These are the new scripts on the walls of Babylon: فليكن سقوط شارون سقوطاً للصهيونية What was created from lies, and nurtured by lies, must face the destiny of lies, too; Or did their God choose brain-dead mokeys unable to see beyond their sick ego's and their ugly noses ! [sic , Sharon !]

Al-Arab Blog - مدونة العرب

Iraqi Quagmire for The American Empire

2005/05/23

سعد الدين إبراهيم يدعو إلى السماح بتكوين الأحزاب الإسلامية في العالم العربي


America's leading liberal "human rights advocate" in Egypt, Saad ed-
Din Ibrahim, who is also fast friends with the Zionist "embassy" in
Cairo - that other center of respect for human rights (!) - is now
calling for the formation of Islamic political parties in the Arab
region.

Below is an Arabic version of Saad ed-Din Ibrahim's article followed
by the original in English from the New York Times - so we can see
exactly what stuff he is spewing.

It might seem strange that a leading liberal like Saad ed-Din
Ibrahim, who was kept in luxurious conditions in an Egyptian prison
for a few months - where he received regular visits from his friends
on the staff of the American embassy - is now calling for the
formation of Islamic parties.

But his call is part of the current American campaign for a liberal,
non-Jihadi "Islam".  Saad ed-Din Ibrahim wants to see Islamic
parties in the Arab world that will function like the Christian
Democrats in Europe - parties that served as fronts for NATO and
European imperialism as it subjugated that continent after World War
II.

The real content of such Islamic parties should be amply clear when
we see who it is that is pushing for them!

Tahiyyat!

Muhammad Abu Nasr.

----------------------

http://www.islammemo.cc/news/one_news.asp?IDnews=66261

سعد الدين إبراهيم يدعو إلى السماح بتكوين الأحزاب الإسلامية في العالم
العربي !!



عام :الوطن العربي :السبت 13 ربيع الثاني 1426هـ - 21 مايو2005م آخر
تحديث 3:35م بتوقت مكة


