church and state

rewch

Well-known member
firstly you've mashed the page width with saddam's mosque...

secondly have to agree with the islamic head of state issue...especially given that a large proportion of muslims think that the saudi royal family is itself heretical & or essentially illegitimate...which is even more true for any of the dictatorships...i think the fundamental issue here is the hypocrisy of the western world vis a vis egypt (pseudo-democratic, essentially secular=good arab state) or syria (non-democratic, essentially secular=bad arab)...egypt has chosen to accept the umbrella of western patronage & syria is demonised for its opposition to same...i don't see a difference between mubarrak & al-assad & i suspect most arabs don't either...substitute allawi for mubarrak & what do you have? iraqi insurgency...

to us the higher echelons of the republican party & the administration have the flavour of rabid crusading christian nutters...how much stronger would this flavour be to an arab/muslim?

as to the khalifa in many respects this is an essentially nostalgic atavism akin to little england fondness for the british empire & raj...who would the caliph be? given that the last one died rather a long time ago...don't think even bin laden/zawahiri have come up with a proposal for that...other perhaps than a rhetorical one...
 

Pearsall

Prodigal Son
sufi said:
i reckon this is spurious!
Why? It's pretty obvious that politics with heavy Islamic themes has a pretty widespread appeal around much of the Muslim world at the moment. Consider the Turkish government, elected in a landslide. Or the success of the religious right in Pakistani elections. When (ok, if!) there are elections in Iraq do you doubt that religious parties will do really well? If they held elections tomorrow throughout the Middle East how do you think Islamist parties would do? In Palestine how do you think Hamas and Islamic Jihad would do in parliamentary elections?

And, don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those paranoiacs who thinks that all Muslims are a fifth-column and they are trying to take over the West, but you do see a much higher amount of religious observance among Muslims in the West and a greater interest in 'Islamic solutions' (as far as I can see). I lived in Britain for twelve years (I came back to the US in February) and in that time the amount of girls in hijab and dudes with beards and the hats (dunno what they're called, sorry) increased exponentially. Something is up.

i reckon this is spot on! & applies to islam as well, more than what you said before. Religion does provide a framework for economics, diplomacy etc, but i don't think any state behaves ethically in those areas - the only areas where religious ethics and politics mix up is on social issues - abortion, hijabs, single mums, - e.g. where religion can be used to keep conservatives happy by preying on vulnerable populations
Agreed.

yeah, but there is no equivalent in the islamic world for a country where the head of state is the head of the religion - like the vatican, or UK!! even in Iran there is a separation between the religious juridical establishment and the parliament (which proportionally contains more women than in UK!)
Well, there's the tradition of the Caliphate to draw on. Anyways, although sure there is a division between the juridical establishment and the parliament in Iran who is holding most of the cards?

What makes you think that? there's such a lot of cultural misunderstandings about this issue....
Tbh that comment was a bit exaggerated, and I apologize, but it seems to me anyways from my reading that there is a lot of movement towards re-Islamisizing (is that a word? I dunno) areas of life. Consider the demands from certain groups for the introduction of Sharia courts for civil matters in the UK (same thing is happening in Canada).
 

Pearsall

Prodigal Son
rewch said:
as to the khalifa in many respects this is an essentially nostalgic atavism akin to little england fondness for the british empire & raj...who would the caliph be? given that the last one died rather a long time ago...don't think even bin laden/zawahiri have come up with a proposal for that...other perhaps than a rhetorical one...
I think they'd probably like it to be them! Anyways, extreme politics don't need a plan with a rationally possibly outcome to be deadly. Witness how many people (hell, some still do) believed in the Marxist conception that if you followed the steps the state would collapse and there would be some kind of worker's paradise on earth. Shame one hundred million had to die to end that particular fantasy.
 

sufi

lala
thanks rewch,

rewch said:
i don't see a difference between mubarrak & al-assad & i suspect most arabs don't either
eh wot the fak u on about???
in what way is assad a proxy of anyone? d'you think 'most arabs' don't appreciate that? grrrr

وَأَلْخِلَافَة ؟؟؟
well, i read an excellent story a year or 2 ago about OBL on the run, he turns up in the pulpit at the graet mosque in mecca, friday prayers, eid, & proclaims the khilafa
mecca is taken switly then the peninsula, then the middle east...

but it wuz only a story - d'you remember it? i'll see if i can find it...
 
