Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Arab Renaissance

“Egyptians held back by neo-liberalism, not religion”: Isn’t what I said?

President Morsi claims the opposition is an anti-Islamist elite. 

President Morsi is in fact trying to protect the interests of an entrenched elite at the expense of everyone else.

And Morsi is losing support because of his economic policies

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters have tried to frame the current crisis in religious terms, casting opposition to their speedily drafted constitution as the petulance of an anti-Islamist, liberal elite. Media analysis has often replicated this theme:

1. In one corner stands Brotherhood-propelled President Mohamed Morsi who has the supposed blessings of a religious population.

2. And in the other corner, the “secular” opposition, banging on about small details of a constitution that isn’t that bad. (It is very bad, bad, bad…https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/amnesty-international-egypts-constitution-limits-fundamental-freedoms-and-ignores-the-rights-of-women/)

Such wrongheaded analysis prompted Egypt expert Dr HA Hellyer from the Brookings Institution to politely request that western media “knock it off“.

 published in The Guardian, on Dec. 21, 2012 under: “Egyptians are being held back by neoliberalism, not religion…”

“The result of Egypt’s first referendum on the constitution (a second referendum takes place this Saturday, in districts that have yet to vote) has exposed some of the real sticking points.

The referendum had to be split into two stages because so few Egyptian judges agreed to supervise it. And for all its legendary mobilizing powers of the votes cast, the Brotherhood wasn’t able to get more than 57% for its constitution.

Not long ago, the Brotherhood could rely on voter support reaching over 70%. And less than a third of the electorate turned out – though that might be because of the long queues and the difficulty in voting. In an atmosphere of mistrust and mismanagement, allegations of vote-rigging are rife.

Mohamed Morsi

Photograph: Mohammed Hossam/AFP/Getty Images

But if Egyptians are, as results indicate, losing faith in the Brotherhood, it isn’t because the organisation is Islamist, but because it has so far been rubbish at ruling. Many believe the Brotherhood has kept its promises to power, but not to the people.

Crucially, President Morsi’s economic policy has deepened the neo-liberalism that brought so much misery during the Mubarak era and was a key component of the uprising against him.

This economic stamp is all over Morsi’s policies, both before and as a part of the proposed constitution – which was completed in a one-day marathon, by an Islamist-dominated assembly: The Christian, liberal and female members walked out from the assembly.

In early December Morsi announced an end to fuel subsidies – so household bills for gas cylinders and electricity, for example, are set to spike.

Meanwhile, an IMF loan of $4.8bn currently being negotiated is conditioned on what has been described as the biggest wave of austerity cuts since 1977 – when subsidies on staple foods were removed in one crippling hit, prompting the “bread riots“.

Today the plan is to reduce public spending, cut subsidies, increase tax on basic goods, and devalue the Egyptian pound. This package was delayed because of the current turmoil. But why should Egyptians swallow such a Shock Doctrine-style deal, when one of the key tenets of the revolution was a call for social justice?

Meanwhile, the proposed constitution reveals more of the Brotherhood’s conservative economics.

It has a clause that pegs wages to productivity. (In the public sectors?)

It stipulates that only “peaceful” strikes are allowed. (Whatever that means)

It keeps military interests intact and invisible to public scrutiny – in a country where the army is thought to own anything from 10% to 45% of the national economy (nobody knows for sure because it’s all so secret).

It is all more evident that Morsi is not, as he claims, trying to “protect the revolution”, but wants to protect the interests of an entrenched elite at the expense of everyone else.

Indeed, this year a Bloomberg report referred to the wealthy, controlling echelons of this Islamist group as the “Brothers of the 1%“.

Small wonder that the factory-dense city of Mahalla declared itself an independent state, in protest at Morsi’s anti-union laws. Since Morsi came to power there has been a wave of strikes; not just factory stoppages but also health worker strikes and consumer protests at eroding public services.

And Egypt’s rapidly growing independent unions have been mobilising nationally against the constitution, using its trampling of social justices as the hook.

All these concerns have come on top of the constitution-driven attempts to erode personal freedoms, especially for women and minorities, and give religious clerics the final say over legal rulings – all through a process that disdains plurality and vital consensus-building.

These economic blunders, rather than any knee-jerk hostility to Islamists in power, is what prompted such large and widespread protest across Egypt. But while his economic policy makes Morsi unpopular on the streets, it is precisely what makes him acceptable to the west: power-serving economics coupled with a foreign policy that doesn’t rock any regional boats, crucially with Israel.

Using standard paternalistic filters, the US is banking on the idea that the Brotherhood’s religious credibility will underwrite its reactionary politics, thereby maintaining the status quo. In this sense, the American administration doesn’t really care if it’s a Mubarak or a Morsi in power, as long as these interests are preserved.

