might beyond even the dreams a neo-conservative through "abject submission" to Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala)! I suspect that with each Muslim nation we invade or invest we bring ourselves that much closer to converting ourselves (so to speak) to Islam by the sword. Would there be no beauty at all, in such an event? I wonder what Pat Buchanan might have to say on the subject (I mean that seriously). From whom might we expect to hear shahada - in a national broadcast perhaps? Can you think of a more suitable religion for soldiers, their officers, secretaries of defense or commanders in chief? Need we remain completely - respecting such questions? Perhaps write a "pre-election request" for a presidential pardon - on behalf of a reformed brother (or sister) - and see what comes of it. (Hint: it's not for you - it's for Allah).

Perhaps a world with at least two such "empires" would be preferable to a world with only one, so long as we are subject to fallible authority - until such as time as we (simply) had no choice but to submit to the authority in power. I believe that such "irresistible authority" will come to be exercised be Isa (peace be upon him) - rather than by some collection of "unified states" (of America or of anywhere else). To declare my personal beliefs as if doing so on a bumper-sticker, "MY KING'S NAME IS ISA (PBUH) / NOT U.S.A. (I BID THEE PEACE)"

I almost forgot something (that might be important to say in this sort of comment). Oseh shalom bim'romav, hu ya'sseh shalom aleinu v'al kol Yisrael / May the One who causes peace to reign in Heaven let peace descent on us and on all Israel.

O Allah, forgiving and loving forgiveness, forgive me. Assalamu alaikum.

--Yahya Bergum

The article doesn't mention Islam in reference to the Holy Koran, or Allah, or the Prophet. The reason for our failure to stay in touch with Allah, thus failing in all our efforts is: The Holy Book is no longer used as the only source of Law, and living. Since the death of the Prophet, who said I will die and all that is left
is Allah and the Book, in which every word is true. Return to the infailable for all actions and decisions. All will then be well. Allah made all, and there are at least three true Books.
Forget teaching the Hadith's,and Sunnah's. Teach and apply laws from the Holy Koran then see Allah's smile on you. First: Women are equal to men except in inheritance. All are to be modest,not unseen. All who believe in Allah, and bow in Prayer cannot be killed. If you are given a virgin in Paradise, they will remain such forever. Remove the imam's, and mullah's that do not teach only the Holy Koran, of which every word is true. When the Prophet spoke of war, it was only in reference to the Idol worshipers of The temple at Mekkah, which is now a Holy shrine to believers.
Allah, the Benificent the Merciful
Will love all he has created if they go by the Book: only.
Bismillah el Ramaan el Rahim
One who has surrendered to Allah, not man

Joshua M. Duncan


left is Allah



Prophet (saw) has foretold that a time will come that all the other nations will invite each other for the feast, and the food will be Muslims. From all corners of the world, 30 thousand nuclear missiles are surrounding the hapless and clueless Muslims. The companions enquired what could be the reason for such a dire situation. Will Muslims be so few in numbers? Prophet (saw) replied NO. He has given to reasons: 1) Too much love for the world and goodies and 2) Hate and awe of death.

Go to any Mosque, you will see the saga of dictator ship and mutual benefits. Our ulema have no clue as to the importance of the conducive political road map. Our ulema can give sermons for hours on the subject of Fazail or the beauty of Jannah, however, they have no clue pertaining to regain the political power and put back into the hands of religious authority.

About 400 years ago, the decline of Muslims begun. Coinciding the same time, when Christian West distanced itself from the strangulation of Pope, they had seen the prosperity and other developments, however, when Muslims distanced from the teachings of the Qur'an, they had experienced the decline and subjugation. We had seen the political, military, economical, social and spiritual superiority while not-so-educated Abu Bakr, Omer, Othman and Ali laid down the foundations of developments. The great scientist like Ibn Sina did not bring the glory to Islam. He has contributed to further the development. The glory was brought by the uneducated companions of prophet (saw). Unless we have secured borders and a viable political system, no development is possible. Our biggest enemies are not Advani, Sharon or Bush. Our biggest enemies are Fahd, Mushrrraf, Saddam, Kaddafi and above all ourselves.

