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Arab Spring Looking More like Islamic Revolution

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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 01:19 PM
Original message
Arab Spring Looking More like Islamic Revolution
By Simon Nguyen | Yahoo! Contributor Network 1 hr 55 mins ago

COMMENTARY | The Arab Spring movement has brought about more than just democracy. Even as the American media is still debating how much credit President Barack Obama should get for the successful dethronement of Moammar Gadhafi, recent developments in Libya paint a worrisome picture. Immediately after his declaration of Libya's liberation, the leader of the National Transitional Council boldly called for Islam's Sharia Law to be the basis for the country's new constitution.

How bold was this move by the NTC head? While most Muslim countries incorporate elements of Sharia into their laws, few countries use Sharia Law as the exclusive source of their constitution. While it remains to be seen how much of the Islamic law will be present in the new Libyan constitution, any hope the country will become the next Turkey has surely vanished.

Then there is Tunisia -- the birthplace of the Arab Spring. The North African country recently held its first fully democratic election in decades. The election was unsurprisingly won by Ennahda -- an Islamist party that had previously been barred from participating in the country's politics.

While the victorious Islamists have pledged moderation in their management of the country, it is hard to believe this new political force won't attempt to impose traditional Islamic values on the previously secular state. After spending decades exiled from the country's politics, Tunisian Islamists are unlikely to let this golden opportunity slipping away from their grasp.

http://news.yahoo.com/arab-spring-looking-more-islamic-...
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. Laughable, trying to paint the Arab spring with the same brush as the Iranian revolution is absurd
none of these revolutions have been lead by a charismatic cleric. The Sunni world doesn't even have a clerical position similar to an ayatollah so the likelihood of an outcome like Iran is close to zero.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. There's nothing laughable about state enforced religious law.
You don't need charisma if you have state power.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. It is a quantum leap away from an Islamic revolution. These ain't theocracy's run by a cleric oligar...
The gulf between what is happening now in the middle east and what occurred in Iran in 1979 could not be more different. Especially when it comes to the role the West is play, supporting the revolution rather then being on the wrong side of history. This keeps these new democracies involved with the world unlike Iran which was totally cut off from the west.

Equating the Arab spring with the Iranian revolution is absurd anti-Muslim propaganda.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Read it. He's not comparing it to Khomeini.
He's talking about the elevation of Sharia law.

And your argument is not enhanced by reference to the role of the west.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. By calling it an Islamic Revolution he is purposefully raising the specter of Khomeini.
This is a dog whistle against Muslims.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. No he's not.
The only barking I hear is from you.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. When I see a racist dog whistle I call it, looks like other informed people here agree
so the only barking is not coming from me by any measure.

Cultural imperialism and rank hypocrisy.

Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. You don't see the irony of quoting Kipling in defense of a uprising supported by NATO.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Supporting a pubic uprising and preventing genocide is very different from this
Edited on Tue Nov-01-11 09:38 PM by Exultant Democracy
which is Dog whistle anti-Muslim hysteria based on a notion that would be indefensible in academic circles. Tell you this much you will never see this in a respected peer reviewed journal.

To date there has only been one Islamic revolution as the term is commonly used and it was in Iran. The revolutions associated with the Arab spring is far more similar to the anti-theocratic Green Revolution and movement in Iran then anything else comparable.

We also live in a country where religion is codified in law to interfere with what I consider civil rights or human rights. This doesn't mean we don't deserve a democracy and it doesn't mean that the French weren't right to help us revolt from British rule all those years ago. It simply means that we need to do better and give them the freedom to do better themselves.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Pubic uprising? What did I miss?
That's a different matter altogether. I must reconsider my position.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. You seem to have missed the entire arab spring.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. And you seem to have missed the machinations of western intelligence agencies.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Western intelligence agencies don't brew up instability to topple friendly strong men
and install hard to control democratic governments. The entire history of primarily British, American and Israeli intelligence agencies involvement in the middle east has been strongly anti-democratic the coup of 53 being just one of many examples. This anti- democratic racist anti-Muslim OP seems a lot more like what you would expect from Western counter intelligence and propaganda.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. So far, the developments have been more propaganda than democracy.
And you're quick to throw around a racist label. FYI, western-armed strongmen are not a race.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. You are quick to avoid that I am right about how the CIA , M16 and Mossad actually operate
your straw-man is weak. You assumptions are historical fallacies and yes the thrust of the argument in the OP fits well within a tradition of western racist cultural imperialism. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it is probably a duck.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. You have no grasp of history if you think the CIA is not involved in this.
It is the epitome of "western racist cultural imperialism".
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. Involved in is very different then leading or causing a massive grassroots movement
Edited on Tue Nov-01-11 11:27 PM by Exultant Democracy
Our massive and ballooning intelligence industrial complex has the resources on hand to have informants and agents within almost every movement, trade union and campus group in the middle east.

