Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Murad Wahba on Democracy and the Islamists . . .

Murad Wahba

The Egyptian philosopher Murad Wahba -- a Copt, if I've found the right source -- was recently interviewed on Sada Al-Balad TV on April 20, 2012, translated courtesy of Memri Special Dispatch No. 4744 (May 21, 2012), and I've summarized his remarks on the Islamists in Egypt and what they have in store if they attain power. He first offers his views on democracy:
Democracy has four components . . . : Secularism and relative thinking . . . [and] a social covenant . . . [and e]nlightenment . . . . Enlightenment is thwarted all the time . . . . [Islamists] eradicate any sign of rational thinking. As for liberalism -- there is no room for individualism.

I'm not sure which of these are the four components -- I count as many as seven -- but I find odd that he doesn't mention rule of law, human rights, political equality, or the ballot, plus a number of other things that I would consider essential to democracy. Perhaps that is often the way with interviews -- they broach some point, only to meander away from it. Nevertheless, Wahba offers an apt warning about the Muslim Brotherhood:
If . . . the Muslim Brotherhood takes over the state institutions, it will mean the Islamization of the country and of society. When that happens, the army, which is a state institution, will undergo Islamization willy-nilly . . . . [Therefore, i]f the Muslim Brotherhood takes over the presidency, it will herald the beginning of a comprehensive process of Islamization, from top to bottom."
He's right. The Islamists will not rush, of course. Sharia requires time, enough time for the young to be indoctrinated and willing to support the more brutal of Islam's laws on criminal punishment, namely, the hudud penalties.

But even before introduction of the hudud laws, Sharia would forbid equality of men and women, Muslim and Christian, believer and infidel . . .

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