Posts Tagged ‘Sharia law’

Egypt’s President Morsi threatened with army coup

July 1, 2013

General Sisi today gave President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government forty eight hours to satisfy those demonstrating against his government or to expect an immediate Egyptian army intervention.This follows a rising wave of popular uprisings against Morsi’s attempt to thrust Sharia Law down the throats of a once secular nation. Muslim Brotherhood corrupt socialism has taken the Egyptian economy to the very edge of an economic black hole. Only ill-advised financial support from Qatar stands in the way of this total collapse.

When a political party is voted into office by religious zealots with no understanding of global economics, this is the fate that awaits its under-educated leaders. No doubt the military will force Morsi and his closest advisers into exile, rather than executing them. Wisely the army will restore secular rule to Egypt and make some marginal moves towards a market economy.

However, an enormous burden of responsibility for this disaster rests on the shoulders of President Obama and his three witches – Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Powers-Sunstein – who deliberately cast off a trusted ally when President Mubarak asked for support during the first phase of the so-called Arab Spring. Any serious reading of the Tahrir Square occupation should have advised the U.S. government to leave things alone, and to allow Egypt to take the slow road to democracy.Instead, the Obama administration bribed the Egyptian army to stand aside in order to allow Mubarak to fall.

At a minimum, one might have thought that Obama would have learned the lesson from Jimmy Carter’s stupidity in encouraging a similar fateful upheaval to occur in Iran.

Turkey: one Sharia step away from a secular military coup

June 4, 2013

I met the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Erdogan in January 2004 in Istanbul. He and his entire cabinet attended a conference on Conservatism and Democracy largely funded by the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) which he had led to a minority electoral victory in 2002.

Aware that earlier Islamist governments had been overturned by a military dedicated to Ataturk’s vision of a secular polity, Prime Minister Erdogan committed his government to conservative principles. I was invited as one of three plenary speakers to address these issues before a major conference. Although I lean more to classical liberalism than to conservatism, the latter is a broad tent. So I read up on Edmund Burke, Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek and laid out a program compatible with the Muslim leanings of 98 per cent of the population. As the world knows, Islam is also a broad tent, so I focused attention on the philosophy of one of the greatest Islamic philosophers,Ibn Khaldoun, a thinker whose ideas on conservatism and democracy, even though enunciated many centuries ago, were close enough to my own. Recep Erdogan publicly expressed his support for my recommendations*, and to his credit, he pursued the key reforms assiduously until fairly recently, securing increasing electoral support, while winning three elections since 2002.

So it is with great sadness today that I must acknowledge once again the truth in Lord Acton’s statement that ‘all power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely’. The Recep Erdogan that I met in 2004 no longer exists. A decade of increasing power has corrupted the man and has turned him away from common-sense towards extreme Islamic religious fervor. The man has become a monster, imposing Sharia law on an increasingly rebellious public, enriching himself and his cronies through corruption, introducing near-Prohibition in a country that is accustomed to alcohol consumption, and turning tear gas and water cannon onto unarmed gatherings in Istanbul, Ankara and other Turkish cities.

The road that Recep Erdogan now follows is the road to a military coup d’etat. Undoubtedly, the Prime Minister has tamed, even humiliated, the military as power has gone to his head. But the military has the weapons. And the military, for almost a century has the proud heritage of preserving Mehmet Ataturk’s secular governance for Turkey. Step back, Recep Erdogan, before it is too late to do so! You have achieved a great deal of good for your Islamic country. Do not throw everything away on a dictator’s whim to move from moderate to fanatical Islamic philosophy.

* Rowley, C.K. ‘Conservatism and economics: a sweet Turkish delight’, Public Choice, Volume 119, Nos. 1-2, April 2004, 1-12.

Islam’s incompatibility with democracy: lesson of the Arab Spring

January 28, 2013

In December 2010, the self-immolation of a Tunisian street vendor, protesting unjust treatment by the government, ignited a wildfire that became known as the Arab Spring. Now, some two years later, that Arab Spring must be renamed the Arab Winter of Our Discontent, as each and every country torched by that wildfire has collapsed into political chaos blended with religious dictatorship, ruthlessly imposed by Sharia law.

