Don't Do What We Did

Arab spring need lessons from 1979


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Don't Do What We Did
by Iqbal Latif
02-Aug-2011
 

As Egypt tryst with its destiny enters new phase with an election looming over the horizon, I cannot overlook to underplay the tragedy of sorts and choices that Egyptians face. Two choices are available for them a secular, freedom oriented society or the road that leads the 'sovereignty of Allah' through 'Qaradawi alley! '

Egypt does not have to look far out for lessons from contemporary history, a whole nation of 40 million in 1979 traversed a similar failed dream through dominion of Velayat al Faqih under leadership of Imam Khomeini. Velayat-i-faqih a post-Age-of-Occultation theory in Shi'a Islam holds that Islam gives a faqih (Islamic jurist) or fuqaha (jurists) custodianship, divine providence or dictatorship over people. Islamic jurist dictatorship over people terribly failed and Egypt should know that similar fate awaits them. Arab spring need to learn from the rich Iranian experience of the only extraordinary Middle Eastern revolution of 1979 the Enghelābe Eslāmi unique in the sense that it defied the customary causes of revolution defeat at war, a financial crisis, peasant rebellion, or disgruntled military!

Iranians have led the Golden age of Islamic renaissance, the greatest heroes of the Islamic renaissance emerged from the rich learned lands conquered by the desert army. Once again Iranians led the call of Enghelābe Eslāmi and now will lead the roll back.

Iran is one country that is ripe for a real counter revolution – against velayat-i-faqih oriented ‘Mullahcracy.’ The read map of a counter revolution in Iran will go through 'middle', a restoration of a more traditional Shiite position often called quietism to replace Ayatollah Khomeini Islamic political theory that emerged in the mid-20th century called velayat-i-faqih, or rule by Islamic jurist.

The greatest proponent of this theory is Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the marjah al-taqlid, or object of emulation for top Shiite religious authorities in the world of some 20 percent of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims Shiites. Sistani of Najaf 'Hawza al almiyah' has attained the level of marjah and advocates that clerics shouldn’t get involved in day-to-day affairs and instead should serve as an authority independent from politics. Sistani has long favored the quietist, or moderate, tradition. He favors an Islamic state, but not a theocracy as in Iran.

The analogy to Iran never rings truer given the historical strain of similarity. Iran and Egypt, have a vibrant class of intellectuals, were both the cradles of civilizations, neither of them originally Muslims. Today they are the theological hubs of Islam representing the two major factions– the Shiites and the Sunnis – Qom and the Al-Azhar epitomises the bedrock of puritanical theological elucidations.

Today they are the theological centers of Islam representing the two major factions– the Shiites and the Sunnis – in Najaf and the Al-Azhar. This is the time to support the egalitarianism and secularism that ensures equal opportunity to all segments of the social order. What is the point of a revolution if it brings you down in every respect – politically, socially, economically, intellectually? Iran is the most apt comparable example, as it became the weakest power post revolution, like the last falling domino.

Today Egypt stands at the same crossroads. Either Egyptians can decide to waste 35 years in pursuit of another failed revolution and end up in chains like Ayatollahs’ Iran in the hands of another Mufti, or adopt a freedom-based system reflective of the 5,000-year-old civilisation they represent. For a starter Egyptian Muslim brotherhood should tear a page from Sistanis philosophy and learn to 'separate the state from religion.'

If you deny your history; you will deny your existence. 'History and past' is convenient to envisage opportunity and sketch plans to shun mistakes committed in the past. Egyptians need a quick reality check! Any theocratic Islamic state based on 1400 years old principles is anaemic to the 'connected conditions' of the world today. 1.8 billion of nearly seven billion are networked connected. Universal truth of 'one mankind' cannot be shrugged and ignored any longer.

To pursue another 35 years of deterioration in vain glory of an' Islamic revolution,' Egypt will bound to fail, a calamitous scenario unfolding before us. Egyptians everywhere should ask just one question: 'Why all the ideological Islamic republic's sit at the bottom of global Human Development Index? To name a few Afghanistan, Sudan and Pakistan, add Iran as a bonus.'

A revolution that started with the fifth generation of freedom organ 'Google' should not end up with an “archaic ideology” that is obsolete and outmoded in modern times. The only way to gain proper freedom is to liberate oneself from the yokes of doctrine; otherwise Egyptians will be looking at another revolution in a few years, like Iran today. The romance with the Islamic Republic has fallen and is maintained by the terror of state oppression, so will Egyptian romance with the Salafis and Akhwans.

At the moment, Middle Eastern revolutions may flirt with the fading doctrine of Islamic republics, instead of choosing the path of democracy, freedom, egalitarianism, and equality, they will adopt a more political Islam, like Iran did in 1979. A lesser dosage of ideology to find a solution to the problems of man is the answer, not more ideology; solutions have to be “earth-based;” they don’t lie in the “heavens.” Those divine affairs should be left in the hands of the Custodian of Paradise.

The 'Arab Spring' intelligentsia need to study the Iranian historical contributions and 1979 contemporary revolution. They should not forget that it was the rich culture of the conquered territories of Pharaohs, Yezdegerd and Hellenistic lands that embellished the desert Arabs and not the other way round.

