Adonis Diaries

Archive for July 11th, 2011

How do you understand “Secular States” to mean?  

 Note: This is an edited version of an article I published in 2009.  This essay applies to all States, western, orient, animists, pagans, monotheists, secular, semi-secular, democratic, theocratic and other political systems…

Charles Malek, a philosopher and Lebanon’s representative to the United Nations in its earliest 1946 sessions in San Francisco, proclaimed in the sixties that Lebanon cannot survive as a State, unless all Lebanese convert to Christianity! Lately, the Moslem Sunni fundamentalists proclaimed in 2006 that the State of Lebanon should be governed Caliphate-style.  The Moslem Shiaas of Hezbollah want to establish the rule of the “Wilayat al Fakeeh”, an Ayatollah who would lead by holding both the spiritual and political powers.

Fact is, Lebanon political structure is multi-theocratic, though the Constitution, (which has never been applied), never mentioned religion to be the sources for generating laws or running and administrating our civil status.

For example, the Christians during the civil war wanted to establish Christian cantons, exclusively for the right-wing Christian Lebanese, since they over ran the Palestinian Christian camps in their “enclaves” and evacuated the lucky surviving Palestinians from the massacres outside the Christian cantons.

Do Christians in the Levant (Near East States) have ground to be worried?  Islam means by “Jihad” the right to proselytize Islam everywhere and all the time.  As if the western nations have not been carrying their own brand of “Jihad” since Medieval Age to any place they wanted to colonize.

The Christians in the Levant have grounds to be apprehensive: the Christian sects have refrained from converting Moslems because conservative Islam sects demand as “halal” the shedding of blood for the “blasphemous” re-converted Moslems.

The Moslem Sunni salafists in north Lebanon, twice fought the Lebanese army within two years; hundreds of soldiers died and were handicapped for life. The Qaeda of Osama Bin Laden has the same political objective with a twist; the Qaeda wants to establish the restrictive and ultra conservative Wahhabi sect as the essence of selecting Caliphates.  The Wahhabi sect is the one adopted by the obscurantist Saudi Arabia theocratic monarchy.

In 1925, the Sunni Ali Abel Razzak wrote in his book “Islam and origin of governance” that “Islam is innocent of what the conservative Islam understands of the Caliphate.  The Caliphate was never in the religious planning, and neither were the religious judges nor any of the civil administrations in the government.  The Prophet Muhammad didn’t recognize them or order them or denied them.  The political and civil administrative issues were left to the Moslems to decide upon them.  Thus, it is proper that we engage our mind and consider the experience of nations, and the rules of politics that are the best around for our Nation.”

In Iran, Ayatollah Borojardy was detained because he wanted to separate States civil politics from religion, thus, resisting the “Fakeeh” concept of government.  In Lebanon, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasr Allah, publicly harangued the Shiaa to considering “Wilayat al Fakeeh” as the official political system of his party.

Knowing that Nasr Allah speaks as a clergy in every religious ceremony, blending religion with politics with resistance to the Zionist Apartheid State, could we ever hope that the politics of Hezbollah are just short-term tactics to uniting the Shiaa against Israel?

The State of Israel would like you to believe that a mythical leader they named Moses had a revelation by a superior being named Yahweh to conquer land by the sword and genocides:  Land that was “promised” to the horde of tribes following him.  Thus, Israel would like to establish a Jewish theocratic State in Palestine.

It has been categorically proven that the Old Bible was initiated in the second century before Christ in Alexandria, and chapters were added many centuries later, and it was re-edited several times. Hebrew, as most Arabic verbal slangs bordering Syria, was a verbal slang of the Aramaic written language:  A written version was created in Alexandria as Jews flocked to Egypt around 300 BC.

If you are nowadays following Lebanon’s politics and the preparations for the election in June 7,  you might have the impression that it is the political leaders of the religious sects who are manipulating the sacerdotal castes of our 18 officially recognized religious sects.  

Don’t be fooled; ask any Lebanese and he will tell you that he is forced constitutionally to pay his first allegiance to his sect.  In fact, the sects were given the legal and official right to administer the civil status of its co-religionists from birth to death and the central government is totally helpless in interfering; even if any serious government  wishes to change the political system, it would never want problems to blow in its face…

My question to the western States’ citizens is: Do you believe that the separation of State and religion is implicitly a de facto reality?  Do you believe that religious clerics and institutions have desisted from meddling in State affairs? That during voting periods, the religious sacerdotal castes do not impress on the political climate?

Do you believe that there is no religious backlash on religious minorities? Isn’t religion recognized in your constitutions and in the prayers of your national ceremonies?  Are not the civil administrative posts implicitly submitted to a quota system?

