Christina/ June 7, 2009/ Culture

There is no sympathy for terrorists. There is no pity or understanding either. We agree on that. We, that’s the tenor of the report “In the camp of the prissy terrorists”, published in the magazine GEO, vol. 5/2009 and the author of this article. Anthony Horrowitz, the author of the GEO article describs an unusual prison in his story and the extraordinary methods being taken to treat prisoners down there. By chance this prison is in Saudi Arabia. Accidentially its inmates are terrorists.

What can you expect from such a report? It gives an account on a region which is not very popular among a broader general public. It refers to a religion about which Western media has not many good things to say. It is about a breed incomprehensible to any civilized citizen. So what can this story provoke? Right, not much but to confirm clichees. Not in a clumsy way as the BILD-newspaper might do it. But even this article misses out on a chance: to publish a truth but differentiated report on occurances in the Arabic countries.

Let’s summarize the report’s highlights:

  1. Saudi Arabia is known as archai kindgom,
  2. Amnesty International states that Saudi Arabia has at least enforced death penalty 158 times in 2005,
  3. Saudi Arabia has been ruled for centuries by the most conservative traditionIn Saudi Arabien herrscht seit Jahrhunderten Wahhabism,
  4. Saudi Arabia is the breeding ground of dissatisfied, humiliated, radikal young men,
  5. Osama bin Laden comes from Saudi Arabia.

Honestly, who should not be convinced that Saudi Arabia and its inhabitants are beyond remedy and have to be combated by the West therefore? In course of the article Horrowitz also delivers the famous while easy to follow parable of the mean and alleged good terrorist, who was wrongly imprisoned at Guantánamo and who is not mad at the Americans as he can understand their motives.

Almost unremarked this sentence by the author: “Would the Europeans, faced with such a decision overcome the disgust towards the thought to give former-terrorists a second chance?” One annotation however that might be retraced by interested and well-informed readers: What might the Orient think about the West who behaved so civilized as English, French or Italian colonial masters? And moreover: Saudi Arabia is not the only Arabic country that tries to lead terrorists back to the path of truth. In Jemen judge Hamoud al-Hitar is successful with its programme “committee for dialogue”, unfortunately so far disregarded by the West. It’s worth watching this documentation: “The judge and the fanatic – Dialogue against terror”.

Initially begin with: “To disabuse” und “Yemeni judge fights against terror by conviction”.

Horrowitz article closes with the sentence: “Handling islamists the intensive German-Yemeni development cooperation could work this time the other way round.” It is worth thinking about it – dear readers!

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