Why the Middle East Needs Liberalism More than Anything
Why the Middle East Needs Liberalism More than Anything? As J.J. Rousseau claims; Those who say that "Let's gather our individual power and canalize it to a collective government which can rule us by a constitution and which can protect us from our common external enemies" aren't aware of the fact that while they try to ensure their so-called freedom, they actually drive themselves into slavery unknowingly for good. Rousseau came up with this idea approximately 300 years ago but When I look at the insolubility of the middle east, I can clearly see that he was right all along.
Written by Arslan AYAN on March 19th, 2013
In today's world, although the Arab Spring sweeped away most of the dictatorial regimes, it has not taken long for Arab's to create new dectatorialships, as it happens in Egypt under Moursi administration. There are only a few functioning democracies in Muslim world today. In Some of the major countries of the Middle East such as Suudi Arabia, Iran etc. ıts not even possible to organize an opponent nascency against the current governments. Whereas among the Arabic masses, democracy and liberalism have been one of the most growing debate subject. Unfortunatelly most of the political actors as "Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood" think and act otherwise. Though I must confess It was not likely to expect them to act differently. Because Muslim brotherhood was founded as an islamic movement against British occupation in 1928. Over the 80 years, except Nasser era, they ramified in Egypt and other middle Eastern countries without incuring important alterations. So it would be so ridiculous to expect from Brotherhood and Others like them, to change and pay attention to wide masses's democratic desires.
Despite all those unstability in the region, I still think (at least I hope) that there might be some liberalization moves. There are four main elements of liberalism that Muslim countries have to adopt immediately. First one is "Tolerance". According to this factor, people should be able to express any kind of political, religious and social thoughts without any restriction. State shouldn't embrace any kind of ideology and shouldn't empoze it on people. Lack of ideology will create free latitudinarianism.
Second factor is supplying the want of freedom. Today's Muslim world unfortunatelly live in the starvation of the freedom. For example in Iran, people don't even have the right to sin. In case of commiting adultery or converting from islam, there is a certain punishment for those which is death penalty. In Saudi Arabia, there are officers called "Religious Police". These religious polices make sure that every women on the street covers their heads regularly. So Women in Saudi Arabia most likely cover their heads because they are afraid of police not beacuse they are afraid of the god.
Another important factor is the individualism. In today's muslim world, human being comes in the second place. Because of the Turkic, Persian and Arabic nationalist movements in the region, there is an understanding which considers the homeland as blessed and most important thing to die for. Unfortunatelly the tyrants in the region, use this in favor of their own interests so the oil-tycoons live in the prosperity while the public in misery.
The forth and one of the most important notions of liberalism is constitutionalism. Without limited government, there is always a great possibility for the executives to turn into despotism. As Lord Acton says "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely" as it happens in the middle east region. In order to ensure the freedom, tolerance and indivudialism, a limited government is absolutely necessary.
- Yorum Yaz