From my experiences in living in three different and distinct regions in the world, I have always maintained that an intellectual Islamic resurgence has the greatest chance of starting in the West. Dr Tariq Ramadan in his reasons for not attending the ISNA and RIS conferences very clearly outlines the following, which are as pertinent to the West as it is for democracies in other parts of the world like Sri Lanka, where Muslims live as a minority community.
“I have said it once and I will say it again: Western Muslims will in the future assume a critical role. Educated and living in free societies, they must acquire greater knowledge of their religion and become free, active and outspoken citizens, fully aware of their duties and dedicated to the defense of their rights. In the United States, just as in Canada and in Europe, they must defend everyone’s human dignity, and refuse to keep silent in the face of intimidation by the state. Drawing on their spirituality and their values, their commitment will be their finest contribution, the best possible example of the contribution of Muslim citizens to the future of the West. The leaders of the previous generation are too cautious, too fearful; they dare not speak freely.”
“I am also a member of a generation that is passing on. It is up to the new generation to produce leaders who have understood that in bending over backwards, in saying “Yes sir!” they sacrifice not only their dignity, but forget and betray their duty. I dream of a new feminine and masculine leadership, educated, free and bold, a leadership that does not confuse the concept of dialogue with the authorities with unacceptable compromise and intellectual surrender, a leadership that does not transform Sufism, the historical underpinning of so many liberation movements, into a school of silence and cowardly calculation. As I look around me, I see the first premises of a dream come true, alhamdulillah”
Image from here.
Clashes have erupted in many parts of Egypt and many offices of the Muslim Brotherhood has been destroyed. Six have now been reported killed with more than 350 injured. The Egyptian liberals and secular elite are largely accepted to have instigated the violence after President Muhammad Mursi made a decree that places him above the judiciary (albeit temporarily) and the draft constitution has been passed and has been put to a referendum on December 15.
The fact of the matter is this, Mursi was elected by free and fair elections, and the referendum gives the Egyptian people the chance to reject the draft constitution if they feel that it will not be to the benefit of Egyptian society at large. However, the draft constitution does upset the secular Egyptian elite somewhat, as they feel the imminent bursting of their oligarchical bubble where again the law would be more strictly egalitarian. Therefore it is no surprise that the liberals in Egypt would be extremely sceptical and worried of a draft constitution presented by a constituent assembly dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and ratified by the will of the Egyptian people. They fear that the powers they managed to muster during a corrosive Mubarak era would dilute if there was to be a constitution that would be more egalitarian and makes every Egyptian no greater than the other in the eyes of the law.
If indeed these secularists believe in democracy (which I need not remind is a secular construct), then they must allow for the Egyptian people to vote and respect the will of the Egyptian people.
What’s absolutely disgusting about some of these ‘liberals’ is that if they feel that their idea of ‘liberalism’ hasn’t been achieved, they are willing to indulge in almost any form of illiberal behaviour (violence included) to achieve their idea of liberalism. For most of them at least, the end does justify the means however contradictory to their ideology it may have been. That is why most secular ideologies are and continue to remain fickle, because the wants of a human mind are never a constant, and to act purely upon human whims would result in never having a consistent path.
Image from here.