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Aggressive secularism in Tunisia must shut up
Aggressive secularism in Tunisia must shut up
[ 27/10/2011 - 10:46 PM ]
By Khalid Amayreh

We in occupied Palestine salute the Tunisian people for conducting orderly, democratic and nearly blemish-free elections. In many respects, Tunisia, the first station of the Arab Spring, can be a model to be followed and emulated throughout the Arab world. We are impatiently waiting to see free and transparent elections to take place in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere in the Arab world.
 
Credit should go primarily to the Tunisia Independent Election Commission which worked tirelessly for months to ensure that the elections were held on time and that absolute transparency is guaranteed.
 
Indeed, the nearly universal consensus about the transparency of the elections, both in Tunisia and abroad, illustrates the professionalism and credibility of the commission which saw to it that no foul-play was allowed, even behind the curtain.
 
This is quite important because in the Arab world, especially prior  to the Arab Spring, even the smallest and pettiest thing, as far as election transparency is concerned, often proved a formidable challenge and couldn't be taken for granted.
 
Moreover , the triumph of the Ennahda party in a country which witnessed ever since its independence from France in 1956 a relentless war against Islam and the Arab language  and culture illustrates the resilience and tenacity of Islam in that small North African country.
 
Yes there was a conspicuous, elitist but quite arrogant stratum of Tunisians who swallowed everything that came from France. But these people, who always received a surplus of media coverage and accorded special attention by their western patrons, have turned out to be unrepresentative of the bulk of Tunisians.
 
Fortunately, the France party in Tunisia is the only party which is fretting and grumbling about the outcome of elections. These arrogant remainders  of the French colonialist legacy are now  invoking personal  liberties, ignoring the fact that their very Qibla and ultimate role model, Paris, is constantly encroaching on individual freedoms, including freedom to wear Niqab by conservative Muslim women.
 
Does this mean that the defeated party will now fight a cultural war with the national and Islamic forces in Tunisia in order to secure and guarantee their eroding prominence and status?
 
Well, if they do, they will lose, because the majority of Tunisians, as is the case throughout the Muslim world, will not allow French or other colonialist legacies to dictate the destiny and future of Tunisia .
 
We Muslims are not against true democracy, a significant, accumulative human experience which can't be dismissed lightly.  None the less, we are convinced a million per cent that Islam is inherently superior to democracy.
 
The reason is simple; democracy in its simplest form means the rule of the majority. Right and wrong, morality and immorality, and other values are determined by the people whose views are often subject to all sorts of manipulations by special interest groups, media brainwashing and political money.  (Question: Is the U.S. Congress able to say "No" to Israel even if the Jewish state does the unthinkable to the defenseless Palestinians?)
 
It is this type  of democracy that  allowed a decidedly criminal state like  Israel to steal  Palestine from its legitimate, rightful owners, routinely massacre them, demolish their homes, destroy their fields and expel untold numbers of Palestinians to the four corners of the globe.
 
Needless to say, this was done in the name of democracy and civility and freedom as the leaders of the so-called "free world" cheered this criminality.
 
Similarly, in the name of freedom and democracy, America invaded, occupied and destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan, killing or causing the death of hundreds of thousands of people.
 
Well, with all due respect to the committed believers in western democracy, we Muslims don't believe in this way of thinking because peoples and nations ought to be answerable to values that are higher and more sublime than simple majorities.
 
Of course, the alternative to amoral western democracies should never be tyranny, dynastic despotism, or military dictatorship.
 
Instead, Muslims in particular ought to seek Islamic democracy where human rights and civil liberties are guaranteed while general moral values of society are preserved and encouraged. Thus moral vices shouldn't be accorded the same freedoms as moral virtues.
 
I hope the west will finally leave us Muslims alone and refrain from interfering in our exercise of our inalienable right to elect our rulers and governments.
 
Then, and only then, we can speak, for the first time in recent memory, of free people  versus free people involved in a constructive relation based on mutual respect and mutual interest.
 
Just don't let Israel dictate your agenda toward the Muslim world.

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