This article is in response to moshawn's article. It is written as a separate article because moshawnidid not allow comments on his article. A response is important because the article represents the most serious flaw in The Muslim Brotherhood's and President Morsy's thinking about government and democracy. Moshawn's makes a statement. That is it. There is no room for discussion." I said it therefore it must be true, end of story." I should note that the article in question is still posted under "World". I attempted to seed it, but apparently that will only show in my column.
The non questioning of authority is a major flaw in almost all Egyptian institutions. Authority is to obeyed. This is well illustrated in Egypt's educational system where teachers and professors give limitless lectures with the air of a pope speaking ex cathedral. Students are to memorize the teachers wisdom by rote. They are not to question or discuss. They are to solve old problems - not learn how to apply their knowledge to new problems. As a result knowledge remains static.
In Egypt and in many Arab countries, great emphasis is placed on memorizing the Koran. Little attention is placed on understanding it. One Islamic writer once wrote that to understand the Koran, it is necessary to understand all the world's religions and philosophies. This quest for understanding lead to the great centers of learning that once dominated the Islamic world including Baghdad, Antioch, Cairo, and Bukhara as well as Cordoba. The drive for understanding has been, in many parts of the world, hindered by the spread of Wahabbist and Salafi movements in Islam. Omar Khayyam would not be welcome in such circles; nor would Rumi.
Morsey talks about freedom, especially freedom of religion; however, it wants to limit that freedom to those religious beliefs acceptable to The Brotherhood. Others, including atheists, are not to be tolerated. Agree with us or else. This position is held in spite of the fact that in Islam ones relationship to God is between the individual and God. In Islam there is no priestly class. No one has the right to set dogma.
Democracy cannot flourish unless the people are allowed in on it. Secrecy and the silencing of the opposition are not traits of a democracy. In a democracy, government serves the people and is granted power by the people who have a right to rid themselves of a bad government. There is wisdom in Egypt, but until this time no one talks with the Egyptian people, everyone is protecting dogma. Egypt suffers a "brain drain" because the creative minds must leave Egypt to flourish or to prosper. Egypt needs to accept "the free market place of ideas." This will require clerics, politicians, and others to work their minds as well as there mouths. Something will not be true just because they said so and have an imposing title, are old, or wear a beard.
(in most cases have used "moshawni" rather than "Moshawni" to follow his style)