February 18, 2012

"Islamists’ Ideas on Democracy and Faith Face Test in Tunisia."

A new article by Anthony Shadid, the "gifted foreign correspondent whose graceful dispatches for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The Associated Press covered nearly two decades of Middle East conflict and turmoil" who "died, apparently of an asthma attack, on Thursday while on a reporting assignment in Syria."

From the new article:
[T]he generation embodied by [Said] Ferjani [was] shaped by jail, exile and repression and bound by faith and alliances years in the making....

“We don’t fear freedom of expression, but we cannot allow disorder,” he said. “People have to be responsible. They have to know there is law and order.”...

“Everybody has to be careful not to be dragged into a dictatorial instinct, no matter what happens,” he said. “We can’t lose the soul of our revolution.”

42 comments:

SteveR said...

THe soul of the revolution will undoubtably end up with the honor killing of women and the rape of young boys without body hair.

rhhardin said...

Islam is organized crime. The thugs take over and rule, no matter how much a minority they are.

The soul of Islam depends on taking the thugs out, not on remembering anything.

edutcher said...

Islamists don't want democracy, they keep telling us.

They want Sharia.

Sorun said...

Democratic Islamists should consider electing a new prophet.

Carol_Herman said...

10th Century!

The "arab spring" was a western fable, or fantasy. Spread by people who live inside unrealistic bubbles.

Odds are good that Assad hangs on. And, all the sunni's (that means the "saudi tribe), will be dead, ahead.

Pakistan is also threatening to take action against anyone who attacks iran's nuclear centrifuges.

The UN sides with the dictatorships. Though the USA provides them with the most money. And, New York City real estate ... which houses these stinking diplomats.

Nothing changes. If you're keeping a list, put this guy's name under Daniel Pearl's.

JAL said...

I know a lovely young gal from Tunisisa who is a college student here in the States.

Her mother is well educated and teaches back in Tunisia.

Friend is quite concerned for mom as there have been attacks by the radical Islamists on those who are seen as violating the social standards. (Women teaching etc.)

It seems the Muslim countries which were planting themselves in the modern age are losing ground.

Lyle said...

Democracy in the Arab Islamic world is going to be very religious. There's nothing we can do about it. It's either self-determination with Islamism dominating or there is the status quo secular despotism.

... and if there has to end up being a clash of civilizations (which I doubt will happen - slowly but surely things are changing in the Islamic world) then that will be our burden.

Fen said...

gifted foreign correspondent whose graceful dispatches for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The Associated Press covered nearly two decades of Middle East conflict and turmoil

Shame this "gifted" correspondent worked for MiniTruth. He would have more credibility by associating with the National Enquirer.

I'm sure Winston Smith was a great guy. Doesn't change the fact that he is a part of the Enemy.

[wv: veritas. coincidence?]

Fen said...

THe soul of the revolution will undoubtably end up with the honor killing of women and the rape of young boys without body hair.

Good reminder that, once the tyrants are overthrown, most revolutions are quickly co-opted by one of the other power structures. Usually the previous opposition.

Interesting that our best hope for both China and Islam is for democracy to domesticate them *before* it empowers them and their particular brand of Nigtmare.

Partridge said...

Ann, I have a feeling you started this thread just to get me out and talking...because you must have known the same-old same-old would certainly be out to play...

As I was saying in the previous thread that had something to do with Islam...

Islamists don't want democracy, they keep telling us.

They want Sharia.


If you actually listened to what Islamists were saying, you'd find out they are saying they want both. Any determination that those two are incompatible or cannot legitimately be demanded at the same time is YOUR outside assessment of the situation.

Actually al-Mawdudi, who is considered one of the fathers of Islamic political thought wanted what he called "theo-democracy." Islamists generally talk about a form of limited-government democracy, where the leaders are elected but are bound by certain constitutional rules.

You may validly argue about the differences between this ideology and Western style democracy (and while you're at it throw in a discussion of Evangelical Politics please). But at least recognize the real terms of the debate.

Besides, in a very large sense, Islamists are mostly talking about practical things like how to improve the economy and create more jobs.

Paul said...

If some swami said to kill all non-believers, to rape all non-believer women, to enslave all non-believers that you don't kill, and kill all believers that leave the fold, well that would be considered a violet cult, right?

And that's the face of Islam. It is a cult. Mohamed was a cult leader, nothing more, nothing less.

traditionalguy said...

