http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/letters/stories/042205dnedifriletters.33f6f4f6.html Re: “Arab Self-Evaluation – U.N. report calls for social, political changes,” April 8 Editorials. This editorial claims that Arab governments, tradition, tribalism and Islam are the major causes for human suffering in the Arab world. The editorial’s author spins the results of the Arab Human Development Report 2004 to blame Islam as a main element for “their miserable condition.” The report itself convincingly explains that the real reason for the failings of democracy in several Arab countries is not because of its culture but in the people’s inability to remove authoritarian and totalitarian secular regimes. The presence of dictatorships in the Middle East is not an expression of Islam.
It is disappointing that The Dallas Morning News misrepresented Islam by inserting an incomplete definition of Islam in the wrong context. Islam’s definition is “submission to God alone”; not to tyrants or to one’s clan, as the editorial implied. The report quotes that “the dominant trend in Islamic jurisprudence supports freedom” and that “no Arab thinker today doubts that freedom is a vital and a necessary condition.” This report does not lay the blame at the feet of the Arab society but rather on the despotic governments that have been holding back their own citizens for decades. The News would serve its readership better with complete research and accurate reporting. Saffia Meek, Council on American Islamic Relations D/FW, Dallas