A slight detour here of the past will help understand the background of these treacherous Middle Eastern lands and will help chart the course of future better; Two battle changed the course of Islam The Battle of Yarmouk and The Battle of al-Qādisiyyah:

The Battle of Yarmouk was a major battle between the Muslim Arab forces and the armies of the East Roman-Byzantine Empire. Emperor Heraclius had sent a massive expedition to the Levant in May 636. As the Byzantine army approached, the Muslims retreated from Syria and regrouped all their forces at the Yarmouk plains close to Arabia where, after being reinforced, they defeated the numerically superior Byzantine army. The Battle of Yarmouk is regarded as one of the most decisive battles in military history, and it marked the first great wave of Islamic conquests after the death of Muhammad, heralding the rapid advance of Islam into the then Christian Levant. The battle is also considered to be one of Khalid ibn al-Walid's greatest military victories. It cemented his reputation as one of the greatest tacticians and cavalry commanders in history. The conquest over Byzantine left the spirit of Greek science, literature and philosophy into the hands of Muslims.

Muslims invaded Iran in the time of Caliph Umar (637) and conquered it after several great battles. Yazdegerd III fled from one district to another until a local miller killed him for his purse at Merv in 651. By 674, Muslims had conquered Greater Khorasan. Iranian fuqaha see these events as a blessing i.e. 'the advent of the true faith, the end of the age of ignorance;' the liberals today view it differently 'as a humiliating national defeat, the conquest and subjugation of the country by foreign invaders.'

Iran was never easy conquest after Battle of al-Qādisiyyah 637 Caliph Umar is reported to have said: I wish there were a mountain of fire between us and the Persians, so that neither they could they get to us, nor we to them.

The pride of the imperial Sassanid's hurt by the conquest of Iraq by the Arabs continued the struggle to regain the lost territory; a major Persian counter attack was launched and subsequently repulsed at the Battle of Nihawand fought in December 641.

This led to a whole-scale invasion of the Sassanid Persian empire was planned by Umar to conquer their arch-rival entirely. The last Persian emperor was Yazdgerd III, who was killed in 653 during the reign of the Caliph Uthman. His death officially marks the end of the Sassanid Royal lineage and empire. With the conquest of Persia, the treasure chest of knowledge of old twin civilisations—Byzantines and the Sassanids—had fallen in the hands of the Arab armies. They made these treasures the mainstay of their governance.

Though it is generally believed that Greco-Rome is the derivation of civilization, the fact is it was the Iranian civilization that was much older than that of Rome and was at par with Greece in its richness, and that Iran made no less contribution to the historical and cultural progress of the entire world. It was the Arabs' integration of cradles of eastern civilisations that spewed elite luminaries responsible for the enlightenment of an era.

The following from Saadi could not have come from intellectual vacuum of minds; it was the embodiment of thousands of years of rich culture with rationalist and logical Hellenistic thoughts combined with the liberty to seek new frontiers of knowledge that led Saadi to say: The sons of Adam are limbs of one another having been created of one essence. When the calamity of time afflicts one limb, the other limbs cannot remain at rest;

The present 'Arab spring' indisputably has a distinctive character based on geography and culture. The Maghreb revolutions were different from the Egyptian category and so will the Spring of Saudis and looming Iranians be. Iranians are ready to revolt against the 'selected' autocratic regime; they are 35 years ahead of any other Middle Eastern country, i.e., being incarcerated by the chains of ideology.

Iranian ensuing spring will be the most doable amongst all the 'springs' we talk about; this uprising has the seeds and elements of Dechristianisation i.e. a revolt against the Islamic republic. I trust that the 'Real thing' or freedom that will free the Middle East from chains of ideology will emerge as a result of Iranian counter revolution. A modern post-revolution Iran will be a semi-secular Iran. Today revolution against the Islamic Republic of Iran is on the cards; it is anytime that uprising will start.

It will be the beginning of a new phase of secular revolutions in Middle East. The impending Iranian revolution will be the 'Mother of all revolutions,' it was Iranians that led the resurgence of Islamic medievalism in 1979; it will be them who will lead the way out of this quagmire.

The basic reason Iran's Twitter Revolution failed was due to the fact that a revolution cannot be led by wolves in sheep’s clothing. It owes its whimper fizzling out to the inability of Musavi in completely cutting his strong links with radical Khomeini thoughts; to wipe out the 1979 revolution in Iran, it needs a completely new slate.

Paradoxically the role of the secular Left in the Islamic Revolution of 1978–79 'The MEK' is very similar to Wael Ghonim Googlites in Egypt. They were the greatest organizational participants on helping to organize the massive street protests that brought down the Shah, also active participants of the U.S. embassy takeover. They were inspired by New Left Islamist Ali Shariati. Shariati considered himself a follower of Frantz Fanon; Jean-Paul Sartre once said, famously, “I have no religion, but if I were to choose one, it would be that of Shariati.”

It can be argued that 'Tahrir' square participants wait similar fate under Akhwans? The Iranian Revolution of 1979 stopped short of establishing a democratic government, after enduring more than three decades of renewed repression, Iranians are protesting once again to complete a mission that was left unfinished.

Revolutions are about replacing old ideas, about hierarchy and tradition with principles of new Enlightenment based on citizenship and inalienable rights. The modern era that has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution mark their birth during the Revolution. The growth of republics and liberal democracies, the spread of secularism, the development of modern ideologies and the invention of total war all owe their meteoric rise in the human sphere as a result of revolution.

