Archive for Muhamed Morsi

Does Democracy Guarantee Freedom?

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , on June 25, 2012 by playthell

    Thomas Jefferson: Founding Father and Slave Master

 Notes on a Persistent American Myth

As thousands of Jubilant Egyptians pour into Taquir square screaming “Allah u Akbar” upon the news that Muhamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, has won the presidential election, many of the original occupants of this square during the upheavals of the so-called “Arab Spring” are lapsing into fear, doubt and even despair.  They look at the election results and wonder what happened to the liberal democratic revolution they thought they were building.  Only the most naïve dreamers among them can continue to believe that their dream will be realized.

It is a tale of two countries; those who prefer a secular democracy and those who long for a theocratic Islamic state under Sharia law.  Although Morsi, an American trained engineer with a PhD, appears to be trying to distance himself from the pious theocrats who swept him into power by announcing that he is quitting the Muslim Brotherhood, talk is cheap and we shall see if he is willing to oppose his Islamist brothers in favor of secular policies, or this is just a ploy to keep American foriegn aid flowing into their crumbling economy.

It is hoped in some quarters that President Morsi’s American education will serve as a moderating influence, but they forget that Sayyid Gutb also earned a graduate degree from an American university.  However the time he spent among us so turned him off that he returned to Egypt and became the leading theologian of the modern Islamic Jihad; a global movement of Muslim fanatics with a dagger aimed straight at the heart of American civilization.

               Sayyid Gutb: Briliant Islamic Theologian

Egyptian Father of the Global Jihad

The truth is, once people get the right to choose their leaders anything can happen; it’s a matter of what their hopes and dreams are.  As I have said before: the secular democrats and the Muslim Brotherhood who joined forces to overthrow the Mubarak regime might have been sleeping in the same bed but they were dreaming different dreams.

The results produced by the first popular democratic elections in Egyptian history, which put a Muslim fundamentalist in the President’s office, illustrates why military strong men all over the Muslim world have consistently refused to permit the development of a popular democracy.  Alas, if Egyptian democracy becomes an enemy of freedom it will be just the latest addition to an age old phenomenon.

The world’s first democracy was in ancient Greece, in fact the term is of Greek origin; yet Greece was a slave society.  The Roman Republic was the world’s second democracy.  But it was a Patrician democracy where only the upper classes had the right to vote and slavery was widespread.  The Early American Republic Resembled the Roman Republic with its property requirements for voters and the widespread practice of slavery.

All of the Founding Fathers had slave interests accept John Adams.  Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, kept over 200 slaves and bore seven children by his slave concubine Sally Hemmings and kept them all as his slave property.

Furthermore, new scholarship by the law professors Alfred and Ruth Blumrosen’s published in “Slave Nation: How Slavery United the Colonies and Sparked the American Revolution, and Dr. Gerald Horne’s new book “Negro Comrades of the Crown” make an impressive case that the motivation for the American Revolution was not to expand human freedom but to preserve slavery.

Yet even under the best of circumstances, as Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in his famous 1831 treatise “Democracy in America,” without legal protection of the rights of unpopular minorities popular democracy can quickly degenerate into a mere tyranny of the majority.

Non-white Americans have always lived under the tyranny of the white majority, mitigated only by Civil Rights legislation, and minorities who are non-Muslim and non-males in Egypt – i.e. Coptic Christians, women and secular democrats – will soon find themselves living under the tyranny of an Islamist majority without continued military mediation of the constitutional process.

                The Egyptian Military Stands Aside…for now  

 But they shall decide what the new Egypt becomes

 

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Playthell George Benjamin

Harlem. New York

June 25, 2012

 

The Islamist Claim Victory in Egypt!

Posted in On Foreign Affairs, On War and Peace in the Mid East!, Uncategorized with tags , on June 20, 2012 by playthell
  Muhamed Morsi, Egypt First Islamist President?

 

Now What Happens Next?

The comedian Paul Mooney invented a character called “Negrodamous;” a prescient black man who can predict the future.  I am beginning to feel more and more like that guy…except my stories ain’t funny.  Alas, it is now apparent that my predictions on both the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the Egyptian upheaval were right on the money.

My prediction that the apolitical character of the Occupy Wall Street movement would insure they would end up like Jack the Bear, making tracks but getting nowhere in terms of diminishing the power of the Plutocrats has certainly come true. One part of the segmented leadership of OWS has announced that the only solution to American Problems is “world Revolution,” and another has decided that challenging the seat of progressive Democratic Congresswoman Lydia Valesquez is what they should be about.

Although the Egyptian upheaval, which served as their model, is a far more complex political phenomenon; I managed to get that right too.  From the outset I warned that we should be wary of uncritically embracing the popular resistance movement, because it contained dangerous elements that could be propelled to power.  This is because like all mass social movements, the Egyptian leadership was polycepalous and segmented; which means they have many leaders representing different factions.

While they all agree that overthrowing the Mubarak government was a vital necessity; any basis for unity between secular liberals and conservative Islamist stopped there.  Although all factions said they wanted an end to tyranny the Devil lurked in the details.  I suspected they were sleeping in the same bed but dreaming different dreams.

Some thought me cynical when I pointed out the naiveté of a young female doctor in a miniskirt interviewed by the New York Times, who gushed over how helpful members of the Muslim Brotherhood were in supporting the idealistic youths who thought they were ushering in a western style liberal /secular democracy.

Other’s thought me a reactionary when I sympathized with the middle class Egyptian women who came out in support of President Honsi Mubarak and the military, against the “revolutionaries” who advocated popular democracy.  As highly educated women they foresaw the danger of an Islamic takeover in a popular election and they knew the horrors that befell women, especially modern women like them, everywhere Islamic fundamentalists take power.

The military men understand it too, that’s why they have steadfastly kept Islamists from taking power ever since Egypt’s first President, Abdel Gamal Nasser, a military man trained at Britain’s elite Sandhurst military academy, hung the theologian Syyid Qutb, the ideological leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, in 1966.  What we are witnessing in Egypt is a reflection of the FLN’s policy in Algeria, where the military overturned a popular election that chose an Islamic party, and took control.  And as I have written repeatedly: The only impediment to an Islamist takeover in all of these Muslim countries is the secular military caste.

Hence with a victory by Muhamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who claimed to have won by a million votes on Monday, and Ahmed Shafiq, former President Hosni Mubarak’s last appointed Prime Minister, Claiming to have won on Tuesday, we shall soon see if Morsi becomes the first Islamist President that’s allowed to take power by the military strongmen in a Sunni Muslim country.

With the announcement by the Military elite that they will be the architects of the new Egyptian Constituition, in order to keep it a secular document and prevent the institution of Sharia law, and that only the military high command can remove a military commander…it looks like de ja vu all over again with a faceoff by the theocrats and military secularists that marked the beginning of modern Egyptian politics.

This conflict presents President Obama with a dilemma: shall he support the results of Egypt’s first democratic election….or cast his fate with the military strongmen; exactly where America’s support has been for the last half century.  We shall see.

 Where the Real Power Resides

The Nemisis of the Islamist

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Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New York

June 20, 2012