Fjordman just sent us a tip about the MEMRI translation of an interview with a Saudi luminary, and included this commentary in his email:
Here is an interview with the Saudi intellectual (yes, really!) Ibrahim Al-Buleihi, who proclaims the value and importance of Western civilization. What is interesting about Mr. Al-Buleihi is that he confirms the historical fact that while Muslims did engage certain aspects of Greek thought, they always treated it as an alien intrusion into the body of Islam and ultimately rejected it. This was not the case with Christians, probably because Christianity did not regard Greek philosophy as equally hostile since at some level, Christianity was Greco-Roman in a sense that Islam never was, or could be.
So here we have a Muslim Arab who is more willing to defend the Western heritage than are many Western intellectuals.
In fact, a large number of prominent Westerners are unwilling to defend their own culture at all. They are more than eager to see it go down the tubes and be replaced by what they regard as a more “authentic” culture: that of Islam.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
Saudi Intellectual: Western Civilization Has Liberated Mankind
“Western civilization is the only civilization that liberated man from his illusions and shackles; it recognized his individuality and provided him with capabilities and opportunities to cultivate himself and realize his aspirations. [Western civilization] humanized political authority and established mechanisms to guarantee relative equality and relative justice and to prevent injustice and to alleviate aggression. This does not mean that this is a flawless civilization; indeed, it is full of deficiencies. Yet it is the greatest which man has achieved throughout history. [Before the advent of Western civilization,] humanity was in the shackles of tyranny, impotence, poverty, injustice, disease, and wretchedness.
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“When we review the names of Muslim philosophers and scholars whose contribution to the West is pointed out by Western writers, such as Ibn Rushd, Ibn Al-Haitham, Ibn Sina, Al-Farbi, Al-Razi, Al-Khwarizmi, and their likes, we find that all of them were disciples of the Greek culture and they were individuals who were outside the [Islamic] mainstream. They were and continue to be unrecognized in our culture. We even burned their books, harassed them, [and] warned against them, and we continue to look at them with suspicion and aversion. How can we then take pride in people from whom we kept our distance and whose thought we rejected?….these [achievements] are not of our own making, and those exceptional individuals were not the product of Arab culture, but rather Greek culture. They are outside our cultural mainstream and we treated them as though they were foreign elements. [Emphasis added] Therefore we don’t deserve to take pride in them, since we rejected them and fought their ideas. Conversely, when Europe learned from them it benefited from a body of knowledge which was originally its own because they were an extension of Greek culture, which is the source of the whole of Western civilization.”
Perhaps Mr. Al-Buleihi is looking ahead to the victory of Islam over the kuffar, and has realized how much he will miss us when we’re gone.