The following excerpts
are from two interviews with Bahraini author Dhiya Al-Musawi, which
aired on Al-Jazeera TV on May 4, 2010 and on Al-Arabiya TV on March
Al-Jazeera TV, May
Most of our viewers – 86 percent – believe that Europe, in its recent
attack on the niqab, on the minarets, and on Islamic clothing,
displays almost unparalleled racism against the Arabs and the Muslims.
I believe that 86 percent is not something odd for the Arab and Islamic
world, because we Arabs and Muslims continue to pass round the biscuits
of conspiracy theory. Therefore, I have come today to Al-Jazeera TV,
to talk about the prison of history in which many Arabs and Muslims
Prison of history?
Yes, we live in a prison of history, and many extremists sleep on the
bed of the past. We must saw off the legs of that bed, so that their
heads hit the floor, and they awaken from their political, social, and
even economic stupor.
Who is responsible
for booby-trapping planet Earth? Who distributes the drug of religion
through some mosques, by means of extremists? I am not generalizing
by saying it is all Muslims. Who is responsible for turning religion
into a can of sardines? Who is responsible for hijacking the minds of
the youth, and then booby-trapping them in Iraq and elsewhere? Who is
responsible for cementing this ideology in the minds of the youth? These
extremists are. These extremists may have different genes, but their
DNA is one and the same. The secular extremists, the Christian extremists,
the Jewish extremists, the Islamic extremists – they are all
the enemies of humanity, of the “Party of Man.”
Al-Arabiya TV, March
You once wrote: “Let me introduce myself. I am a very provocative
writer. I refuse to listen. I am as stubborn as 40 bulls. I am as sharp
as a shark’s teeth, and I inflict wounds like a Yemeni dagger. My
skin can tolerate people who speak only the language of knives, and
in face of all the troubles, I have become as thick as a lizard’s
What’s the purpose
of all these descriptions? After all, you have removed your turban for
the first time, and you are dressed in keeping with the latest fashion.
I believe that in the Arab world, if you want to focus on enlightenment,
on the “Party of Man,” and on the culture of life, you need to develop
the skin of a lizard, and you need to inflict wounds – not on people,
but on ignorance, illiteracy, and violence – by means of enlightenment.
I believe that if someone wants to generate change in the Arab world,
to expand the horizons of the Arab world, to open up its windows to
sunshine, liberty, truth, and enlightenment, he must be capable of withstanding
blows. I believe that these stabs are the flip side of turbulence. In
the Arab world, when people curse you, it means you have been successful
in making your voice heard. Therefore, I call for a cultural Intifada
in the Arab world, in order to sweep away the superstitions that dwell
in the Arab and Islamic mind.
People who believe
in the Prophet, his family, and his companions, must strive to spread
the culture of peace and tolerance in the world, to spread anything
that makes this world more beautiful, rather than to generate internal
Many Bahraini Internet forums describe you as a cleric who listens to
music, who drives a Porsche sports car, who wears Dolce & Gabbana,
who is obsessed with fashion, who celebrates Valentine’s Day and Christmas,
and who watches Hollywood movies. People are not used to such clerics
– or maybe you are no longer a cleric?
I am not a cleric.
For long, or is this recent?
No, for a long time. But if it has to do with the clothes of the cleric...
I am a Muslim, and I am Islamic. I am trying to implant the culture
of life into society. Yes, I live this life, and I listen to music.
Music has never been against humanity or religion. On the contrary,
I have described music as a “purifying angel.”
Have you ever heard
of a man wearing an explosive belt emerging from an opera house to blow
people up? I wrote once that it is better to give a child a guitar than