The sad fact, however, is that the image of Arabs and Muslims cannot be revamped, regardless of how many millions we spend, so long as the political and human situation in the Arab world remains unchanged. Unfortunately, neither our regimes nor populations appear to have fully grasped the extent of the uphill struggle we face. Our public elections are still won by landslides of the 99.9 per cent sort. Phone tapping and police surveillance is common, and as an inevitable result individual freedoms are curtailed. Restricting press freedom continues to be seen as a cornerstone of political life. The culture of fanaticism and terror still has supporters in our midst. Corruption is so deep-rooted that judicial processes are proving incapable of curtailing the problem, let alone eradicating it. Democracy and the transition of power by peaceful means are distant dreams.
Whatever we do, our PR makeover is unlikely to succeed. However hard we try, the world knows too much about us.