#Egypt votes today! Nadia Elwady advises the next President, whoever her is, to beware the Egyptian people. rightly so.
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This is a daft idea:
How about we clear the upper chamber of our legislature of the so-called Lords Spiritual?
aziz and thabet are discussing. Toggle Comments
It’s April Fool’s Day:
The upheaval we see today in our region is driven by a clash of generations rather than a clash of civilisations. The older generation had greater respect for land than science. But we live in an age when science, more than soil, has become the provider of growth and abundance. Living just on the land creates loneliness in an age of globality.
Israel is an example of that today: technology and not territory are the drivers of wealth. We have shown that with a small piece of land, little water and no oil, it is possible to create a thriving economy and a sustainable democracy.
Israel welcomes the wind of change, and sees a window of opportunity. Democratic and science-based economies by nature desire peace. Israel does not want to be an island of affluence in an ocean of poverty. Improvements in our neighbours’ lives mean improvements to the neighbourhood in which we live.
Israelis understand that this is no less true of the Palestinians. That is why successive Israeli governments have given their full support to the efforts of Palestinians in the West Bank to build their own economy, their own institutions, and their own security forces. Economic growth in the West Bank is now close to 10% annually. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians see the tangible fruit of this co-operation. Knowledge, freedom and peace are inseparable.
The absurdity of it all:
William Hague just gave a press conference on the big Libya conflab in London at which he obviously thought it would look good to be flanked by an Arab. So he sat next to the Prime Minister of Qatar, who solemnly told us that the Libyan people have the right to choose their own leadership. Fucking QATAR! An absolute monarchy.
It becomes even more funny when you consider our unelected head of state and unelected upper chamber. Fucking BRITAIN!
Two political parties that led demonstrations in Baghdad over the past two weeks said Monday that security forces controlled by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki had ordered them to close their offices.
The actions, which the government said were merely evictions, came amid growing concerns that Mr. Maliki’s American-backed government is using force and other measures to stifle dissent in this fragile democracy, where tens of thousands of demonstrators have seized on the upheaval sweeping the Arab world to rally for government reforms and better services.
Shutting down political opposition is kind of the exact opposite of democracy.
Is it true that if given democracy, muslims will vote for Islam?
I think the answer is yes and no. At present, political Islam is the only democratic alternative to oligarchy, autocracy, and pseudo imeperialism. OF COURSE muslims will vote for political Islam – that is because Islam (as with any culturally pervasive major faith) is what they can turn to for comfort and succor.
However the thesis that secular political democracy is incompatible with Islamic societies is simply wrong. After all, Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan all emerged from colonial and imperial eras as secularist states. Modern day Turkey has a unique history in that it turned away from Islam as a rejection of the post-imperial era. But the rest of the middle east was largely secular – and leaned communist in most cases. Nasser himself and the pan-Arab movement was an explicitly intellectual movement that disavowed faith and created the vacuum which was then filled by Qutb. Saudi Arabia is another exception, due to oil.
Fundamentally, there is nothing judeochristian about the concept of democracy. Islam itself has enough of a framework over the centuries of jurisprudence to support a fully democratic system, and most of the major empires in the Islamic world had elements of democratic rule. The millet system is a good example of a precursor to the concept and may well have been a partial inspiration for the American Founders themselves as they sought to articulate their desire fro greater autonomy – only they were pushed to an extreme.
I think that political islam needs to now undergo the maturation phase. A great resource for watching how political Islam is evolving is POMED, the Project for Middle East Democracy blog. I’ve been reading them for years; another great resource has basically been everything Marc Lynch (Abu Aardvark) has ever written.
I reject the thesis that Islam and democracy are incompatible, and I think that the present state of affairs in the muslim world is indeed best characterized as reactionary. The concept of democracy is not and end condition but a tool for an evolving process towards liberal, constitutional republics.
Juan Cole busts 5 right-winger myths about teh Arab Street protests. My favorite:
Looking to the Tunisian and Egyptian futures, it is not true, as dreary anti-Muslim Israeli propagandist Barry Rubin alleged, that Muslim fundamentalist parties always win free and fair elections in Muslim-majority countries. This frankly stupid allegation is disproved by the Pakistan elections of 2008, the Albanian elections of 2009, the Kurdistan elections in post-2003 Iraq, and all of the Indonesian elections.
It’s not just anti-muslim propagandists who assert that when muslims have democracy, they choose Islamism.
Was #Egypt a military coup? Yes, and that’s not a bad thing, explains ‘Aqoul.
The first step to wholy transformative (not always good) regime redirection is usually the security establishment letting it be known that they aren’t willing or able to protect The Leader, while an existing legal body declares extraordinary emergency measures.