Mon, 01 Dec 2003

Reform in the Arab world

The Egyptian ambassador to Indonesia, Ezzat Saad (On Sudarsono's article, The Jakarta Post, Nov. 19), clearly has his head buried in the sands of the Nile when he asserts that the Israel-Palestine conflict is "the main root cause of violence and extremism in the region and in the Muslim world".

It is certainly a major and tragic contributory factor, but to deny that reform in the Arab world has never been an issue for al-Qaeda is to ignore the facts.

The recent suicide bombings on residential areas in Riyadh committed by terrorists with clearly established links to al- Qaeda are designed to destabilize Saudi society, and the fact that the majority of the Sept. 11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia speaks volumes.

I refrain from commenting on the political situation in Egypt itself, other than to say that an objective view of President Hosni Mubarak's governance reveals methods that are far removed from those practiced in open societies.

Finally, the ambassador's comment that Sudarsono's article "dealt with the Osama bin Laden phenomenon in a way that serves a false and misleading perception, invented by certain circles in Israel and elsewhere" really gives the game away. He is no better than a parrot himself for the apologists for the Arab terror tactics.