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The Grand Islamic Experiment

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the general belief is the moment we have democratic elections in Egypt some form of Islamists group (probably the Ekhwan aka Muslim Brotherhood) will rule the country.

and the conclusion is sharia law and complete annihilation of democracy and all liberties.

Hellmee in his best post to date finally conceded that delaying democracy until the Islamic cloud passes is not a realistic option

What do you think will happen when/if Sharia law does become the law of the land? What do you think will happen when the executive power used to enforce legislative articles and usually reserved to a select few (no matter how corrupt some of them are), now becomes an authority for public ownership (because, essentially, that is where it came from)?

but I'm not sure why the assumption that islamists rule of Egypt equals sharia law, call me an optimist but I really doubt this is what the majority or even the ekhwan wants.

what I don't understand is the assumption that when islamists come through democracy it will take 2 days to completly erase any traces of this democracy and kill all liberties.

the important thing about a democratic system is the checks and balances, the three branches should be totally seperate, all laws should follow the constitution.

if we have that, the radicalization of Egypt under a democracy will be a lengthy process if these checks and balances are in place, people like me and you will have a chance to try and stop it.

I don't know if we will succeed, there are many bad signs, from the attack on rock bands (remember the sotyanics) to Nasr Hamed Abu Zeid.

after years of struggle the ekhwan get to the parliament and have the largest opposition block, what do they do? what are the important issues they tackle?

taking books our of circulation, changing the law so sex outside marriage is a crime etc.

I can see why we should be scared, and there is no guarantee a strong independent legislative branch would prevent it, at the time of the attack on the satanics a high judge in 'magless el dawla' wrote a letter to al Ahram stating how it was natural for these kids to worship satan since they are literally the sons of the devil, you see according to his honor if a man has anal sex with his wife satan fucks her from the other side and lays her seeds in the poor woman.

but don't you see the point they are doing these things now, under this government, the dictatorship is not protecting us from the influence of islamists, in fact they're infiltrating the government (you get to study the biography of al sha3rawy at school), the systematic torture is leading to more sectarian violence (al kosheh).

our only chance is to operate under a real democracy and take it from there.

through my Free/Open Source Software activism I came in touch with all sorts of islamists, one lesson you learn is they are not all alike, some you hate and start fantasizing about painful methods of killing, some you respect its a spectrum but lack of democracy is only giving voice to the most dangerous and the most vile IMO.

lets just give it a try folks, if its what Egyptians wants then let it be, don't pretend you know better.


I drifted along the same current, and thought if it is what Egyptians want, let it be. However, I also have my ideology and I believe I should be promoting it. In other words those who do not find an Islamic regime an attractive idea, should work against it.

Besides, the mechanisms that should balance the process are yet to be created, since we are starting from (sub)zero, with regard to both the institutions and the people. So de-democratising shouldn't be a difficult task at all. This does not mean that I'm buying The Government's non-sense about how the people are not ready and are in need for a custodian, and as a pretence for their mere existence. But it doesn't mean that I have to accept a theocracy and be happy about it either.

As a side note, the law criminalising extramarital sex under consent is still a proposal, isn't it? Or is it approved?

yeah it is still a proposal, I doubt it will actually pass.

well tab3an we have to promote, defend our ideas and work against them, I do not doubt they'll try to limit liberties I'm assuming we'll get a chance to fight it.

true the mechanisms are not here at all, one only needs to look at al neyaba to see how the the judical branch is far from being independant.

IMO thats the real debate, whenever someone asks the question if not mubarak then who?? I find it funny, it doesn't matter who what matters is how.

don't fear the islamists, fear a non democratic process, would you be happy with liberals, socialists, nasserists, femenists, whatever ruling under the current conditions?

Having to recite Nassr's deeds every day before starting your work day, or worse, forcing men to wear bras to work will be as bad :-D

My only fear, however, is that the inclusion of metaphysical ingredients devoids any argument from its's much harder to critically analyse when opposing the government is opposing the Faith, and when raising against the ruler is raging against God.

Again, this is a worst-case scenario that's becoming less and less probable.

i agree about the metaphysical, but there is a broad spectrum involved here, not all islamists are alike, I'd take khatemi, refah or even hizb allah style of politics over what we have here anyday.

I remember one time I was talking to a sheikh who I really love and respect, he told me this story about a foreign guy who was a student at al-azhar with him. I think he was from albaina or something I don't remember right now but what I do remember is that they had an islamic government and and they had "mofty" too. And they were praying only inside their houses and praying in a way we call in islam "salat al-khawf" which means that they are praying while afraid of being hurt by something while they are praying so half of them is praying and the other half is watching their backs.

One would ask why did they pray like that in an islamic country with an islamic government?? Because their islamic government used to capture any one who would show islamic beliefs and throw him in jail for no reason but being a religious muslim.

An islamic government is not the target for islamic parties in Egypt or at least not for all of them. The word "al-islam howa al-7al" in my opinion doesn't point to just cutting the thief's hand. Whats the point of doing this while we can't do it on someone who's well connected and powerfull?