The Achilles heel for Islam is their women continuing to put up with their status of kept livestock. The day they say never again will be the day of the real Arab Spring, and not a day before that.

The fear of the counter-spread of Christian and Jewish culture arises from that realization.

The thief of Mecca knew that. He stole the women's freedom first. And then he erected his phallic symbols wherever he went calling them prayer towers from whence his demand for male dominance has been spewed forth five times a day for 1471 years.

Partridge said...

Recently had coffee with an American-born friend who is Muslim. She does not cover her head, dresses in jeans and t-shirts, has a degree from university of Chicago Law and works as an associate at a top national firm in the New York office. She also recently got married. (And somewhat surprisingly to me, since I pegged her a modern liberal type who would have no use for the institution.) She told me she specifically wrote her pre-nup based on Islamic Law. Her thinking? Under IL anything she earns is hers alone and her husband can never lay claim to it. And the added bonus was, her fiance could not object to a pre-nup purportedly based on his own religious beliefs. In her direct words "I based my pre-nup on Islamic Law because it gives me more rights than American state law would."

Sorry traditionalguy, but livestock do not own, nor do they control, money. Live up to the facts.

cassandra lite said...

"We don't fear freedom of expression, BUT..."

That's a big but he's got there. And it shows he doesn't need to be "dragged into a dictatorial instinct." He's already there.

SteveR said...

If you actually listened to what Islamists were saying, you'd find out they are saying they want both.

You act like because they believe that's possible that I should be OK with that. Very UN of you Partridge.

Word Verification:fail

traditionalguy said...

Partridge...Your friend is one in a million and a very intelligent woman. The day she is in the majority is the day Islam dies, which was my point.

That is the facts that Muslims in the Middle East live up to.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

...the ascent of Bin Laden, whose Manichaean view of the world mirrored the most vitriolic statements of the Bush administration.

Funny, I don't recall a single "vitriolic" statement from the Bush administration regarding Islam until nineteen adherents of the Religion of Peace flew airplanes into some public buildings.

P.S. For God's sake get rid of Captcha. I just changed it eight times looking for something I had even a small hope of reproducing. I got it wrong. On to attempt number ten! At some point I will just give up, depriving Althouse of my wisdom.

PPS-- eleven

PPPS-- twelve

Indigo Red said...

Not sure how I would fare if my democracy and faith face were tested.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

cassandra lite said...

"We don't fear freedom of expression, BUT..."

That's a big but he's got there.


Everybody I know has a big but.

Sorun said...

Her thinking? Under IL anything she earns is hers alone and her husband can never lay claim to it.

Even if this were true, which I doubt, she lives in the US, not in an Islamic country. That's why she can live like she does and interpret Islamic law any way that suits her.

And what a bizarre law. Does Islamic law allow the same privilege for men, or is it another example of extreme gender inequality.

Jason said...

It is not Islam that reduces women chattel status. It is the ancient tribalism of the nomadic peoples who adopted it. It was Islam that gave women the right to inherit property. The inhuman treatment of women we see in these tribes is decidedly unislamic.

Rabel said...

From the article:

"After vehemently rejecting the left, he now embraces Karl Marx’s critique of capitalism." As did Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Fidel...

That's way back on page 3 of the story. Lost in the talk of democracy and Islam is the fact that the post-epiphany Mr. Ferjani is a committed Marxist and the revolution he wants to bring to Tunisia was once called the "dictatorship of the proletariat." A step on the revolutionary road to communism.

Mr. Ferjani, revolutionary communist, said:
“We don’t fear freedom of expression, but we cannot allow disorder,” he said. “People have to be responsible. They have to know there is law and order."

What could possibly go wrong?

Partridge said...

Even if this were true, which I doubt.

Actually, it is true. This is not debated.

That's why she can live like she does and interpret Islamic law any way that suits her.

Yes, but she still has to be able to make a reasonable case to her family. And the same rule probably applies in most Islamic states.

Does Islamic law allow the same privilege for men, or is it another example of extreme gender inequality.

Men have a legal obligation to provide for the family (their wife and offspring). Women have no such obligation. So it is an example of gender-differentiated rights, yes. (Inequality if you will.) My point was that most Muslim women feel it is a privilege in property rights given to them, that it might explain why some women (even modern feminist ones) like their religion, and that it negates the livestock moniker that was thrown on them earlier.

traditionalguy, I'm still having trouble following. How could a religion die when adherents of it
suddenly realize their religion gives them more rights than they have, and then decide to take those rights? Wouldn't that be more like a re-birth of the religion? or an Islamic Reformation of sorts? There is talk about such these days. But wouldn't that be more like the death of the religion as we know it? Or even more accurate, the death of the religion as Americans think they know it? Is there clarification?

