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dbucfan

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: April 15, 2012, 10:30:42 AM

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/15/INHJ1O19FQ.DTL

Islamists in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia not democratic
Joel Brinkley
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Ever since Islamists took office in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, they have been trying to convince us that they are advocates of moderation, democracy, women's rights and individual freedoms. And most people in the West, after jubilantly watching the Arab Spring's amazing revolutions last year, wanted to believe them.

But now we can see that these Islamic groups are taking us for fools.

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood promised that it would not field a candidate for president. But this month it went back on its word and put Khairat al-Shater, a wealthy businessman, on the ballot.

Defending that broken promise, one Muslim Brotherhood leader after another explained that they changed their mind to save Egypt's budding democracy, in jeopardy now because of the military's reluctance to step aside.

If that is so, how do you explain the speech Shater gave in Alexandria last year in which he disparaged the whole idea of Western democracy and its social conventions, calling them the enemy of Islam - including the concept of elections, even though he is now running in one. Voting for your leader, he said, is un-Islamic.

After Egypt adopted a Western education system, courts and a capitalist economy, Shater complained, "the various aspects of our lives are no longer based on Islam." He would institute Shariah law and ensure that "every aspect of life is to be Islamized."

So are we to believe that Shater, if elected, would abandon the life philosophy he espoused last year and follow Western examples that he abhors?

Today, Shater is not advertising his actual views. But another candidate, an ultraconservative with a large following, Hazem Abu Ismail, is less reticent. He advocates stoning adulterous women and cutting off the hands of thieves. Ismail also called for canceling the peace treaty with Israel and curtailing relations with the United States. But in a deliciously ironic twist, he appears to be disqualified from running - because his mother was American.

Think for a moment about what has actually happened. Youths with modern ideas, resulting in part from what they've learned online, were the engines of the revolts that threw the dictators out of office. But when elections came, most people voted for what they knew. That's not democracy; none of those states have any significant history of that or exposure to it from their neighbors. For Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, the haven from brutal dictatorship has been religion. So, not surprisingly, they elected religious leaders.

But now all of these countries are in one way or another beholden to the West. Egypt gets at least $1.3 billion in American aid each year. The United States and NATO fought to help Libyans overthrow Moammar Khadafy. Tunisia has strong trade relations with the West and receives significant aid from Washington. So it's no wonder these candidates and leaders are talking out of both sides of their mouths.

Imagine if an American politician - a mayor, a governor, a congressman - was thrust suddenly into a leadership position in a deeply Islamic state. The American would find he had to talk the talk. But in his heart, would he ever be able to abandon the democratic ideals that have served as the foundations of his life? Certainly not.

As Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, Libya's interim leader, took office last fall, he thanked NATO and then let slip that he believed Libya should legalize polygamy, an element of Shariah law.

That set off a furor. Nonetheless, a short time later he said his views are "moderate" but then added: "As a Muslim country, we have adopted the Islamic Shariah as the main source of law. Accordingly, any law that contradicts Islamic principles with the Islamic Shariah is ineffective legally."

In Tunisia, Sayyed al-Firjani, a senior member of the Islamic party that dominates the government, told Al Arabiya television a few days ago: "We want to solve people's problems and build a democracy." All of it will be based on "values we cherish, including Islam."

His interviewer asked him whether those comments were simply "a means to evade using the word 'Shariah.' "

"I disagree with this insistence on sticking to specific words," he retorted.

Since Hosni Mubarak fell from power in Egypt last year, the Muslim Brotherhood has repeatedly promised moderation and vowed not to "monopolize political institutions in the new Egypt." But right now a committee is forming to write a new Constitution. The "moderate" Brotherhood controls the parliament and tried to stack the committee's membership so that it held a controlling majority. On Tuesday, however, a court blocked the effort.

We should never have believed them.

