For those who don't care, my response to one of the obscene articles on Creative Forum's website:
You say that the Middle East is afflicted by religous dogma, extremism, bigotry and discrimination. Not once do you mention that the Middle East is primarily afflicted with the curse of occupation, colonialism and concerted Western efforts to divide, conquer and subdue. You also do not mention the biggest blight, the existence of a Zionist settler state in Palestine, as one of these ills. This is confusing and alarming at once since the tone for the rest of your essay implies that such an omission may not have been an accident. I also think that a vast majority of the people of these monotheistic faiths would be a little bit annoyed with you for claiming that their faith is “invented”, however great an idea you believe it to be.
The next paragraph in your essay is even more terrifying, where you set the tone for your essay by calling for a Muslim Martin Luther and the separation of religion from the state, citing, of all possible examples, the sad catastrophe which is Mustafa Kemal’s decapitation of Turkey. Another of the commentators even had the gall to mention Tunisia as a successful example for Syrians to emulate.
Your argument for state secularization and Islamic reform is dialectic, and with the flimsiest of foundations. The basis for its narrative is one which is perhaps more suitable for a thinktank in Washington DC than on actual facts. Pivotal to your argument is that the reader accepts your claims about the so-called Ulama “class” prima facie. An argument which is then buttressed by ugly language which is evocative of Raphael Patai’s “The Arab Mind” and is in fact racist, hateful and grotesquely Orientalist.
You talk about secularisation and the desperate need for it, yet from Morrocco to Iraq there is not one single Islamic state, apart from Saudi Arabia. The example you give of Syria verges on the criminal when placed in perspective. Syria is in fact a country which has killed 30,000 of its own citizens in the name of the secularism you are calling for. You may wish to read up on this massacre, it is popularly called the Hama Massacre, if you know Arabic it is referred to locally as Ahdath Hama.
Overall, your article appears to be less about what Syria is to you and more about how little you know of Islam, the regions history and your intense dislike of this faith and its adherents. That none of the other commentators on this thread have picked up on this is an indication that either they have not read your article and are simple sycophants, or they themselves know nothing better than what you are presenting them with. Either way, this hardly looks like a promising example for Syria’s brightest and best.