Al Jazeera Displays the Moral Bankruptcy of the Islamic Arab World

By David Marshall Published on February 27, 2024

The government of Qatar plays at least two important roles in the present war between Hamas and Israel. First, it hosts (among others) the masterminds of Hamas’ Nazi-like attack on Israel in early October, living there comfortably as underlings a thousand miles away are killed by the Israel Defense Forces. Second, it also hosts, and helps fund, Al Jazeera, Arabic for “The Peninsula,” one of the world’s most influential media conglomerates.

Al Jazeera articles appear on my news feed, accusing Israel of “genocide” in Gaza, while making little or no mention of Arab crimes against the Jewish state or people.

Typical was a recent article by Ahmed Twaij, an independent journalist who studied medicine in London, entitled “Houthis couldn’t stop genocide, but exposed the West’s moral bankruptcy.”

Al Jazeera article: The World Ignores Genocide but Cares About Their Oil

Riffing on the usual “blood for oil” theme, Twaij complained that attacks on Houthi rebels in Yemen show the West only cares about the “bottom line.” Here Israel is, killing tens of thousands of civilians in Gaza. America, the U.K., and allies only respond after Yemeni rebels launch attacks on western shipping. Anyway, no one had so far been killed by those attacks!

“Israel’s devastating war on Gaza, the first livestreamed genocide in history, has claimed more than 27,000 Palestinian lives, many of them children, since October 7. Most of the Gaza Strip has been reduced to rubble and over a million people have been displaced due to the relentless and seemingly indiscriminate Israeli bombardment,” Twaij writes.

The West didn’t try to stop that “genocide,” Twaij complained, but only acted when their precious cargo ships started to take incoming fire: “Clearly, the dollars and pounds lost to the rapid rise in shipping costs caused by the attacks proved more valuable to the leaders of ‘the free world’ than rivers of Middle Eastern blood.”

The Article Highlights Not the West’s Moral Bankruptcy, But the Muslim World’s Moral Bankruptcy

I agree that America is bankrupt, in the literal sense. Our government now owes more in debt than our gross national income, and our leaders do nothing to stop the outflow of treasure — and blood. Because, Mr. Twaij, treasure means blood.

And yes, the West is quickly drawing down its moral savings as well. Like the Prodigal Son, it left its home in Christ and now dwells in a “distant land where there is no water.” One proof of our self-inflicted ethical poverty is that President Biden plays tit-for-tat games with Iran’s proxy terrorists, rather than recognizing Iran’s leaders as our enemy.

The Muslim Arab world is morally bankrupt because it keeps launching or supporting wars on Israel, instead of seeking peace.

Meanwhile what Al Jazeera demonstrates in general, and Twaij’s article in particular, is the greater moral bankruptcy of the Muslim world.

Twaij makes no mention of the sudden massacre of more than a thousand Israeli civilians and some foreigners, including Americans, that provoked Israel’s attempt to destroy Hamas. A little oversight?

Is Israel’s Response Unprovoked?

If Country A attacks Country B, and B shoots back at the leaders and soldiers of A, who is responsible for resulting deaths? It is ethically bankrupt to write about such a conflict without raising this obvious question, central to “social justice” (a term Twaij mentions without irony on his home web page).

American soldiers cried “Remember Pearl Harbor!” as they attacked Japanese forces in Asia and the Pacific, then on Japanese home islands. Their assault was far bloodier than the Israeli attack on Hamas, yet few denied their right to respond.

“But the Houthis haven’t killed anyone yet.” This “excuse” reminds me of a poster in CHAZ in Seattle a few years ago, featuring photos of people who had been killed by police. Many of had been firing at police or civilians, or trying to brain them with clubs or machetes. Being a bad shot does not make attempted murder OK.

It is whiny, dare I say “privileged,” to shoot missiles at civilian ships, then complain when your base gets attacked, because the crew survived your attempt to blow them to smithereens.

The Houthis (and Hamas) attacked Americans: Israel did not. Nations are bound to defend their own citizens, not everyone.

Why Keep Pursuing War?

