Arab newspapers view attacks


September 20, 2001

Newspapers in the Arab world have given unprecedented coverage to the death and destruction in New York and Washington, with most devoting more than two-thirds of their publications to articles and debate about the attacks.

In the first days after the disaster, the papers were filled with expressions of sorrow and condolences. That is giving way to fears that all Muslims will be judged by the actions of a few and that, in retaliating against terrorism, the United States will fail to address the conditions that have created deep antipathy toward it.

The newspapers have complained in the past that the United States has not paid close attention to the Arab world and virtually ignored the Israeli-Palestinian conflict until Arab leaders were needed to form a coalition against terror.

Yesterday, papers from Egypt to the West Bank and Gaza included articles about how a war would affect their communities and whether life there would be left better or worse.

Most express reservations about the possible launching of a war by the United States. They urge Western leaders to re-evaluate their relations with the Muslim world and try to to understand why such deep divisions exist.

Here is a sample of editorials published yesterday in the Arab press, translated and compiled by The Sun's bureau in Jerusalem.

Al Quds

East Jerusalem

America between demonstrating strength and displaying judgment

There isn't a rational person who doubts the strength of America, and there isn't a human being who denies that the world is living in America's moment. Therefore what is needed from Washington is a display of judgment, not of power.

Us ... and the American catastrophe

Thus far the U.S. has experimented with the policy of controlling peoples' destinies to serve their own interests. The result was this catastrophe for its policies and people. If the U.S. is truly interested in defeating terrorism it should look for its motivation and causes, for it is without the slightest doubt ingrained in oppression and double standards. It is specifically rooted in the Palestinian catastrophe. It is possible that this catastrophe will form the basis for a positive change which would no doubt bring goodness, comfort, security and peace to the peoples of the world, foremost of which would be the people of the United States of America.

The first war of the 21st century: Barren and expensive scenarios

Regardless of the scenario Washington adopts to fight terrorism, one thing that is clear is that the world is on the verge of a new world order. This order assumes that terrorism is the common enemy of the entire world. However, is this new order going to be better than the current one, and is it going to benefit Arabs and Muslims?



The battlefield is no longer a geographic location

Now, after the most brutal crime in New York and Washington, a new era of conflict has begun, but with one vital difference: the absence of the enemy's geographic element. This means that the battlefield is no longer clear or defined, and this causes a complicated problem for several reasons. First, for example, is that the enemy could be now only a few meters away from the Pentagon or the White House or anywhere else in America or other Western countries.

Al Ayyam

Ramallah, West Bank

The Coalition against terrorism, a priority for Americans and Arabs

It is true that the priority today appears to be a security solution but, and without justifying what happened, the political solution is more important. Combining security and politics is possible whereby terrorism would be fought and the Arabs would succeed in relaying their needs to that end. But this would require the Arabs to surpass their traditional positions and strive to become active. And it requires America not to stop at a security solution in its fight against terrorism, but to surpass itself, even once, and direct new dialogue toward the Arabs. ...

Bush: Slip of the tongue or tumble?

Waiting for the expected American military strike, what remains is to ensure the boundaries of this strike, in the absence of a fair and detailed investigation, and in the presence of what seems to be a personal vendetta between Bush and bin Laden, or between the strongest country in the world, the United States, and the weakest power on earth, Afghanistan. And if Bush's talk of the Crusades was a slip of the tongue, the fear is that he will fall in Afghanistan.

Al Hayat


The attack on America: Calculating gains and losses

Let the bloody Sept. 11 be a turning point in the history of the world and an end point to the eternal struggle in the Middle East. Will this hope be achieved, or will the result be what it usually is; the Palestinians being crushed more, the Arabs being humiliated and the Muslims' image being distorted?

Al Ahram


Islamophobia ... and American revenge

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