Archive | December 12, 2011

Reflections on Islam, Liberty and Development III

Reflections on Islam, Liberty and Development III

 

By Hwaa Irfan

 

From Islam, Liberty and Development by Mohammad Khātamī *

 Freedom and Development

 

Globalists are a strange breed of people that have been trained and inculcated over a long period of time, to act and deliver not to the benefit of their respective countries, but to the benefit of the global elite. The people, in this case Europeans have unwittingly been removed from their endeavours without realizing that they, the creators of the real wealth, have been kept at arm’s length from that wealth. This has never been more evident than now as globalists German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy pushed for a rewrite of the European Union’s governing rules that will ultimately demand that European countries cede sovereignty under the mission to stem the tide of economic collapse.

The details of the above, even if one is able is not for discussion here, but it is ironic that a region that has over a period of 400 years dominated and controlled the world’s natural resources in order to build its own wealth and prosperity. As Europeans face the true nature of their democracy, and the Caribbean and South American countries come together at last having suffered terribly from that democracy, echoes still emanate that this is the way the world runs! The mantra that this is democracy is still being sung, yet the many discord notes play the tune of authoritarianism, and the latest song of Merkel and Sarkozy, the visible face of the globalists is opening the door to a dictatorship that only promises in theory that it is able to deliver Europe from its economic strife at the cost of the liberte, and fraternite of its population. It is a position that has been imposed upon many countries that have suffered the affliction of colonialism. Khatami stated:

“In the past two hundred years we have encountered an additional problem, namely authoritarianism and dictatorship of a more dangerous and destructive character that took over our society. In this period, the hideous phenomenon of colonialism became widespread in the world, afflicting us with a colonialism-dependent dictatorship. Dictatorship no longer appeared as one powerful tribe or nation dominating us… but came in the form of an internal authoritarianism which was dependent on protecting the interests of a global colonist. Foreign colonist powers wanted to rob all our material and spiritual resources, propping up dictatorships as tame and complacent tools for the realization of their goal.

“Unfortunately, because of what has happened to us, our temperament has not been trained to be receptive to freedom such that in the past half-century every time the ground has been ripe for us to experience freedom, we have squandered the opportunity.”

That is the reality facing the “Arab Spring” burgeoning with the human spirit in possession of insurmountable years of experience of colonialism, and seemingly ready to break the shackles that bind. Yet, these same people are faced with the counter-positioning of their own people who have grown far too accustomed to those shackles to the point that it seems normal. The Caribbean is familiar with the contradictions between those who seek freedom from the colonialists, and those who have developed a colonial mentality; however the foreign colonialists have over the years established its network to the extent that it will always find an internal condition to rely on to maintain its hold. In short, it is this that threatens real democracy taking hold in the region of the “Arab Spring” because as Khātamī stated:

“…every time the ground has been ripe for us to experience freedom, we have squandered the opportunity.”

Khātamī explains:

“In the aftermath of August 25, 1941, when an atmosphere of relative freedom came about in Iran… social movements became confused and incapacitated, and opportunists tried to use this freedom to monopolize power. Foreign hands conspired to disallow the natural order of freedom to take hold in society. This state of chaos, propelled by the treachery of some camps and the conspiracy of foreigners, created a situation that eventually led to the black coup d’etat of 1953. Finally, the Islamic revolution came to our rescue, showing us the beautiful face of freedom once more.”

The above scenario plays out again, not only in the Middle East, but also around the world in the call for real democracy. The same strategies to quell the voice and actions of a people in the authoritarian Middle East is being meted out in the West with the spread of the Occupy World movement. Even worse, while still telling the Middle East what to do, Western countries are tightening all forms of security to prohibit communication via the corporate and social media, as well as setting up mechanisms to kettle protestors so that they end up on their nation’s black-list as a national security threat. The recent step to control and monitor the borders between the U.S. and Canada is in the style of Big Brother by tracking its citizens, indefinitely detain anyone including the citizens of those countries, collecting the DNA of all babies, and searching all school-children (U.K.) by registering all mobile phones ( if one wishes to be excluded, one is also registered), by collecting all Twitter communiqués via the Library of Congress this and more which only underpins how much the state fears its own people without which it would not exist!

That is the reality that the Occupy World movement faces, dictatorship by their governments, but those governments are under the illusion that they can contain and control its people. Unfortunately the ace in the pack is that far too many of us are conditioned to believe that the ordinary person is at the mercy of the government, and will turn to the government like a child to an abusive parent for salvation.

The virtue, if any of being a product of colonialism, is the education and self awareness that is on offer to help understand the true nature of the beast, a learning experience that is not widely available to their Western counterparts because far too many Westerners believed for far too long that they have been right. To suddenly find that one has been wrong is to question everything that one’s perception of the world is based upon. This is a very difficult position to be in.

“Today, whatever supporters and critics of this revolution, they should concede by virtue of fairness that Iran’s Islamic revolution possesses two distinct characteristics. First, while in countries such as ours anti-colonial struggles have often taken a militaristic form, in our case the authoritarianism that was supported by imperialism was not overthrown by the force of guns, but by the presence if the masses and the power of discourse and enlightenment. And second, the revolution began its life with freedom, not suppression, so much so that in the first years after its victory, the revolution was even on the verge of descending into anarchy. But as despotism had become second nature to us through our dark past, we were unable to benefit from this freedom properly.”

And so it is, that we are at that point whereby we face the strong possibility of not benefiting, of only repeating the same mistakes, of entrenching colonialism, neo or otherwise not because of we lack the courage, but because of lack of true belief that the system is right, but corrupt. What is it then when some of the many protests are about jobs and better wages but to find a better way of benefiting from the same system that is the cause of the global discontent.  Fighting against something is not the same as fighting for something, and it is ‘for something’ that needs to heavily discussed, contemplated and finally defend once it is understood what the nature of what that ‘for something’ is!

*Seyyid Mohammad Khātamī is an Iranian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician. He served as the fifth President of Iran from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran’s Minister of Culture in both the 1980s and 1990s, and one of the leaders of the Iranian Green Movement.

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