Why I will not apologize for the Paris attacks
By : Khaled Almaeena
The Paris attacks that killed 130 people and injured hundreds of others are still capturing headlines. They also occupy the top spot in social media the world over.
The attack came days after suicide bombers blew up about 40 people in a Beirut suburb and before that a Russian plane was blown up over Sinai killing more than 200 people. ISIS claimed responsibility for all of these murderous acts.
I received several phone calls from Western journalists asking for the Saudi point of view on these murderous attacks to which my reply was that all of us condemn these inhumane and ugly acts which do not serve any purpose, but on the contrary malign our society and our religion.
One caller asked if we will apologize. I almost screamed at him. Apologize for what?! Are we responsible for the actions of mysterious groups that destroy and kill? Are we responsible for all the evil acts being committed and falsely attributed to Islam?! I am not going to apologize, I said.
I stand with the entire world in condemning the wanton, ruthless and mindless destruction of innocent human lives, but please do not ask me to apologize for something for which I am not responsible
Let an international investigation be conducted and the findings made public. I am not a believer in conspiracy theories, but since the 9/11 attack until now many questions remain unanswered. How is it that after every major incident a passport is found intact? As if people walk the streets with their passports in their pockets and the passports are made of nonflammable material that is resistant to fires and bomb attacks.
In New York, it was a Saudi passport; in Paris it was a Syrian passport which later was found to be a fake and there were 11 passports with the same name and number!
We have had enough of preachers of hate and ignorant politicians inciting animosity against Muslims and ranting anti-Islamic rhetoric that is racist and full of hate. Enough of ignorant people going on the rampage uttering jingoistic chants forgetting the complicity of their own governments in creating Al-Qaeda and ISIS-like organizations and propping up dictatorships in the region, dismantling armies and social order and creating vacuum that led to strife.
I stand with the entire world in condemning the wanton, ruthless and mindless destruction of innocent human lives, but please do not ask me to apologize for something for which I am not responsible. Have the Jews apologized for Netanyahu’s daily massacre of Palestinians? Have the Dalai Lama and Aung San Suu Kyi apologized for the brutal holocaust inflicted on the Muslims of Myanmar? Has Indian Prime Minister Modi apologized for the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat or the lynching of people alleged to have eaten beef? Have Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Bremer apologized for the death of a million Iraqis?
While the world rises up in arms against the cowardly murders of the innocent in Paris, no one protested when over a 100 Turks were blown to bits by ISIS in Ankara.
This selective grief is not palatable to me and to many around the world. These acts are carried out by people who are supposedly Muslims, but are mostly managed by shadowy groups operating under the umbrella of Western agencies. They do not represent us. I am not guilty, and therefore, I will not apologize!
Khaled Almaeena is a veteran Saudi journalist, commentator, businessman and the editor-at-large of the Saudi Gazette. Almaeena has held a broad range of positions in Saudi media for over thirty years, including CEO of a PR firm, Saudi Television news anchor, talk show host, radio announcer, lecturer and journalist. As a journalist, Almaeena has represented Saudi media at Arab summits in Baghdad, Morocco and elsewhere. In 1990, he was one of four journalists to cover the historic resumption of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Russia. He also traveled to China as part of this diplomatic mission. Almaeena’s political and social columns appear regularly in Gulf News, Asharq al-Aswat, al-Eqtisadiah, Arab News, Times of Oman, Asian Age and The China Post. He can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena
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