Before rendering to achieve something else, the political atmosphere should be restored to Khilafat. Shuja

very good article!!! it is so true that the arab world acts like children, never accepting its own faults!!!! but it must be pointed that the worst century was the 19th and not the 20th, thats when foreigners came to occupy the arab world. also, japan was able to get like that because of massive American money investments, and not just with good intentions...
also there are much more miserable countries around the world. take india for example, but it doesn't spend its time complaining or accusing america, it tries to ACT !!! even though india doesn't have the richest people in the world... the rich arabs put their money in US banks, for a total of 350 billion dollars officially to this day... makes you wonder right?!?...

I would like to say that the problem facing the 'Arab' world is that all 'muslims' see themselves as Arabs, Persians, Turks, Bosnians, and Albanians etc. They are involved in copying the westerners in every respect and look upto them. The only thing that will save the muslims is the adherence to the way of life of the Prophet peace be upon him. He used Persian words to call people to partake in food prepared by Salman Farsi, he set up an islamic community based on the brotherhood in religion not in blood. According to the Prophet's (peace be upon him) description, an Arab is the one who speaks Arabic, not someone of arab blood. To give you an example the great jurist of Islam Imam Abu Hanifa was from Sind (now a province of Pakistan), Imam Bukhari was from Bukhara (a part of the former USSR), one of the heirs of Hadrat Khalid bin Walid is now a Palestinian (so he doesn't have the right to call himself Saudi or according to the nationalistic sentiments set up by the former western colonizers even though he is a son of none other than Khalid bin Walid!). so where does nationalism lead us? To utter ruin! The so called Arab nationalims was the product of British intrigues who wished to finish the Ottoman rule and give Palestine to the Jews, so they made the muslims of Arab and Turkish desent quarrel amonst themselves quite successfully and they managed to kill two birds with one stone. The old 'Arab' historians use the term 'Muslim', they don't use the term 'Arab' to describe themselves. So why do the modern 'Arabs'? There are desendents of the Nabi Kareem (S.A.W) in Sind, in Malaysia, in Sudan, in Turkey, so do they have the right to call themselves Arabs or not? they can prove by a DNA test that they are children of Rasoollah(s.a.w). The point I am trying to make is that we must drop these pretentions, the Islamic scholars in the US and Canada (such as Abdullah Hakim Quick)are dead against this nationalism especially among the Arabs

What is wrong with Arab world and with Muslims is the favorite question of the entire west. Yes! Arab world was used to be a dominate force but not any more and it will not be in near or far future. There is nothing in the old history books neither triumphs nor failure that can do any good to Arab world. Blame it on west, blame it on Islam, blame it on Arabs but reality is that it will not change a thing. Things change where people have intellect, understanding, tolerance and knowledge and Arab world has Oil, Sheiks, arrogance, illiteracy, extremism and not to mention terrorism. In my humble opinion next revival of Islamic civilization is not coming out of Arab rather somewhere where we least expected. That group of people will have the right knowledge, intellect, understanding and tolerance and rest of the Arab world will just get on the wagon as everyone salutes the rising sun. In these days we salute US and in future we will do for someone else.
A lot of people try to teach Muslim their own history and think that it will do any good. It only makes them feel good but they forget, who wrote the history. Remember history is written by those who won the wars. No loser in this world is going to sit down and write his great failures. In these days history is wrote by Fox news and CNN.
My request to all who are historian and like to give history lessons, please don't waste time on giving your interpretations of Muslim history and Quran as it will do no good as Muslims are mostly deaf with exception of few.

First, I need to expose John Norman as a little orientalist for showing his ignorance in bashing Arabs without.
Dr Fatma Sayegh correctly highlights the ills of Arab Nations but forgets one important aspect they are homogenous nations; they are heterogenous nations. They cannot be compared to Japan because of their geographical proximity to a terrorist state who's interest is to indianise them. They cannot be compared to Japan because Japan received aid from the US. Arabs received American & Israeli bombs from the skies instead. Not to forget the historical crimes of the Mongol hordes, the crusades as well as hate from Western Christiandom/colonialism/Zionist & American Emperialism in Arab lands. On the contrary to what John Norman stated Arabs have shown throughout their history that there were the least brutal & the least intolerant but some ungrateful Sefardic Jews & Maronite Christians that found a home or refuge in diverse Arab lands but tend to forget that their ancestors lived & thrived in Arab countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon & Egypt thanks to Islam.