I am sincerely worried about the practices of those hypocritical Secular States who force its minorities to submit to the various litmus tests, on the ground of applying civil laws and regulations. Personally, my position is that religious doctrines and stories are a bunch of hog wash nonsense of myths and abstract concepts that even “zero IQ quotient ” individuals refuse the premises.

The religious sacerdotal castes would like you to substitute “your belief in a Creator” from watching the cosmos and the mysteries of life, into total faith in their particular ideological constructs and set of values.  I feel limited in finding a resolution where check and balance can be erected to cope with the all permeating power of the sacerdotal castes in every States around the world. 

Constitutional laws need to be thought out to restrict the implicit power of the thousand tentacles that religions have instituted to infuse their ideologies in schools and civil administration of people’s daily life. One of the best and most efficient methods is to encourage the establishment of opportunities to exercising choices in every aspect in our lives from birth, decentralized schooling systems, marriages, legal divorce alternatives, and burial at each of the legislative, legal, and executive branches.

Only available opportunities for choices, backed by political determination to honor those choices in the workforce, in the daily living, and in society structure, can permit a fighting chance for all those free minded and reflective citizens and families who respect their potential power for deciding what is best for their spiritual development.

The best that “secular” Western States could do was restrict separation of State with religion to public servants, and refrain from explicitly relating religious political pressures in political campaigns.  Other than that, religions and particularly the religion of the majority, are definitely the most influential power-brokers, alongside the financial multinationals.

Syria and Lebanon: Links between the twin people

I am reading a study on the economical relationshing between Lebanon and Syria, (the second official study since 1996!), a study financed by the UN program for development.  Do you believe that the two border States exchange goods and financial products not exceeding 4% of their combined GNP?  Is that logical, natural, and normal?

Lebanon shares land borders with only Syria, (Israel being the enemy in the south), though Syria shares land borders with Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan.  Syria’s business people opened accounts for only $1.3 billion in Lebanese banks, while most of savings are placed in foreign banks in Europe and the USA. 

Lebanon’s economy is supporting 670,000 Syrian workers (representing 10% of the entire workforce) who generated $1.7 billion in 2010.  Actually, in my neighborhood, only the Syrian working in construction have cash money:  They are maintaining the small grocery shops by buying cigarettes, bread, egg, tomatoes…

The total tourism activities between the two States was only 800,000 citizens, out of a total of 25 million people for the joint society (over 21 million Syrian versus 4 million in Lebanon).  Syrian tourists spent $280 million compared to $290 million for Lebanese tourists in Syria.

The yearly official export from Lebanon to Syria is about $220 million and import from Syria is $240 million.  The effective amount is many folds these numbers, mainly daily exchange of goods and contraband products on the norther border (Akkar region) and eastern borders (The Bekaa Valley).  62% of all import products from Syria are exempt of entrance fees, while no major counterpart are expected from Syria! 

Syrian private investments in Lebanon far exceed Lebanon investment in Syria.  In the last four years, 6 Lebanese banks opened branches in Syria and already hold 20% of the total assests of Syria private banks. 

Last year, I tried to exchange a small amount of Syrian currency and could not locate a single bank or exchange office to do the transaction:  I saw surprised looks of disbelief.

Lebanon schooling system, especially universities, welcomed over 18,000 Syrian students.  Apparently, the student exchange is minimal from the Lebanese side.

First, a brief geo-political summary of the context.  Throughout history, Lebanon was divided into two main regions: 

The mountainous region called Mount Lebanon (see link in note), sparsely populated and a refuge for the various religious monks and sufis who opted for these high mountains to seek seclusion in caves …Pilgrims would venture, stay to serve the secluded clerics until they got a handle of what they wanted from life and leave…

The coastal and the Bekaa Valley were part of administrative regions linked to Syria or Palestine.  Actually, Syria was divided into Inland Syria and coastal Syria, including coastal Lebanon.  Thus, Lebanese were known as Syrians or Turks on their passports during the Ottoman Empire.

I have worked with a few Lebanese companies, abroad and in Lebanon, and my impressions are negative.  “What is clever entrepreneur my ass” is my honest opinion of how I perceive the mentality of doing business in our Lebanese culture.

In 1980, I worked with a Lebanese company in Nigeria; the company contracted out public civil works like opening highways and the disforesting and spreading asphalt on major roads.  I was supposed to be assisting the plant manager for maintaining and repairing heavy-duty equipments. 

The engineers were to wear high brown boots, the kinds that fascist wore, for discrimination reasons; and the boots have to be shining, in this mud riddled camp, shined by an African helper.  Engineers were not supposed to socialize with workers and mechanics, even if they were Lebanese.