Will Egypt go down the democratic path or will there be an Islamist takeover? Like Brotherhood in Egypt, the love of revival of Islam and unfurling of the great banner of global unity of Islam mocks the dreams of millions of Egyptians, but what happened to the Ottoman Empire will happen to any ideological Empire.

This is no time for dogma or ideology to be preferred over information, knowledge and modernisation of ideas. It will be ideas that will fill empty stomachs. Nile runs at its optimum capacity to increase yields proportionate to population increases; it is war of ideas not number of prayers. In Egypt this is the time to support the egalitarianism and secularism that ensures equal opportunity to all segments of the social order.

What is the point of a revolution if it brings you down in every respect – politically, socially, economically, intellectually? Iran is the most apt comparable example, as it became the weakest power post revolution, like the last falling domino. Freedom without maturity results in mayhem. Egypt, Libya, Syrians and Tunisia have to put their collective houses in order as soon as possible. They have to get out of rhetoric and move on to task of cohesive building of the nation. The time to flirt with the likes of Qaradawi is a bad sign emerging from Egypt. No revolution process would be completed if the Middle East is not ready to break its chains from ideological underpinnings of political Islam; this 'Dechristianisation' is the most important factor to consider. Liberals experiences of Iran should be eye opening.

The Iranian revolution in 1979 was a genuinely anti-authoritarian in which liberals leaning to the right like Bazargan and Yazdi, played an vital part. Communists, trade unionists, independents, and Islamists were all a part of Khomeini-led rainbow alliance. Islamists used the liberals and others to make way to power, but then jettisoned everyone to hold the power singularly. Like Nazis and Stalin, the best way for extremists is to use mass popular support and eradicate the major supporter in the post cleansing operation.

Egyptians have a very strong history of intelligent academia and mass education; Egypt is not exactly Khomeinite Iran (historically ripe for a Shiite revolution) or any orthodox littoral Arab state. It may offer far more resistance to Islamists, the Coptic minority and secular Egypt has strong grass root support, but it needs all the collective help to make the transition to a popular democracy through the ballot box.

The education of pluralism and sanctity of vote, the whole Muslim world of 1.2 billion will look at this freedom and its aftermath very carefully. If freedom and liberty succeeds the future of the world will see the hold of political Islam decreasing on the faithful; if this fails, all hell will break loose. Stagnation of mind destroys the balance of humanity.

People ask why we question instituted truth. Legitimacy of so-called 'established truth' is the cause of intellectual self-indulgence and degeneracy of ideas. It is the established wisdom that needs to be questioned; any thought that abhors free enquiry based on rationalism and reason does not deserve to survive. Hierarchy of deceit that is imposed by the orthodoxy of established clergy is first to be challenged on all occasions.

When someone talks about progress of a society I will ask them where their philosophers, thinkers and writers are; why are they not questioning; where is enquiry sitting on the list of their priorities. If one doesn't openly question the root of ills of our society, he becomes part of the ill. What is fossilisation of mind? It is the worst ailment that affects most of us, but we rarely go to any specialist to seek help.

Our clergy and soothsayers become our authority to seek remedies from malady of thoughts; they straitjacket us into thousands of years-old hold of incoherent fables and ask us to follow those for eternal nirvana; we create our own divisions of man based on antiquated ideas from scriptures, though it is just a matter of time we all as humans shall be one.

Today we need to talk about precise, surgical operations that are needed to cleanse this rampant puritanical streak of self- righteousness.

It is not Islam-phobia to question cause and effects of delay in the emergence of a renaissance and actions to overhaul antediluvian thinking processes; it is only through volte-face and restructuring that we will be able to eradicate from the organic body of 'political Islam' tentacles of its enormous fanatic infrastructure.

We need our unwavering resolve to question and condemn the ills of lunatics and fringe killers who have taken upon themselves to make this earth heaven by making it hell for everyone. Egypt is where Iran was at 1979 @ the crossroads of history!


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Iqbal Latif

Don't Do What We Did- they exactly did that!

by Iqbal Latif on

Cairo riot: Egypt on high alert after deadly attack on Israeli embassy
Regrettably the 'Arab spring' which needed lessons from Iranians 1979 failed Islamic revolution only 'learned' lessons of bigotry, hatred and violence, attacking embassies and burning them down.
This is a "Painful blow to peace" and to prospects of peace for Egyptians.
Egypt by choosing confrontation will go back to war of attrition that continued until Camp David? How will war help Egyptians to fill their stomachs is beyond any explanation?


Iqbal Latif

We are unlikely to develop and catalyze a modern state!

by Iqbal Latif on

@ ''Our population density is so low that we are unlikely to develop the kinds of broad-based socialist movements that helped catalyze the beginnings of the modern European state. "

Enlightenment in today's world means a re-emergence of Renaissance based on knowledge; that may help create a balance of power between haves and have not's.

It is void of understanding and lack of renaissance of ideas that is the cause of decay leading to collapse and inability to form a modern vivacious state.

When knowledge reigned supreme: Moorish Spain acted as a channel through which the philosophical and scientific works of the Islamic world passed to European Christendom. The development of Thomist philosophy, sought to reconcile revelation and reason. The Moorish philosopher Averroes, whose treatises on Aristotle had attempted such a reconciliation of philosophy and religion in an Islamic context, was cited by St. Thomas Aquinas 503 times.

What have we done with Averroes, the Mullahs treat him as a 'heretic' the way they treat the Muallim-al-thani 'the second teacher' Al- Farabi.