In short, it is the forces of evils interference in Arabs affairs that hampers our development otherwise it would take our true Muslims (currently jailed)less time to rebuild our nations than what it took the Japanese & their allies to rebuild their own after WWII.
Remember Imam Ali's statement in Nahj Albalagha: "A united immoral army is stronger than a divided moral army". It takes unity for a nation-state to rise up to power but I must agree with Dr Sayegh that it takes a decay in moral values for a nation to fall. Ibn Khaldun knows better.This is indisputedly the state of our affairs . It is fantasy however to think that you can accomodate the diverse interests of 23 Arab nations never mind the diverse ethnics groups with conflicting interests (how can the puppet Maronite reach an agreement with a heroic Hezbollah leader or how can a Frenchised Kabilee separatist do the same with an Ara

I am compelled first of all to say that John Norman's characterization of Arabs as "lazy, chaotic, rebellious and sick with self pity" does not describe any Arab I have ever met. I have not met all of them. Has he? I am quite disturbed to have an entire race stereotyped in this manner. In my naivete, I thought people of the 21st century judged people individually. As far as the topic is concerned, there are no easy solutions. The piety and greed of many in the West make them lust after oil and converts in this part of the world, so it is difficult to imagine that the Arab world will ever be left alone to create the world they want to live in. The little I've read so far about the history of this region and the beginnings of Islam make me very sad. It seems in the beginning there was this cohesiveness amongst the Muslims. It seems Mohamad (pbuh) had succeeded in eliminating tribal attitudes, replacing them with something much nobler and inclusive. But still even in one of the more "progressive" of Arab countries, Jordan, people are still asked where there grandfathers were born when applying for jobs, or where are you from when the fire department comes. Nationalism seems to have divided the brothers and sisters of Islam. Perhaps I am too much of an idealist, but if the Arabs took the teachings of the Prophet (pbuh) seriously, they could unite into one nation, share their vast wealth amongst ALL their citizens and become once again a great culture for the rest of the world to admire. This is a tall order. Inshallah, one day they may undertake it and succeed.

When will Moslems learn that IT IS NOT about Arabs. It is all humanity.
Arabs are not superior and HAVE NEVER BEEN superior to non-arabs. They thought they were, but they were wrong.
I say this as a non arab Moslem.

The problem is not that simplistic as described in this article. The Arabs tried to go back to Islam in Algeria using the so modern standared called ELECTION and that resulted in many deaths, while the west is plainly supporting the dictators. Look at Sudan and Iran, the west never left them alone and still creating so many problems for them. The Muslim Ummah including the Arab world is attacked on a daily basis through some elements in the west known to be radicals. Look at the creation of Isreal and it's supporter back then and look at what this supporters in the U.S.A that call themselves evanglists say now. They believe that the whoever help Isreal, God will belss them. They are the same supporters who tried to block Presidnet Clinton in the genocide in Bosnia from helping to stop the masacres by saying the U.S should stay out and not get to involved in other countries affair. I heard them then and I also heard them for the last 2.5 years saying the opposite against Iraq. They're the one who pushed for the war and it looks like their ultimate goal is the full destruction and/or conversion of Muslims. We're all Muslims, and talking about Arabs is a dividing Islamic issue and we should rather be talking about the Muslim Ummah instead. Therefore, I think there are many problems confronting the Muslim Ummah, some internal and some external. We can't stand on our feet until we fix the main ingredient that unite us, which is the return to a nice and clean Isalm with no radicalism. That should start from the heart of every Muslim. Starting by one self then your nearest family then friends, then things will follow to the top. At the same time, we should not ignore the world around us and the enemies that tries to drail us.

