by Hugh Fitzgerald
The late Anwar Shaikh, a scholar of Islam who lived in the West, argued in his Islam: The Arab National Religion that Islam has always been a “vehicle for Arab supremacism.” It’s not hard to see how he came to that conclusion. The Qur’an, after all, was delivered to an Arab, and in his language. The Qur’an ideally should be read, recited, and memorized, in the original Arabic. Muslims prostrate themselves in prayer five times a day, always turned toward Mecca, in Arabia. If they can afford it, Muslims should at least once in their lives make the hajj to that same Arabian city of Mecca. So great is the prestige of the Arabs in Islam that non-Arab Muslims, especially converts, frequently adopt Arab names. Many Muslims, too, especially in Pakistan, add the honorific “Sayid,” indicating — falsely — that they are descended from the Quraysh, the tribe of the Prophet.
Recently a Jordanian Member of Parliament and former cabinet minister, Mohammed Nouh Qudah, spoke in a television interview about the superiority of Arabs to all others. His story is here at memri.org. He said:
When the Arabs received Islam, it came with the idea that they are the masters of the world. Today, some people want us to manufacture planes, cars, and trains and then compete with Europe and America, but this is not the purpose for which we were created. When Allah created us as ‘peoples and tribes’ [as the Quran says], He endowed us Arabs with thought and guidance and He created the other peoples as students who follow our guidance. They are the ones who should work. This way, our thought and their work complement each other, and this is how the world is built. This is why God said in the Quran: ‘…and We raised some of them above others in ranks.
Since “the Arabs” have not shown any ability to “manufacture planes, cars, and trains” or to compete with either the West, or the East, in building a modern economy, MP Mohammed Nouh Qudah has a soothing explanation. The Arabs were never supposed to work. They are too good for that. They will provide “guidance” to all the other, inferior peoples, for “they [the non-Arabs] are the ones who should work.” It’s a perfect combination.
We are the masters of the world. I’m not saying this out of a sense of superiority. No, no. I say this as a way to put things in order. This is why God sent the message to the Arab nation. He instilled in the Arabs traits of leadership that He did not bestow upon others. I say to my brothers who watch us from Europe, America, or elsewhere: Go to any school, where there are children. Look at the way the children move, and you will notice that the Arab children are different from the children from the rest of the world. It shows! Take them on a trip, and you will see that the Arab children are different. This is not about castes, about racism, or about discrimination. I am talking about traits and different genes.
Not since the heyday of Hitler, with the Nazis singing the praises of the pure Aryan race, has there been such a claim of racial superiority. “We are the masters of the world.” How does this differ from Hitler’s message? For “Aryan,” read “Arab.” But Mohammad Nouh Qudah doesn’t want to be misunderstood. He doesn’t make this claim “out of a sense of superiority.” No, not at all. But he has merely fulfilled his solemn duty to tell the truth, to make sure everything is “put in order.” No need for mental chaos or confusion. We Arabs are too modest. We need to recognize that we are born leaders. We provide “guidance” to all other peoples. We have traits of leadership in our genes that no other people possesses. Just look at our leaders throughout history. True, the Mongols conquered us, and then so did the Ottomans, and finally the Europeans, but we have thrown over all those yokes, and now we lead the world.
Why, just look at what we have accomplished in Libya, Syria, Yemen. Look at the advances we have made, harnessing the world’s “workers” to create endlessly rich and vibrant societies under our permanent guidance. Just look at our unrivaled advances in the 22 Arab states, and compare those with any group of 22 Western states, those backward lands in Europe and North America that continue to claim that they are the civilized ones! We have always been in the lead in every field – in art, literature, science, philosophy, political thought. Our Arab authors are translated and studied throughout the world. Our universities are the best in the world. If Arabs have not received their fair share of Nobel Prizes in science – they have two – that is only because of the extreme envy and resentment of the Arabs by the Scandinavians who select the recipients. There is no need to mention our achievements by name; the whole world knows what we have accomplished, and is quite literally dumbstruck with admiration. There was a report some years ago, by some U.N. group, which said – as if it were an embarrassment – that Spain translated more works in a single year than the Arabs had done in their entire history. But there’s a very good explanation for that. Spain needed to translate so many books because it had such a deep need to learn from others; its own culture became so impoverished when the Arabs were expelled. Why don’t we translate more? Isn’t the answer obvious? It has nothing to to do with a lack of curiosity. We Arabs, with our natural genetic superiority, produce all the intellectual literature, in every field, that we need. We simply have no felt need to rely on translations from non-Arabs. We have our mental riches, ever-expanding, right here at home, in the vastness of our lands from Morocco to the Gulf, produced by our own people, written in our own language.
There are so many examples of this Arab leadership, this natural superiority, this inherent right to guide and lead others while all those others must do the world’s work. Think of Qatar. The Qatari Arabs, like the other Gulf Arabs, represent the purest strain of “Arab,” with no admixture of Turkish, Persian, Berber, Jewish, African, or European blood. Only 12% of the population are Qatari Arabs. The other 88% are a mixture of every kind of human. It is they who do all the work, while the Qatari Arabs, recognizing that leisure is the basis of culture, cultivate their minds. And what do we see? We see Qatari literary works that astonish the world, Qatari artistic creations that fill the world’s museums and enthrall so many visitors and collectors, Qatari music that enchants audiences everywhere. And much the same glorious outcome can be observed in Saudi Arabia, where the leisured Saudi Arabs lead deeply cultivated lives, made possible by the work of so many hard-working foreigners, and produce immortal Saudi literary works, Saudi works of art, Saudi symphonies. That is as it should be. It is in our genes.
I don’t say that out of any particular sense of superiority. After all, none of us is responsible for our genes. If we Arabs have all been blessed by Allah with a superior genetic makeup, we should be not boastful – we had nothing to do with our genes – but humbly grateful for this state of affairs. In the same way, we should not despise non-Arabs for their genes, that make them fit only to be workers, not creators, nor “guiders” of men. They did nothing to deserve that; for them too, it’s purely a matter of heredity. None of us can go against the will of Allah. All of us must accept our station.
First published in Jihad Watch.