Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Abdelwahab Meddeb

Political Islam: Any demonstration of democratic turn-over of power?

“After Tunisia revolution, I returned to my homeland.  I am moving from one group to another on Bourguiba Avenue, listening to heated conversations.  All political spectrum are concatenated here and have their speakers.

Secular tendencies are dominant. But, in every circle, there is someone defending an Islamic perspective for transforming democracy into an Islamic alternative democracy. The far more organized Islamic party of Nahda dispatch experienced members to calm down recalcitrant civic citizens, by claiming that the Islamists are for democracy, that they are ready to discuss all opinions, even Marxist and atheist positions.

Islamic party of Nahda monopolizes the passion and militant techniques among the youth who were the real power behind the Jasmin Revolution.  The middle class citizens who made the uprising a success claim to be basically apolitical, in the sense of caring that much of political issues and discussions…Middle class Tunisians think that they can resume their engagement through social platform means…

The Islamists Nahda keep announcing that they completely adhere to democratic principles, that they evolved, that they are emulating the Turkish AKP of Recep Tayyip Erdogan…  The question is: “How they comprehend democracy to mean, and how far are they willing to share power or turn over power if the votes are not to their favor?”

The Islamists in Turkey of Erdogan, ten years in power, have not yet demonstrated that they are willing to hand over power, in case they fail.  How can they fail in an Islamic country?  Ever since they got in power, they are in the ascendance after each election.  Secular forces managed to retain power under the guise of preserving the Republic.  All is right for preserving the Republic, even bashing and flaunting human rights, freedom of expressions and of gathering; such as in Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Iraq…

So far, Turkish Islamists of the AKP have not demonstrated any application of democracy, but persevered with the former Republican concept that governed Turkey for over 50 Years.  The sticky issues of minorities in Turkey are there to find any agreeable resolution.  For example, the Kurds (20% of the population), the Alawit sect (15%), the Armenians (Turkey still refuses to apologize for the genocide committed in 1915-16)…

It would be hard to be convinced of the democratic evolution in Turkey Islamists until they recognize the identities of the Kurds, the Alawit, the diversity of languages and dialects, the anthropological particularities.  The experiment of Turkey is not achieved, and it cannot be reclaimed as a successful alternative for Tunisia democratic principle and style.”

It is my contention that the best test for democracy in Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria to eek its head and have a chance to start its journey is that the clause “Islamic chari3a is the foundation of judicial system” be entirely dropped from Constitutions.  A referendum of such as draft constitution should be tested right away, before parliamentary and presidential election.  The people in the Middle East want to know this simple pre-requisite: “Do we have a chance for a democracy of the people, from the people, to the people?”

Syria of Bashar al Assad can turn the table around in order to complete his term by putting to referendum a draft constitution that eliminates the “Chari3a clause” and the clause that the Baath Party is the leading political party.

Note:  Article inspired by the French book “Tunisia Spring revolution: Metamorphosis of history” by Abdelwahab Meddeb

People firing corrupt civil servants and officials: Tunisia revolt

Judge Mokhtar Meddeb revealed that magistrates removed 6 judges bought out by the entourage of ex-President Ben Ali.  Fiscal civil servants expelled their corrupt director  who was at the service of the mafia of Ben Ali.  The newly appointed foreign minister Ahmed Adberraouf Ounais of the transitory government was prevented from entering his cabinet building: The crowed chanted “Go home. You have no longer our confidence”.  This 75 year-old minister had delivered an interview the evening before that demonstrated that he didn’t get it that time have changed. The minister resigned the same day.  Ten days later, it was the turn of the newly appointed French Ambassador to taking his leave of absence.

Foreign journalists had to agree that the Tunisian revolution is “polite and sympathetic”.  Why, the people behaved correctly and civil in front of ministers and cultural centers, and never tried to break in or steal or raise brutal hell.  For example, as a hundred Moslem salafists arrived in front of the assembled and knelt down for prayer, people just circumvented the praying Moslems and left them in peace.

General Rashid Ammar didn’t make a fuss when Ben Ali fired him for not shooting at demonstrators.  Ammar just declared to the crowd that he is on sick leave.  The officers attached to Ammar neutralized the troops of his nemesis General Seriati.  As Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia, and the restauration of a provisional government, General Ammar asked the demonstrator to disband for void generates terror and terror brings back dictators, as what happened during the French revolution of 1789.

The revolution in Tunisia was Not a military coup in disguise as many Arab and western medias wanted us to believe.  Ben Ali just lost the confidence and trust of his people, before he lost his army, and after his people discovered hunger and humiliation.  The Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad will have to step down, even though he did not lose the support of his army and his people are not hungry, but simply because the Syrian people have got enough of 30 years of dictatorship of a family clan.  Dictator Bashar Al Assad might institute reforms, but how could he regain the trust of a people vomiting anything that smack of absolute rule?

The women in Tunisia played a significant role in the success of this “Jasmin revolution”. Women marched in Bourguiba Avenue and  courageously faced off the insults of the religious salafists.  They also joined the civic demonstration on Feb. 19 reclaiming the institution of a secular State and dropping the clause in the Constitution that Islam is the religion of the State… The jurist Soukeina Bouraoui, author Raja Ben Slama, the human rights militant Sana Ben Achour discussed openly on women conditions on TV, using local Arabic dialect, on topics related to the veil, equal rights between genders…

The critical discussion is what kind of political system to establish?  Is it going to be another Presidential system or a Parliamentary system?  Both systems have far more serious disadvantages than a tradeoff political structure.   What can guarantee avoidance of dictatorship, oligarchy, and mafia corruption?

It is a Constitution firmly applied,which does not permit exceptions to the rules, a constitution prohibiting any successive re-election of authority after the first term, even deputies of Parliament.  Authority should not enjoy more than four years of government so that they fail to weave efficient mafia-type corruption systems.  High ranking civil servants should not remain in their positions for more than five years, and they should revert to private life after early retirement.  There are plenty of capable people in any community in order not to rely on the “intelligence” of a few.

Note: Article was inspired from the French book “Spring of Tunisia: metamorphosis of history” by Abdelwahab Meddeb




August 2022

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