Dr. Ahmad Abd Al-Malik, a columnist for the United Arab Emirates newspaper Al-Ittihad, takes Arab writers to task for attacking the United States while ignoring more serious problems in their own countries.
"We read articles by some of our 'renowned' writers criticizing the U.S. and its leaders and protesting its mistakes and its positions on the Arab world," according to a translation of Malik's article by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). But "when it comes to an Arab regime, they dare not criticize it at all, even if it is corrupt."
"Why don't they write about the injustice likely to befall citizens who write against the Arab regimes?...Why don't [Arab]leaders assume responsibility for the backwardness of our economy, education and society, even though they remain in power for long periods?" Malik continues. "Why don't they write about the collapse of the institutions or the stagnation of government during an age of technological development, or about the anti-constitutional legislation that perpetuates class division?" Have "you [ever] heard of a European or American oppositionist going to prison?"
"Don't our 'renowned' writers have anything to say about all this, instead of flooding us with criticism of America and its leaders? …Addressing the situation in the Arab world is much more honorable than leveling criticism at the U.S. and its leaders. America is not afraid of any opinion or criticism, however bold."
According to Malik, that is the critical difference between the Arab world and the West: "We can say whatever we wish about [the West], but if we utter a single word of truth about our own [countries and leaders], it is considered a crime that merits punishment."