This is the first post in what we hope will be an ongoing series of Guest Writer posts. In the spirit of free speech and diverse opinions we will not be vetting or editing our guest posts in any way. We hope to encourage as many of these as possible in the future. Thanks Jerry for being our first guest writer!
Written by: Jerry Mullis.
Is it Religion? Is it Arabic culture? Perhaps it’s a combination of both? Regardless, it’s quite clear that the Arab population and their leaders – including newly elected leaders, have been using the term ‘democracy’ without any clue of what the word actually stands for. Violent protests by the thousands over some video is a mind-blowing contradiction to the basic principle of any democratic nation – a principle best summed up by saying “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. The comments by the leaders of many of these people and countries, many elected, have further shown a blatant lack of comprehension of the concept of free speech in these societies.
In Egypt you have the president Muhammad Morsi calling for prosecution by the US government of the filmmakers, and one of Egypt’s top clerics calling on the UN to forbid denigration of faiths! In Afghanistan we see Hamid Karzi calling the video “heinous” and an “evil act” that has created “outrage and anxiety for all peace-loving humans who back up the idea of peaceful coexistence.” (Because the video must have had some voodoo spell that forced thousands of people to erupt in violent rage! Talk about lack of accountability). We have Maliki in Iraq saying there should be a “quarantine” of “the racists” in order to “stop them from spreading … their dangerous thoughts.” (Ironically forgetting this type of censorship was one of the strongest tools that kept Sadam Hussein and other such dictators in power for so long – pretty amazing, isn’t it?). And there’s plenty more where that came from.
The insanity goes on and on clearly and without doubt showing that the Arab spring or ‘revolution’ touted so strongly by those involved as a democratic movement was done without the slightest inkling of what democracy actually means. They could have called it a Fascist or Communist or heck a spirit-sun-unicorn revolution for all the difference it would have made.
Perhaps this can be a lesson on semantics for the western media who so proudly heralded to us this amazing news of the Arab people magically uprising for democracy. It’s quite clear the use of the word alone by the ‘revolutionaries’ was enough proof for us of their democratic intentions (and why wouldn’t it have been) – but clearly our rationality – no – naivety – clouded our judgment. It would sure be interesting to look in retrospect and see how many interviews with ‘revolutionaries’ and their so called leaders asked questions that went beyond just hearing ‘we want democracy’ as an answer. Questions that asked these people what they understand about democracy and the principles necessary for such a society to exist. I bet you there were very few if any such interviews at all as it is quite apparent that the concept of free speech – the fundamental backbone of democracy, and something without which a true democracy cannot exist – is completely lacking in the minds of these people.
So we ask ourselves – why is that so? Leading us to a tough, and certainly controversial answer. The answer to the question initially asked – Is it culture? Is it Religion? – More and more it seems to be religion- one that when not kept in check by brutal and less brutal dictators alike breeds immense hatred, jealousy and feverish devotion over a religious figure or book. A devotion that makes it absolutely impossible to handle criticism, or in this case an ignorant and flat out farcical video about the religion, without erupting into crazed violence. A religion where a video that should simply be ignored causes more social uproar then the slaughter of thousands of Syrians- fellow Arab Muslims – who unfortunately should not be ignored, but are. Apparently the sensitivities of a man who lived 1300 years ago are more important then present mass murder. Scary as that might be, it also provides insight into the nature of the culture and/or religion we are dealing with.
This situation goes deeper then a people not understanding freedom because of past deprivation of that freedom – it goes down to the very core of a rotten, and backwards society that has a lot of reflection and changing to do before they can live the word which they so falsely claimed to be trying to achieve – Democracy.
This is Jerry’s opinion, what’s yours?