That doesn't change the fact that the prime directive of the big three intelligence groups involved in the middle east has been to assist and empower western-friendly strong men governments at the cost of democracy not the other way around as you would have us believe.

If we lived in a bizarro world were the Israelis and the US were anti-authoritarian and supported democracies then their wouldn't have been any need for the Arab spring. The US has had to be dragged into supporting every single one of these movements by overwhelming public opinion, not because it fit in with some well thought master plan.


Of course racist western imperialist have always denied brown people agency and the idea that this movement was caused by Western intelligence agencies fits very snugly within this tradition. What's old is new again.
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pennylane100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. I have a feeling that the women in these countries
are a little less optimist than you.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. like Gay marriage? There is a spectrum,by using Islamic revolution he is calling up the boogie man
of Iran, when in fact there is no comparison.

Every society with a dominate religion has a considerable amount of leak into their legal code, but the Arab spring has most definitely not caused Theocratic cleric led oligarchies.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. The movement for gay marriage is the antithesis of the codification of Sharia law.
i take it you're ok with a "leak" of religion into civil law. Especially when introduced after armed conflict.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. By like "gay marriage" in contect of the convrsation I was obviously refering to how people use
religion as an reason to ban it... duh.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. You're a master of metaphor.
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SpankMe Donating Member (301 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. Nothing good can come of this.
Theocratic movements are bad - whether "returning America Christian values" or basing a constitution on Sharia law.

Richard Dawkins is correct on all counts.
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pennylane100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. Hands up those that did not see this coming.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
safeinOhio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. Or what the Settlers are
to Israel.
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haikugal Donating Member (476 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
6. Do we or don't we
believe citizens have a right to choose how their country is run? Leave them alone...it's their country.
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Jim__ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
7. Simon Nguyen doesn't appear to have particular expertise on the Middle East.
Here's his Yahoo profile:

Simon Nguyen is an economic researcher who holds a Master's Degree in Economics. His areas of expertise are technology, public policy, labor, and sport.


That doesn't say he is wrong about this; but I wouldn't credit him with any particular insight either.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I've discussed this very issue with Fakhreddin Azimi.
http://www.amazon.com/Fakhreddin-Azimi/e/B001IXTPZE

I've also read all his books. The differences between Iran's Islamic revolution and what is going on in the Sunni world is very different.

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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
13. Boy the right wing has managed to "brain-wash" everyone to get hysterical about Sharia Law.
Spectrum of Muslim legal systems

The legal systems in 21st century Muslim majority states can be classified as follows:

Sharia in the secular Muslim states: Muslim countries such as Mali, Kazakhstan and Turkey have declared themselves to be secular. Here, religious interference in state affairs, law and politics is prohibited.<37> In these Muslim countries, as well as the secular West, the role of sharia is limited to personal and family matters.

The Nigerian legal system is based on English Common Law and the constitution guarantees freedom of religion and separation of church and State. However eleven northern states have adopted sharia law for those who practice the Muslim religion.<38>

Muslim states with blended sources of law: Muslim countries including Pakistan, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco and Malaysia have legal systems strongly influenced by sharia, but also cede ultimate authority to their constitutions and the rule of law. These countries conduct democratic elections, although some are also under the influence of authoritarian leaders. In these countries, politicians and jurists make law, rather than religious scholars. Most of these countries have modernized their laws and now have legal systems with significant differences when compared to classical sharia.<39>

Muslim states using classical sharia: Saudi Arabia and some of the Gulf states do not have constitutions or legislatures. Their rulers have limited authority to change laws, since they are based on sharia as it is interpreted by their religious scholars. Iran shares some of these characteristics, but also has a parliament that legislates in a manner consistent with sharia.<40>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia

And as for "who did not see this coming?"? is an insult to the thousands who died to be free of repression, torture and dictatorship. It is also Western arrogance that what we have is the ideal to follow or that we know better.

Libyans are free and are free to decide what they want. They will be in no way anything like Iran. They will squabble and fight, and there will be disagreements - but people who gave so much for freedom, will expect nothing less, otherwise they will do it all over again.


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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. That depends entitrely on which version of Fiqh is adopted.
And no one except you and one other in this thread are comparing Libya to Iran.
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Leontius Donating Member (380 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
16. Perhaps some of the experts should take another look at
Turkey. It seems that a religious creep has been going on under the current government. Their platform was decidedly more theocratic than their governing policy has been, is this a natural liberalization of the party since coming to power or fear of the military which considers itself the defender of Ataturk's strict secularism?
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
17. A friend of mine from Libya told me...
...that they effectively had Islamic law there anyway, so this is not much of a revelation. He also complained that of all the thinks happening over there, the western media seems focused on that one fact which in his view is pretty inconsequntial.

