If only the news-gathering of the uprisings across the Middle East mirrored that of weather reporters. With the latter, the reporter stands in the storm – windbreaker flapping in the gusts, raindrops pelting his face and the camera lens – and describes the forces of nature at work. Once the storm passes, he delivers footage following survivors, surveying the damages and giving scale to the losses and costs.
We watched plenty of reporters live on-scene, reporting how the demonstrations erupting across the Arab world represented largely peaceful expressions of flowering democracy.
Yet for some reason, capturing and critically analyzing what’s happened since seems to warrant less examination. This is because what’s happening – particularly in Egypt – doesn’t exactly fit the media’s original assumption that democracy, at least the Western understanding thereof, would develop.
It must be stated that Islamic views of democracy are complex and bear little resemblance to those found in the West. So certainly, Western reporters – so largely secular they clearly understand little of Islam – are ill-equipped to decipher those complexities.
Like any great debate, it begins with defining the language – which, while familiar to Western ears, is foreign in practice to most Africans (and nearly all Middle-Easterners). Congo calls itself a democratic republic, but don’t let the words fool you; they’re little more than clever marketing. In fact, words like “freedom” and “democracy” don’t have the same meaning in Africa as they do in the United States. “Freedom” usually means access to resources or government jobs. “Democracy” often means supporting one man, with one vote (under severe pressure), once and never again as he retains power as permanently and ruthlessly as possible.
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This firmly rooted mentality is ripe for Islam’s all-encompassing level of influence. That’s why I assert unflinchingly that Western-style democracy cannot develop in an Islamic society, and the evidence testifies to such. Islam – and the Shariah law that serves as its ideal of justice – is intolerant of anything resembling representative government and human rights.
Islam is incompatible with anything recognizing those self-evident truths your founders so eloquently summarized “that all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator” with unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The beauty of this language and the rest of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution affirming its assertions lies in its recognition of where rights, life, freedom and any chance at happiness derive – from a sovereign, holy and forgiving God. Your founders’ understanding and enshrinement of this gave a more natural embrace to its most fitting governmental expression – a federal constitutional republic.
Consider the track “democracy” is on in Egypt: News of Egypt’s first substantive vote in decades was undermined by the package of nine constitutional amendments hinging on an up-or-down vote, with the Muslim Brotherhood recommending a yes vote.
Critics say that’s because they benefit from the quick timetable for elections – possibly June 2011.
As an established political party, the Muslim Brotherhood will be prepared for mobilizing their resources and fielding candidates.
The Muslim Brotherhood isn’t merely an Islamist organization – it is the mother of all Islamist organizations. (“Islamist” describes more militant Islamic groups.) Its dedication to establishing Islamic rule is unwavering. This is best accomplished by removing or neutering the primary obstacles in its path – Israel and the United States. Hostility toward Israel is open and unmasked. Its influence on the States is far more deceptive, and described in a stunning expose published by Joseph Farah and WND Books.
If you haven’t read “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” I highly recommend it. It’s a survival manual and vital reading that will help you see through the distortion and omission littering the reporting you’re getting now. And you’ll be alarmed at the efforts to undermine and erode your own democracy.
Keep in mind: Egypt’s governing military council recently released Mohammed al-Zawahri. Zawahri is the brother of the infamous and still at-large Ayman al-Zawahri – the second-in-command of al-Qaida. Zawahri is one of 1,659 prisoners the council has released and one of several notorious Islamists, including two terrorists tied to the assassination of Egyptian Anwar Sadat. Hosni Mubarak followed Sadat. That assassination was orchestrated by those associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
The radical Islamist Qibla movement in South Africa networked with and trained Azanian Peoples Liberation Army (Apla) terrorists; Apla attacked the St. James Church in Cape Town with assault rifles and grenades on July 25, 1993.
The obvious upside to the demonstrations and revolts is how deeply they unsettle dictators and despots. Reports show that Robert Mugabe, who rules Zimbabwe with merciless oppression, is threatening treason charges, punishable by death, on anyone who even watches footage favorably casting the demonstrations.
Tyrants such as Moammar Gadhafi have courted a comeuppance of violent revolt, to be sure. But let’s not allow ourselves to be fooled into believing that what arises from the ashes – which will surely profess adherence to Islam – will result in anything resembling Western-type democracy with its constitutional freedoms.
Charl van Wyk is the author of “Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self Defense”.