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sufi

lala
thanks peersall!

good set of responses to my responses :)

the reason i was nitpicking yr post is cos i worry that the meeja really portray the relationship between islam & politics partially - over-emphasising the fundamentalistic aspects, as well as the extent to which it is a 'movement'. So, i didn't want you to take that for granted without some justification- if you get my drift ...(rewch on the other hand is me old mate whom i can slap if necessary, or grass im up to his mum - don't take it personal!! :D )

i'd agree that there is a resurgence in religiosity in the islamic world, from personal experience of living in the M-E during a period when students at my uni were rioting for the right to wear hijab, but i reckon that this resurgence is a reaction to decadent western modernist secularism (e.g. in this case the egyptian government which squashed the demos brutally), and is in evidence in the west as well, as - it's just expressed differently & in a way that is more tricksy to identify for us westerners - as we tend to express religiosity sartorially thru bumper stickers & tiepins,



just to be clear, i'm not suggesting any nasty huntingdonian clash thesis :eek: - the cultural miscommunication is consciously reinforced by conservatives on both sides - even the more modernistic e.g. OBL

Anyways, extreme politics don't need a plan with a rationally possibly outcome to be deadly. Witness how many people (hell, some still do) believed in the Marxist conception that if you followed the steps the state would collapse and there would be some kind of worker's paradise on earth.
Aye, i think that is the limitation of ideology, whether political, religious or whatever... it's impossible to translate into reality without making brutal macro sacrifices...
ethics on the other hand are more personal and without agenda
 

Pearsall

Prodigal Son
No worries. You might be interested in this piece I wrote earlier.

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised to see a revival of Christian religiosity in Europe among the poor. God knows there are a lot of lost souls on white council estates in Britain. I don't think the CofE has it in itself to do so, so it will probably come through small pentecostal/evangelical type churches (here in the US you go to pretty much any slum neighborhood and they are everywhere). The current anything-goes nihilism will, I imagine, produce a reaction.
 

rewch

Well-known member
sufi said:
eh wot the fak u on about???
in what way is assad a proxy of anyone? d'you think 'most arabs' don't appreciate that? grrrr
not suggesting any such thing...if you had read what i had written...& perhaps i failed to make myself clear, i was contrasting a western view: mubarrak=good & assad=bad with an arab one mubarrak=bad & assad=bad...what is it most arabs don't appreciate?

wot the fek...eh? eh?

will have a look for that makkah piece...however this thread begins to get interesting...despite aattempts at personal abuse threats to self & family etc.
 

rewch

Well-known member
Pearsall said:
Why? It's pretty obvious that politics with heavy Islamic themes has a pretty widespread appeal around much of the Muslim world at the moment. Consider the Turkish government, elected in a landslide. Or the success of the religious right in Pakistani elections. When (ok, if!) there are elections in Iraq do you doubt that religious parties will do really well? If they held elections tomorrow throughout the Middle East how do you think Islamist parties would do? In Palestine how do you think Hamas and Islamic Jihad would do in parliamentary elections?
is this not a reaction also to the way they have been represented in the past? i.e. we attempt to elect the govn. we want, the election is stolen from us, we therefore have no representation...the only people who offer us any way to be represented in the future are miltitants/religious hardliners etc. ...the people have in a sense been radicalised by their prior lack of representation...not true of turkey perhaps where representation is available, though perhaps they have been radicalised by their innate peculiar position...almost the only democracy in the islamic world, though historically much closer to the west...(not trying to get into a debate of turkish history, but i hope you see the distinction i am trying to make)...i think islamic parties would clearly do very well but then look at the voters' alternatives...eek my brain begins to melt
 

sufi

lala
the only people who offer us any way to be represented in the future are miltitants/religious hardliners
Algeria is a good example, where the govt infiltrated GIA to polarise the conflict

mubarrak=bad & assad=bad
the situations of Egypt & Syria are obviously not the same, but i think that the secular arabist baathists in syria command more rsepect than hosni " بَقَرَة حَلُوبَة " mubarak

that's a nice article pearsall - very relevant!! thanks!
 

