When a prominent author insults a civilization’s values

No one expected such wrongdoing by Egyptian author Youssef Ziedan, who has adopted scientific research as an approach in his works. His statements on Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula were a populist insult without scientific or academic foundation.

At a recent lecture, Ziedan said there were no Arabic-language scholars in the Arabian Peninsula and no civilization prior to Islam. “Name one scholar from there!” he said.

The rhetoric

The rhetoric adopted by Ziedan was based on street discussions, not the logic of scientific halls, research proposals or debates. Why did he rush while addressing the history of Islam, instead of taking his time like those who want to discuss serious information do?

Ziedan's statements on Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula were a populist insult without scientific or academic foundation

Turki Aldakhil

Some responses to Zeidan’s statements have been inappropriate, but it is unreasonable to expect otherwise when you provoke people and insult their values without foundation.

During another lecture, he lit a cigarette in a closed hall where smoking is prohibited, then refused to put it out and argued with the organizers about it until he walked out of the lecture. The fruit of knowledge is modesty.

This article was first published in Okaz on Aug. 18, 2016.
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Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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