An Egyptian sheik claimed in a recent television interview that the Arab Spring was a Western plot to divide the Arab world into multiple fragments.
According to Sheik Ahmad Al-Tayeb, the West created hotbeds of tension in order to provide work for their weapons factories. The goal, he said, was "to destroy Arab culture."
The interview aired on May 11 on the Egyptian Al-Hayat TV channel and was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
“I've reached the conclusion that the West colonized the East two centuries ago, bringing its cavalry and infantry to our countries, in order to strip them of the power manifest in their natural resources, and to use them to operate Western factories, so that the West could ‘live’ at the expense of the East,” declared Al-Tayeb.
“We [Arabs] are susceptible to colonialism. But [the West] has created hotbeds of tension in order to provide work for the weapons factories. As I have said before, we should take a look at the map. Are the European and American weapons used in Europe and America? No, they are not. They are being used in Libya. They were used in Algeria. They tried to do something similar in Egypt. These weapons are used in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan,” he claimed.
“They try to instill fears in the Arab world so it is forced to defend itself by acquiring certain military equipment.
“What would you call all this? What happened in the Arab Spring – and this has been written in dozens of translated and local books – was a plan to divide the Arab world, which began with... True, there may have been real revolutions in the Arab Spring, and nations found a suitable opportunity to take action. But there was a plan to divide the Arab world into multiple fragments,” said Al-Tayeb.
The remarks are not the first time that Arab television has claimed that the West was somehow involved in the Arab Spring.
An Egyptian television channel recently cited an episode of “The Simpsons” as proof that the United States had conspired to cause the Arab Spring revolutions.
Showing footage from an episode of the 2001 season of the American animated sitcom, the TV anchor pointed to a picture of a flag painted on the side of a jeep. Claiming that this was the Syrian opposition flag, she said that its depiction in a 2001 episode of the American series was proof that the war in Syria is part of a global American conspiracy.
A recently released video showed a play which aired on Egyptian television and in which the Israeli Mossad was blamed for the Arab Spring.