2012 Joel Brinkley Joel Brinkley, a professor of journalism at Stanford University, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning former foreign correspondent for the New York Times. To comment, go to sfgate.com/chronicle/submissions/#1.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/15/INHJ1O19FQ.DTL

This article appeared on page E - 9 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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Now to figure out how much of this was known prior to the Arab Spring....

\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant

chicharone

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#1 : April 15, 2012, 12:44:10 PM

"But now we can see that these Islamic groups are taking us for fools."

Been sayin that for several decades now...

wreck ship

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#2 : April 15, 2012, 01:36:52 PM

It's all mumbo jumbo from both the west and east.

For decades the west has pressured the under developed islamic countries to modernize while dangling billions in money and weapons. These under developed islamic countries take the money while promising democracy while their focus is on their immediate religious enemies.

Look no further than Saddam of Iraq and follow the bread crumbs. You cant talk about the slow progression of the middle east without talking about the overzelious west.

philosophy is questions that may never be answered
religion is answers that may never be questioned

wreck ship

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#3 : April 15, 2012, 01:38:06 PM

"But now we can see that these Islamic groups are taking us for fools."
Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

philosophy is questions that may never be answered
religion is answers that may never be questioned

CBWx2

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#4 : April 15, 2012, 01:38:57 PM

It is 100% unacceptable for anyone to want laws shaped to reflect the tenets of their faith. 100% unacceptable. Which is why I'm sure that you will both agree that anti-abortion legislation, anti-contraception legislation, anti-gay marriage legislation, and the teaching of intelligent design in schools should all be banned at once. It's good that we can all agree here.

 ;)


wreck ship

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#5 : April 15, 2012, 02:01:50 PM

It is 100% unacceptable for anyone to want laws shaped to reflect the tenets of their faith. 100% unacceptable. Which is why I'm sure that you will both agree that anti-abortion legislation, anti-contraception legislation, anti-gay marriage legislation, and the teaching of intelligent design in schools should all be banned at once. It's good that we can all agree here.

 ;)
while I agree with you, I am more tolerant to countries evolving from the stone age.

philosophy is questions that may never be answered
religion is answers that may never be questioned

bradentonian

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#6 : April 15, 2012, 02:05:14 PM

It is 100% unacceptable for anyone to want laws shaped to reflect the tenets of their faith. 100% unacceptable. Which is why I'm sure that you will both agree that anti-abortion legislation, anti-contraception legislation, anti-gay marriage legislation, and the teaching of intelligent design in schools should all be banned at once. It's good that we can all agree here.


Ha, that was pretty much my exact thought when reading this


dbucfan

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#7 : April 15, 2012, 02:07:22 PM

It is 100% unacceptable for anyone to want laws shaped to reflect the tenets of their faith. 100% unacceptable. Which is why I'm sure that you will both agree that anti-abortion legislation, anti-contraception legislation, anti-gay marriage legislation, and the teaching of intelligent design in schools should all be banned at once. It's good that we can all agree here.

 ;)
while I agree with you, I am more tolerant to countries evolving from the stone age.
or those not taking billions from the US  promising one thing and doing another...

\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant

wreck ship

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#8 : April 15, 2012, 03:05:49 PM

It is 100% unacceptable for anyone to want laws shaped to reflect the tenets of their faith. 100% unacceptable. Which is why I'm sure that you will both agree that anti-abortion legislation, anti-contraception legislation, anti-gay marriage legislation, and the teaching of intelligent design in schools should all be banned at once. It's good that we can all agree here.

 ;)
while I agree with you, I am more tolerant to countries evolving from the stone age.
or those not taking billions from the US  promising one thing and doing another...
more like accepting than taking. We are just as much to blame for this

philosophy is questions that may never be answered
religion is answers that may never be questioned

dbucfan

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#9 : April 15, 2012, 03:10:16 PM

Not going to bandy words bc this behavior doesn't warrant it.  Cut the damned spending/accepting/charitable giving/debit card nonsense

\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant

wreck ship

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#10 : April 15, 2012, 03:15:48 PM

Not going to bandy words bc this behavior doesn't warrant it.  Cut the damned spending/accepting/charitable giving/debit card nonsense
+1

philosophy is questions that may never be answered
religion is answers that may never be questioned

CalcuttaRain

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#11 : April 15, 2012, 03:20:34 PM

It is 100% unacceptable for anyone to want laws shaped to reflect the tenets of their faith. 100% unacceptable. Which is why I'm sure that you will both agree that anti-abortion legislation, anti-contraception legislation, anti-gay marriage legislation, and the teaching of intelligent design in schools should all be banned at once. It's good that we can all agree here.