Renaissance was strongly foreshadowed by the intellectual climate of Spain in the preceding centuries, starting in 783 with the founding of Andalusia by Abd al-Rahman, an Umayyad from Syria. The culture created was receptive to intellectual pursuits not allowed in the rest of Europe for several centuries, including the creation of impressive libraries and the study and translation of Classical authors.

From 786 to 1492, in Andalucía, Spain--that is largely and unjustly overshadowed in most historical chronicles. It was a time when three cultures--Judaic, Islamic, and Christian--forged a relatively stable (though occasionally contentious) coexistence. Such was this period that there remains in Toledo a church with an "homage to Arabic writing on its walls and a sumptuous 14th-century synagogue built to look like Granada's Alhambra." Long gone, however, is the Córdoba library--a thousand times larger than any other in Christian Europe.

History of Andalucía, Spain was one of palatine cities, of philosophers, of poets whose work inspired Chaucer and Boccaccio, of weeping fountains, breezy courtyards, and a long-running tolerance "profoundly rooted in the cultivation of the complexities, charms and challenges of contradictions," which ended with the repression of Judaism and Islam the same year Columbus sailed to the New World.

Cyrus Moradi has a valid philosophical point but let us try to overcome some pessimism, we can definitely yield our caution to possibility of light at the end of the tunnel.


vildemose

 I'm well aware of how the

by vildemose on

 I'm well aware of how the Islamic empire was spread out. I have read Islamic Empire by Efrain Karsh.

I agree with all of your points. Please do a blog about this issue as you have done here.

 http://www.amazon.com/Islamic-Imperialism-History-Efraim-Karsh/dp/0300106033


Iqbal Latif

Pulpits, circumcised people and the sanctity of truth?

by Iqbal Latif on

@For hundreds of years, the favorite sport of European nations was fighting wars with other nations?

Same can be argued about Islam in Europe from Battle of Poitiers(not very far from Paris) in 732 to Siege of Vienna in 1683! Nearly a 1000 year of siege!

Europeans alone cannot be held accountable for warring; they did fight a lot of wars amongst themselves but the fact is that Germanic invasions of the IV and V century did break the political unity of the Mediterranean world, but they did not break its cultural and economic unity. The ancient world kept hugging the coastline of Mediterranean 'like frogs around a pond' and the East reasserted its supremacy over the West.

It were the Islamic invasions that conquered Northern Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, that closed the commercial and cultural exchanges between the two halves of the Roman empire after capture of the two most vibrant centres of commerce and culture and theological culture of the Byzantine empire: Syria and Egypt, the cultural and economic unity of the empire was broken once Islam entered the fray.

The center of gravity of the European economy after Islamic invasions shifted to the more agrarian and less Romanized regions around the Rhine (Charlemagne's capital is in Aix-La-Chapelle, nowadays Aachen) while the cities of Italy and Southern France decayed. It is this which eventually led to the emergence of a diversified Western European culture.

I think that war as part of political and geographical growth strategy in Europe was stalwartly launched by Islam from 6th century onward. From the beginning Islamic spreading out has been based on wars of hostility and occupation - with the West, this starts with the near-eastern and North African provinces of the Byzantine Empire ( Yarmouk), and continues on to the conquests of Visigoth Spain and the invasion of France in the 700's and the later Fall of Constantinople and then the Balkans by the Ottomans.

Goths and vandals loved war but so does Islam owes its expansion to this tool of belligerency. This is an unspeakable tale of 900 years of war that persisted in the heart of Europe. Wars were leisure pursuits of the old time emperors. Men loved war and killing, gallantry attitudes were about conquering and conquests.

In a book Mohammed and Charlemagne that is a masterpiece of historical scholarship and a revolutionary thesis; Henri Pirenne argues that the unexpected rise, wars and advance of Islam led to the downfall of the Holy Roman Empire and that the Germanic tribes and rulers (such as Charlemagne) did their best to preserve Roman culture, governance and practices. The origins of Holy Roman Empire that lasted until 1806 have lot to do with history and course of Islam.

Major turning points in this nearly 1000 year long war was the Battle of Poitiers in 732, the Reconquest of Spain and Portugal over a period of 700 years culminating in 1492, the Siege of Malta in 1565, the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, and the Siege of Vienna in 1683 when Ottoman expansion westwards overland was turned back.

The summit of the Islamic attack on Europe were the conquest of Spain in the 700's and the Siege of Vienna in 1683. Victorian writer John Henry Haaren says in Famous Men of the Middle Ages, "The Battle of Tours (October 10, 732) or Poitiers, as it should be called, is regarded as one of the decisive battles of the world. It decided that Christians, and not Moslems, should be the ruling power in Europe." The first wave of real "modern" historians, especially scholars on Rome and the medieval period, such as Edward Gibbon, contended that had Charles Martel fallen, the Umayyad Caliphate would have easily conquered a divided Europe. Gibbon famously observed:

''A victorious line of march had been prolonged above a thousand miles from the rock of Gibraltar to the banks of the Loire; the repetition of an equal space would have carried the Saracens to the confines of Poland and the Highlands of Scotland; the Rhine is not more impassable than the Nile or Euphrates, and the Arabian fleet might have sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet.''

