Muhammad Omar Al-Amoudi
Publication Date: 
Wed, 2002-10-02 03:00

The impact of the Western-dominated electronic age on the rest of the world is the main theme of “Power of a Third Kind”. Written by Hisham Nazer, former Saudi minister of oil and planning, the book addresses its subject in a forceful manner. He presents a major question: What is the impact of the Western-dominated electronic revolution on others? He then goes on to encourage developing countries to reject Western domination. He also calls on the world’s elite to defend their identity in an age beset with crises of identity, legitimacy and authority — especially in Islamic countries. Nazer does not totally reject Western political systems but calls for a plurality of views and opinions.

He wonders why the West uses a third power to sell their thoughts in such an effective manner while developing countries stand only in the ranks of consumers. Television plays a major role in this electronic age as it enters all countries without passport or visa. The events of Sept. 11, 2001, have proved that the West is ignorant of us to a great extent and this is largely due to a failure by our own media. If this is the situation, we must work seriously to influence the West and use the same powerful media they use. We should also talk to them reasonably and in a language they understand.

Zionism has influenced the minds of many Western societies, helped of course by strong media organizations established in the hearts of those societies. But we should not lose hope. This wall is made neither of iron nor of any unbreakable material.

What does the author want from people in the Islamic world? He wants them to work hard to make their identity superior to others. He also calls for their right to an international dialogue in which every nation plays an effective role. While calling upon developing countries to protect their cultures, he affirms that this depends on its ability to contribute and the quality of its contributions to humanity rather than its ability to confront. Western efforts to make political systems culture-neutral will only aggravate political and cultural clashes between and within nations, the author says. He says, “True democracy, actual human rights accords, thoughtful protection of the environment, and care for the transgression of sovereignty can only take place within a context of true global dialogue.”

“Power of a Third Kind” is full of novel and varied ideas and will definitely find a place on bestseller lists as a book that both interprets and presents futuristic ideas. It will be counted among such thought-provoking books as “Future Shock,” “The End of History” and “Clash of Civilizations”.

Published in English by Praeger three years before the events of Sept. 11, the book presents many images and scenes before they actually took place. It reflects the capability and brilliance of the author in analyzing history and social science, his knowledge of political theories and developments in the West. This makes the work very informative and interesting. Even if it produces differences of opinion, we may rightly say that the author, using the same methodology as the West, has correctly read the Eastern mind. The commendations received by Nazer from Western intellectuals, who have read the book, are certainly a great honor to the author and it confirms our ability to enter any dialogue.

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