Al Jazeera Center for Studies hosted a lecture by Dr. Abdel Wahab Al Affendi entitled "Political Discourse in Arab Spring Democracies" on 15 April 2013. It was held at the Al Jazeera Auditorium at Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center and it was broadcasted on Al Jazeera Mubasher.
In his lecture, Dr. Al Affendi examined examples of the ongoing debate in the Arab political arena in which dialogue deteriorates quickly from a mere difference of opinion to condemnation, accusations of treason, and even verbal abuse. The rhetoric of senior politicians does not differ much either, reflecting a state of panic and horror among rival forces that speak extensively of hidden conspiracies. Stories and anecdotes are made up, legends are created and, consequently, the truth is lost.
No democracy can exist in such an atmosphere for democracy is based on honesty, transparency and mutual trust. Furthermore, trials and studies demonstrate that the prevalence of such aggressive rhetoric is a harbinger of the looming end of democracy as well as civilization, wherein states are torn apart.
Dr. Al Affendi answered a number of questions including: how can the sobriety and rationality of Arab political discourse be regained? Would it suffice to adjust the discourse? Or must we first address the fears and mindsets that led to the prevalence of such rhetoric?