MayBee said...

And the added bonus was, her fiance could not object to a pre-nup purportedly based on his own religious beliefs. In her direct words "I based my pre-nup on Islamic Law because it gives me more rights than American state law would."


What is his religion that forbids him to object to whatever pre-nup his fiance wants?
And most pre-nups give one party more rights than the state law would give, that's why people do prenups.

JAL said...

If you actually listened to what Islamists were saying, you'd find out they are saying they want both.

Why do you say Islamists instead of Muslims?

Hoaw about your friend move to Saudi Arabia?

She could write a book.

Does she know Hirsi Ali? Just wondering.

Partridge said...

Islamists was the specific word used both in the article and by the other posters. Muslims refers to adherents of a religion. Islamists refers to those who believe in certain political ideologies or agendas.

JAL said...

Not specifically talking about Tunisia here as much as the trouble Islam has in coming to grips with western views of civil rights and liberty.

I wonder how the vicitms of honor killings feel aboutit.

Oh. Wait. They are dead.

The lawyers on the list can address the pre-nups question. Sure seems like it depends on what you write in it how good it might be, without IL.

Palladian said...

" How could a religion die when adherents of it
suddenly realize their religion gives them more rights than they have, and then decide to take those rights?"

Natural rights don't come from religions, or from governments. Natural rights are inherent.

To believe otherwise is to be a slave.

Palladian said...

Sadly, many humans are drawn to slavery. It's easier to be told what to do, to be kept, than it is to live in freedom.

That is why the government conceived by our Founders, as a protector of natural rights, was quickly buried.

The idea was too difficult for lesser men, and too dangerous.

Partridge said...

Palladian,

I agree with you that Natural Rights are inherent, and that they don't "come from" religion. But the problem is, how do we know what they are? And if we believed in a particular religion, wouldn't we look to it to help us figure it out?

Where do you stand on this? I mean our basis for deciding what natural law is? I would love to know.

traditionalguy said...

Partridge...The day Islam no longer offers the men ability to keep their women enslaved, then what good is it?

Islam is a legal system of iron slavery that has never made a single person happy in 1400 years. It only offers pride and domination of the family members that are female and younger brothers.

It is based upon Hebrew and Christian scriptures that do educate men in truth, but then ruins them by adding a special superiority pride and the direction to kill and steal by military conquest.

It was the first many Latter Day extra revelations given by an angel to a Prophet in a vision to correct alleged mis-interpretation of the scripture.

Ironclad said...

I lived in Saudi Arabia. Your female friend who wrote a pre-nup has the advantage in the USA that the agreement will be enforced. In the rest of the world, that is not the case.

In most Islamic countries the marriage contract, which is a pre-nup effectively, states how much dowry is given to the woman, and may demand other things. What normally happens is the the man pressures the woman to "release" the dowry back to him (unless it has been taken by her father). Dowry there is all of the money she gets if she is divorced (no support except to kids). The other pressure point is to take the kids and hold them to force her to give the money back. Oh, and if she divorces him (which is very complicated, she gives the money back. So fair

You swoon and say so advanced! But remember that her share in inheritance is 1/2 that of a male, because she is not expected to provide for others.

I wonder if the lawyer also uses the Islamic theory that her testimony is worth half of a male?

Ironclad said...

The main comment was supposed to be about Islamic Democracy. What will happen is that the laws will be based on Sharia, so everyone but Muslims will be 3rd class citizens. There is no respect for minorities in Islam, you have to pay a TAX for protection just to live in their paradise. (that includes non-Islamic citizens)

I expect to see a "democratic" society much like in Iran, where the candidates are all vetted so that they are tools of the regime. And the rest of the place is run like tribal fiefdoms.

I wish that most Islamic people could be more like the Sufis or the Ahamadis, but that is never going to happen. The literalists will always win. They have scripture on their side, which as we all know is perfect and cannot be questioned.

The best the West can hope for is that these societies will collapse upon themselves. But I would not be giving them a dime anymore. Let them work it out themselves

Partridge said...

Islam is a legal system of iron slavery that has never made a single person happy in 1400 years.

