The “Arab Spring”: Revolution or Awakening?

Last night (Day 4, 23 Shawwaal 1432 – Wednesday, 21 September 2011) I was a call-in guest on a show called Awakening.  The topic was “Islamic Awakening and the Arab Spring”.  It’s a program on a satellite channel called Sahar TV, a subsidiary of the IRIB network.  They sent me the questions a day earlier, and here are the responses I typed up in preparation for the show.  It’s just about what I ended up saying on the show.

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1 The World Bank and the G8 are already planning to sponsor the so-called Arab Spring. Less than a fortnight ago, G8 finance chiefs pledged $38-billion in financing to Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan over 2011-13, widening a deal agreed in May and offering Libya the chance to partake too. Analysts are now concerned over a possible Euro-US containment of the regional movement through this type of “cheque book diplomacy”. What’s your take on that?

Worth the paper it's printed on?

What is money anyway?  A bunch of pieces of cotton paper?  A readout on a bankslip?   It’s a promise to pay and I can tell you about the G8’s ability to pay.  The UK has been bankrupt since a hundred years ago, and it’s owed money to the U.S. since WWII.  The US, in turn, owes money to China and Russia.  So how can these bankrupt countries lend money?  All their doing is tricking Muslim countries into promising to pay them money that isn’t even real, that they don’t even have to lend in the first place.

When they lend this money, they lend it at interest.  Allah says in Surah Baqara 279 that He and His Messenger are at war with people who devour usury.  This is because it enslaves the borrower to the debtor.  These Islamic populations have just freed themselves of West-serving leaders.  By indebting themselves to them, they would be re-enslaving themselves, and this is the goal of cheque-book diplomacy, to create a situation by which they can continue to dictate over us.

2 A large number of scholars have constantly been warning against the risk of the revolutions being hijacked or contained in one way or another. How concerned should we really be about that?

One common colonial trick is to make the village thief the village chief.  There will always be someone without scruples, with no goal beyond his own selfish interests.  Colonial powers usually find that person, support him with every means, such as money, glorification in the media and so forth until he rises from vagabond to ruler, from thief to chief.  Then, because the colonizers, not the people, are his true power base, he does their bidding to ensure their continued support.

This is how I see things being hijacked.  In the end, a politician only cares about one thing.  He doesn’t have a religion.  He doesn’t believe in any idea or purpose.  His only goal is to get and keep power, and he will do whatever it takes to do that.  They let the parade get going and then run out in front of it like they’ve been leading it the whole time.  Colonial powers are only waiting for that man, woman or group to show themselves and start the politicking.
3 I think it’s fair to say that the reaction of the West towards the wave of Islamic awakening in the countries affected has been quite selective. Let’s talk about the most recent case, i.e. Libya, where we saw military intervention. Do you think that NATO may follow the Libyan model of intervention elsewhere in the Arab World?

The West’s selection process is based on what they think serves them best.  They use language clevery to disguise their self-serving intent in the language of freedom, democracy, human rights, etc.  For example, there has been brutal repression by certain regimes, even invasions and occupations, but this is either completely ignored.  For example, the Bahraini royal family, which hosts the US 5th Fleet, is immune to criticism no matter what it does.  As for Qathafi, whose friendship with the West was less easy, but a friendship just the same, they wanted him out, and made sure he got out.  What’s the difference?  Why do they support Syrian protesters, and even go so far as to reveal their arrogance by mentioning that al-Asad is “expendable”?  Why don’t Bahrain protesters get any support?  The only consistent factor has nothing to do with rights or freedom or legitimate aspirations.  It has only to do with who they want, and who they don’t.  I would say that Western powers are willing and waiting to intervene in other countries.  They are going through no end of rhetorical gymnastics, political treachery and covert operations in the meantime to justify an attack on Iran, as we all know.  I would also say that Syria is another target.  They’d be more than happy to make it look like their helping the people like in Libya rather than a full invasion like Iraq, because it’s easier to justify and probably cheaper.  In these cases, the revolutionaries run the risk of being nothing more than volunteer soldiers in a Western invasion.

4 A serious problem in the countries affected by the wave of Islamic awakening is- as a matter of fact- the problem of a strong leadership leading the opposition in those countries. In fact, in several cases those working under previous dictatorial regimes are still ruling the country. Is there any solution to this problem?