Charlemagne the icon of European wars could never have evolved without invasions of Islam. Gibbon, whose tribute to Martel has been noted, was not alone among the great mid era historians in fervently praising Martel; Thomas Arnold ranks the victory of Charles Martel even higher than the victory of Arminius in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in its impact on all of modern history:
Charles Martel's victory at Tours was among those signal deliverances which have affected for centuries the happiness of mankind.

In 800 grandson of Martel; Charlemagne was crowned emperor by the Pope, further extending the principle by delegitimizing the nominal authority of the Byzantine Emperor in the Italian peninsula. The Byzantine Emperor claimed authority over all the old Roman Empire, as the legitimate "Roman" Emperor, it was simply not reality.

The bulk of the Western Roman Empire had come under Carolingian rule, the Byzantine Emperor having had almost no authority in the West since the sixth century, though Charlemagne, a consummate politician, preferred to avoid an open breach with Constantinople. An institution unique in history was being born: the Holy Roman Empire. It lasted until 1806, by which time it was a nonentity.

Voltaire ridiculed its nomenclature, saying that the Holy Roman Empire was "neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire." Though Charles Martel grandson became its first emperor, the "empire" such as it was, was largely born during the reign of Martel.

That is why Martel 'Battle of Tours' victory over Islam is so important. It set the course of a 'Frankish Europe' with its ills (center of gravity of the Europea after Islamic invasions shifted to less Romanized regions around the Rhine- advent of Prussia )until 1806 albeit in a lame duck fashion.May be without Islamic intrusions the 'Europe centre of gravitywould have still stayed around Latin and Greek axis.


vildemose

 For hundreds of years,

by vildemose on

 

For hundreds of years, the favorite sport of European nations was fighting wars with other European nations.

It took them not one but two world wars to come to the general realization that those policies which are often described as "socialist" were needed to maintain a certain minimum standard of living among the populace, otherwise there would be another world war and it would be the last one, because we now have nukes.

It's not because of any enlightened belief in the sacred universal brotherhood of man that resulted in the creation of the modern European welfare state. It's because if you have that high a population density in such a small land area and don't provide for them, you're gonna have a complete chaos once things go even a little bit wrong.

Our population density is so low that we are unlikely to develop the kinds of broad-based socialist movements that helped catalyze the beginnings of the modern European state. I don't see this happening either in the US or Iran simply because we our populations are too spread out; hence as cyrus moradi put it brilliantly in his recent article:

"هیچگونه رابطه تشکیلاتی بین بره ها وجود ندارد. آنها تنها به امید رهبر خود
یعنی چوپان نشسته اند تا برای نجاتشان از دست گرگ کاری بکند. انگار رابطه
رهبر و رعیت در طول بازی ادامه پیدا میکند. افراد بانفوذی با درجه اهمیتی
کمتر از رهبر و بیشتر از رعیت(تو بگو بره) که ساختار منسجم تشکیلاتی داشته
باشند وجود ندارد

http://iranian.com/main/2011/aug-6

"


Iqbal Latif

You made an interesting point about oppressors!

by Iqbal Latif on

''originally non-arab countries, Iran and Egypt, will be the only nations who embraced their opressors to the point that their very system of government now is intertwined with the very entity that robbed their original identity.''

Greek invaders brought different kind of oppression, a richness and expansion of Persian mind! A doctor of Philosophy allowed me to go through Aristotle in Greek which is an advantage even though his works were re-translated from Persian by Persian Philosophers who received them in Greek from Phillip of Macedonia, a student of Aristotle, and father of Alexander the Great. The original Greek works were destroyed during the Dark Ages in Europe. Until the re-translations were made by Aquinas to a great extent.

Civilizations that fail to adapt do hit a "hard ceiling" and fall apart under the weight of the institutions that success creates but then become unable to adapt the past success formula forward due to opposing and uncontrollable social forces that were unleashed because of their own success.

Adaptation is most imperative, medievalism stems from lack of flexibility. These cycles of rise and fall have appeared in successive waves of civilizations in both the East and the West.

Political Islam teeming 'Civilisation of Middle East' that includes IRI and prospective IRE are not going to persist for an indefinite period. A century from now, there will either be a Kurzweilian Singularity (transcendence) or an Asimovian Nightfall (collapse), these are the only two possibilities; just muddling through will no longer be a choice, the East and the West will share a common fate and challenge i.e. leading their flock to enter a greater civilisation of global singularity.


Iqbal Latif

Freethinking and prosperity are closely related !!

by Iqbal Latif on

There is a two-way relationship between geography and social development of a civilisation: the physical environment shapes how social development changes, but changes in social development shape what the physical environment means.

Freethinking and prosperity hence are closely related for a nation to progress. Free minds develop faster, for example it can be argued that Britain industrialized first because of the island's long history of liberalism and Protestantism. England had its Magna Carta--and later its Glorious Revolution of 1688--so therefore it was "natural" that it would be the free-thinking that brought industrialization.

"Change is caused by lazy, greedy, frightened people looking for easier, more profitable, and safer ways to do things. And they rarely know what they're doing."


Iqbal Latif

Tragedy of 1979 to irony of 2011? Yes; it already has today!

by Iqbal Latif on

A 'talebinised' version of philosophy is overtaking the herd populist attitude of current Egyptian junta. The junta is afraid of backlash and afraid of Muslim brotherhood. The right to fair trial is seen as an essential right in all countries respecting the rule of law. A trial in these countries that is deemed unfair will typically be restarted, or its verdict quashed.