In Tunisia – where it all started – a relatively benign secular autocracy has been replaced by malign Islamic governance. The Islamist Nahda Party captured a 41 per cent plurality of the total vote for the Constituent Assembly in October 2011. Following this capture, the tourist trade has fallen dramatically in that region of North Africa. Similar Islamist victories have followed in Morocco, Libya and beyond.

Military materiel have fallen into the hands of insurgents in Mali, threatening an al qaeda subjugation of the North, that has triggered French armed intervention.Egypt has fallen under Muslim fundamentalist political control, with President Morsi naming Isaelis as the descendants of dogs and pigs. His usurpation of political power is triggering riots and violent demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, in Suez, Alexandria and elsewhere. Iraq and Afghanistan are riddled with sectarian violence, instability and corruption. Israel, the only stable democracy in the entire region, is preparing for what may easily end up as a nuclear defense of its country against Islamist barbarians.

The Obama administration should have understood, from the outset of the Arab Spring, that secular dictatorship by declared allies of the United States was the least worst outcome for that benighted region of the globe. Countries populated by under-educated, brain-washed Muslims of varying degrees of fundamentalism are resistant to any kind of democracy. Democracy requires religious freedom. And Islam will not tolerate such a condition. Even in Turkey, it remains difficult to apostasize against Islam, despite the secularization officially imposed upon that country by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk during the 1920’s.

Islam is a religion that does not recognize any separation between Mosque and State. Sharia law rules and democracy cannot legitimately challenge its dictates.

Hat Tip: Thane Rosenbaum, ‘A Bleak Anniversary for the Arab Spring’, The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2013

Obama of Arabia

July 13, 2012

“the self-styled modernism of the Arab-nationalist dictators proved to be a dismal failure.  It produced dysfunctional, semisocialist , bureaucratic, corrupt regimes that left the citizenry (except where papered over by oil bounties) mired in poverty, indignity and repression.  Hence the Arab Spring, serial uprisings that spread east from Tunisia in early 2011.  Many Westerners naively believed the future belonged to the hip, secular, tweeting kids of Tahrir Square.  Alas, this sliver of Westernization was no match for the highly organized, widely supported, politically serious Islamists who effortlessly swept them aside in national elections.” Charles Krauthammer, ‘The Islamist ascendancy’, The Washington Post, July 13, 2012

More than any other individual, President Barack Obama was responsible for translating the Arab Spring into Arab Islamist governance. In this sense, Obama rivals Lawrence of Arabia, with the single difference that Obama was not betrayed by much wiser national governments of Britain and France, who knew well what Arab Islamist nationalism really implied.

So, Tunisia and Morocco, the most Westernized of all Arab countries, elected Islamist governments.  Egypt, the largest and most influential Arab nation, has experienced an Islamist sweep.  The Muslim Brotherhood not only won the presidency. It won nearly 50 per cent of the seats in parliament, while more openly radical Islamists won a further 25 per cent. Now only the Egyptian military stands between radical Islam and the imposition of Sharia Law across Egypt.

In Syria, when Bashar al-Assad falls, the Brotherhood almost certainly will inherit power  Jordan well may follow. And the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing – Hamas – already controls Gaza.

“What does this mean?  That the Arab Spring is a misnomer. This is an Islamist ascendancy, likely to dominate Arab politics for a generation….Radical Islam is the answer to nothing, as demonstrated by the repression, social backwardness and civil strife of Taliban Afghanistan, Islamist Sudan and clerical Iran. Charles Krauthammer, ‘The Islamist ascendancy’, ibid.

Obama of Arabia claims to be the savior of American women from the alleged predations of  Governor Romney and the Republican Party. I wonder how well he will be regarded among the women of Arabia as they are driven back behind the veil, restricted from outside activities in the absence of chaperones, barred from formal education, and stoned to death for adultery.

Is democracy compatible with Islam?

September 12, 2011

The statistics on this issue are decidely discouraging.  Of the 50-plus countries where Muslims represent a majority of the population only four currently enjoy political liberty as defined by Freedom House.  Indonesia, and Mali have established democracy internally. Turkey depended enormously on Kemel Ataturk for its evolution from theocracy to limited democracy.  Iraq has had an uneasy democracy imposed upon it at the point of the American bayonet.  Turkey and Iraq lie within the heartland of Islam.  Indonesia and Mali are located on its periphery.  No Wahhabist Muslim nation is anywhere close to endorsing democracy.