Wow. Professing to know the emotional states of 1400 years worth of people. This is sure something I certainly have never heard before. It defies response.

You swoon and say how advanced.

No, I don't swoon. Are there only two attitudes on this site? Apparently it's either pure vitriol or swooning!

Rules about women controlling their property are certainly enforced in Saudi courts. (It would shock me to hear otherwise...but one court opinion could change my mind.) As I said, this is one point that is perfectly clear. Is there social pressure that prevents the enforcement from occurring? Probably happens all the time. Wouldn't deny it. Here or there.

Partridge said...

But remember that her share in inheritance is 1/2 that of a male, because she is not expected to provide for others.
True. But that's just the point. He has to care for others with whatever he gets. She doesn't have to. Look, I'm not arguing parity here, nor am I arguing the goodness of the system. I'm arguing that reasonable, intelligent people adhere to religious beliefs and they don't feel oppressed by them, even when other people don't get it.

David said...

“We don’t fear freedom of expression, but we cannot allow disorder,” he said. “People have to be responsible. They have to know there is law and order.”...

That's all I need to know.

Ironclad said...

I don't mean to push vitriol, but having seen the other system in practice, I understand that like Communism, it sounds great in theory, but works in practice only by coercion. Coercion in the sense that you cannot question the rules because they are "divine." And man-made ideas like equality and equal rights for minorities are not in this plan.

People like your friend try to take the best aspects of Islam (the ones they borrowed from other religions) and pretend that the nasty parts are not there. No Golden Rule, No equality of man. Just follow these rules or else. That is what disturbs me - people think you can somehow brush those parts off - and you cannot.

That is why countries in the middle east will always fail - they reach a point where the Islamic system stops them - free though, free expression all have to be controlled to prevent "sin".

The West broke that barrier a long time ago. But it had a fundamental advantage - the explicit statement that Caesar and Church were separate. Islam has no separation. NONE. It is a system that you accept or reject. That is my worry for the Arab Spring - it will usher a twilight of the modern world for these folks

Paco Wové said...

"an American-born friend who is Muslim. She does not cover her head, dresses in jeans and t-shirts, has a degree from university of Chicago Law and works as an associate at a top national firm in the New York office"

The word "outlier" doesn't even begin to describe this woman.

David said...

Democracy and freedom are not the inevitable result of human history. The authoritarian impulse arises in many forms, and its strains in modern Islam are not the only, or the worst, contemporary examples. It can begin and prosper with vicious repression. But it can also arise via thought control, shaming of dissenters, truth avoidance and exclusion. That is how we do it in contemporary America.

Fen said...

I'm arguing that reasonable, intelligent people adhere to religious beliefs and they don't feel oppressed by them, even when other people don't get it.

There's something about your friend's attitude that deeply offends me. Can't put my finger on it. Its like her lifestyle is an endorsement of Islam, but only from behind the protection America's skirts.

A Little Eichmann. That's it. She knows what really goes on in the camps, but she remains a loyal German. While wining and dining her way through in London.

bgates said...

Look, I'm not arguing parity

Look, not arguing parity:
Is there social pressure that prevents the enforcement from occurring? Probably happens all the time. Wouldn't deny it. Here or there.

How would you reword that to argue parity? I don't think you'd have to change a letter.

nor am I arguing the goodness of the system

No, you're telling us about an acquaintance with a list of characteristics we should find admirable, then relaying her view that that system is superior to ours.

Penny said...

This woman is an OUTLIER, as someone stated above, and as such, she seems to be reaping some resentment here?

Not intending to hijack this thread, but when bgates said this,

"No, you're telling us about an acquaintance with a list of characteristics we should find admirable, then relaying her view that that system is superior to ours."

It brought to mind an article I read in Reason Magazine today, entitled
Citizenship for Sale: St. Kitts and Nevis, Plus Seasteading
.

It seems we have some American OUTLIERS who are pretty well fed up with their government's control of them through taxation.

In 2011, 1,788 American OUTLIERS renounced their citizenship. That was a sevenfold increase from 2008.

A wry quote from an offshore tax attorney...

"It's not enough to just move your assets anymore...Today, you have to move your ass."

It's a big world out there, folks. My question is, are we going to accuse the American OUTLIERS of not staying behind to "fight the good fight", or are we going to show up at the dock for their Bon Voyage party, then wait by the mailbox to see just how this worked out for them?