 ;)

Perhaps the most predictable response. Once I saw the title of the thread and the article it referenced I knew this type of Moral relativism response would be here.

Show the bravest of the brave kids that you have their back.  Go to http://www.childrenscancercenter.org/

Just check out the site or maybe like them on Facebook . .  or Share the site on Facebook, re-tweet one of their tweets.  Not everyone can give money to support this great cause, but its easy to give 10 seconds of your time to help spread the word about The Children\\\\\\\'s Cancer Center

CBWx2

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#12 : April 15, 2012, 03:24:21 PM

It is 100% unacceptable for anyone to want laws shaped to reflect the tenets of their faith. 100% unacceptable. Which is why I'm sure that you will both agree that anti-abortion legislation, anti-contraception legislation, anti-gay marriage legislation, and the teaching of intelligent design in schools should all be banned at once. It's good that we can all agree here.

 ;)
while I agree with you, I am more tolerant to countries evolving from the stone age.
or those not taking billions from the US  promising one thing and doing another...
more like accepting than taking. We are just as much to blame for this

To blame for what? What's happened in any of these countries that is so terrible?


wreck ship

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#13 : April 15, 2012, 03:28:57 PM

It is 100% unacceptable for anyone to want laws shaped to reflect the tenets of their faith. 100% unacceptable. Which is why I'm sure that you will both agree that anti-abortion legislation, anti-contraception legislation, anti-gay marriage legislation, and the teaching of intelligent design in schools should all be banned at once. It's good that we can all agree here.

 ;)
while I agree with you, I am more tolerant to countries evolving from the stone age.
or those not taking billions from the US  promising one thing and doing another...
more like accepting than taking. We are just as much to blame for this

To blame for what?
insisting on democracy over there while showering them with $$$$.

philosophy is questions that may never be answered
religion is answers that may never be questioned

CalcuttaRain

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#14 : April 15, 2012, 03:31:04 PM

It is 100% unacceptable for anyone to want laws shaped to reflect the tenets of their faith. 100% unacceptable. Which is why I'm sure that you will both agree that anti-abortion legislation, anti-contraception legislation, anti-gay marriage legislation, and the teaching of intelligent design in schools should all be banned at once. It's good that we can all agree here.


Ha, that was pretty much my exact thought when reading this

Then maybe you should think a bit more. Even if one accepts that kind of moral relativism then one might consider whether it is an apt comparison. For example, is anti-abortion legislation actually comparable to sharia law?  Anti-abortion laws infringe on a women's freedom with the aim of saving a life. How does that compare to sharia law which in some applications sanctions the killing of women?  At best, anti gay rights legislation would be the closest example to the way sharia law treats women and even that is a HUGE stretch. Btw, what is the penalty for homosexuality in the United States? Social stigma, maybe? What the penalty in Taliban controlled Afghanistan?

I mean seriously it might help to think about the comparison before making it

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1392454/Muslim-girl-Katya-Koren-19-stoned-death-beauty-contest-Ukraine.html
: April 15, 2012, 03:36:36 PM VinBucFan

Show the bravest of the brave kids that you have their back.  Go to http://www.childrenscancercenter.org/

Just check out the site or maybe like them on Facebook . .  or Share the site on Facebook, re-tweet one of their tweets.  Not everyone can give money to support this great cause, but its easy to give 10 seconds of your time to help spread the word about The Children\\\\\\\'s Cancer Center
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