With all due respect to your article and intelligence, I should say that you have contradicted yourself when you stated that there was "no reasonable explanation" to what is happening to the Arab World and right before this qualification of some sort, you stated that it was corruption, poverty, dependence on a single resource, etc. We cannot look any further. It is as crystal clear as the words on your article that many of the regimes have to go today before tomorrow. Most of them do not care about their masses. What pride are we talking about? It is a shame to talk about the Arab state of affairs nowadays whether socially, economically, or militarily. The leaders have helped in substantial ways to blind their nations to education, justice, and the rule of law. They have embarked upon a course of obscurantism for decades so that they could manipulate the general public opinion. The corruption which has so far befallen the Arab World is one of culture and religion not to exclude politics. Every one is to blame, from the top down and the ground up. One critical element which is quite predominant throughout the Arab World is that the blame is always put on some other entity. It begins when a child is raised and it stays with that child until he/she becomes an adult. The latter never tends to assume the full responsibility as a result. It is always the other person's fault. There is also another undermining element and that is the over-reliance on religion. For instance, my Jewish friends always say, "The sky is the limit" while my Arab brothers and sisters say, "Do not worry about it, God will take care of it." It is this kind of mindset which is destroying the Arabs.

I disagree with the article and most of those who posted comments. Everything has a cycle. The Arabs were once the dominant force and lifted the Europeans from the dark caves. Without the contribution the Arabs made to Europe, the Europeans would still be in living in dark Ages.

Today, the Arab situation is due to puppets of the U.S. in the Middle East. They are misusing the resources,i.e.- U.S. getting free Oil. The zionists at the other end are a big distraction. It must be settled.

The West is a hedonistic, morally corrupt and very sick society. It has not advanced at all. Its technology is the many thousands years of work of people from all walks of life. If someone from 3000 B.C. takes a screw off from the computer, those who are posting comments on this site, would not be able to do so b/c the screw was designed by the people in 3000 B.C. So, no regions of the world should get special admiration for its current situation or riches.

Let me also disagree with the non-Muslims friends who posted comments here since his or her religion does not seem to convey the real message of God. God created people to work hard and work very hard. My God called Allah in Arabic challaged people to "... penetrate all the regions of heaven and Earth". That means to work hard and explore the outer edges of our universe.

Muslims once did pray 5 times a day and lifted people from darkness. They can do it again. The United States is not going to last forver; its half-life is 50 more years.

Only those who are hedonistic focus on Earthly lives ONLY, but those who are true believers and real creative people MUST focus on both this life and the next on. NO EXCUSE.

The problem is the Arabs have reverted back to the pre-Islamic era when they were nothing but bunch of greedy and wild people who would kill each others for years over few camels. Islam came and turn them into the Empire they were. Then came the OIL. Their true color came out again. Greedy and wild and now killing each other over few dollars. The only hope for them is when the oil runs out so that they would go back eating dirt and grass-hoppers. Thats the only way they would remember Allah and go back to Islam. So for now, we probably have another 200yrs or so of the same old Arab greed and wildness. May Allah help us.

Dear Dr. Fatma....

Gimme one valid reason why u must wrote up this type of article? This article full with Assabeyyah spirit! Muslim against it! You should write a article regarding Muslim as one Ummah not just focused to one group of ethnic! Arab does not mean to Islam - why? because some Arab are not Muslim. Islam is Islam and all His believer are brothers.

We are as Muslim already got the greatest role model - he is MUHAMMED (pubh).Then gimme one valid reason why must turn to Japan?

The important fact is We should adopt the authentic teachings of Islam.

Al Quran and Al Hadis is the answer for all dificulties.

If the arabs stop aspiring to live western life styles,create a regional economic and political co-operation ,then that is a big step forward.
This will prevent foreign influences and domination.

HAMMER said:
In general, I agree with the article with the exception of one point. I agree that the Arabs should not blame others for their problems. But I disagree that the solution is more Islam. I think Islam has played a significant role in the failure of Arab coutnries as well as most Muslim countries to prosper.

The Arab world's best hope lies in America's attempt to transform Iraq into a modern secular democracy. Yet many Arab jihad warriors have entered Iraq to make life difficult for the Americans.

