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Bedouins and the Code of Hummurabi - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The arrogant language, which was used by the Iraqi Minister of Interior, was an unpleasant surprise for all those who love Iraq and want stability and progress for this country. It was especially sad considering that all experts had believed that such aggressive language in Iraq had ended with the collapse of the former regime, whose outspoken leader was the former Minister of Information Mohamed Saeed Al Sahaf.

The statement made by the Iraqi Minister includes a plethora of pitfalls and mistakes. He erred in his comments even if they were made in the heat of the moment. It was another big mistake committed against the stability of his own country if such comments were made in the name of other regional forces outside of Iraq.

It was immature and ignorant to describe the Saudi Foreign Minister as a &#34Bedouin riding a camel,&#34 as one could present to the Iraqi Interior Minister a number of &#34Bedouins on camels,&#34 who changed the face of history. The first and most important was the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH). It is ironic that a Roman leader had also described the Prophet as &#34a Bedouin on a camel who is incapable of doing anything.&#34 The Prophet was also accompanied by many other great &#34Bedouins on camels&#34 such as Ali Ibn Abi Taleb and his sons Hassan and Hussein. Perhaps the Iraqi Minister could share with us his opinions of these &#34Bedouins on camels.&#34

As for the interior minister”s belief that he is a descendant of Hammurabi simply because he is an Iraqi citizen, we would like to remind him that the same claim was made by Saddam Hussein, Al-Jazrawi, Hassan Al Majid, and Khayrallah Tulfah at every given occasion. However, they were the worst violators of laws and freedoms. Perhaps the Interior Minister could give us a lecture on this. In addition, it would be interesting to know what he thinks about the successful modern nations that have nothing to do with Hammurabi or the Pharaohs such as America, Australia, or Canada. Are they brutal dictatorships?

We realize that by making such statements the Iraqi Minister only represents himself. We also know that he was provoked by the criticism of the Saudi Foreign Minister for Iranian interference in Iraq. We realize that he does not speak on behalf of the Iraqi cabinet; this was clearly expressed by the Iraqi Foreign Minister”s apology in Jeddah recently. However, it was unfortunate that the Iraqi minister used such words that we considered to be left behind with the advent of a new Iraq. I sincerely hope that the Iraqi minister is brave enough to apologize to the Saudi Minister, to all the nomads and Bedouins of the Arab peninsula, to half of the Iraqis who also ride camels, and most importantly to Hammurabi and his code, which has probably never been read by the Iraqi interior minister.