Well, in the case of Libya, to my understanding, the transitional government has been planning and plotting for years while in exile in England, and there’s only one reason why that government would support them while they were doing that.  If I’m correct.  Otherwise, the greatest threat to these movements is the lack of leadership.  The Islamic revolution in Iran is unique because there was already an established figurehead, Ruhullah Khomenei, even though there were groups of many different stripes. He united them. 

Shocking the world...

Islam united them.  But look at the movements today, there is no one leader.  There is no spiritual leader uniting them.  The most basic elements of history’s greatest revolution are two:  negation of falsehood, and affirmation of truth.  With the words “laa ilaaha” we negate every falsehood, every impure motive, all the weaknesses in ourselves and communities.  The revolutions of today have thrown out corrupt rulers, but does this mean the people have achieved self-purification?  The leaders were corrupt, but we have to remember that a leader is of his people, he reflects their characteristics too.  The people need to revolt internalyl-, the inner, greater jihaad– against their own corruption.  And they can only achieve this, the life that is lived by truth with the second half of our testimony of faith:  illAllaah.  They must make the Qur-aan their constitutional document, and the shari’a– which literally means “path to salvation”- as their new legal framework.  For that a leader must arise with the knowledge and integrity to rule by Islaam, and the people must recognize and pledge allegiance to him.

'Ilm & Taqwa (Knowledge and Piety)

5 The question that everybody’s now asking is whether the unexpected, amazing and unique wave of Islamic awakening will shape, influence or rather change the future of the Arab world in particular and the whole world in general. Now has Islamic Awakening got the potential to dramatically change global equations, do you think?


Muslims got to open their eyes to the ground beneath their feet.  We have every imaginable resource from A to Z- untapped human potential, water, oil & natural gas, agriculture, precious metals and stones, varieties of landscapes, geo-strategic position.  Pakistan’s soldiers are arguably the best in the world.  Egypt and Syria alone could have defeated the Zionists in Palestine and completely checked other Western powers in the Middle East more than 30 years ago.  Look at how much Iran changed the equation from 1979 until now.  What if we all did the same?  Pakistan and Sudan alone could feed the world.  WE DO NOT NEED THE WEST.  WE DO NOT NEED SYSTEMS THAT DON’T EVEN WORK FOR THEM.  

ALLAAH HAS GIVEN US EVERYTHING.  When we realize it, and when the people who realize it insist on leading and refuse to be misled, we’re gonna unleash peace all over this planet.  But, there is only one condition.  Allaah Doesn’t

Change the condition of a people until they change the condition of their selves.

6 What’s the most important challenge that the Islamic Awakening in the Middle East and North Africa will have to face?

The Awakening part.  The people who we let lead us are obviously corrupt and naïve, but so are the people.  We have no idea how eager the Zionists are to control Libya’s vast water reserves.  That’s their whole M.O. in the Golan Heights, for example.  We’ve forgotten- though the Western polities haven’t- what happens when we think for ourselves, such as the 1973 Oil Embargo, the Iranian revolution.  We’re unaware of the lengths these fading, illegitimate powers will go through to make sure we do NOT regain autonomy.  Here’s an example:  they bombed the bomb the Islamic Courts

Refusing to be misled...

Union out of Somalia, even though they restored order, justice and peace to the extent that Mogadishu’s airport was running again, just because they were not indebted to and controlled by anyone.  They were of, by and for the Muslim Somali people.  They would rather tempt a country into civil war that leads to famine than allow Muslims to decide what to do with their uranium, their geographical position, and their coastal waters.  We need to wake up to this level of awareness, which will lead us to believe in Allaah’s Promises, rather than the unsubstantiated promises of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

EXTRA

1 How do you think the momentous events of last few months or the so-called Arab Spring will help shape the future of American relationship with its allies in the region?

The best possible outcome is that it is the foundation of a model- the Islamic society- which will provide the alternative to the Western lifestyle the world is starving for.  We did that before- our societies have inspired and uplifted the world- but that was long ago.  Instead of always quoting anecdotes from our great past to defend Islam, we need to present Islam in a real way as the hope for the future.

2 How successful and effective has the US policy been in the Middle East since the Arab Spring started?

It has been effective in some instances.  So far the regime in Egypt has only changed in name.  Whereas Mubarak was its face, now it has no face and is in that sense all the more deceptive.  In North Africa in general, with the exception of Libya, it has made sure the people think they get what they wanted by allowing the dictators to leave on a golden parachute, without any fundamental or meaningful changes.  There not less but more American military bases and operations in North Africa, for example.