Jesus offered practical advice to overly-ambitious war-mongers:

“Suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with 10,000 men to oppose the one coming against him with 20,000? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.”

The Muslim Arab world is morally bankrupt because it keeps launching or supporting wars on Israel, instead of seeking peace. Jesus was making a logical point, more than a moral one: Count the cost! Don’t frame a building you can’t drywall and trim! Don’t attack a superpower, if you’re just some guys in the desert whom a Persian mullah handed some missiles! But this logic carries moral consequences: launch war against a more powerful enemy, and your people are bound to suffer. You, and no one else, will be to blame.

Rather than heed this wisdom, Arab intellectuals wallow in self-pity and dishonesty.

No, Not a Genocide

Israel is not, of course, committing “genocide.” If Israeli forces really have killed 27,000 residents of Gaza (though Hamas lies, and sometimes hits its own people with its thousands of missiles), that is far less than America killed in some Japanese cities in one or two-day campaigns — also not nearly “genocide.”

Clearly the bombing has not been “indiscriminate,” or casualties would have been vastly higher. And how many Hamas fighters died? Hamas doesn’t provide figures, but Israeli estimates its foe began with some 30,000 troops, and claims “up to” 9,000 enemy troops have been killed or captured.

War is hell. Defeating a well-entrenched enemy that has dug hundreds of miles of tunnels and operates in an urban environment, using civilians in effect as shields, was never going to be easy. If Hamas came out of its burrows and fought on the field of battle, instead of killing Jewish civilians then hiding among its population, and if Israel still went after innocents, then that would be a war-crime. Actually, Israel has sent millions of messages to civilians, warning them of coming attacks, and even published maps of its planned campaign.

Al Jazeera displays its own moral bankruptcy, and the bankruptcy of its sponsors, by failing to whole-heartedly condemn the violence of its brother Muslims, which is causing civilians, innocent or not (who knows?) so much suffering.

What has the Arab World Given the World Recently?

And what has the Muslim Arab world given humanity of late, besides bombs, drones, and bullets? A news network? Some tall buildings in Qatar and Dubai, paid for by Big Oil, designed by European architects, and constructed by poorly-treated Indian and Filipino guest-workers?

Jews continue to bless the world by the arts of peace, as they have for centuries. Hundreds of Nobel Prizes have been won by this tiny remnant. Jews continue to make astounding discoveries in the sciences, arts, and literature.

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Muslims brag about the Golden Age when Islamic civilization led the world in many fields. (After having conquered ancient Egypt, Sumer, Assyria, Persia, and much of India and the Hellenic world, and still ruling over creative “unbelievers” living in those domains.) Fine, take your trips down memory lane.

Sure, the Muslim Arab world was not bankrupt 1000 years ago, flush with the social capital of three continents. But what has Greater Arabia given the world lately, besides those tall buildings and all that trouble? (And a whining, hypocritical news network?) Which Arab country is attractive to expats, allowing them to practice their faith, live in peace, and feel welcome? Where in the Muslim world do Jews live freely?

Make Peace With Israel

Show your moral strength by making peace with Israel. Stop talking up “social justice” until your own societies begin to look healthier. And recognize the irony of complaints about “imperialism.” The only reason so much of your audience speaks Arabic is because the founder of your religion launched wars of conquest that spread his seed across the Middle East, and imposed Arab religion and customs on a vast swath of the globe. As, yes, did Europeans, Americans, and everyone else who could do it, if you look back far enough.

The West may indeed be spending down its stock of virtue. Its readiness to relapse into ancient conspiracy theories against “the Jews,” and make peace with a morally bankrupt Islamic Arab world by hating on Israel, is a sign of that. But take the log out of your own eye, Peninsula Media Group, so you will see clearly to operate on ours. First wage that “internal jihad” that Muslim apologists talk about, and deal with the sins of your own broken civilization.


David Marshall, an educator and writer, has a doctoral degree in Christian thought and Chinese tradition. His most recent book is The Case for Aslan: Evidence for Jesus in the Land of Narnia.

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