Wednesday, February 2, 2011

On Egypt

-The protest have entered its second week.

-We can see on the internet, in the news and televisions, how chaos and anarchy reign in Egypt. Demonstrators calling for the ouster of the decadent of their President, Hosni Mubarak are, as of now, clashing with the so-called Mubarak supporters. Yet it seems to me that those "supporters" are in fact the same people that clashed with the government protesters on last Friday-the police.

-Well, what can I say?

-I can only say, as a person raised in a fairly quiet, stable and comfortable environment, that maybe I just can't comment on anything without being incorrect on some things. But just sitting down here and do nothing does not seem to me a right thing to do too.

-So I am going to say it here. I support the protesters. They are demanding for the oppressive regime to go down, and anyone who supports liberty should side with them.

-Mubarak regime represents everything that is wrong with the Arab world and Islamic world. Dictatorship, lack of liberty, lack of freedom of speech, poverty, income disparity, non-functioning democracy, authoritarian rule, extremist Islamists, oppression of ideas. Leftist ideas are oppressed, religious people are denied to speak out, the poor become poorer, the rich pack up and run away to other countries, the intellectuals being silenced and corrupt politicians infest the whole system.

-We Muslims really are in need of total reformation. And I mean total reformation. Nothing would be left out.

-We need to reform our attitudes. We still have this kind of 15-century mentality. We are still in our Dark Age, we are still ruled by families of dictators and monarchy, which are in fact very much the same thing. We still are afraid of talking about change, and are in a state of culture shock after gaining independence from European colonial powers for about half a century. We still don't exactly know where we are heading, we believed too much that Mahdi and Jesus will come to redeem us, we still believe that The End of Time is pretty much now. Sounds like 15-century Europeans to me.

-We need to reform our attitudes. We still have reservations on talking about how religion shapes our way of thinking, we still think that everyone else is false just because we have Quran at our disposal, we still think that we are a chosen people waiting for the redemption of Muslim ummah. We still can't break away from past, still have dreams about Khilafah. Khilafah had gone its course; it is a thing of the past; why are we still aiming for that outdated institution? Is it because the Quran demands it? I have read Quran a lot and I am pretty positive that Quran is not that into Khilafah, Syariah or Hudud, as we might have been told by outdated clerics and hardliners.

-We need to reform our religion. Why listen to clerics who does not want to change with the time? These clerics are being outpaced by the changing world, and they will say in their defense that we Muslims are now subject to some kind of ideological warfare, the so-called "ghazwul fikr", in which our Muslim faith is attacked by the outside forces, wanting to bring us away from this faith. Well, after all these years listening to sermons, studying ideologies and Islamic faith, and sometimes, teaching about Islamic faith myself, I am now pretty convinced that our Muslim faith is not under attack by any forces; instead, this whole Islamic systemic faith is getting hijacked by the fundamentalists who are afraid of any change. And the system is getting old and damaged.

-This Islamic system is like a ship; sometimes you have to repair it, sometimes you have to replace the sails, sometimes you have to upgrade it. But a ship that is old and beyond repair, needs to be replaced totally. The system has to be abandoned at some point.

-Yet Islamic faith is something that we have been entrusted with, something that we have to deliver to the next generations, and ultimately to God back on the Judgement Day. Islamic faith and system are entirely two different things, the Islamic system being the ship and the faith being the goods. If the ship is beyond repair, we must transfer the goods to another ship in order for the goods to be properly delivered. Faith is all that matters; these systems, these laws are not the things that mattered. Hence I am against fundamentalists.

-I know that what I have said here will have little effects on the world. And it is quite out of topic; Egyptians are rising against a dictator which is not a fundamentalist. So I will return back to the topic.

-Mubarak, and other kinds of dictators, monarchies, and dysfunctional democracies in the Muslim world are, on the other hand, resisting change. They are still under the impressions that the Western colonialism will once again emerge, and subdue Muslim countries. They are still teaching that stability and solidarity is everything, and in order to protect that, they still think that it is necessary to suppress ideas. Well, sometimes you have to suppress ideas that are stupid and wrong, but you can't suppress ideas by force only. And you can't suppress ideas with heavy-handed methods; they're not working that way. And suppressing ideas is not at all democratic; a real democracy is a state in which every idea gets to have their chances of being expressed.

-But the freedom of expressing views is only secondary to the thing that is in the heart of the whole protest; economic problems. Most people will not adhere to any ideology; they will be practical and not be interested in ideals. They will want to have a good education, good jobs, good money, and affordable prices. But this is not the case in Mubarak's regime: Rising unemployment, price hikes and widespread poverty is apparent. And despite the fact that Egypt's economy is expanding, the unemployment continues to be the norm, the income disparity continues to worsen, and the people can't taste that expanding economy's benefits. Every society can withstand this kind of situation for some time; but Egypt has reached a point when people can no longer tolerate this economic stagnation.

-Hence, I would like to conclude, that democracy is a very important thing. Liberty must be upheld. Economy must be expanded. However, the most important thing of all is that everyone must get to enjoy the benefits, lest a revolution shall happen.

-Long live Egypt. Get out, Mubarak.

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