1-Rights of the accused
2-Fair trial is a speedy trial
3-Presumption of innocence is important element of the trail
4-Self-incrimination is not permissible

5-And the physical ability of the accused to stand trial is most important for any free trail.

All the above were missing elements of the mockery today. I loathed the dictators like Mubarak and was happy with their overthrow but seeing Mubarak being brought on a stretcher for his trial was clear travesty of justice. I consider that the use of 'cage' was disproportionate to the needs of security. The accused i.e. the Ex President did not present any particular danger that might give serious grounds to fear that there was a significant danger of his absconding or resorting to violence. The Egyptian spring looks like a beginning of autumn of liberty and human dignity when seen in context of wretched Kangaroo Justice. A nation that was in 'cage' for hundred of years could only think of a 'cage and a prisoner on a stretcher ' when thinking of 'Justice.' No one in Egypt from Amar Musa to Baradie has shown the fortitude, tenacity, competence and courage. Today's videos of Mubarak judicial remanding were reminiscent of Ameer Abbas Howaida oppressive injustice carried by Sadegh Khalkhali.

Egypt needs an Amir Kabir of 21st century of Egypt. A Philosopher King! (remember someone like Teymourtash who assumed the intellectual leadership of Iranian constitutional reformists during the period 1925-1933. Teymourtash should rightly be considered the Amir Kabir of 20th century Iran, both for his zealous pursuit of much needed and far-reaching national reforms, as well as his steadfast refusal to compromise Iran's national or economic interests in his dealings with foreign governments. )

Revenge more than Justice is being sought after. This is beginning of anarchy when justice becomes vengeful; it is beginning of the end. The nations that loves a strong man hates him equally when out of power, this is the tragedy of political Islam. This is not spring this is the autumn of Egypt. The photo of Mubarak in the cage epitomises the bankruptcy of sovereignty. You don't bring someone on a stretcher to a cage. A true Kangaroo trial being played by Tantawi for the galleries. I compare this to the unique photo of Najibullah being hanged by the Taliban, Egyptians junta have shown no mercy to a sick man who is not in a position to stand a trial.

Nations at cross road and ground breaking revolutions need larger than life figures. Egypt needs today a men like Abdolhossein Teymourtash. Teymourtash whose appointment as Reza Shah's first Minister of Court proved was an inspired selection, not many in history have imprinted their personalities so ineradicably on framework of their country. Apart from his indisputable political contributions Teymourtash's intellectual conceptions had a profound influence on the social and cultural landscape of modern Iran.


Cost-of-Progress

Can the Tragedy of 1979 Lead to the Irony of 2011?

by Cost-of-Progress on

In fact if my predictions about Moslem Bro'hood is correct, that becomes even more tragic since it would mean that something is definitley wrong with the people when can't/won't  learn from others' mistakes!

____________

IRAN FIRST

____________


Iqbal Latif

بهار یا پائیز ؟Spring or Fall?

Iqbal Latif


''How cradle of civilisations have crumbled under the influence of political Islam. I would like to ask how Levant and Persia would have fared if invasions from Nejd were not to materialise and failed in their objectives. Would today's Levant and Persia be more like Greece?''در نگاه اول شگفت مینماید که چطور دو ملت ایران و مصر با درخشانترین سابقه تمدن یکی مدتها است پس و پس تر میرود و دیگری تازه آغاز کرده

If you want to study the mistakes of nation; learn the nature of the individuals of a nation. Civilisations need to rely on hard work and peace within the populace, these civilisations were instable anyway as Sassanids and Byzantiums- they were bound to implode but may be supplementary tolerant values would be amarked feature that would have taken away the hostility of desert attitudes and such a thing would have done great wonders in Iran and Levant.

'If this would be slightly different' is a very tricky question, and also one needs to know that events cannot be judged from the benefits of social contract that exists today. Judging Meccan's philosophy from tools of contemporary social sciences is unmerited treatment of the history, undoubtedly in this long course of history of man the evolution of Nejd and Empty quarters on the world scene had lot to do with the holy restraint that was incorporated, but should that have continued in its essence as ultimate elixir of today's world that is where we differ.

Heterogeneity of nations from Baltic to Black sea is so obvious, the most contentious of Balkans find their heterogeneity embedded not only in geography but entrenched history of holy wars, look at the 'Holy Land' similar tendencies can be observed, the war of Moses, Christ and Muhammad still being fought in the modern day and age with modern weapons of destruction available to a very ordinary devoted swamped mind.

Nations make mistakes which are reflective of collective mind set of individuals, when 'mindsets' are corrupted by a pattern that is dictated by the whims of scriptures, you see a typical implosion of a state. Egypt and Iran are on that typical cross road of self implosion, it is writing on the wall that 'archaic mindset' will only lead to decadence.

Over patronising holy scriptures are at the root of our all failures, it is heart-rending but correct. A society breaks down when over emphasis on moral high ground is made.

We are sum total of our goodness and libidos and iniquity, we make tradeoffs and try to be overall good; that is a war every individuals fights every second of the day, what happens in the case of a nation that is dictated by the 'Will of Allah' is that every decision is made by referring to the 'Will of Almighty.' A civilisation that leans on will of God fails as it altogether overlooks its responsibility to the temporal matters. Our daily living is a secular issue, no holy scripture ever came with the idea of Theory of Relativity or have ever proposed the better grain of wheat that may eliminate starvation from the world!