On the other hand, they have lost their complete stranglehold on Muslim’s imaginations.  We know we can stand up to their strongmen.  We’ve reminded ourselves of a lesson we learned in 1979, that Allaah Supports the believers when they unite, wa Huwa l-Wahidu l-Qahhaar.  Politically, there are some instances of greater unity between Muslim governments, such as Palestine’s confidence in pushing for full recognition by the UN, greater ties between Egypt and Iran.  And it’s efforts to isolate the powers it doesn’t support have not been very successful, though the double treatment of Syria and Libya compared to Bahrain is a glaring exception.

Overall, revolution is not really a solution.  Heads of state have been changed, but that has been the only result so far.  We have yet to see if the lives of the people will improve, and right now they are actually worse in most cases.  It is an awakening and revival of our Islam that we need, not a revolution.  Revolution is only one vehicle towards this- not necessarily the best one- and we only get to the point of dealing with the external after we’ve dealt with the internal.  A Muslim has the duty and right to rule if he excels the people in knowledge and piety.  At the very least, he should not block the people from Islaam.  After that, it doesn’t matter about a vote, or what they think of him, or how the West evaluates him.  They should follow and advise him.  Lastly, we have the duty and right to rule ourselves by Islaam individually, and accomplishing that is the true Awakening, Revolution and Spring.

Duties and rights go hand in hand.

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The Osama Dialogues: Part 3

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver Obama: “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, in fact, he slaughtered many Muslims.

…so have you, Barack Hussein…

Now that he’s dead, can we start looking for the REAL 9-11 culprits? Or do we already know who they are?

6 people like this.

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver I was in NYC on 9-11, & all I can say is: never forget…

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=loose+change+final+cut&aq=1

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2296490368603788739#

… and you just don’t get it

you keep it copacetic

and you learn to accept it

and oh, you’re so pathetic

Colleague Z Are you saying it wasn’t Al Qaeda? That’s news to me.

 

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver check out the videos, and there’s also a group called “architects and engineers for 9/11 truth”. that’s a start, not the finish, but there’s more than evidence out there to question the official story. there are two kinds of americans in my view: those who believe the george-washington-and-the-cherry-tree story and those who know he was the richest man inamerica when he became president, and forced soldiers to

fight at the threat of death. red pill, blue pill…

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver here’s some further reading:

http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2010/07/201071994556568918.html

http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2010/08/201081811555316381.html

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2010/09/201094155358615769.html

these illustrate how and why the war on terror is forged and waged, in addition to what’s in the aforementioned video links…

Former Colleague/Coffee Mate You are a knucklehead! Osama himself claimed responsibility many times. Why not listen to him? Daniel, I know you are bright, but to think that Bin Ladin did not do these things is to wander far off into conspiracyland my friend.

Former Schoolmate ‎”It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” -Samuel Adams

Austin Muslim Former Colleague/Coffee Mate, who told us that Osama himself claimed responsibility many time? If you are going to base your facts on doctored videos of him speaking in arabic then your argument doesn’t stand. To this day, we have yet to know who was behind the attacks. If you think for a second that our govt. would never lie to us (wmds inIraq), then honestly nothing can change your mind.

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver I think it’s more important to evaluate evidence and analyze arguments, than to just pick a side. We all have certain inclinations, so only by thinking can we overcome our inclination to be inclined. I don’t care as much about someone agreeing with me as I do about that said someone constantly reading, thinking and self-evaluating.

The Osama Dialogues: Part 2

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver I’m sure of one thing: had “they” captured Osama bin Laden instead of killing him, and put him on trial for 9/11, they would NEVER have been able to convict him.

(Maybe that’s WHY they killed him, if it is indeed true that they have…)

1 person likes this.

Colleague X I only believe it because some Al Qaeda leadership is confirming it. I doubted it before though . Have you seen that hilariously badly done photoshop picture of him ‘dead’?

High School Colleague He was never charged with anything in connection to 9-11. There is absolutely zero evidence directly connecting him to the crime. They had to kill him, like you said. Thing is he’s been dead for a decade and now young Americans fill the streets and unite in their new found love of empirecial war.

Newscaster Well stated High School Colleague!