Since many Muslims express a high regard for democracy in clandestine opinion polls, why do they have so little of it?  Nathanael Smith and I addressed that question in an essay published in Public Choice in 2009*.  Following detailed empirical testing of alternative hypotheses, we concluded that the decisive obstacle was a generalized unwillingness to allow religious freedom and a reluctance to accept the primacy of secular law over Sharia law. These are decisive obstacles to true democracy.

Some Muslims – especially the extremists who support al Qaeda – view a global Caliphate that combines religious with political authority and that holds sway over the entire Muslim world, as the ideal form of governance. The fact that there is no prospect whatsoever of recreating those  first four caliphs who followed the Prophet, makes no difference to the madmen who hear Mohammad’s voice in the twenty-first century air. But they are a miniscule minority of the world’s Muslims.

Much more important is Muslim reluctance to embrace any Western notion of the rule of law.  Islam is the only major religion to include specific injunctions about crime, punishment and family law.  These Sharia law commands are illiberal, indeed barbaric, in terms of twenty-first century philosophy.  The Koran mandates flogging for unlawful sex, requires that adultresses (woman only of course) should be stoned to death, and that petty thieves should suffer amputation of their limbs. With respect to inheritance, a daughter is entitled only to have half as much as a son.

Many Muslims refuse to acknowledge that rules of punishment passed down by an illiterate Prophet during the Dark Ages should be ameliorated in response to the Enlightenment and the subsequent history of Western Civilization. To this extent, many Muslims remain locked into the unlightened past.

Finally, the issue of  religious dominance cannot be ignored. Democracy is a system where individuals vote their preferences, either directly or through elected representatives. If such voters are constrained by the Supreme Power, they are not free to establish their majority preferences, where such preferences challenge Islam.  Apostasize and die – that is the Saudi Arabian creed. If God alone – as interpreted by one acknowledged Prophet – can adjudicate on what is right and what is wrong, human reason cannot prevail and democracy is doomed.

Even Turkey – the world’s most advanced Islamic democracy -is testing those limits at the present time. Given that Kemel Ataturk’s secular constraints are now severely loosened, the democracies must wait nervously to see whether the Koran or the People will determine that country’s fate.

*Charles K. Rowley and Nathanael Smith, ‘Islam’s democracy paradox: Muslims claim to like democracy, so why do they have so little of it?’ Public  Choice, June 2009, 273-299

Islamic jihadists plot to take over Libyan government

September 5, 2011

Jihadists among the Libyan rebels have  announced plans on the Internet to subvert the post-Gaddafi government of the National Transitional Council in order to establish an Islamist state in Libya.  In response to this revelation, U.S. spy agencies are stepping up surveillance of Islamist-oriented elements among the Libyan rebels.

Several forum participants have suggested that, following a transitional stage, the battle should turn against secularist members of the Council. Plotting coincides with the high-profile emergence of Abu Abdallah al-Sadiq, a former leader of the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).  He is currently known as Abdel Hakim al-Khuludi Belhaj and he led the rebels who over-ran Colonel Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli.

“A defense official familiar with Jihadist strategy said Islamists likely will emerge in power from the turmoil expected after the demise of the Gaddafi regime and the West will be partly to blame.  ‘We’re helping pave the way for them through NATO airstrikes and other support’, he said.”  Bill Gerz, ‘Jihadists plot to take over Libya’, The Washington Times, September 5, 2011

Jihadists are urged to prepare for the next stage of the battle: taking on secular rebels and the interim National Transitional Council.  The jihadists want to establish an Islamist state governed by Sharia law.  Islamists are being urged to quickly take control of cities with economic resources and to establish Islamic courts in those locations. Islamists are also urged to liquidate the National Transitional Council and to replace it by a transitional council of Islamic Salafi jihadi scholars in Libya. Islamists are also urged to expel foreign bases and reduce foreign influence:

“The Libyan people…must turn their guns on the Crusader occupiers along with collaborators and traitors.” ibid.

The law of unintended consequences, once again, rears its ugly head for those Western leaders – Sarkosi, Cameron and Obama –  who collaborated through NATO in toppling a Libyan government that had recently allied itself with the West in its ongoing war on terror. If the Internet fulminations come to pass, these leaders will have accentuated the magnitude of the  terror that they are committed to wipe out.


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