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A big win for theocracy

So Egypt is doomed. Islamists control two thirds of the seats in the People’s Assembly. In other words, the Assembly is in the hands of avowed theocrats.

The final results in Egypt’s first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections confirm an overwhelming victory for Islamist parties.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) won the largest number of seats under Egypt’s complex electoral system.

The hardline Salafist Nour party came second.

The overall results mean that Islamist parties control around two-thirds of the seats in the assembly, though the final share out of seats is not yet known.

It’s a disaster.

Check out some Islamists in Derby.

Ihjaz Ali, 42, Kabir Ahmed, 28, and Razwan Javed, 27, were found guilty of stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

They distributed a leaflet entitled Death Penalty? at a mosque and through letterboxes, Derby Crown Court heard.

The court heard the leaflets showed an image of a wooden mannequin hanging from a noose and quoted Islamic texts. The leaflets said capital punishment was the only way to rid society of homosexuality. They were handed out near the Jaima Mosque on Rosehill Street, Derby, and put through the letterboxes of people’s homes in surrounding streets. The court heard the leaflets were made and used as part of a campaign to publicise a protest in response to the Gay Pride festival held on 10 July 2010 in Derby.

By saying that gay people should be executed.

The men admitted distributing the leaflet but said they were simply following and quoting what their religion taught them about homosexuality and did not intend to threaten anyone.

Yes see that’s completely incoherent. “Simply” following and quoting what their religion taught them about homosexuality is indeed to threaten “anyone” when what their religion teaches them about homosexuality is that people should be executed for it. It’s not an escape clause or an “oh that’s all right then” or a decency stipulation to say “oh that’s just my religion.” Egypt’s Islamists can say exactly the same thing only now they have their hands on the power of the state so they can put the threat into practice. We don’t get to say “Oh well but they won’t do that” – not with the example of Iran to look at.

One gay man, who gave evidence but cannot be identified for legal reasons, said he received the Turn Or Burn and Death Penalty? leaflets through the door of his home on two occasions.

He said the first leaflet, Turn Or Burn, made him feel “quite horrified” and it was after he received Death Penalty? that he called the police.

“They made me feel terrorised in my own home,” he said.

“Sometimes I wondered whether I would be getting a burning rag through the letterbox or if I would be attacked in the street.”

The unfortunate people of Egypt won’t have the option of calling the police when the Islamists start to close in on them.

Comments

  1. lordshipmayhem says

    Ask me if I’m surprised. It was only the strong-man dictatorships that were keeping the Islamism theocratic parties at bay. I anticipate other “Arab Spring” countries to become theocracies that pay lip service to democracy.

  2. says

    Egypt was arguably in better shape when it was ruled by the pharoahs.

    I still think that there is a great future for global civilisation. It’s just that these first 15,000 years of it have been a real bugger.

  3. rogerallen says

    ‘One day Louisiana will have good honest government and they won’t like it.’- Huey Long

    It’s likely Egyptians won’t like islamic government any better when they find out what it’s like, but the only way they’ll find out is by trying it.
    There are more ways of killing a cat than by choking it with cream, but I’m not sure that it’s not the best way.

  4. says

    Actually I don’t think the only way to find out that Islamist theocracy sucks is to try it – I think one can find that out by looking at existing Islamist theocracies. (Or possibly better by spending some time in one, in which case you are right.) Anyway the trouble of course is that once you have one it does no good to decide you don’t like it, because then you won’t be able to do anything about it.

  5. says

    “Theocracy’ is also one of those sloppy words. It implies that God is the final constitutional authority, when the reality is the power is assumed by the hierarchy of clerics.

    Also, as far as I know, God has never taken a position one way or another on the matter, and has preferred to remain silent.

    Better perhaps: ‘priestocracy’ or ‘ecclesiatocracy’.

  6. says

    That’s an interesting one. You’re right in one sense – but in another sense, the whole basis of “theocracy” is that it is god not humans who are in charge. The fact that that actually means that clerics are is not explicitly stated. It’s blindingly obvious, but it’s not said. It mustn’t be admitted. The clerics are “doing god’s bidding” or “interpreting god’s word” or “obeying the church’s teachings [which come from god].”

