The emerging governments in the Middle-East.
The turmoil in the middle-east cannot be overlooked. To the credit of the young, this youth movement is brave and dedicated. What do they desire and is it possible for them to achieve? What will emerge as the new governments in the Middle-East where chaos now reigns.
Revolution by what is mostly young, under 35, has awakened the world to a desire for change in the Middle-East to the way people have been governed for decades (in some cases centuries). What do they want? They understand freedom. They are not free. They want to be. They want to make their own choices, even as to their religion. It is difficult for any, especially those that are educated, to understand the intolerance of the parties or families in power to suppress their people. They ask, “Why?” The majority is not seen in the same light, or receives the same attention as the minority. The minority are those that support the most fundamental views of Islam. The minority has been in control.
There are many sects or tribes in the Muslim world. They do not all see the Quran in the same way. Even though there may be only one Quran, one language to be interpreted, when you bring into account the Hadiths/Sunnah of the life and sayings of Muhammad, and the history to establish Islam and subsequently, the result can be different. How one views Islam varies. It varies from what we label today as ‘radical Islam’ led by the Islamists, to a more tolerant Islam the scholars of which are most often verbally attacked by the radicals as apostates of the true religion. But the religion is more, in the dictates of the Islamists, an Ideology than a Religion. Theocracy is the only way. Man takes the Quran and accompanying documents and makes judgments, implements Laws and punishes accordingly. It is no longer left up to God to judge.
The youth movement in the Muslim world, not just the Arab Muslim world (representing only 20% of Muslims), want more latitude in there life, their choices, their dress, their music, the social life, their association with the opposite sex, their reading selections, and their ability to travel.
Living under a Theocratic governing policy is one problem, but the greater may be having lived under a totalitarian, autocratic regime for so/too many years. Seeing corruption, knowing business is meted out among cronies of those in power, not having a voice in government, even a representative of the people, knowing how the power in the hands of those that have served with a military hand at their side to quell dissent is abused, wanting greater education and opportunities to work, yes work, be employed, the young are at a disadvantage.
The disadvantage of those wanting change is they have no true leader, no effective organization that can instill itself in government and insure order and security for all. They know that on the periphery are the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood, even Al Qaeda, or family/cronie/public servants that know what it takes to govern, and they are ready to take office and serve. But what will there service be like. Will it be more of the same? Will at first the demands of the youth be met, but then over time be mitigated to evolve a governance as before. Theocratic, autocratic, serving the governing and not the governed.
In the USA the Supreme Court, a small body of 9 people, not elected by the people, selected by Presidents and approved by Senators, serve for life, without accountability. The role of the Supreme Court is to judge the Laws, the Constitution as the ultimate authority. But their judgment has been corrupted by their power as since the 60’s they have discovered they can make laws. They can usurp the will of the people, the will expressed in the voting booth, and make laws that effect everyone, taking away even the rights of the States to make choices for their people. This has been accomplished regarding sensitive issues, according to Wayne Grudem, his book Politics According to the Bible, such as Abortion, Homosexuality and same-sex marriages, removal of religion from public places, the legitimacy of religious convictions as reasons to influence public actions, accountability to God for one’s actions or of any absolute moral standards, issues regarding pornography, and promoting international law to interpret the US Constitution. This is an example of the perversion of laws by those in power as they realize the power they actually have.
Islam is also a problem, not so much the belief in one God, but the Ideological dictates that make Islam a way-of-life and the only way, as determined by the scholars of the day and those exercising power-over-the-people.
The scholars in Islam, the Ulema, or Clerics, are like philosophers. They interpret and then their opinions become important and guiding principles for those advised by them; it is viewed as Allah speaking through a man who has studied and developed his theory on the topic of Islam from the Quran, the Sunnah/Hadiths, the life of Muhammad and the history of Islam since its inception. Once they have been raised to a pedestal of honor, or respect, how could they ever, ever change their claims. If they did would they not be considered ‘heretics.’ As a ‘heretic’ would others, those who have been followers, not then also view this ulema as an apostate subject to death. In the modern world can there be an objective ulema? Maybe not, as he might be scared to express a different viewpoint, believing one thing and saying another, a closet non-radical, even a closet non-Muslim, as death might be at his doorstep. Scared to step forward and proclaim a new Islam, even that the Word of God, the Book of the People (as noted in the Quran), the Bible, Jesus, may be the road to Salvation indeed.