مفكرة الإسلام: نشرت صحيفة نيويورك تايمز مقالاً للناشط السياسي
المصري 'سعد الدين إبراهيم' اعتبر فيه أن الانتخابات البلدية التي جرت
الشهر الأخير في المملكة العربية السعودية مثلت التجربة الأولى نحو
الديمقراطية هناك، ورغم قلق الكثيرين من تفوق السياسيين الإسلاميين على
منافسيهم من العلمانيين، إلا أن هذه الصورة باتت أمرًا واقعًا مشاهدًا خلال
السنوات القليلة الماضية على مستوى أكثر من قطر إسلامي مثل تركيا
والمغرب والعراق، كما يمكن توقع حدوثه في الانتخابات اللبنانية القادمة
وحتى الفلسطينية والمصرية أيضًا.
وأكد سعد الدين إبراهيم أنه ومع عدم إمكانية تجاهل التيار الإسلامي على
الساحة السياسية فإنه يجب التوقف عن النظر إليه باعتباره مصدرًا للرعب
والفزع من قبل صناع القرار السياسي والمختصين في العالم الغربي.
وقال إبراهيم: 'استنادًا إلى ثلاثين عامًا قضيتها في تجارب واحتكاكات مع
مختلف هذه القوى والأطراف – من بينها 14 شهرًا سجنت خلالها في مصر وتحدثت
مع زملائي في داخل السجن – أستطيع أن أؤكد حصول تطورات كبيرة على الفكر
الإسلامي السياسي، وفي الحقيقة أعتقد أننا على وشك أن نشهد بزوغ أحزاب
إسلامية تؤمن وتتبنى الديمقراطية تمامًا مثلما نجد في الغرب الحزب
الديمقراطي المسيحي الذي ظهر في أوروبا الغربية بعد الحرب العالمية
الثانية'.
وأضاف إبراهيم: 'ومن أجل فهم أعمق لهذا التطور الذي صاحب فكر الإسلام
السياسي وكيف تمكن الإسلاميون من بلوغ هذه الدرجة من الأهمية والتأثير لابد
من إدراك أن الأنظمة الاستبدادية التي تسلطت على الشرق الأوسط ظلت على مدى
عقود لا تسمح سوى بمناخ ضيق للغاية أمام كل من يرغب في بناء مؤسسات
مجتمع مدني قوية متماسكة، كما قمعت هذه الأنظمة كل محاولات التعبير عن
الرأي أو تكوين الجمعيات والمؤسسات المدنية، ولم يعد أمام الناس من
مكان يتجمعون فيه ويشعروا فيه بالحرية بدون مضايقة أجهزة الأمن سوى
المساجد، ومن هنا ساهمت الأنظمة الاستبدادية من حيث لا تدري في تعظيم شأن
رجال الدين وترقية تأثيرهم'.
وأردف الناشط المصري: 'ولقد استغل رجال الدين كل علامات الفشل الاقتصادي
والسياسي التي غصت بها دول الشرق الأوسط والنكسات على صعيد المواجهات
العسكرية كذلك في دعم آرائهم وأطروحاتهم، ومن خلال نشاطاتهم في التغلغل
داخل هيكل المسؤولين عن الخدمات الاجتماعية بمختلف صورها استطاعوا أن
يصلوا إلى السياسيين المحليين والبرلمانيين وفي النهاية سيطروا على مدن
بأكملها مثل الجزائر ووهران وإسطنبول وأنقرة'.
واستطرد سعد الدين إبراهيم يقول: 'وفي ظل تزايد النظرة إليهم باعتبارهم
غير فاسدين بدأ هؤلاء الإسلاميون يحصدون مزيدًا من الشعبية والجماهيرية حتى
بين الأوساط العلمانية وتمكنوا من الفوز بالانتخابات البرلمانية في
الجزائر ثم في تركيا بعد الجزائر بأحد عشر عامًا، لكنهم في الجزائر لم
ينعموا بما حققوه من نجاحات بسبب الانقلاب العسكري، واليوم يعيش نحو ثلثي
المسلمين في العالم والبالغ عددهم 1.4 مليار نسمة في ظل حكومات منتخبة
ديمقراطيًا ويلعب الإسلاميون فيها أدوارًا هامة للغاية مثلما هو الحال في
إندونيسيا وبنجلاديش وتركيا'.
ويضيف إبراهيم: 'وبمنتهى الوضوح يجب على الغربيين أن لا يواصلوا تبني
حالة الفزع من فكرة السماح للأحزاب الدينية من ممارسة دورها المستحق في
الهياكل السياسية المرتقبة داخل العالم العربي، فهذا القطاع من الشعوب
العربية ما هو إلا مجموعة من المواطنين المسلمين لهم نفس الحقوق الأساسية
التي يتمتع بها باقي أفراد هذه الشعوب، وبالتالي فإنه سيكون من الكذب
والنفاق الدعوة إلى الديمقراطية في العالم العربي مع إنكار حق قطاعات
من شعوب هذه الدول في تكوين أحزاب سياسية وتحقيق أهدافها بطريقة سلمية'.
ويتابع سعد الدين إبراهيم في مقاله قائلاً: 'الإسلاميون يميلون إلى أن
يكونوا منظمين وشعبيين بشكل جيد للغاية، وصحيح أن بعض أحزابهم سعت
لتكوين أجنحة مسلحة تحت 'دعوى' مقاومة المحتل الأجنبي مثل حزب الله في
لبنان والجهاد الإسلامي بفلسطين، أو حتى ردًا على الأنظمة الاستبدادية
وممارساتها، لكن على أية حال الإسلام السياسي المعتدل مازال موجودًا على
الساحة ولا يمكن إغفاله، والخطر كل الخطر يتمثل في أن الاستمرار في حرمان
هذه التيارات الإسلامية المعتدلة من نيل حقوقها السياسية الأساسية يقوي
شوكة الأجنحة الإسلامية المسلحة ويجعلها تأخذ مكانها في الصدارة'.
ويقول سعد الدين إبراهيم: 'أساليب القمع كانت ذات تكاليف باهظة للغاية،
لأنه عندما يحال بين الجماعات الإسلامية وبين الوصول إلى أهدافها ومراميها
السياسية تسود فكرة الرغبة في الشهادة وتختفي فكرة إمكانية إقامة حكومة
ذات صبغة إسلامية عبر المنافذ السياسية، وتصبح عبارة 'الأخيار يرثون
الأرض' مجرد عبارة غير ذات معنى واقعي، وكل هذا بسبب منع هذه الجماعات
من المشاركة في صياغة المشاريع السياسية وإخضاعها لواقع مفروض من قبل
الأنظمة الاستبدادية، وتظل الشعبية الحقيقية لهذه الجماعات غير مختبرة
بشكل عملي، والتحدي الحقيقي هو كيفية ربط هذه الجماعات بالمسرح
السياسي، ولا يقف أمام تحقيق هذا الهدف سوى حكم الرجل الواحد والانتخابات
الشكلية التي تنتهي بفوز نفس الرجل'.
وأشارت الصحيفة إلى أن سعد الدين إبراهيم هو رئيس مركز ابن خلدون
لدراسات التطوير والعالم في مركز وودرو ويلسون بواشنطن، والمترشّح لمنصب
رئيس مصر في الانتخابات القادمة , وترى أوساط سياسية أن سعد الدين
ابراهيم - العلماني والمتهم السابق بالتجسس لصالح دول خارجية - يعبر عن
توجهات جديدة للفكر الأمريكي بفتح الباب أمام بعض التوجهات الإسلامية
الراضية بالتنازل عن الثوابت وأن ذلك يتأكد مع نشر المقال فى تلك
الصحيفة المتنفذة فى الحكومة الأمريكية صحيفة نيويورك تايمز , يذكر أن
فتح الباب أما بعض الاتجاه الإسلامية لإقامة أحزاب سياسية هو توجه يستلزم
معه فتح الباب لأحزاب قبطية مسيحية فى مصر.