Consequently, going out with mechanics was frowned at, and management would sanction me and tell me that workers would refrain from respecting me and obeying my orders….  I was not even permitted to teach the “mechanics specialists” the contents of the repair and maintenance manuals originating from the manufacturer:  Only the engineers and plant manager were to be the knowledgeable persons in the camp.

You had these mechanics who sincerely wanted to learn how to do their job right; they wanted to buy the proper tools and how they work, once they open their own shops back home. Mechanics wanted knowledge and I translated to them from English in inaccurate Arabic terms, but they knew what I was conveying in knowledge.  Management hated what I was doing and scorned me.

For example, one night, robbers killed four Nigerian guards in our camp.  I never received any information whether management visited the bereaved families in the small village or if they paid compensation.  I was glad that I was repatriated shortly after this gruesome attack.

In Lebanon, I worked on a civil project constructing a hotel.  There were no safety guidelines at the workplace.  The Indonesian and Indian workers slept in the large open basement, and nobody was in charge of checking on the habitat or their well-being.  The workers favorite pass-time was catching rats to fry them as delicacy.

A UN report stated that Chinese minorities in South-East Asia, white people in South Africa, and Lebanese in western Africa benefited most from the wealth generated by globalization and open markets in developing countries, particularly in tandem with multinational companies.  

The African leaders who opted to cajole the ethnic majority ended up harassing, robbing, and pressuring Lebanese entrepreneurs out of the country, like in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

For example, the Lebanese in Ivory Coast are in big trouble.  It rumored that President Gbagbo, who hates to step down, even if his country goes in flame, (as is the case of Qadhafi of Libya and Abdullah Saleh in Yemen), favors the Lebanese entrepreneurs.  Nothing wrong with that, unless… There are strong rumors, supported by evidence, that Israel is rekindling the wrath against the Lebanese in Ivory Coast and Africa in general.  This is normal:  The Zionist apartheid State has this habit of transferring people and filling the void… 

Lebanese entrepreneurs, in Lebanon proper, produce to export.  The Lebanese citizens never enjoyed any quality products manufactured or produced in Lebanon:  They are all exported and merchants import third grade products, change the labels, and poison our citizens.  Good fresh fruits are immediately exported in waiting six and eight-wheelers to Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan…The citizens have to contend with the spoiled and smaller categories of fruits…

Lebanon produced four times its need of olive oil:  They are all exported and the citizens have to consume the third grade leftover olive oil and imported poisoned olive oil…And you have this minister of industry encouraging the citizens to buy Lebanese manufactured products; where are those products?

Lebanon has a couple of pharmaceutical “factories”, producing asperine… For a couple of months, the citizens enjoyed low-cost asperine-type of products.  Asperine vanished from local market:  The entire stocks were exported to Saudi Arabia and the Lebanese had to contend with expensive imported asperine that are no different than what we produced.

Syria manufactures 70% of its pharmaceutical needs and it is the government that import the expensive medicines at bargain prices.  The Lebanese have no governments:  They have to deal with the multitude of infamy and indignities on their own. Who is the clever Lebanese Entrepreneur?  Clever my ass!

Lebanon is still standing because the immigrants are sending money to their families back home.  The immigrants who made it, have this habit of build fancy palaces in Lebanon, which stay empty, and return to where they are making money.  Barely they overstay longer than two weeks:  The picocks have more important things to do with their lives. 

The Christian immigrants never contemplate to return and stay in Lebanon:  They didn’t study and abuse of their families’ money in order to returning the favors in their parent’s old age.  Let bygone be bygone.  From far away, they never miss an opportunity to cursing Lebanon and the Lebanese stupid mentality.

We have this youth movement demanding to change the political sectarian and feudal system.  What we need is a strong central government to crack down on these rascals of Lebanese entrepreneurs at home:  The scums of entrepreneurs are the backbone of our degraded political and social structure and the one encouraging discrimination and medieval mentalities.  What can you do if our political stucture is designed not to have a State?

You might say that it is the bourgeoisie that changed old systems:  Correct.   Are you insinuating that our entrepreneurs have anything to do with reforming Lebanon or caring one iota about Lebanon and its people?  Changes are badly needed, it is urgent for our survival as citizens, who only benefited from a lousy passport and Lebanese currencies, bound to this lousy dollars, which is covered by nothing of value!

I may write a more detailed follow up article on the twin people, Lebanese and Syrians.

Note:  Further information on Mount Lebanon https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/11/26/types-of-history-stories-mount-lebanon-case-study/


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2011
M T W T F S S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Blog Stats

  • 1,428,479 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 776 other followers

%d bloggers like this: