Abdel Bari Atwan

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Parroting squawkbox
Pundits
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And a dirty dozen more
David Cameron, the foreign secretary, William Hague, and Nicolas Sarkozy are not the prophet Muhammad
—Abdel Bari Atwan[1]

Abdel Bari Atwan (also spelled Abd Al-Bari Atwan) is a bloke living in London who edits the Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi. He holds views that could be described, at best, as questionable.

"The events of 11 September will be remembered as the end of the US empire. This is because all empires collapse when they pursue the arrogance of power.[2]

If Iran reaches a deal with the Americans, what will be its bottom line? That Iran will have a nuclear program, and even if it does not manufacture nuclear weapons in the next 5-10 years, it will do so later. One of the fruits of such a deal would be a significant Iranian role in the region. Iran will remain a regional military power, which will threaten, or rather, will control and have hegemony over the region. If a war breaks out, where will the Iranians retaliate? If Iran is able to retaliate, it will burn the oil wells, block the Straits of Hormouz, attack the bases in the Gulf, and Allah willing, it will attack Israel as well. If the Iranian missiles strike Israel – by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square, and dance with delight if the Iranian missiles strike Israel. [emphasis added][3]

He also reportedly endorsed the murder of Israeli citizens in the terrorist attacks in Eilat in August 2011.[4]

Despite his dubious opinions, Atwan has been allowed to write for The Guardian, where he has provided weird religious commentary on NATO's intervention in Libya. "Islamic experts assure me there is no prohibition of warfare during Ramadan [but] concur that it is absolutely prohibited for Muslims to seek the help of non-believers against fellow Muslims", apparently.[1] He has also discussed the matter on the BBC series Newsnight.[4]

"The Abd Al-Bari Atwan [appearing] on CNN is completely different from the Abd Al-Bari Atwan on the Al-Jazeera network or in his Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily", says Munir Al-Mawari in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyassa. "On CNN, Atwan speaks solemnly and with total composure, presenting rational and balanced views. This is in complete contrast with his fuming appearances on Al-Jazeera and in Al-Quds Al-Arabi".[5]

In the pay of Gaddafi?[edit]

Reportedly, the new Libyan government has released documents revealing that Atwan was being payed $3000 a month by Colonel Gadaffi.[6]

References[edit]