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al-Maaly, Khalid


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Berliner Zeitung - Germany | 14/09/2006

Khalid Al-Maalys criticises Arab intellectuals

Cologne-based Iraqi novelist Khalid Al-Maaly criticises Arab intellectuals, accusing them of opportunism and deceitfulness. "Many of them manage to cleverly disguise their double standards: in their home countries, they cast themselves in the role of guardians of traditional values but when they talk in foreign languages to foreign audiences, they suddenly assume very different, cosmopolitan views… The Arab intellectual behaves like a despotic father. The family's internal problems are carefully concealed from outsiders. The family must appear to be a solid unit no matter what the reality of the situation is. This becomes very apparent in issues like relations with Israel, the scandal surrounding the Fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the 9/11 attacks, Saddam Hussein's fall from power, the Danish Muhammad cartoon affair and the most recent war in Lebanon. In private conversations the views you hear are completely different from those that appear in the newspapers the next day. It's as if the views expressed in the media were not based on individual thinking but are formulated as opportunistic speech bubbles."

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