-------------------------------------------
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/21/opinion/21ibrahim.html?oref=login


The New York Times.

May 21, 2005

Islam Can Vote, if We Let It
By SAAD EDDIN IBRAHIM
Cairo

IN last month's Saudi Arabian municipal elections, the nation's
first experiment in real democracy, many were worried because
Islamic activists dominated their secular rivals. Indeed, we have
seen a similar trend in Turkey, Morocco and Iraq in the last few
years; and we can expect it in the coming Lebanese, Palestinian and
Egyptian elections. Yet, while this Islamic trend can no longer be
ignored, neither should it be a source of panic to Western policy
makers and pundits.

Based on my 30 years of empirical investigation into these parties -
including my observations of fellow inmates during the 14 months I
spent in an Egyptian prison - I can testify to a significant
evolution on the part of political Islam. In fact, I believe we may
be witnessing the emergence of Muslim parties that are truly
democratic, akin to the Christian Democrats in Western Europe after
World War II.

To understand this evolution, one must look at how the Islamists
rose to such prominence. Autocratic regimes in the Middle East have
for decades allowed little public space to those who would build
civil societies; no freedom of speech, assembly or association. The
only space for people to congregate without harassment by the secret
police was the mosque. Thus, unwittingly, the autocrats contributed
to the growth of the theocrats, who became their mirror images.

Taking advantage of the rulers' economic and political failures at
home and their setbacks on battlefields, the theocrats made
compelling cases for their own visions. And through their great
efforts in providing services to the poor, they evolved first into
de facto social workers and then into local politicians, eventually
taking control of cities like Algiers and Oran in Algeria, and
Istanbul and Ankara in Turkey.

Seen as efficient and uncorrupt, these Islamists began to gain in
popularity even among secularists and won parliamentary pluralities
in Algeria in 1991 and in Turkey 11 years later. (In Algeria the
Islamists were not allowed to enjoy the fruits of their victory
thanks to a Western-condoned military coup.) Today, some two-thirds
of the estimated 1.4 billion Muslims in the world live under
democratically elected governments in which Islamists are major
players - with Indonesia, Bangladesh and Morocco joining Turkey as
bright spots.

Clearly, on grounds of principle and pragmatism, Westerners should
not be dismayed at the thought of allowing religious parties a role
in the emerging political structures of the Arab world. For one
thing, as citizens, Islamists are entitled to the same basic rights
as others. It would therefore be hypocritical to call for democracy
in these countries and at the same time to deny any groups wanting
to peacefully contend for office.

Second, Islamists tend to be fairly well organized and popular. Yes,
some have created armed wings to their movements, ostensibly to
resist foreign occupation (Hezbollah in Lebanon, Islamic Jihad in
Palestine) or in response to authoritarian regimes. But in all
cases, a moderate, less-violent Islamist core exists. Excluding the
religious parties from the political mainstream risks giving the
upper hand to the armed factions at the expense of their more
moderate centers.

Repression has had high costs. Where Islamist groups are denied
access to political space, their cause takes on an aura of mythical
martyrdom, and their abstract calls for a return to Islamic
principles of governance are not put to the test. A phrase like "the
meek are the inheritors of the earth" resonates with the masses,
though it is empty of any practical content. As long as these groups
don't have to deal with the complicated business of forging actual
political policies, their popularity remains untested. The
challenge, therefore, is to find a formula that includes them in the
system, but that prevents a "one man, one vote, one time" situation.

One fairly successful attempt at such a formula was coordinated by
King Hussein of Jordan, after widespread riots in 1989 over food
shortages in his traditional stronghold in the south. Needing to
engage the people more directly in the tough economic decisions that
had to be made, he opted for a new constitutional monarchy. He
brought all the political forces in the country together in a
national congress, in which the rules of the democratic game were
enshrined in a national charter. The Islamists signed on.

Since then, there have been several elections to this body in which
Jordan's Islamists have participated, but in only the first did they
gain a plurality. Once in power, their sloganeering was put to the
test, and voters were not terribly impressed. In the four ministries
they held, the Islamists imposed heavy-handed restrictions on female
staff members, setting off protests that eventually forced the
cabinet members to resign.

