Reactions to Mahathir's speech...
  • 'The speech correctly addressed the issues confronting Muslims and regarding what Muslims should do. Muslims must educate themselves, they must begin to be progressive and develop themselves.' -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who did not think the speech was anti-Semitic

  • 'This was a pep talk to the Muslim countries for them to work hard and look to the future, but as soon as you have any criticism of Israel, then there are people who are very eager to rush to condemnation, even without comprehending what it's all about.' -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher

  • 'We view them with the contempt and derision they deserve.' -- US State Department spokesman Adam Ereli, saying that the remarks were offensive and inflammatory.

  • 'The Prime Minister used expressions that were gravely offensive, very strongly anti-Semitic and... strongly counter to principles of tolerance, dialogue and understanding between the Western world and the Islamic world.' -- Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini

  • Australian Prime Minister John Howard said the comments were 'offensive' and 'repugnant', and that 'any invocation of rivalry between Jews and Muslims is very unhelpful'.
The split between the Islamic world and the civilized world seems pretty pronounced. Every time they hold one of these major Islamic hoedowns the same kinds of vapors are emitted. I'm still waiting for a "moderate" Muslim leader — including our own hand-picked boy, Karzai — to step up and say that we don't live in a Dr. Fu Manchu/Council of Boskone/SPECTRE world of conspiracies and secret societies and wheels within wheels. No Muslim leader appears capable of admitting that societies that are steeped in ignorance, tribalism, honor/shame culture, and women as breeding stock are inferior to the rest of the world, whether Israel, the U.S., Europe, or Japan. The only place they can compete is Africa, not not everyplace there.

Posted by: Fred Pruitt 2003-10-17