Australia Acquaintance That could be right..no words from dead men

Thailand Acquaintance maybe they killed him because he declared war on the U.S. and all its citizens (the fatwa in 1998), or maybe because he claimed responsibility for killing 18 US service members in Mogadishu in 1993…regardless he had plenty of offenses that cause people to get killed.

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver well, Thailand Acquaintance, I won’t argue with you about someone neither of us has met. But I’ll put forward a fact and a theory: Fact: Neither of us can sensibly claim to know the truth about Osama bin Laden. Theory: It doesn’t matter anyway because the real issue isn’t terror, or religion, or even a conspiracy. It’s dreams. You see, bro, they’re all being unevenly distributed, but the truth is that there is more than enough food to go around, more than enough oil, and more than enough of every other resource. That’s not why people are fighting, or ever have fought. The only thing there’s not enough of in this world is room for everyone’s dreams to come true. Every man faces a choice in his life: realize his dream or accommodate others’.

Former Colleague KSA Ah but you forgot the old US doctrine – “this world aint big enough for the both of us pardner”….Bin Laden never had anything to do wit 9 / 11 Al Qaeda is not an organization but a loose affiliation of groups joined by a common idea – and of course you can’t kill an idea – the only thong which will change this undercurrent of Islamic facism is the sweepin popular revolutions in the Middle East now a genuine Intifada against the old rulers that America has propped up for so long..

Former Colleague KSA The fact or myth that Bin Laden is dead has no impact on the status quo the guy retired from playing an active role in anything years ago…

Former Colleague KSA wow what an amazing typo – I can’t believe I wrote thong instead of thing!

SSS Alum if Osama bin laden never even existed how can he be killed? but more importantly if he never existed he isnt dead. If he didnt live and he didnt die why do we know his name? If he didnt live to speak the words we heard why were we listening? Let’s get back to what’s important: royal weddings. Peace.

 

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver ‎@ Former Colleague KSA: freudian slip?

The Osama Dialogues: Intro. + Part 1

The Osama Dialogues are a cut-and-paste of Facebook discussions surrounding posts I published about Osama bin Laden.  From Obama to Osama to Wills & Kate, no stone has been left unturned.  You’ll laugh, you’ll get pissed, you’ll agree…

…but you won’t regret reading them…
 Feel free to leave a comment and/or add me as a friend on Facebook!


*****

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver: A civilian’s a civilian, and Bush/Obama have admittedly directed the killing of many, many more of them than Osama bin Laden is even accused of. Is anyone out there ready to admit, though, that ‘democracy’ and “American” (military/industrial) ‘interests’ (hegemony), rather than Islam-“ism”/extremism/fundamentalism that is the true threat?

Like ·  1 person

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver Would people be more justified if they danced at the news of their deaths?

Like ·  1 person

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver Do they not see how their own logic is a proof againt them?

Like ·  1 person

Former Colleague/Coffemate Daniel, Justice is the thing Americans are celebrating

Colleague Z’s Husband They have NEVER sanctioned the killing of civilians!

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver ‎@ Former Colleage/Coffeemate: i agree. i’m only pointing out that if this is justice, similar retaliation against american leaders could also be considered justice, for they are guilty of some of the same crimes, in particular overseeing the killing of civilians. i don’t think though, that many people on either side are intellectually or morally mature enough to see things from the other side…

Former Colleague KSA Until proven guilty Osama was definitely a ‘civilian’ – the very method of his death (shooting an unarmed man in the head) shows how low we have sunk – I don’t hear any reports that he was able to defend himself or was armed. All I here wa…s a women tried to shield him (even if you consider him evil he was basically an old defenseless man confronted by a well armed group of determined well trained soldiers). It is amazing that a woman faced down several soldiers….she should be commended for her bravery. Sometimes you have to respect the bravery of your enemy. This kind of mutual respect was very clear throughout WWI and WWII – we have lost that altogether. What was the point of shooting Osama? By doing this we just lost the best source of information we could ever dream of – unless of course he was spirited away to some foreign prison (Gitmo) to be tortured year after year (more likely). At least question him put him on trial and let him prove his guilt or innocence to prove that we still have some shreds of humanity and are better than those who unleash terror in the world (GWB, Hitler, Saddam, Mubarak et al). Until we understand are enemy and respect that he too has a voice people will only resort to horrific acts of violence in a vain attempt to be heard. Dialogue not war is the only lasting answer – to kill a human soul (even a blackened soul) and then profit from T-Shirt sales and the media frenzy shows we have no more human dignity. It is a dark day for the West and can only

1 person likes this.