Shortly after the Jordanian experiment, King Hassan II of Morocco
followed suit with a similar revision of his nation's Constitution,
and despite recent terrorist attacks the country seems set on an
increasingly democratic path. In 2002, the Turkish Justice and
Development Party won the parliamentary elections and formed a
government and - to the surprise of many - it wasn't the end of the
world. In fact, the Islamists emerged as more pragmatic than their
secular predecessors in tackling some of Turkey's chronic problems:
they softened restrictions on the Kurds, looked to make compromises
over Cyprus and began a successful campaign to make Turkey eligible
for eventual membership in the European Union.

And consider what has happened in Iraq. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-
Sistani, the most revered Shiite cleric in Iraq, has been the savior
of President Bush's policy in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Without his unwavering backing of the January elections, the Arab
world would not have seen the stirring images of millions of men and
women braving their way out to vote despite threats and suicide
bombers.

Of course, this is not to say that we should expect Hezbollah or
Hamas to turn into Western-style democratic parties overnight. While
countries opening themselves to democracy should work to bring
Islamists into the system, they should not - and the West should not
pressure them to - allow those groups unwilling to abide by certain
rules into the game.

These principles would include: strict respect for constitutions and
the rule of law, including full independence of the judiciary;
recognition of the principle of the rotation of power based on free
and fair elections with international observers; pledges that
elections be held on a schedule that is not subject to tampering by
whatever group comes to power; agreement that non-Muslim minorities
must be guaranteed full citizenship and cultural rights, including
the right to compete for any elected office, to freely exercise
their religion rights and to speak their chosen language; and
agreement that women must be assured full and equal participation in
public life.

When all parties agree to such conditions, they will have gone a
long way toward reducing apprehensions at home and abroad about
their participation in politics. This does raise questions about who
would guarantee that all parties abide by these rules of the game.
Each country, of course, would have to decide for itself; Turkey
made its armed forces a guardian of the Constitution, and other
places it might be high courts. In any case, there must be faith in
the system.

So what should be the role of the external actors - the Western
powers, the United Nations, the World Bank and other international
organizations - in promoting democratic reform? Much has been said
in the Muslim world about President Bush's "crusade" after the 9/11
attacks. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were predicated, among
other things, on spreading freedom and democracy in the Middle East.
More peaceful approaches toward that end also include the Bush
administration's Middle East Partnership Initiative and the Greater
Middle East and North Africa Initiative that was endorsed last year
at the Group of 8 summit meeting in Sea Island, Ga.

In addition, an earlier, overlooked initiative by the Europeans is
worth studying, the Barcelona Accord of 1995. Under this agreement,
several Arab states, including Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Morocco and
Tunisia, pledged to take specific steps for enhancing civil society,
human rights and democratic reforms. In return, the Europeans were
to offer economic aid, favorable terms of trade and security
guarantees. Unfortunately, the governments of the Arab states, with
the partial exception of Morocco, enjoyed the benefits of the
economic protocols but failed entirely to make the required domestic
reforms.

PERHAPS the most important role foreign powers can play today is in
withholding their aid, trade and technology from despotic regimes.
The model is the Helsinki Accord of 1975, which set up a monitoring
system of Soviet-bloc states and mandated sanctions for human rights
violations, and which ultimately played a major role in bringing
down Communist regimes.

Whether we are in fact seeing an "Arab spring" or a mirage depends
on where you stand. Many in the Middle East, having been betrayed in
the past, cannot be blamed for fearing that this is an illusion, and
remembering other spring stirrings of democracy - like Budapest in
1956, Prague in 1968 and Tiananmen Square in 1989 - that were
brutally crushed while the world looked on.

For me, however, something about events of the past few months feels
new and irreversible. Too many people in too many places - Egypt,
Iran, Lebanon and elsewhere - are defying their oppressors and
taking risks for freedom. Across the region the shouts of "Kifiya!" -
"Enough!" - have become a rallying cry against dictators.

With luck, the Middle East may catch the so-called third wave of
democracy, which has rolled through some 100 countries since the
fall of the dictatorship in Portugal in 1974. But whether it will be
a spring wind or a sandstorm will depend in great part on how the
Islamists are accommodated in Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine in the
months ahead. President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
have hinted recently that the United States would accept the outcome
of any fair and free elections, even if it brings Islamists to
power. That hint should be explicated in a clear doctrine. A
government open to all and serving all is our best weapon against
both autocracy and theocracy.

Saad Eddin Ibrahim, chairman of the Ibn Khaldun Center for
Development Studies and a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in
Washington, is a candidate for president of Egypt.

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Anti War - Anti Racism

Let the downFall of Sharon be end to Zionism



By the Late, great political cartoonist Mahmoud Kahil