Pearsall

Prodigal Son
rewch said:
is this not a reaction also to the way they have been represented in the past? i.e. we attempt to elect the govn. we want, the election is stolen from us, we therefore have no representation...the only people who offer us any way to be represented in the future are miltitants/religious hardliners etc. ...the people have in a sense been radicalised by their prior lack of representation...not true of turkey perhaps where representation is available, though perhaps they have been radicalised by their innate peculiar position...almost the only democracy in the islamic world, though historically much closer to the west...(not trying to get into a debate of turkish history, but i hope you see the distinction i am trying to make)...i think islamic parties would clearly do very well but then look at the voters' alternatives...eek my brain begins to melt
Sure, it's a reactionary position, but it's out there.

Long term I don't think there's much constituency anywhere for extreme theocracy in the modern world. I think part of the attraction of it in much of the Arab world is that secular nationalists like the Baathists or Mubarrak have completely failed to bring progress (or any personal or political freedom) , so if secularism has failed, why not try Islam? Yet you look at Iran where the government is wildly unpopular with the people and you have to conclude that theocracy has little long-term support; by this I mean that even if you were to get hardline Islamic government in a lot of Arab countries people would ultimately be chomping at the bit, because there simply isn't any way clerics with theological training can run modern states. If the Christian Right here were to start really legislating on social issues there would be a huge backlash. People like to pay lip service to holy concepts but when actually faced with attempts to legislate personal morality people will want to err on the side of libertarianism.

I also wrote an article sort of on this topic here (I don't mean to spam my blog but I've written at length some of my thoughts on the matter, which I don't want to do again!), about the way in which the Puritans failed to create a 'moral reformation' of England during Cromwell's time. I think there's a lot of applicability in it to modern times. For instance, the Taliban were able to enforce their particular obscurantist take on religion at gun point but once they were gone a lot of the cultural things they had been extremely dour about (music, video, etc) returned instantly.
 

Pearsall

Prodigal Son
Having said that, I fervently hope the Christian Right gets the chance to legislate personal morality. Sure, it will suck for a little while, but ultimately if it's the only thing to turn people against the current Republican administration it's a sacrifice worth making (because as far as I can tell Bushco is really trying to wreck the federal government and America's economy, military, and standing in the world).
 

Pearsall

Prodigal Son
Pearsall said:
Yet you look at Iran where the government is wildly unpopular with the people and you have to conclude that theocracy has little long-term support; by this I mean that even if you were to get hardline Islamic government in a lot of Arab countries people would ultimately be chomping at the bit, because there simply isn't any way clerics with theological training can run modern states.
Just to add to this point, I just found this article. Worth a read.
 

sufi

lala
tanx again p

astounding stats
62 percent of Saudis described themselves as religious, compared with 82 percent of Iranians, 85 percent of Jordanians, 98 percent of Egyptians,
wow - that's as much as 'voted' for hosni in the last referendum, almost :D
and 81 percent of Americans
hehehe

good article, interesting detail, but fails to transcend the religious/modern dichotomy...
 

Pearsall

Prodigal Son
I think a lot of what is happening now is the blowback from globalization and from information bombardment. We live in a time where persecution complexes are everywhere, where people feel that what I'd call their 'demographic markers', the building blocks of identity, are under attack by nefarious forces. I think there are strong parallels between all of these manifestations, from 'immigration and multiculturalism are a leftist plot to destroy Britain/Europe/America' Daily Mail viewpoints to 'the Umma is under attack from the nefarious Zionists and Crusaders' to 'assimilation is an attempt to annihilate our special traditions' identity politics, and so on. Because people have access to so much information and so many viewpoints it is so easy for anyone to find attacks on themselves and to begin linking them up in a paranoid way (after all, the human mind far more easily remembers insults and bad events than compliments and good events).
 

rewch

Well-known member
good points all round...but holy batshit! Christian Right takeover! eek!

as to your bushco thoughts...it certainly looks that way...do you think there is a chance that there will be an amendment to the constitution - possibly due to some other critical security event - that will allow a bushco reich-type thing?

with things like this i always remember goebbels & his (paraphrased, but i hope essentially correct from memory) 'we were elected through democratic means, but we're not going to be so foolish as to allow anyone else those means'...

i'm off to the states on friday & am deeply disturbed at the thought that some agency somewhere is going to have my fingerprints and iris scan...

seem to have gone off topic and into paranoia! sorry!
 

