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The Great Delusion - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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People’s attitudes vary greatly and what is most important is their capability of adapting to change. The following article includes a group of news items taken from a variety of different sources, I have attempted to tie them together in order to understand and show that what binds these news articles together is stronger than what drives them apart. Let me explain…

Federal police chiefs in the US have complained about the rise in the number of hate groups and threatening messages, with the total number of hate groups today standing at 512, and with 127 of these being classified as armed militias. The most dangerous of these is a group known as the Hutaree militia and they exist in the US states of Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Their member’s number in the thousands and most of them are trained in fire-arms, including some former soldiers who served in the Gulf wars. They recently announced on their official website that they are preparing for a war against the White House and a confrontation with the Antichrist. The Hutaree militia believes that the Antichrist is the former UN Secretary-General and retired European diplomat Javier Solana, and the sad thing is that there are thousands of people who believe this nonsense.

There is an embarrassing history with regards to exaggeration and overstatement with regards to military and political positions and statements in the Arab world, which has led to the presence of figures like [Egyptian broadcaster during Six Day War] Ahmed Saeed, [Egyptian journalist] Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, and [former Iraqi Information Minister] Saeed al-Sahaf. However if this is the case in the Arab world, then what the official spokesman for the Israeli Defense Force Avichai Adrai announced is far superior to this and can only be described as bare-faced lies. Adrai said that Israel holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for failing to manage their affairs, and that Israel “will not tolerate having the enemy on our land.” Israel is a country built upon a lie to the point that lying has now become second nature.

Then there is the disgrace that took place within the Roman Catholic Church and the explicit calls for the Pope to resign for failing to punish or dismiss priests who sexually abused children. Since the Pope was aware that such abuse was taking place and did nothing to stop it, the responsibility for what happened lies with him. According to the people who work for it, the Church is the largest employer on the global stage, and it is [also] one of the richest institutes on earth, with regards to land, property, and assets. Therefore the Church must be subject to standards and closely monitored and it must never allow evil practices to take place in the name of religion or fundraising.

There is also the news about a television show that was filmed in Jerusalem, but it was later revealed that this program also included shots of Palestine Street in Jeddah and a hill in Amman overlooking Ramallah, and that nobody in the Arab world noticed this. Last but not least, there was the debate over the issue of “gender mixing” in Saudi Arabia which degraded into a vulgar shouting match.

Therefore the international scene is full of such strange events, and one cannot try and connect them together and understand them without confirming that the world is passing through a period of political turmoil and everybody is in a daze. It is sufficient to recall that the chorus of the most popular song in the Arab world today goes “I am not impotent…I am King Kong!”

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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