Islam Is What’s Wrong With Many Countries


The present Tunisian president, Kais Saied, was elected with 73% of the vote in 2019 (and 90% of the youth). A constitutional law professor, this independent candidate financed his campaign with $5000 (five thousand dollars). The president is often depicted as a so-called “populist”… He is in agreement with some Islamic laws Islamists love (penalizing homosexuality, and favoring men in inheritance). However he found impossible to govern with Ennahda, the Islamist Party, most prominent in Parliament.  

The president used his constitutional powers to suspend Parliament for 30 days on 26 July 2021. Some Western Do-Gooders West reflexively lamented that the last Arab speaking democracy, Tunisia, was now dead. Those Do-Gooders fail to understand that governance by Islamists, whether elected or not, is intrinsically dictatorial, abusive, and antinomic to progress. Practically this means that a dictatorial regime, as found say in Egypt, or even Saudi Arabia, may be more progressive in Muslim countries than an elected regime. Failing to understand this is demeaning to those cultures and a form of systemic racism [1].

The problem of Muslim countries is Islam, just as, should it still be the case, the problem of Western Europe and its colonies would be the Catholic Inquisition, should that abomination still endowed with power. As an aside, when English Lords wanted to burn Joan of Arc alive, they used the French arm of the Catholic Inquisition to prosecute her for heresy… And then got her burned alive for relapsing after taking an oath that she would never wear men’s clothing again… So in Joan’s horrible fate, we see many elements of the Catholic religion affecting its sister religion, Islam, today: a powerful Inquisition, the notion of heresy, rejecting and disrespecting the religion, political usage by terrorists (in Joan’s case, English plutocrats), and a woman thinking she is free to wear what she wants.   

Tunisian President Kais Saied after his election in 2019 with 72.71% of the vote. Obviously a constitutional law professor, not a young putschist

In areas conquered 13 centuries ago by Muslim armies, Islam occupies a dominant presence that Catholicism never acquired in the West. Catholicism was an instrument of control implemented by Roman emperors. Catholicism was a tool finely worked and named by emperor Constantine (“the Great”), in 323 CE, at Nicaea. Conveniently, laws against “heresy” enabled the state to punish those it did not like, whichever way the state decided to, by accusing them of… heresy. 

However secular law maintained a separate, and more fundamental existence in the Roman empire: Justinian’s Roman law refurbishment separated what was religious law from the bedrock of secular law. Published in 534 CE in Latin, it was promptly adopted by the Franks, the Imperium Francorum in the West, which had just incorporated mighty Burgundy, and viewed itself as the legitimate successor state of Rome. This Corpus Juris Civilis is used to this day by all secular states, and characterize them fundamentally.

Whereas, the main variants of Islam Sunni and Shia, condemn the secular state, and secular law. Sunni Islam imposes a violent sexist subjugation and infantilization of women. But the problem with Islam does not stop there: corrupt, powerful individuals can claim their opponents are not true believers, and then have a right and duty to kill them, at least so say the holy books. 

This deep mentality of arbitrary violence enables and fosters a tradition of corruption. The preceding secular dictator in Tunisia, although leading a corruptocracy, could order a modicum of economic realization. Not so with the Islamists anywhere who are more keen to impose their Sharia than anything else. In other words, Islamists are the root cause of autocracy, one can’t fix the latter with the former. 

Patrice Ayme

***

[The preceding was a comment of mine courageously published by New York Times. 7/26/2021]

[1] I do not approve of dictatorships in Turkey, Iran and Syria. The reason there is that the present dictators or would-be dictators represent a considerable aggravation of the former situation. Algeria, Morocco, Pakistan are rather stagnant, corrupt and flirting with fate; I disapprove, but not stridently.

Oman, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait are arguably, works in progress. Egypt’s Sisi and Saud MBS have difficult situations to deal with… Sudan, Libya, Yemen are too conflicted to be commented upon…

In general, Europe has a moral duty with helping to develop North Africa, from more than three millennia of common existence… that Europe has neglected, preferring to develop the likes of Turkey and China, instead…

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2 Responses to “Islam Is What’s Wrong With Many Countries”

  1. brodix Says:

    Patrice,
    One of the more interesting books on religion I ever read was, The Five Stages of Greek Religion, by Gilbert Murray.
    One of the points he makes in that book and throughout his writings, is that to the Ancients, gods were not some metaphysical tyrant, but a cross between memes and ideals. Vibrant concepts animating life.
    Given there wasn’t that much clear distinction between culture and civics, monotheism equated with monoculture. As in one people, one rule, one god. While pantheism was how they saw multiculturalism.
    Remember that democracy and republicanism originated in pantheistic cultures and the Romans adopted Christianity as the Empire solidified and remnants of the Republic were being shed. Basically the first globalization.
    The Trinity came from the Greek year gods, symbolizing the regeneration of life, as the son reborn in the spring of the sky father and earth mother. Obviously the Catholic Church had to obscure this as best as possible, since it had no desire to be replaced. Though Martin Luther did try to do what Jesus tried with Judaism, push the reset button.
    Given that this religious paradigm was grafted onto an already highly evolved civilization, that remained multicultural, there was that elemental split between culture and civics, church and state.
    Though for Islam, there was no state or empire adopting it, rather it served to connect tribal cultures into a larger civic organization. Which would explain why, in Islam, religion comes first and state second, while Christianity, after some struggle, has again accepted the state as the legal/civic basis of society.
    Though the West is currently metastasizing the social contract enabling society, the currency of exchange, into a commodity to mine from society, but that’s another story.

    It seems to me there are two distinct dynamics in nature, synchronization and harmonization.
    Synchronization pulls the many into one, while harmonization distributes them out evenly. Thus nodes are synchronization and networks are harmonization.
    Culture and their various expressions, religions, governments, tribes, etc, are a function of synchronizing the various narratives, ideals, rules, measures, goals, etc. While larger ecosystems tend to harmonize, as all the various species and organisms find their niches in the larger system and distribute broadly. Centripetal and centrifugal forces.
    Black holes and black body radiation.
    Yin and yang, rather than God Almighty.
    Logically a spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which we fell and that long shadow continues, as so many people assume their ideals to be absolute.
    A miserable fail on the part of the philosophers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The time when religious rule was the worst in the West was under the Roman empire submitted to Theodosius I, a Catholic fanatic, 380 CE to 395 CE. Under the Franks, until 1026 CE, the catholic church was subjugated by… the Franks, who claimed to be Catholic, so they could decide what Catholicism meant… More than 5 centuries without killing heretics…

      Like

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