It is always Gods being irritated with man and denying them their heavens here and next for juvenile impertinence of a very authoritarian omnipotent.

We need to break the chain, stop this self presage of probity and love each other with highest respect and gratitude, things fall in place, some errors do happen along the way; these moral high grounds that people take when drunken with drugs and utopia of Gods collectively make them unfair to a large segment who do not believe in their kind of God.

مولوی بلخی :

درپس هرگریه آخر خنده ایست

مرد آخر بین مبارک بنده ایست

Regrettably the' Will of all Powerful' and 'Will of the most scrawny and feeble' are at two extreme ends of the life spectrum. In absence of rain when a drought hit the land it is not the prayers that will help alleviate misery it has to be genuine concern and transfer of food to the nation hit by such a misery; to run the world in a appropriate manner needs exceptionally humane and worldly decisions with little intervention of holy spirit, the societies that continue to rely on concourse higher end up in lot more misery than societies that try to change their fate through understanding , knowledge and hope.


rashid

بهار یا پائیز ؟

rashid


در نگاه اول شگفت مینماید که چطور دو ملت ایران و مصر با درخشانترین سابقه تمدن یکی مدتها است پس و پس تر میرود و دیگری تازه آغاز کرده . ولی چنانچه به واقعیت بنگریم  ، و نه ایده های دوست داشتنی خود ، جای هیچ تعجبی نیست . در نظر بگیریم فرد دارای هوش سرشار هنگامی که به دور تباهی بیفتد در تبه کاری  هم دست بالا را دارد به همین نحو کشوری که در پیشرفت سرآمد بوده در پس رفت هم میتواند سنگ تمام بگذارد.
تنها کافی است به قفسی که آقای حسنی مبارک و دیگر متهمان در آن جاداده شدند و وکیل مدافعینی که در پشت نرده آهنی  ازدهام کرده اند و از سر وکول هم بالامیروند توجه کنید ، پس رفت تمدن و فردای ملت مصر را ببینید ! آنچه بهار مصر مینماید به واقع پائیزیست که زمستانی سخت را به دنبال دارد . با این وجود و به گفته مولوی بلخی :

درپس هرگریه آخر خنده ایست

مرد آخر بین مبارک بنده ایست


Iqbal Latif

Say no to opression of minds in Iran and Middle East!

by Iqbal Latif on

May be some of us may think that we are too small and our voice makesno difference. Never consider yourself as petite and diminutive, release the sun within you. Think of Abū Nasr al-Fārābi :Hope, better days and accomplishments are awaiting us...

Note well that when injustice becomes law, resistance becomesduty of everyone. If injustice is happening to your neighbor and you can sleep,just wait for your turn. In this world of ours every sensible voice can make a change, the change of perception. We embody change, we are the change if we want to see the change in the world.

It is the people who make history not the sovereigns. Don't ever look for recognition in life, rest assure people only like stripping honors,recognition come with humbleness, humility and self enlightenment. When oneis tolerant and seeker of global consciousness; people will attract andgalvanise towards him.

World is 99.9% followers and .1 percent leaders, 99.9% have very little to say, they are curious, prying, inquisitive and want to know how others tread the world. To propel into that .1 percent without ills associate with such a position learn from the loftiest to the lowliest.


Iqbal Latif

Agreed- it is a tragedy not an irony!

by Iqbal Latif on

Iran and Egypt, have a vibrant class of intellectuals, were both the cradles of civilizations, neither of them originally Muslims. Today they are the theological hubs of Islam representing the two major factions– the Shiites and the Sunnis – Qom and the Al-Azhar epitomises the bedrock of puritanical theological elucidations.


Cost-of-Progress

Just Imagine the Irony

by Cost-of-Progress on

when the muslim brotherhood takes the helm in Egypt a little later this year. The two originally non-arab countries, Iran and Egypt, will be the only nations who embraced their opressors to the point that their very system of government now is intertwined with the very entity that robbed their original identity.

Ironic indeed. 

____________

IRAN FIRST

____________


Iqbal Latif

Mind of a fanatic!

by Iqbal Latif on

@The irony... "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."

Politics is also the art of 'possible impossible.' We call it diplomatic overtures and moderation of positions or attitudes. The problem with a fanatical mind is that it is by birth 'born' sans rationalism, sans tolerance and sans fairness i.e. a mind of a fanatic! We need to start calling spade the spade, whenever, tolerance has been overtaken by bigotry, blinkeredness and singularity; nations and empires have just withered away. At heart of hatred, viciousness and venomous intensity lies intolerance, bigotry and inability to ever find the enemy within.

 

Fanaticism is an evil of a society that corrodes the elegance of any culture. The lack of intellectual progress within the Muslim world suggests something is terribly wrong, their inability to point out their own weaknesses and look at history objectively instead of subjectively they have not been able to learn any lessons from their past. To adopt a rationalist, humanist and tolerant approach to life and allow all flowers to blossom is the essence of Renaissance and Reformation.

 

Rationalism was an essential inclination amid the Muslim thinkers during the Golden Age of Islam; it was toleration of ideas in which the so-called golden age of Islam flourished. Thinkers then were more led by their own conscience than any provincial dogma, a belief system they might have inherited from their 'pagan' ancestors. These movements were at the threshold when Imam Ghazali wrote his Refutation of Philosophy. Later appearance of Ibn Rushd's Refutation of Refutation paved the way to rationalism and humanism flourishing into the movements of Renaissance and Reformation.

