Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Ballot Box alone does not Constitute Democracy

From Memri (with thanks to Felix) and well worth reading in full:

Egyptian Liberal Sayid Al-Qimni, London Islamist Hani Al-Sibai Debate Secularism, Fundamentalism in Arab World

The following are excerpts from a debate between Egyptian liberal Sayid Al-Qimni and London Islamist Hani Al-Sibai, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on July 10, 2007.

Sayid Al-Qimni: "The ballot box alone does not constitute democracy. The ballot box is just a box made of glass, and nobody knows what goes on inside. People put a piece of paper in it. By no means does the ballot box constitute democracy. We are the prey over which two types of [predators] compete: ruling families and military governments on the one hand, and Islamic dictatorships on the other hand. These two types of dictatorships compete over us, the prey.

"When the mufti of the government bans a certain book, the mufti of the [Islamist] groups bans a movie. The former places a ban on words, and the latter places a 'ban' on an entire person, by killing him. The women wear a uniform like soldiers. You see them in the street, and they all look like soldiers. The government flogs anyone who goes to the police station to file a complaint. The Islamists legitimize flogging. If you legitimize flogging, why are you angry when the government does it? How can you be angry at the government for flogging you, when you are the ones legitimizing the flogging? Flogging is part of Islamic law.

"When you go to the mosque they humiliate you, saying: 'You are responsible for what happened to the nation.' This poor man merely came to fulfill his religious duties, and they pile this dirt on him in the mosque. They humiliate him and attribute all the sins of this nation to him. All the nation's defeats are due to this wretched man's defiance of God. They are constantly setting new red lines. Is there such a thing as red lines in democracy? The government has its own red lines, the ruling families have their own red lines, and so do the military and the Islamists. I also have red lines, but it's useless.

"As you've said, these people issue fatwas about saliva, about the urine of camels, about the urine of the Prophet, and so on... Look, all these people, this entire process, all the candidates, the people who won the elections, the people who helped them succeed - they all belong in the madhouse."

View the piece


William said...

An interesting item - slightly confused though. He attacks everyone: The Egyptian government for fiddling the ballot; Islamist women who dress like black bats. He dislikes them all - which is fair enough I guess.

Anonymous said...

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Мне может показаться на первый взгляд есть взаимосвязь. И девушки коие каждый день на каблуках 10 см. меньше подвережны целлюлиту. Сужу по себе. Раньше с каблуками не расставалась целлюлита и близко не было. Где то как год как перешла на больше удобную обувь и даже кроссовки и целлюлит появился. Хотя может это совпадение