As the article said, Japan provides a good example to follow. Japan, like Iraq, was once ruled by American troops. It now is an economic powerhouse with a huge trade surplus with America. Like the Muslim world, Japan too produced suicide bombers (kamikazes) who crashed their planes on Americans.

Japan adpoted Capitlasim and democracy. This is the key to its success. So Arab countries should now learn from the Americans as the Japanese did.
Japan learned much from America. In the process, it abandoned its belief that the Emperor is God. Arabs must follow Japan's example.

If indeed Arabs copy Japanese will and determination, not only will the arabs be the richest nation ( culture, economy) but THE MOST powerful nations in the WORLD!!!

In order for the Arab world to rid itself of its ills, all foriegn troops should be removed. The area needs to be de-militerized, but not before the failed Israeli state is completely and throughly disarmed and the terrotories returned to their right owners, the Palestinians. Eventually the jewish terrorist state must be dismantled if peace is to ever flourish there.
Once the threat of external colonialism is removed, the dictators placed by the West will fall. But ofcourse, democracy is the LAST thing the powers that be want present in the Middle East. But it will happen.

If the Arabs had a measure of clear-sighted courage, they would discover that their backwardness springs from their history of imperialism and colonialism, by that I mean the imperialism they imposed on others. Coupled with extravagant exploitation of their colonies and their colonial subjects, they missed out on the sheer discipline that characterises both Western, Japanese and, in its heyday, Chinese imperialism. If the Arabs want to join the modern world, they will have to admit to their faults, apologise for past crimes, and start to impose discipline on a personality that is essentially lazy, chaotic, rebellious and sick with self pity. They must stop blaming everyone and anyone but themselves for their problems. India was colonised for a far longer period than the Arab world both by Arab, Persian, Afghan invaders and by the West. I have yet to hear an Indian blame India's present day problems - and they are many - on their past colonnisers. The Arab world needs to learn from India as much as from other South East and East Asian cultures.

Compared to the west, yes, Arab world is in a political, econmic and social mess. But, only 400 years or so ago, west was in a similar mess. So, how did west get ahead. Probably, the west (i.e. christian world) decided to worry more about the worldly affairs (i.e. living a good life) and worry less (or not at all) about religious affairs (e.g. praying). So, if Arabs (i.e. muslims) want to catch up with the west, they may have to emphasize life on earth more than afterlife (i.e. life in heaven). You cannot have both.

Assalamu alaikum,

The statements in the article are neither built on any sound foundation nor on any basis. The article makes many statements without any supporting evidence or any supporting arguments.

I agree with the author that the Iraq Baath ruthless dictators were out of touch with reality and I believe so is the author, like many Arabs.

The apparent problems the Arabs/Muslims are facing are only symptoms of causes that happened many centuries ago. One of the major causes of their decline and their eventual defeat happened about one century after Hijra. That and other causes have taken root so badly that attempts for a real remedy get silenced very quickly. A symptom of those causes is that the Arabs/Muslims missed the industrial revolution. Almost everything that happened to the Arabs/Muslims in at least the last six centuries or more is a symptom of those causes.

One reason the recent attempts to remedy the situation mentioned by the author failed is because those attempts tackled only the symptoms. The author of the article is making the same mistake. The author is tackling symptoms. The author mentions no causes and is apparently not aware of causes.

Also, the author is dreaming in implying that foreign governments have no culpability in what is happening to the Arabs.


I don't know if Dr. Fatma Al Sayegh knows that the reconstruction effort in Japan was lead by a team of Americans. Of course, the main seed to Japan's prosperity was its culture and high standards in work and social ethics, but imagine a team of Americans leading the reconstruction effort in the Crescent peninsula, in my Christian world this idea would be next to blasphemy. If we take a serious look back at Middle Eastern history, the decline of this civilization was NOT brought upon by the west or any invading army (although we love to talk about the Crusades we know that they did not do as much harm as the invading Mongol armies), it was the lack of cohesiveness amongst Muslims. The prosperity seen in Arab/Muslim Empire was fed by the expansionism seen right after its birth. The Pax Islamica was the greatest era in ME history, may be we could look at that as an example for the reconstrucion.