Can anyone honostly tell me that they can cut a prince's hand in KSA if he stole zillion dollars? Of course they can't do this because this is not the islamic country the prophet Mohammed established 1400 years ago by the rules of islam

Having an islamic theme doesn't mean that the content is really what islam says.

"Al-islam howa al-7al" means to use the first and simplest and most basic rules islam guided us to deploy to have a great nation. And those rules accidently matches with what most people want even non-muslims.

I speak as a muslim who is very convinced with islam and not just like alot of people who is a muslim just for being born and raised as a muslim and I say that democracy is what I want as a beginning then if the people of Egypt want sharia then its sharia whether some people would like it or not.

The point is whether I like it or not if its the people's choice then let it be.

First attributing the word 'sharia'to these draconian laws that come to your mind when the word is said is wrong, I guess you understand better than I do what the real sharia is, I confess that those who know its real meaning didn't work hard enough to promote it, and the other side (promoting the wrong interpretation)'s voice was always louder.
As well as calling one group or another 'Islamist' as to attributing their actions to Islam, I'd rather call these 'islamistics' if I may say or wouldn't even like to have the word Islam in anything related to them.
Promoting the fact that people aren't smart enough and need custody on what they should and shouldn't do or choose is wrong too.
If people get the chance to have their choice and later learn whether this choice was right or wrong is their right.
I know some examples of countries where people somehow had the chance for this feared choice and they later learnt what they did wrong and that was never too late.
I agree with BooDy, for a group stating that what they do is Islamic and they are the only ones who should know and judge whether this is Islamic or not is in my opinion as well as my understanding non-Islamic.
So before saying the word Islam or sharia and attributing it to wrong fearful acts, ask yourself, is this really Islam?

while I'm not interested in a dispute on vocabulary I'll admit the words are misleading and to be perfectly honest are borrowed from the dictionary of western media.

there is a tendency to generalize and talk about political islam, while ignoring the differences between the various political ideologies and models that are inspired by islam, bas besara7a part of this tendency to generalize is the reluctance of many of these movements to critisize and diffrentiate.

and I think most people who sympathize with the islamic movements/ideologies do not dwell much on the differences (how many Egyptian youth seriously know the difference between al ekhwan, al jihad, al salafeyoun etc?)

al ekhwan IMO are delibratly blurring the difference in order to win over anyone who wants a state based on religion.

another point of vocabuloary is the whole dicussion of weather this is true islam or not, we are talking politics here not religion, what I care about is what are the policies that will be implemented under a democratically elected islamic government (by islamic government here i mean a government that denies a secular nation and operates on an ideology that does not seperate religion from state), how likely is it that speech will be silenced? I'm actually and optimist here and I believe its unlikely at least for the first years.

I understand that to you ezabi this is the most important debate, weather this is true islam or not, to me true islam is what the majority believes in.

islam in Egypt when it comes to politics is the islam of al sha3rawi, 3abd el sabour shahine, etc, I don't like it and I want a secular nation, you don't like and you want a true islamic nation.

the point is if we are under a true democracy you and I will both get our chances to really try and change things, maybe we'll reach your version of a true islamic nation, maybe we'll reach my version of a true secular nation, most probably we'll reach a complex and ever changing set of compromises like any real democratic nation (as in having more than two parties)

BTW since both Ezabi and Boody responded here, I'd like to invite each of you to write us what an islamic nation should look like in your mind.

i don't care about who takes over the system, i'm not much into politics but i don't like what we are into right now. what i want is peace, i want to be able to speak freely in any topic i like, i want to be able to do whatever i like as long as i don't hurt people, i would like not to have someone to tell what is right and what is wrong and impose it on me, i want to be able to work and get paid well.

i don't care who the goverment is all i care for is to have this. maybe i'm asking for too much but i guess that's my right

alaa, you r going on in speculations with no proof, they (islamists) didnt even have a try, plz provide your proofs in a technical way, i mean be logical, and that means no statstics or testmonies, ur words r only emotional rather than logical , so ur article is not persivative to anyone

go read my piece again.

first of all I said I stand by democracy whatever the result.

besides I never said islamic rule will automatically mean anything bad, in fact I explicitly said I find the fear of sharia rule to be ridicolous since it won't happen overnight even if its a goal.

however I did mention real cases of very negative islamic influence on public life, I don't know what is speculation, is nasr hamed abu zeid speculation? you trying to tell me he doesn't exist.

you trying to tell me the assholes Muslim Brotherhood MPs are not pushing stupid legalization all centerin on morality and limiting liberties and did absolutly nothing of value?

are you denying the fucking bastard did not abandon the Menia Unviersity Proffesors protest without informing anyone?

I'm just worried about the trends that exist, if thats speculation then yeah I'm speculating live with it.

but again worried or not, I still believe in democracy and I want it now whatever the consequences.