Can a ulema be corrupted, bribed, given a position of authority and told to follow the orders of the governing body as a reward or the reason for the chair in government in which they now sit? If a judge, a person of the court, is bribed the guilty may be deemed not guilty and those not guilty required to serve. Are the ulema that sit beside the leader of Iran pristine as to their judgments, independent in making their declarations. Are they not sinners like the rest of us. How can one sinner judge another? What about Mubarak, Qaddafi, Saleh, and Assad, among others, who were dominant, cruel, oppressive, controlling, self-enriching, and leaders of a Muslim, Islamic State. Can those in power be excused from what the Quran says? Is there a privileged class within the realm of Islam, the example being Muhammad, that are allowed to abuse and use their people, with the ulema saying it is okay – Allah wills?
This bothers the youth movement.
What is possible?
The next step is into the unknown. Can there be a New Quran? Can there be an acceptable view of the Quran and its history that reflects the world today. I know the term ‘modernity’ or a ‘modernization’ of the Quran is problematic for the ulema, not all, but the Islamists, and would be vocally resisted. But if this is what the majority wants can they succeed.
This goes back to the issue on the US Supreme Court. In most states in the US the majority wanted no abortions. The Constitution does not mention abortion. The voters clarified their position in the voting booths. No Abortions here. Then the Supreme power grab occurred, the liberal-left achieved their objective outside of the democratic process. It was an “Ahah” moment for the leftward. The public at large was denied their right. It only took a 5-4 decision. Law was not judged; Law was made by those who are to only judge. The ulema can do the same and the governed are then subject to their opinion, as that of Allah, and that of the police that enact punishment.
The US Constitution comments on religion were basic enough; there was not to be a State or National religion. It did not say that religious views cannot be expressed, even taught in public schools. It did not say people could not pray in public places or that local authorities could not precede their ballgames or meetings with prayer. The Supreme Court Justices are not to make legislative decisions, i.e. laws. But they have been doing so and we have enabled them to do so. Interestingly enough that enabling element is the election of a President. What becomes more important is not who will be President, but what is the leaning (philosophically conservative of left leaning?) of the President as to his would-be choices for vacated Supreme Court seats.
For the youth in the Muslim areas of rebellion they need to select leaders, a President, that would uphold their views, the popular view. Not the view of the ulema.
That is if they can.
As a spiritual person God is my focus, but government is who protects me and others in my country, and my community. I want them to be for the common good of all people. I may disagree with a Muslim, or find problems with the claims of the Quran, even have difficulty understanding a non-believer, an atheist, or a philosopher or scientist that disavows the divine, but I am not out to eliminate them, kill or destroy them. I may want to debate them, but that is only an avenue to express my beliefs and share them with others that may find my logic and conviction compelling. I am only being a disciple for my Lord. I have even written my views for public consumption, my book The Proven God. You can buy it. Do so. Understand my thinking. [Purchase at www.tombalderston.com, or Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at the Publisher, Tate Publications, website.]
The Muslim youth have always lived in either a Theocracy or a Country whose stated religion is Islam (a State sponsored religion). There are secular Muslim countries, but the dominant and oft controlling element (the influence of the religious scholars) become Islam. Sharia Law may not be the law of the land, but offenses against non-Muslims are too often ignored. What would their preference be? Do they feel limited in that only oversight by Islamic Law is possible? I pray that is not the case.
Democracy is something Americans, Europeans, and many other Countries understand. But it is not a democracy in which most of the Muslim youths that are finally rising-up, objecting to the intolerance and dictates of the governing body, have lived. The know the word ‘vote’ and want a say. Can they influence a new body of founding fathers to establish a Constitution of their own, a Constitution that is the expression of the people that stands separate from their President, their legislative bodies, and can prevent absolute corruption by an individual, family or military?
The Greatest Impediment to the Muslim Youth Movement
Established structures and operating entities represent the obstacle over which the Muslim-Youth-Movement must succeed. The impediments include not only the military and existing government officials moving from the periphery of the existing order (or the one overthrown) to the center, but political organizations (as such) of a more extreme nature – as is the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda – entering the fray.
