Wednesday, February 5, 2014

MEMRI Mourns The Passing Of Prolific Reformist Dr. Shaker Al-Nabulsi


The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) mourns the passing of its Board of Advisors member Dr. Shaker Al-Nabulsi, a liberal university professor and author of over 40 books who was a courageous advocate for freedom and reform in the Arab and Muslim world.
Over the years MEMRI has translated from Arabic and published many articles by Dr. Al-Nabulsi, as can be seen in the list below.
His last article, on the subject of solving the crisis of terrorism, was published in the Saudi daily Al-Watan in October 2013. 

October 18, 2013: "The Way Out Of The Severe Terrorism Crisis"

In an article title "The Way Out Of The Severe Terrorism Crisis" published in the Saudi government daily Al-Watan, Jordanian liberal intellectual and author Shaker Al-Nabulsi discussed the ongoing support for terrorism by, inter alia, fatwas encouraging it, and called to establish a terrorism court for dealing with it. He wrote: 

"Who is it who permitted some of them [i.e. preachers] to mount political pulpits and dispatch feverish fatwas, which are [later] fired from the mouths of bloodthirsty people from among the idle, the homeless, the ignorant, and those [who think they hold] admission tickets to paradise? [I am talking about those] who abandoned classroom, plow, factory machine, and employment office so that they could buy counterfeit admission tickets to heaven like the indulgences that the medieval Church sold to the same sort of ignorant dupes who have no faith in life.

"Undoubtedly, [a number of factors] – the Arab political void, the fragile Arab politics, the political parties' failure, the vacuum in the Arab political discourse, the collapse and decline of most Arab political institutions, the Arab street's lack of awareness, the absence of an active public opinion that can create change, the disrespect for the Arab mind (if there is such a thing) and the failure to use it, and the way in which impulse takes precedence over thought in the Arab world – all of these have made it possible for a few individuals to mount political pulpits in the Arab world, from east to west, in order to lead Arab political activity that is in essence a call for bloodshed and more bloodshed. 

"This is clear proof that as a nation, we have become politically bankrupt. We have inherited this political bankruptcy and we bequeath it to our sons... We need an international political bank to rescue us from this bankruptcy... 

"Most of the Arab regimes are incapable of restraining [these preachers] and cannot stop their activity – because some of this activity is aimed at benefiting those very regimes and strengthening their influence. The Arab political parties cannot join forces because of the extreme partisanship that predominates among them. There is no Arab street – only [Arabs who are] hungry, ignorant and exhausted, and who have lost all faith in the Arab political forces. So these 'pulpit-mounters' provide them with the only thing they want and [the only thing] that can alleviate their resentment and the oppression, hunger, neglect and plundering to which they are subjected by some of the regimes... 

"The intellectual and political elites in the Arab world cannot stand against these [fatwa-issuers] for fear of the power they wield – for some of them maintain armed militias with blood on their hands that can behead any intellectual or politician who opposes them. The best proof of this might be the assassination of Lebanese [communist] thinkers Hussein Mroue and Mahdi 'Amil, and Egyptian thinker Farag Foda, as well as the [1995] assassination [attempt] against [Egyptian writer and philosopher] Naguib Mahfouz, the abduction of Egyptian journalist Reda Hilal, and other incidents. [Therefore,] most of the Arab voices opposing and attacking [these fatwa-issuers] reside in the West, far from the violence that they use against their opponents.

"So what should be done? One solution is for a vanguard of brave Arab intellectuals to draw up a progressive international communiqu̩, in 21st-century language, spirit, and logic. [They then must] submit it to the U.N. and ask the Security Council to discuss it and pass a resolution tasking the U.N. with establishing a Terrorism Court to prosecute anyone who calls for, engages in, or issues a fatwa encouraging or calling for terrorism Рnow that terrorism has become a global international problem that does not only concern the Arabs.

"Some will say, as usual, that [such a solution] internationalizes the Arab affairs and that Arab problems must be solved within the Arab homeland by Arabs. But no Arab problem has ever been solved within the Arab world... The Arab [debate] platforms will fill with preachers and pundits condemning colonialism, its forces and its history... and the satellite TV channels will fill with analysis, politicians, journalists, authors and artists who will prattle on and on about political issues. The Arab world will be in an uproar. So be it! When has the Arab world ever failed to calm down after an uproar?"

MEMRI Translations Of Dr. Shaker Al-Nabulsi

The following is a list of MEMRI translations of Dr. Shaker Al-Nabulsi, including print translations and MEMRI TV translations of Dr. Al-Nabulsi's appearances on television: Reports:
Saudi Columnists: Saudi School Curricula Must Be Reformed, Modernized
URL: - April 26, 2010
Debate in Saudi Press over Ban on Celebrating Valentine's Day
URL: - February 16, 2010
Reformist Writer's Account of the Saudi Liberal Movement
URL: - January 29, 2010
Arab Liberals Eight Years After 9/11: Obama's Overtures Towards Iran, Extremists Seen as a Sign of Weakness
URL: - November 23, 2009
Dispute over Granting of State Award to Egyptian Liberal Sayyed Al-Qimni
URL: - October 6, 2009
Reformist Arab Writer: The Policy of Rejecting Normalization with Israel Is a Political Decision of Unmatched Stupidity
URL: - April 16, 2009
Following MEMRI TV Clip, Arab Liberals Denounce Kuwaiti Islamist 'Abdallah Al-Nafisi
URL: - March 19, 2009
Reactions in the Arab Press to the ICC's Arrest Warrant Against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir
URL: - March 19, 2009
Liberal Author Dr. Shaker Al-Nabulsi: Secularism Will Triumph in the Arab World; Terrorism's CrimesAre 'The Death Struggle of Fundamentalism'
URL: - January 28, 2009
Reactions in the Iraqi Press to the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Agreement
URL: - August 18, 2008
Jordanian Reformist Shaker Al-Nabulsi on the "Kurdish Holocaust" and the Crisis of Conscience
URL: - July 31, 2008
Arab Liberals Discuss Fifth Anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom
URL: - July 2, 2008
Controversy Among Reformists in the Arab World Over Dialogue With Islamist Groups
URL: - July 23, 2007
On Valentine's Day and the TV Show ‘Star Academy’ as Harbingers of Change in Arab Society
URL: - March 1, 2007
Saudi Doctorate Encourages the Murder of Arab Intellectuals
URL: - January 12, 2006
Arab Intellectuals: Under Threat by Islamists
URL: - November 23, 2005
Arab Intellectual: Why Has There Been No Fatwa Against Bin Laden?
URL: - August 22, 2005
Accusing Muslim Intellectuals of Apostasy
URL: - February 18, 2005
Progressive Arab Intellectual: 'The New Palestinian Leadership Must Not Make Populist Decisions, but Must be Courageous and Think of the Country's Best Interests'
URL: - January 12, 2005
Arab Media Reactions to President Bush's Re-Election
URL: - November 18, 2004
Arab Liberals Petition the U.N. to Establish an International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Terrorists
URL: - November 8, 2004
Reactions to Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi's Fatwa Calling for the Abduction and Killing of American Civilians in Iraq
URL: - October 6, 2004
Arab Progressive: The Arabs are Still Slaves to a Medieval Mentality
URL: - September 20, 2004
Criticism of Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi's 'Islamist Democracy' Doctrine
URL: - July 7, 2004
MEMRI TV Reports:



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