The Muslim world was influenced by Imam Ghazali's Refutation of Philosophy whereas European thinkers were influenced by Ibn Rushd's philosophy Refutation of Refutation. Pluralism of Ideas and the prosperity of any land are intertwined. Freedom of minds and skill of intellect to 'think the unthinkable' is how humanity has progressed; when minds are incarcerated nothing endures.

In Iran of today the regime is trying to 'incarcerate minds of highly gifted and honourable people.' We as humankind should refuse this treading of the standard bearers and descendents of an original uninterrupted civilisations of the world ( there are only few to name) like Iran to be trampled by bunch of intellectual thugs.Iran should not be bombed and should not be touched because of its few evil people and its regime.


vildemose

 This is a very

by vildemose on

 This is a very well-writen, well-reasoned article. I hope more people read this article.

 

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx


vildemose

The analogy to Iran

by vildemose on

The analogy to Iran never rings truer given the historical strain of similarity. Iran and Egypt, have a vibrant class of intellectuals, were both the cradles of civilizations, neither of them originally Muslims. Today they are the theological hubs of Islam representing the two major factions– the Shiites and the Sunnis – Qom and the Al-Azhar epitomises the bedrock of puritanical theological elucidations. 

The irony... 

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx


Iqbal Latif

Original civilisation!

by Iqbal Latif on

Though it is generally believed that Greco-Rome is the derivation of civilization, the fact is it was the Iranian civilization that was much older than that of Rome and was at par with Greece in its richness, and that Iran made no less contribution to the historical and cultural progress of the entire world. It was the Arabs' integration of cradles of eastern civilisations that spewed elite luminaries responsible for the enlightenment of an era.The real Iranians that the world have forgotten all about:

 

 The Icons:

 

 

Abū Nasr al-Fārābi (Persian Islamic philosopher, 870–950), played a fundamental role in the dissemination of Greek philosophy throughout Islamic culture (where it flourished for the next 300 years), despite ongoing suspicion over its identification with pagan and Christian thinkers. A polymath, al-Fārābi’s knowledge was so vast that he was considered to be second in erudition only to Aristotle himself, thus earning him the title of "the second teacher" Abū Nasr al-Fārābi :Hope, better days and accomplishments are awaiting us...

Abū Nasr al-Fārābi : The greatest one is the union of all the societies in the inhabitable world; the medium one the union of one nation in one part of the inhabitable world; the small one the union of the people of a city in the territory of any nation whatsoever.
Abū Nasr al-Fārābi :When all bloods have same colour then why do we humans go after race and the skin shade?

Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi (Persian jurist, poet and theologian, 1207–1273). Born in Balkh (present-day Afghanistan) and died in Konya (now part of Turkey); Rumi is known for his inclusive philosophy and poetry that seeks to transcend national, ethnic and religious divisions by spreading the universal message of love

Passion makes the old medicine new:
Passion lops off the bough of weariness.
Passion is the elixir that renews:
how can there be weariness
when passion is present?
Oh, don't sigh heavily from fatigue:
seek passion, seek passion, seek passion! Rumi

When Love invades a lover cells, he/she doesn't want to know about the race & religion of others because Love is the religion itself..We are One....Love

The Pluralism of Ideas and the prosperity of any land are intertwined. Freedom of minds and skill of intellect to 'think the unthinkable' is how humanity has progressed; when minds are incarcerated nothing endures. Renaissance within all three monolithic religions was built around norms of free mind; renaissance was about literature, architecture, arts and chiseling of marble to exquisite forms. David could only be created by the love of the free labor of Michelangelo an enslaved mind cannot be an artist or a creator. Enslaved man can be a revolutionary and many a enslave people have helped changed the world but their minds were free they accepted death instead of compromise with totalitarian or dogmatic despotism.


rashid

در باغ سبز

rashid


بشر هیچگاه از تاریخ عبرت نگرفته مگر اقلیتی که تآثیر عملی تعیین کننده بر رویدادها ندارند . حال و آینده تکرار گذشته است با آب و رنگی تازه . همه جنبشهای پیشرو و پسرو با در باغ سبز و امید به بهبود آغاز میشوند ولی سرانجام یکی سازنده میشود دیگری مخرب .
جنبش های چند ماه اخیر خاورمیانه و شمال آفریقا با وجود گرایش های آزادی خواهانه و عدالت طلبانه در عمل به سوی تباهی ، تخریب ، و استبدادی مثال زدنی پیش خواهند رفت . در این میدان آمریکا بازنده اصلی و اگر برنده ای باشد همان انگلستان و شرکای اروپائیش است که در پس پرده همچنان سیاست دیرینه  حاکم کردن گروه های مذهبی را دنبال میکند . ابتدا جمهوری اسلامی پاکستان بعد ایران و پس از بیست و خورده ای سال عراق و افغانستان و به نوعی ترکیه و حالا مصر و بقیه کشورهای منطقه و تکمیل روند برنامه ریزی شده.

آمریکا هم مآمور اجرائی بیش نیست که البته مزد ناچیز خود را میگیرد و آخرسر هم بدنام  عالم و مقصر همه بدیها معرفی میشود . به هر صورت به جای برگ سبز فاجعه را بویژه در مصر خواهیم دید .