It is true, of course, that the Brotherhood still won majority support in the first referendum – although that might be as much about public desire to put an end to this constitutional crisis.

But the drop in support for the Islamist group shows that Egyptians won’t be fobbed off any more – and therein lies the power of the revolution. Post-uprising polls reveal that Egyptians are more concerned with work, housing, health, security and public services than with the pantomime identity politics of Muslim Brotherhood versus the liberals.

The results of the referendum show that the opposition, as it grows more focused and more organised, might be able turn popular concern for these issues into real political mobilisation, which could gain momentum in the parliamentary elections slated for early next year.

Then the Brotherhood might find out that with such disregard for the Egyptian people, its credibility, garnered during those hard, repressive years in opposition, can easily be squandered.” end of article

Latest news:

1. The vice president resigned on the eve of the second phase of the referendum, on the ground that his culture as a judge does not match the needed “political skills”

2. The opposition is keeping a black list on judges who resume monitoring the referendum

Note:  Arab renaissance is not linked to interpretation of any religious book…https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/no-connection-with-interpeting-holy-booksarab-renaissance-demands-frequent-mass-meetings-in-tahrir-squares/

No connection with interpreting “Holy Books”: Arab Renaissance demands other mass meetings in Tahrir Squares…

I keep reading the same broken records where consequences are switched for the causes of Renaissance in many periods of history.  The recurring proposal is: “Renaissance were consequent to religious Books being permitted to be interpreted…”

For example, authors keep repeating that Europe Renaissance in the 15th century was consequent to the Protestant schisms against the dominant Catholic Church exclusive interpretation of the Bible…

Facts are that Protestantism in Europe generated dozen of rigid sects with much stricter religious dogma that refused any interpretations of their Bibles and harvested many victims and acted worse than the Catholic Church of the period…

Wrong deduction, of how the renaissance of people spirit emerges.

Renaissance is a period of affluence, of generated wealth, of openness to outside wealth and cultures, dynamic trading with the others in economic and cultural terms, secured by a climate of free expression and free gathering…In a Renaissance period, the spirit of the people is up and ready to get engaged and acquire more knowledge and wealth.  In this environment, the clerics are pressured to retreat and converse among themselves and re-interpret the religious books to match this rebellious mood of the people for more happiness, pleasure and zest for life.

The Arabic Empires in the East and West (Spain) experienced several renaissance periods of affluence and explosion in scientific research and economic development: One of the consequences was a frantic re-interpretation of the Coran (Koran) to suit the spirit of the period…

It is during periods of dire miseries, famine, military operations…when people are down and feeling crushed that the religious clerics, supported by the monarchs and califat, revert to rigid comprehension of the religious Books “word for word, descending from God and even written by God…”

Renaissance in the Arab World is getting together en mass in various Tahrir Squares and demanding: “We are hungry and want to eat, we are sick and want to heal, we are oppressed and we want to participate in life, we are educated and we want jobs, we are poor and we want free education to all…”

Renaissance in the Arab World is getting together en mass in various Tahrir Squares and chanting: “We are isolated and want to communicate with other people and cultures, we are crushed and we want to connect with other civilizations, we are confronted with obsolete mentalities and we want to be freed and open to the wide world…”

Renaissance in the Arab World is getting together en mass in various Tahrir Squares and proclaiming: “We didn’t revolt so that clerics rule us, we didn’t resist dictators and the brutal forces of oppression so that we are submitted to the rules of antiquated and obsolete Books, we didn’t lose an eye, been beaten, physically handicapped, and many of us killed…so that we are hoarded into more obscure prisons of the mind and dealt with archaic judicial system of the bedouin period…”

We don’t want the girls to be re-educated to the family customs and traditions of the Wahhabi sect

Arab Renaissance has nothing to do with the re-interpretation of outdated and obsolete Books that teaches nothing of any value to learn and live in our present and be part of mankind progress…

Arab Renaissance is getting liberated from centuries of constraints and re-learning to read the current world with fresh eyes and young heart and larger mind..

Arab Renaissance will come when one city, anywhere in the Arab World, experiences a period of affluence, sustained economic wealth, direct interactions with foreign cultures and civilizations, and the people feeling secured in their freedom of expression, freedom to gather, freedom to interact with the other (regardless of genders, race,religion, class status….

Renaissance has nothing to do with interpretation of any Holy Book.

The Arab revolutionary spirit is being fooled to wait for the re-interpretation of the Coran…as if the Coran was not reinterpreted several times…

As if the living is waiting for the clerics to give the green light for the modern Arab Renaissance

Go back to Tahrir Squares and discuss Arab Renaissance, and avoid discussing religious abstract notions that no one will ever know, and no one will ever experience.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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