Ayoon Wa Azan (Conspiracy Theory).
The concept of conspiracy is not particular to Arabs. It has existed at all times and places. People always look for explanations that suit their prejudices or whims, even as such explanations often give truth, logic and reason a slap in the face.
We had recently mocked an Iranian cleric who said that Iran is prone to earthquakes because Iranian women are indiscreet and wear miniskirts. Of course, the Iranians are discreet, some out of conviction, and some to avoid pressure by the Islamic Republic. If there were indeed a link between earthquakes and miniskirts, entire countries north of the Mediterranean would have been annihilated a long time ago.
In 1992, Egypt was hit by an earthquake, and someone came and said that this happened because of the many belly dancers buried in Egypt and people's aversion to religion.
This was echoed during the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans, when the preacher Pat Robertson blamed the disaster on the debauchery rampant in the city, and people's aversion to religion. He also warned of an impending disaster in the country, should gays in the army be allowed to be open about their sexuality, whereas this had been prohibited by the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' principle. And indeed, they are now allowed to do so, so now we have to wait for the disaster to happen.
In 2007, we heard that 14 Western spy squirrels were caught in Iran, and the Iranian intelligence services said that they were equipped with spy gear belonging to foreign agencies. We recently also heard that it was the Mossad behind the sharks that attacked tourists in Sharm el-Sheikh, and that the Mossad also sent a vulture that was arrested by Egyptian authorities, after it was caught with a bracelet marked 'R65 Tel Aviv University'.
The above is almost funny. However, other events that are explained by conspiracies cannot be easily refuted. Recently, I received a news story that said that the Mossad assassinated 530 Iraqi scientists and academicians in cooperation with the U.S. occupation authorities.
Mossad killed many Egyptian, Iranian and Iraqi scientists in well-known incidents. For this reason, it is easy to believe that there is a conspiracy against Iraq, even if there is no definitive evidence. I was discussing the subject with a 'flag-waving' colleague, and I voiced my skepticism. This angered him and he said: Listen, the early Zionists orchestrated bombings in Iraq against Jewish targets to convince Iraqi Jews to immigrate to Israel. Even after Israel was founded, the Lafon affair is a well-established fact: Israeli intelligence attempted to attack American and British targets in Egypt in 1954 in an effort to pit the new Republican government against the United States and Britain. If Israelis were doing this to Jews and their own allies, why are you ruling out that they may have killed Iraqi scientists?
I could not find an answer and started searching for other conspiracies. I found in my inbox a 36-page report entitled 'Six Zionist companies own 96 percent of the world media'.
The information was detailed. Five of the six companies are headed by Jews, including News Corp, which is headed by Rupert Murdoch. While he is not Jewish, the chairman of the company's studios indeed is. I tried to verify some of the companies' names and their presidents on Google and found the information to be accurate.
I believe that the report which I received two weeks ago is somewhat old, since it mentions that the three most important American newspapers, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal are owned by Jews. However, the latter is now owned by Murdoch.
Of course, the report concludes that domination of the world media is a Zionist conspiracy to control the world through the media. While I may accept the information, I reject the conspiracy theory, because I do not believe that the Jewish owners of the media met one night and agreed to share control of the world media among themselves.
The prominent American commentator Roger Cohen wrote near the end of last month an article entitled "the captive Arab mind" or that mind which explains everything by looking for cui bono and always finds that the answer is Israel. There is nothing wrong about this, as the police often search for cui bono to know who committed a given crime. However, I find that there are other underlying causes for the popularity of conspiracy theories among Arabs, which I shall talk about tomorrow.
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