A Saudi Arabian TV host has urged Muslims to face up to the fact that Islamic terrorists are indeed Muslims, and do more to combat the phenomenon instead of denying it.
In a rare – and scathing – moment of introspection for an Arab TV host, Nadine Al-Budair insisted no one should be surprised that Islamist terrorists had emerged from "our schools and universities."
"Whenever terrorism massacres peaceful civilians, the smart alecks and the hypocrites vie with one another in saying that these people do not represent Islam or Muslims," she said in her monologue on Rotana Khalijiyya TV, which was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
"Perhaps one of them could tell us who does represent Islam and the Muslims," she suggested sardonically.
Al-Budair noted that many Islamist apologists tend to write off jihadist terrorists as "homeless alcoholics and drug addicts," in order to avoid facing up to the Islam-inspired ideology which drives them.
But there are plenty of homeless, drug- and alcohol-addicted non-Muslims too, she pointed out, "but we do not expect these addicts or criminals to even consider coming here and blowing up a mosque or a street in our city."
"Don't these perpetrators emerge from our environment?" she asked of Islamic terrorists. "After the abominable Brussels bombings, it's time for us to feel shame and stop acting as if the terrorists are a rarity."
"We must admit that they are present everywhere, that their nationality is Arab, and that they adhere to the religion of Islam," she said. "We must admit that it is the schools and universities that we established that told them that the 'others' are infidels."
She shared a complaint often made by some more moderate clerics, that the vast majority of Muslims were basing their faith and ideology on a specific set of commentaries and interpretations of the Quran, instead of the book itself, rendering them largely ignorant of the foundations of their faith and beholden to increasingly extreme ideologues.
"What makes us laugh and cry at the same time is that the people who spilled the blood walk at the dead man's funeral and cry," she concluded, referring to Islamist apologists.
"Now the old supporters (of terrorism) have the audacity to declare that they denounce bombings everywhere and that the killing of civilians is an attack on the religion (of Islam).
"Why don't they have the courage to declare that they were the ones who said that Jihad is obligatory, and who legalized political wars, using futile and disgraceful exegeses which permit killing, enslavement and destruction?"