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Monday, June 18, 2012

Another Lesson in Middle Eastern Demo(Hypo)crisy

This will be a quick but early entry, which really does break the general procrastination ethic that I slacked so torpidly to establish over the course of the last seven years.

In the last entry, I spent good time discussing – with brutal honesty – some of the underlying issues that accompany the idea of Middle Eastern democracies, and Libya was the central subject of the post. Today, we hail the latest update from the Middle Eastern disaster zone by addressing the election update in Egypt. Perhaps I should focus on something a bit more relevant and of immediate concern, such as the Greek elections and how the whole situation has such a powerful bearing on the Eurozone crisis, but I think there's a worthwhile lesson – through repetition – to be learnt from what happened in Egypt as it aptly demonstrates what happens in nations that have a tumultuous history with that ideological disease known as Islam-o-fascism – the hypocrisy of Islamic democracy.



A quote from The Guardian to start things off.

“Preliminary results have placed the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi on the verge of the Egyptian presidency, but a standoff between the expected election winners and the country's military authority appears inevitable.” (Abdel-Rahman Hussein, Mohammed Morsi claims victory for Muslim Brotherhood in Egyptian election, 2012) 


This seems to be a common trend in most of the Middle East and other Islamic countries in Asia that I won't bother to name. A false dilemma that breathes new life into the classic saying, “between the devil and the deep sea.” It's a dire state of events that often tend to unfold in such manner when countries with even a moderately substantial Islamist population and political movement are democratised all over again. It's like a chaotic race to a finish line with these revolutions, because any psychotic, extremist regime can join in and lay claim to power under the righteous guise of a revolution looking to breathe 'new life' into the land. Unfortunately, yet another cliché can be invoked in this case; goes something like, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Another interesting twist that can take place, sometimes, is military intervention. We have another Islamic country with an infamously totalitarian military that has plenty of blood-shed and regional instability pegged to its reputation. This country also happens to struggle with consistent bouts of religious fundamentalism ever since one of its military dictators decided to 'protect its ideological borders' by transforming it into an Islamic state. To this day, the unnamed state continues to stagnate at the mercy of a power struggle between the military, corrupt political parties, and religious fundamentalism. Perhaps we can look upon all these countries that seem to have both elements of dictatorial malice – military dictators and religious zealots – and accept an underlying and often inconvenient reality that some nations might not be ready to fully handle the tools of democracy. . . at least not without a very thorough international intervention to make sure the process goes through smoothly, and that the initial establishment of order isn't seized by the officious whims of backward barbarians or thugs in uniform.


Here's another excerpt from a Voice of America article.

“He (Mohammed Morsi) did not speak out against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces latest moves. But his supporters, along with liberals, activists and some more conservative Islamists decried the SCAF's actions as a "coup."" (Elizabeth Arrott, Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi Claims Win in Egyptian Election, 2012) 


As we can see, politics in this sphere is one muddy mess since progressives, and socially liberal folk can be found protesting alongside the very fanatics they want to overcome. How they ever manage to identify with fundamentalists is a mystery altogether that begs further investigation into such pathology, but I digress. Iran's already taught us a valuable lesson decades earlier about what happens when socialists and liberals decide to march forward alongside religious theocrats in support of a revolution: while they end up achieving the revolution, it is the theocrats who seize control and use their new found power to establish an Islamic state while purging it of all liberal thinking by either silencing their former allies, or outright eliminating their key players.

Perhaps this little stand-off in Egypt isn't such a bad thing; this indirect military coup might prevent religious zealots from making a bigger mess of a country that is in dire need of moving forward with a diverse public who would probably be incorrectly represented by a bunch of backward thinkers. Or maybe it'll all go to hell?! Unfortunately, this immediate issue is not crossing the mindset of the masses at the moment since the bulk of the local ire and indignation is being channelled at the SCAF and their control of the Egyptian constitution; even the liberals are marching alongside the zealots -- never mind the idea that without the SCAF débâcle, the country could  potentially transform into an even scarier Draconian state overnight.


“When will the social liberals of the Middle East ever learn? The self-righteous Islamists are not their natural allies!” – A Reoccurring Thought


Although at the end of the day, we're still left with what is a futile exercise in democracy, taking place in a region that has shown a repeated historical tendency towards democratic failure with regard to social progress and basic secular reform. These are the kind of essential elements that would allow a suppressed nation's starved public to finally breathe the wonders of basic, civic, and decent human freedoms of choice and speech that are simply unheard of in the stifling Islamic world. Without these elements being realised, democracy is nothing more than a battered road to hell.

While I agree with the belief that democracy is indeed a slow and delicate process, I also believe that it requires a certain level of social initiative and situational awareness in order to be put into action and remain protected from hostile elements.

The following from the Voice of America article, repeated again.

“But his (Mohammed Morsi) supporters, along with liberals, activists. . .”

The quote above demonstrates an acute absence of the kind of situational awareness that is key to realising a healthy and humane democracy. Instead of calling this an exercise in futility, I should, instead, call it a fucking demonstration of repeated failure on the part of some individuals whose egos and influence far exceed their depth in important matters.


All the best to Egypt in the future; it's certainly got its own share of mounting struggles given the nature of the present stand-off. Perhaps the actual people -- not just those representing the voting turn out -- should step out of their cowering zones and consider genuine alternatives to the same old redundancy of being caught between theocratic barbarians and autocratic dictatorial elements – each one, representing a slightly distinct form of social repression and political condemnation with deep repercussions.




References


Hussein, A. (2012, June 18). Mohamed Morsi claims victory for Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt election. The Guardian. Retrieved June 18, 2012, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/18/mohamed-morsi-muslim-brotherhood-egypt

Arrott, E. (2012, June 18). Muslim Brotherhood's Morsi Claims Win in Egyptian Election.Voice of America. Retrieved June 18, 2012, from http://www.voanews.com/content/muslim-brotherhood-claims-win-in-egypt/1212261.html


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