I'm skeptical that religious law is no big deal, but the claim does seem to be a bit overblown.

My own thinking is that when the national identity is hijacked by despotic rulers, often with foreign support, people turn to other cultural markers for group identity. In the Arab world the only other common cultural reference is Islam.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. That's a fair assessment.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. I'd take it a bit further.
Unity and stability are important. In a ethnically and socially divided state, the way to stability is through accepting a common norm. It helps ease social inequalities and provides a common frame of reference--it's culture, but writ rather larger than either the "4 Fs" or even just having a socially-prescribed set of norms for conduct (mostly because the norms of conduct are entrusted to the imams and other preachers, who nearly always become increasingly conservative as they gain power).

If everybody submits to Allah, then everybody's equally dominated. It's a nifty version of exactly how the USSR and Warsaw Pact, how Tito's Yugoslavia, how Saddam's Iraq worked.

The only important insight (besides the point that the OP is speculative and makes some bad assumptions) is based on history. The Iranian Revolution's sharp fundie turn was a surprise. It's a natural outcome in hindsight, but the urbane, sophisticated, educated Iranian people were seen as overthrowing autocracy and, it was assumed, would embrace liberal democracy. Until it didn't. The urbane, sophisticated, educated "majority" was a fiction that the urbane, sophisticated, educated minority in the West (who likes to see itself as a majority) found comforting.

In the case of Cuba, many can't get beyond the first few days of revolution. They want to believe. It was the same on DU with some Qaddhafi supporters. Or Chavez supporters. Lapses can be excused by those so desiring. Until the character of the regime is so overwhelmingly in-your-face that it cn't be denied.

Most people today believe that the Bolsheviks overthrew the tsar. They're surprised to find that they overthrew Kerensky and killed the family of a tsar that had abdicated. Similarly, they're surprised to find that the excesses of the French Revolution didn't lead to the monarchy's demise. The monarchy had ready been demitted in both cases (so to speak).

So with the "Arab Spring." We have the same kind of people, for the same reasons, seeing themselves in the revolutionaries. Take Libya. That the paramilitaries that largely won the ground war are racist, nasty, brutish, greedy, and tribal (but I repeat myself) can be overlooked because Jibril is one of "us." Whoever "us" is. The outcome can only be good, and excuses must be found to excuse the Good and Righteous until it's finally so clear that they're absolute bastards and have been maliciously misleading and duping us (if it ever comes to that).

The point is that we're at precisely the same point we've been at numerous times, and a fair number of those times the revolutions we loved went seriously astray--and the reasons, in hindsight, are butt-obvious. It's just that we blinded ourselves at the time because, like Mulder on the X-Files, we wanted to believe. The OP wants to disbelieve--which is no less biased, but at least the surprises are pleasant ("Well, whaddya know! The revolution worked out just fine!" is better than, "Well, that sucked. I believed bunnies would fly and loaves of organic whole-wheat bread would grow on trees, and instead they're executing gays, raping women, and, worst of all, made me look bad.")

The problem is that given that most reporter *want* to believe, those who merely are skeptical have trouble finding a place to make their voice heard. If you allow for those who want to decree those they believe righteous to be Righteous, then anybody who says, "They might not be so righteous--then again, it's possible they are" is heard as "... Righteous ... they are." A polemical stance of "this will surely lead to damnation" is easier to get heard. Distorted and overblown, even if just a device. But easier to get heard.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-11 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
36. Secular dictators eliminate secular alternatives, creating the problem that they claim to solve
"Why is there such a big danger that if now there will be free choice for Egyptians, then the Muslim Brotherhood can rise to power?" Mr. Sharansky asks. "Because they are the only organized force which exists in addition to Mubarak's regime." Mr. Mubarak quashed almost all political dissent, with the general acquiescence of his American patrons. But he couldn't stop the Brotherhood from spreading its message in mosques. Meanwhile, he used the Brotherhood as a bogeyman, telling the U.S. that only he stood between radical Islamists and the seat of power.

It worked. Mr. Sharansky says that in a 2007 meeting in Prague, President Bush told him that the U.S. supports Mr. Mubarakto the tune of nearly $2 billion in annual aidbecause if it didn't, the Brotherhood would take over Egypt.

(...) By Mr. Sharansky's calculus, simply propping up Mr. Mubarak's fear society would make it more likely, not less, that radicals would gradually become the only viable opposition and be best-positioned to gain power when the regime inevitably fell. And so it is today, as the Mubarak regime teeters.

Still, Mr. Sharansky finds reason for optimism.

From:
Democracy's Tribune on the Arab Awakening
By David Feith
February 5, 2011
The Wall Street Journal
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