nothin's scarier than a blank page

01 October 2011

Arab Spring: A "Democracy" By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet?...

'Our' Revolution

The following excerpts are from an English language website for khilafah.  (That's caliphate to you and me.)  It begins by noting that language shapes the way you understand the world, and it quickly jumps to the word democracy.

While Americans associate the word with our rights and responsibilities, Muslims associate it with freedom from tyranny and oppression.  One and the same?  It depends on the tyrant, the oppressor, and what the oppressed have been prevented from doing.
[W]hen they [the Western world] talk[s] about the right of people to govern themselves, they also mean the prevention of religious interference in ruling - whether this is explicitly stated or not.
In viewing democracy as a word representative of being free from a specific tyrant or specific type of tyranny rather than freedom from conceptual tyranny, Muslims have un(?)intentionally misled Americans to believe that they embrace American-style governmental values, for example the freedom to practice your religion of choice and the prevention of the state from imposing a national religion.  The Muslim use of the word democracy has sent the wrong message; America has willingly, blindly, and egocentrically assumed that our definition of democracy is global.
Imagine a human-rights charity who decided that a swastika would be a suitable logo for their organisation, being ignorant of the symbol's association with the Nazis. So, being ignorant of the history and values that come with the symbol they proudly display it on their leaflets and posters. Would this convey the message they wanted?