Former Colleague KSA Only good I see coming from this is that once and for allPakistan has to admit they tolerate if not openly sponsor terrorism. The other good news (especially good if you’re an Indian) is thatPakistan’s air defense is non existent….

Colleague Z So are we, in fact, saying that the 9/11 victims do not get to be considered innocent civilians? Are we saying that the attack was okay becauseAmerica has killed civilians in the past? If so, and 9/11 was an act of war, then Osama does not get to hide behind the word ‘civilian’ either.

Colleague Z’s Husband I can not argue with pure fiction. If you choose to go down the road of complete uneducated conspiracy theories then that leaves facts by the way side and thus truth can not be found in your minds because the moment your presented with something you just don’t like you simply change the facts to soot your fantasies. So intelligent conversation and discussion are no longer yours to have.

Colleague Z’s Husband ‎”…to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear”

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver ‎@ Colleague Z’s Husband: i think what you are saying is absolutely true, for every perspective or side of an argument or debate. the truth is, speaking for my self, i am not knowledgeable about OBL or 9/11. i simply have not put in the time to investigate beyond a few videos, articles or conversations. and i am not well-studied enough in the sciences involved to draw a conclusion that i could reasonably expect others to accept.

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver there is a science of knowing. either you are knowledgeable about a thing from having studied or rare cases of people with verifiable intuition (e.g. einstein). if you do not fit either case on a given subject, you can still gain knowledg…e/certainty from someone who is knowledgeable/intuitive AND trustworthy. what other way is there to know something? you either study or are intuitive, or you pay attention to someone you know and trust who has studied or is intuitive. this i consider direct knowledge.

Colleague Z People who hate Bush try to find ways to blame Bush for 9/11. People who hateAmerica try to find a way to blameAmerica for it. People who watched the news after 9/11 heard Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden claim responsibility for it and watched Palestinians dance in the streets to celebrate it. What are we, as Americans, supposed to think?

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver going back to ObL/9-11, very few people have direct access to the facts with the knowledge to understand them. very few people know and trust someone with such access and understanding. (books of course, preclude having to actually talk t…o somebody, but the author’s credentials should be verified.) as such, no matter what people think about ObL/9-11, they should be most sure of the fact that thinking is all they do about it. you don’t know. and if you unjustifiably claim to know what you only think, you are feeding the “conspiracy theories” of the other side. “most people think they know, but i know that most people only think.” i for one am unconvinced by any explanation that has been offered of ObL/9-11 simply because i have not had the chance to meet my own standards of verifiability, and no one i’ve met has either. i think it is dishonest for most of us to feel otherwise…See More

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver ‎@ Colleague Z: the 9/11 civilians were innocent civilians, but who killed them? who killed them? we’ve all heard a lot, but what can anyone be sure of unless they review the evidence themselves, or if the accused are put on trial if they can be? without that everything else is speculative/incidental. without producing the methodology, evidence and results of thorough studies, or a conviction in a convincingly-fair trial, each person is just forcing everyone else to doubt his/her claim and therefore convincing them, by default of their own. it’s vicious cycle of baseless bravado and doubt fed by all sides.

Colleague Z Well, I thought someone claiming responsibility answered that question..

 

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver the last thing i’ll add now is: (1) i don’t hate bush. i disagree with him but i respect him as a fellow human, husband and father (i’ve even met his daughters at a high school party). i disagree with people disrespecting him or talking about him in ways which they would not like with themselves. (2) my doubts about ObL/9-11 are not based on my being a Muslim. they started when i was in NYC on 9-11, and, generally, before that. i simply have never let anyone make up my mind for me, and until now, i’ve not been presented with anything fully convincing, from EITHER side…

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver @ becky: are you in the office? we coulda done this over coffee… anyway, you’re right, and this is why i am of the opinion that he should have been put on a trial in which this statement of his, after being verified, would have led to an easy conviction. would that not have put all rational doubts to rest, and saved the masses from the temptation of irrational far-flung theories?

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver ‎@ Colleague’s Husband: the drone strikes in pakistan andafghanistan alone refute what you are saying

Colleague Z’s Husband We do not in any way target civilians on purpose the only civilians are accidental causalities of war. By implying that we do target civilians you are either ignorant of the facts or your trying to istugate the uneducated masses to belive the lies.