    More accurate would be “the”ocracy, but we’re not going to get anyone to write that, and god forbid anyone should say it because it would have to be with those awful finger-scratches in the air that we all hate so much.

  7. platyhelminthe says

    How dare that gay man call the police over muslims’ earnest expression of religious conviction! What an islamophobe!

  8. thewordofme says

    Those poor stupid Egyptians…they have jumped right back into the pit of despair and death.

  9. rogerallen says

    ‘Anyway the trouble of course is that once you have one it does no good to decide you don’t like it, because then you won’t be able to do anything about it.’

    Exactly the same has been argued about fascist and marxist dictatorships. It was said about the Egyptian military dictatorship. I don’t think islamic theocracy is any more able to endure than they do. An attempt to impose economic and social systems based on islam will fail. In fact, if- as may have happened- the Muslim Brotherhood are going to govern alongside the egyptian army, it will probably show problems even more quickly.

  10. Sunny says

    I am not sure what the new constitution of Egypt says about amendments but I will not be surprised if the Islamists with their two-thirds majority gang up to declare a single party state. Of course, they will have to work out their differences on such matters as how best to interpret the words of the Prophet. This is no small problem but at least they can all agree on kicking women and then go from there.

  11. says

    Exactly the same has been argued about fascist and marxist dictatorships. It was said about the Egyptian military dictatorship. I don’t think islamic theocracy is any more able to endure than they do.

    Well maybe so but that’s thin comfort – examples of all those types of dictatorship have lasted for decades, which is plenty long enough to ruin most of the life of most of the population. The theocratic one in Iran is well into its fourth decade.

  12. rogerallen says

    ‘Well maybe so but that’s thin comfort – examples of all those types of dictatorship have lasted for decades, which is plenty long enough to ruin most of the life of most of the population. The theocratic one in Iran is well into its fourth decade.’

    Theocracies have been around for thousands of years. They’ve been damaged, but there’s still life in them. Keep buggering on and push them back. Just don’t expect them to fold up easily.

  13. says

    I agree with the comments that Islamic theocracy is bad news. But let’s take a moment. Let’s not say that the Egyptian people should NEVER have had the Arab Spring, and that they’re self-determined government is a Super Bad thing. When Christian governments sprang up, they were ALL theocracies, and there are no monotheist religions that support true democracy. Hell, when people in the middle east look at the US government, they see people preaching Christian theocracy. So who are we to say that the Egyptians don’t get democracy because it’s not one we approve of?

  14. says

    If Iran is anything to go by, The Brotherhood will do whatever it can to restrict the opportunities available to the mass of the Egyptian population. This will most likely IMHO include severe restrictions as to who can be a candidate at the next election, and probably rigging of it as well.

    That is, if they choose to have one at all.

  15. says

    Has anyone said that the Egyptian people should NEVER have had the Arab Spring, and that their self-determined government is a Super Bad thing? I don’t think so. But I think there’s been a lot of saying that the Egyptian revolution has as of now not turned out as universalist secular liberals hoped it would.

    Mind you, I do think that a government with a 2/3 Islamist majority will be a Super Bad thing.

  16. says

    I cannot recall reading or learning anywhere of an oligarchic system that collapsed quickly, with the rise of a stable, superbly democratic and inclusive order in its place. Everywhere autocracies and repressive oligarchies establish the social conventions and expectations within which the newly installed regimes operate.

    So it takes on the trappings of ‘the king is dead. God save the king.’

    An added twist is provided where there is violent overthrow of the old regime. Fearing (understandably) violent attacks and assassination attempts upon themselves, just as their predcecessors (understandably) did, the revolutionaries adopt pretty much the same suite of security measures as were in place under the regime they overthrew. Witness 20th C Russia, China and Cuba, to name just three.

    So having taken power in the name of ‘the people’, the new regimes show that they cannot afford to trust ‘the people’ much at all.

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