Saudi Shura Council Member Ibrahim Al-Buleihi has big balls. In the video above he lectures, in a progressive tone, his interviewer with honesty, objectivity and conviction. I have no idea what Al-Buleihi thinks of women rights, freedom of religion, etc. but watching this video makes me feel good. You don't have to agree with everything in his rant but you'd agree that he's refreshingly different. Below is a transcript of the interview by MEMRI (slightly edited by LK for space):
We have yet to acknowledge that we are backward. Perhaps 10-20% of the people are aware of this backwardness, but the majority do not even realize it. We treat [Western] people who created this great and lofty civilization as if they were carpenters and blacksmiths. We view them as mere laborers, while we consider ourselves to be men of thought, science, and culture, who embody everything you aspire to in life. This is the exact opposite of how things should be. That's the reality. If we were to send back to the prosperous [West] everything we got from it, what would be left? Even the 'Aqqal (headband) you are wearing was made in Britain. We are incapable of producing anything. We can't do without [the West]. If you have a headache, you need to swallow the aspirin that they made. If you want to travel, you must take a plane or a car, if you want to get some sleep, you must turn on the air-conditioning, and the same is true of all the implements of civilization. The oil came from Allah, and on top of that, we need the West to extract it. If not for their industry, our oil would be worthless. It had been in this land for centuries, yet we did not benefit from it in any way. Oil became valuable only when others came up with inventions, and later came here to extract it from our land. Civilizations are measured by their ability to change. We are exactly the other way around. We believe that the measure of success is unchangeability, and this is a great problem. If societies remained static, civilization would not develop. Their development is dependent upon their willingness to change. The reason that the West developed is that it stemmed from Greek culture, which was founded on the objective use of reason. When this great beacon of light was extinguished in the Middle Ages ... The great mathematics [of the Arabs] had a role in the development of the West, but I still believe that the Anglo-Saxon culture is the source of modern culture.