Imagine for a moment the following. After a successful rebellion the central square of the major city in a Muslim country is filled with an assembly of automobiles and pick-up trucks parked in every conceivable direction. Youthful celebrants are in truck beds, on car tops, and in-and-about the collection of vehicles. They are cheering, proclaiming victory; they represent a demand for change to include greater freedoms, and a new life, living standards, a variance from the oppressive regimes they have lived under for many years. Suddenly, out of nowhere, several semi-rigs, large, tall, diesel smoke billowing from the stacks (chimneys) on the side of the powerful cabs, barging into the square. Driving directly into the mass of vehicles the cars and pick-ups are cast aside to the right and to the left, some turning a complete 360°, and a pathway is easily made for the entering semi’s. The youth present jump back, some scrambled, trip and fall and as they do the trailers attached to the semi’s pass and on the side in large letters reads “Muslim Brotherhood Express.” Another reads “Al Qaeda Service.” The Muslim Brotherhood is the M D’ S. The Al Qaeda are the A Q’s, the letters painted and symbolized on the doors of the cabs. When these large trucks come to a stop and the doors open men (only men) emerge with larger weapons than those possessed by the youth crowd. They scatter and take control, megaphones in hand, atop the trailers and to a make-shift podium, proclaiming “Allahu Akbar!”
Not far behind is a squad of military and support. Not in support of the youth mind you, but of the MB’s and/or AQ’s.
As much as the youth want to have a freer society the MB’s and AQ’s want a more radical Islamic state.
Read Ben Stein, April 1, 2011 – The American Spectator article Foolish Thoughts.
Also read, from Atlas Shrugs, Global Jihadists are elated by revolts, cleric says (the cleric-Imam Anwar Awlaki) April 1 2011.
The Next Dictator
What will result is a new hierarchy in the disrupted middle-eastern areas, where revolt is taking place, is unknown. Currently we see chaos. We can only hope and pray for an outcome that has at worst a benevolent dictator. At best it would be a new constitution and elected officials with the schedule for future ongoing voting opportunities to retain the incumbents or install new champions for the cause of freedom.
In my view a “secular”, non-religious government would be preferred, but without the state religion (Islam). However to ask for no state religion would in all likelihood be a wish that could never be fulfilled. It may just be impossible.
As for a benevolent dictator, that cannot happen if the example of Muhammad is followed. Resistance to historical claims that the standard for a leader is Muhammad would require overwhelming support and a willingness to die telling fellow citizens that the Prophet should not be today’s picture of the needed leader. “Impossible” would be the skeptic’s view. Muhammad killed those that resisted, as did Mubarak, Qaddafi, Assad, Hussein, Ahmadinejad, and on and on. The new leader, preferably, would not have killing fields in his garden. Once in power, to retain power, given historical precedent, killing the dissenters to maintain control may be easier than soliciting the people to vote to keep one in office. That would require satisfying the desires of the people. As the Supreme commander a new leader (as the old past leaders demonstrated) can change the law (as the US Supreme Court justices have taken to doing) to stay in power. They can change the law to make their order permanent. The new may evolve into the way of the old; the resolution is revolution. Same-old, same-old, recycled. We can only pray that will not be the outcome.
An aside, for which I must apologize, when writing Iran’s President’s name at first I spelled it AmadinJihad. It was a slip, but could well be a shortened modified name which was ‘I’m-all-Jihad.’ That seems descriptive also of the leaders of the Muslim Countries, all for jihad, internally or externally. Internally the victims are fellow Muslims, believers in Islam, but they may not believe as the leaders prefer they believe. This condition of a multiple of views of what is a Muslim, what is an Islamist, what is the right way of Islam, what is the right sect or tribe, or who is the ‘true’ Muslim, is the stone Muslims carry around their necks that weigh them down. It causes worry, fear and militancy more than happiness, excitement and a productive society willing to work in harmony to improve their country, economically and socially.
To all who enter the new world order of the Middle-Eastern entities to be born from the chaos of the current pregnancy keep your weapons handy. Peace is not about to follow.
* * *
We pray for the day that the conscious and intelligent mind of man (to include women) will set aside the hate, the enmity, and intolerance that clouds appropriate thinking. God never intended for the evil in man to overwhelm the good to such an extent that education and actions, as demonstrated in much of the Middle-East and other Muslim areas where terrorist acts occur daily, was constant. Love has been abstracted from the minds of the Islamists and God’s name, called Allah, is used in vain. Allah has become for too many a symbol of hatred and justification for a cause without end. Hate has become such an inherent part of the being of Islamists, Muhammad used as the example, that only the constant of killing is an attempt to satisfy that which will never satisfy. How empty are those that cannot embrace other human beings and find delight in the pluralism that is the make-up of the world.
May a charismatic leader arise to open the eyes for all to see. May the Grace of the Lord be understood for the good that men will desire and implement towards everyone.
Grace and Peace.