DOHA, Qatar (Christian Examiner) – A female Arab journalist who lives in Qatar has penned a bold article that asks Muslims in the Middle East how they would respond if Christian suicide bombers struck their public markets, collapsed their tall buildings or tried to force Muslims to convert to Christianity.
Liberal Saudi journalist Nadine Al-Budair writes in Kuwait's Al-Rai newspaper that Arab countries have refused to address the problem of terrorism and have yet to create a climate that matches the liberal, humanitarian climate of the West. She asked Muslims to consider what their world would be like if Christians the world over had responded to Muslims the way terrorists have spread radical Islam.
"Imagine a Western youth coming here and carrying out a suicide mission in one of our public squares in the name of the Cross. Imagine that two skyscrapers had collapsed in some Arab capital, and that an extremist Christian group, donning millennium-old garb, had emerged to take responsibility for the event, while stressing its determination to revive Christian teachings or some Christian rulings, according to its understanding, to live like in the time [of Jesus] and his disciples, and to implement certain edicts of Christian scholars," Al-Budair writes in a translation of the editorial provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Al-Budair asks her readers to imagine Christian priests calling Muslims infidels over loudspeakers and chanting that God has demanded their deaths. She also writes they should also consider what would happen if Arab countries had provided Westerners with entry visas, benefits, modern healthcare only to have them turn on their hosts to kill them in the name of religion – likely a reference to the San Bernardino attacks carried out in December 2015.
"These images are far from the mind of the Arab or Muslim terrorist because he is certain, or used to be certain, that the West is humanitarian and that the Western citizen would refuse to respond [in this manner] to the barbaric crimes [of the Muslim terrorists]," Al-Budair writes. "Despite the terrorist acts of Al-Qaeda and ISIS, we [Muslims] have been on [Western] soil for years without any fear or worry. Millions of Muslim tourists, immigrants, students, and job seekers [travel to the West] with the doors open [to them], and the streets safe [for them]."
She writes, however, that tolerance for Muslims is fading in the West because Muslims refuse to confront the problem of Islamic extremism. As evidence of this, she points to the presidential campaign of New York billionaire Donald Trump, who in a "scary declaration," she writes, "demanded to bar Muslims from entering the U.S."
Al-Budair wrote that Muslims do not have the right to condemn statements like those made by Trump without addressing the failures of Arab educational systems which teach jihad and hatred of the West in madrassas (Islamic schools) around the world. Al-Budair claims Muslim nations should apologize to the rest of the world.
Much of what she said about education in the Middle East was voiced a year ago by Jordan's Queen Rania in addressing the United Arab Emirages UAE Government Summit in Dubai.
Al-Budair isn't confident, however, that anyone will heed her call for tolerance.
"After all these farces, some Arab analyst comes out touting a pathetic message, and reciting the same words in his friend's ear that he has repeated millions of times: 'Those [Muslims who commit terrorism] do not represent Islam, but only themselves.'
"This is all we [know how to do] – absolve [ourselves] of guilt," she wrote.
Al-Budair, who describes herself, as a feminist, last year encouraged Muslim women to flee their "benighted countries" for the safety, security and opportunity of the West.