A series of terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Israel have provoked condemnation across the Middle East. The reaction was especially strong in Saudi Arabia, after three coordinated suicide bombings in Riyadh killed thirty-four people.
“This was an undertaking of sheer evil,” said an editorial in Arab News, an English-language newspaper in Saudi Arabia. Those responsible for the attacks, said the newspaper, “are the new fascists. Merciless, cold, and full of hate, with a demented vision of Islam, they declared war on humanity. . . . They have no qualms about killing anyone who gets in their way. . .yet they have the blasphemous effrontery to claim that they do God’s work.”
Those who directed the terrorist attacks will be tracked down and punished. But that will not be enough, said the Arab News editorial. “The environment that produced such terrorism has to change. The suicide bombers have been encouraged by the venom of anti-Westernism that has seeped through the Middle East’s veins, and [Saudi Arabia] is no less affected. Those who gloat over September 11th, those who happily support suicide bombings in Israel and Russia, those who consider non-Muslims less human than Muslims and therefore somehow disposable, all bear part of the responsibility for the Riyadh bombs.”
As President George W. Bush said, these despicable acts of terrorism “were committed by killers whose only faith is hate.” Indeed, said Mr. Bush, the terrorists are “attacking the hopes of Muslims everywhere”:
“When terrorists go on missions of suicide and murder, they defile the high ethical teachings of Islam itself.”
But as President Bush made clear, the U.S. “will find the killers, and they will learn the meaning of American justice.”