Pearsall

Prodigal Son
To be honest, I wouldn't be soooo paranoid. The likelihood of some form of Bush trying to convert his rule into a fascistic takeover is minimal in the extreme; if democracy didn't shatter during the Great Depression, I can't see it happening now. There have been other examples of creeping authoritarianism in American history (such as McCarthyism), but it's always ended and there's been a swing of the pendulum back in the other direction. The general pattern in the post WWII period has been for second term presidents to be swarmed with scandal, and I can't see anything to change that with this one (considering how mendacious it is). I think that's infinitely more likely than some conversion to an authoritarian state.

Basically, if Bush tried to install himself for life, there would be secession and civil war. Anyways, I see little evidence that they would want to. I don't like his policies, but the hysteria of the left-wing media in Europe media in its personal portrayals of him (and America in general) paints a picture that is at odds with reality. I live here and from reading the Guardian you'd think that if I looked out the window I'd be seeing black shirts marching down the street butchering the unbeliever. It's ridiculous.

Of course, if either we hit a major economic collapse or terrorists get off a nuke, then shit gets much more complicated much more quickly.
 

sufi

lala
To be honest, I wouldn't be soooo paranoid. The likelihood of some form of Bush trying to convert his rule into a fascistic takeover is minimal in the extreme; if democracy didn't shatter during the Great Depression, I can't see it happening now. There have been other examples of creeping authoritarianism in American history (such as McCarthyism), but it's always ended and there's been a swing of the pendulum back in the other direction. The general pattern in the post WWII period has been for second term presidents to be swarmed with scandal, and I can't see anything to change that with this one (considering how mendacious it is). I think that's infinitely more likely than some conversion to an authoritarian state.
The leaders of the US have had the state hijacked for a long time, and is it too cheesy to mention that it doesn't really matter who wins the elections?... you always gonna get a monkey in a suit in friont and the same anonymous unelected dodgy geezas in background...

the govt don't have a majority of citizens behind them already, (just more than what the other party got), they already behave with total impunity - they didn't need the support of either the US people, nor the UN to start up GW2. I wouldn't call US a healthily functioning democracy (or UK for that matter) if senate/parliament, whatever, cannot prevent the leaders from undertaking an illegal war whih the majority of the electorate don't support.

Basically, if Bush tried to install himself for life, there would be secession and civil war. Anyways, I see little evidence that they would want to. I don't like his policies, but the hysteria of the left-wing media in Europe media in its personal portrayals of him (and America in general) paints a picture that is at odds with reality. I live here and from reading the Guardian you'd think that if I looked out the window I'd be seeing black shirts marching down the street butchering the unbeliever. It's ridiculous.
America is a big place Pearsall - i don't think there is any need for the blackshirts, or orange jumpsuits to disturb tranquil Brooklyn
What you say about secession or civil war is just rubbish, given levels of complacency in 21stC america (or Yurp for that matter) - & the junta doesn't need to be so audacious as to openly declare 'martial law' or whatever (if you consider that hasn't already happened with the 'patriot act') = stealthy democratical coup de etat - bush quoted by zizek (sufi quotes zizek :eek: ) "the future will be better... tomorrow"

Of course, if either we hit a major economic collapse or terrorists get off a nuke, then shit gets much more complicated much more quickly
you better hope they ain't paranoid and won't feel like a nuke or crash (or another terrrrist spectacular) is necessary for them to consolidate power, luckily though, they won't need to while apologists like persil constantly excuse their contempt for their electorate.
 

sufi

lala
anti-secularist spam

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probably from one of the palestinian groups ("moqawama/مقاومة"= "resistance")
i'd like to research further but my french is poor...
 
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