Colleague Q There are people who consider the Iraqi and Afghani people killed by US forces as collateral damage… There are people who consider the ones killed on 9/11 as collateral damage too.

 

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver ‎@ Colleague Q: (as salamu alaykum) this is part of my point. and i’m sure neither you nor i fit into either of these groups, btw.

@ Colleague Z’s Husband: let’s assume for the sake of (not having an) argument that

you are correct. even so, the taking of a life, even if

unintentional, still incurs a penalty. if a man oversaw or a group committed voluntary manslaughter against hundreds of people, what

would you say the penalty should be? would they not be told to stop? (i’m anticipating the excuse that it is to stop terror, but is it not then terror and indiscriminate killing itself?) we’re moving towards something like the film “minority report” where people are punished

for crimes we anticipate them committing. either way, i’m not taking sides, for the Qur-an says to seek justice even against yourselves.

i’m only calling for all criminals to be punished, and all murderers

to be executed, after convicted in a fair trial, unless their victims’ families accept a ransom from them and choose to forgive. would you call that fair?

Colleague Z’s Husband Ah but you see the huge difference is that those radical Islamist who killed innocents in 9/11 did it on purpose. the causilties of war done by our troops are regretted by even the most battle hardened soldiers. The brainwashed morons who killed innocents in 9/11 and those morons who support it, kill innocents and think its ok matter of fact they celebrate it. that is called evil. So please don’t even compare those who accidently kill the innocent and regret what has happened to those who take pride in shedding innocent blood.

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver ‎@ Colleague Z’s Husband (and this point is also pertains to Former Colleague/Coffeemate’s last comment on this post): this is one issue on which we are unlikely to agree.

Allah says in the Qur-an that mankind is the most argumentative thing, which is a criticism, not a compliment. Prophet Muhammad is quoted as saying “do not argue, even when you’re right”. i find that as an injunction never to argue, for when does one argue, except when they feel they are right? so i’ll leave you with a question whose answer i also seek: have you or any trustworthy, knowledgeable person you know well observed evidence, from a thorough investigation, about the 9/11 culprits? if the answer is yes, please pass that to me. if it is no, then how can you or anyone in a like position insist that it was Islam-“ists” and, further, that it was ONLY Islam-“ists”?

Moving from that point, both accidental and intentional killing, in every legal system that i know-U.S., Judeo-Christian, Islamic, etc.- incur a penalty. i only insist that such penalties be incurred by all. doing so would prevent the accident. (perhaps visualizing another perspective would be useful: what if hindus were accidentally killing christians in the your country while trying to target criminals? how acceptable would you find it?)

is Democracy Islamist?

Democracy comes from the greek words ‘demos’ (people) and kratos (power).  It means the power of the people.

Or does it mean the institutionalization- often by force- of western socio-political norms?

The rise of Islam-‘ism’ in Pakistan is democracy in motion.  It is the people voting with their feet.

 

This is the most telling quote in the article:

“Islamists in Pakistan have flourished in part because governments have failed to provide for people’s needs… Islamists fill the gap through their welfare organizations, clinics, mosques, religious seminaries and other networks. The impoverished masses then support their philosophies and political activities.”

Islam-‘ism’- whatever the word means- works for the Pakistani masses, just as Reagan’s “freedom works” quote rang true for his people at his time.  Islam-‘ism’, in that sense is not “taking over.”  It is winning the election being campaigned every day in every street and every home for the hearts of the people.  It represents them.  It takes care of them.  It is in them, by them and for them.  Islam has political implications and Muslims, it should not be surprised, will freely and willingly- that is democratically- democratically elect Islam-‘ist’ leaders.  Why wouldn’t they when they outperform their secular government, celebrated by everyone except the people they rule over?

One point should not be confused:

Democracy in Pakistan IS Islam-‘ist’.  Islam-‘ism’ in Pakistan IS democracy.

It’s what the people want.

If we question the grassroots, populist rise of a political movement in the face of corrupt, impotent, openly foreign-aligned government, then we question our commitment to democracy.  If we block such a movement, we, insofar as we value democracy, are hypocrites.

“Democracy”, we would be saying, “is for us.  Autocracy that we support for people who aren’t like us…”

Isn’t this the message we are sending?

One of the core tenets of democracy is  people’s right to be what other people think is wrong.  Allah Help us if we don’t extend them our full support…