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M a c r o M a y h e M

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Islamism Trumps Arabism, are we next?

Here is what I mean...

Arabic countries have seen the rise and fall of dictators and and kings - the Pan-Arabic movement has not had widespread success, due to the political nature of their tribes, cultures, and geography. Islam at this point pervasive - Sunni or Shia they are banding together and finding that Islam is what unites them, rather than nationalism, kingdoms, or democracy (short lived if you ask me...). This is scary for us, but exciting for them. Who knows if they will have a Theocracy to rival our own Democracy, and unite their states much like ours. Joyous for them, but scary for us. Will they be tolerant, peaceful, and willing to compromise?

"Hezbollah’s perceived triumph has propelled, and been propelled by, a wave already washing over the region. Political Islam was widely seen as the antidote to the failures of Arab nationalism, Communism, socialism and, most recently, what is seen as the false promise of American-style democracy. It was that wave that helped the banned but tolerated Muslim Brotherhood win 88 seats in Egypt’s Parliament last December despite the government’s violent efforts to stop voters from getting to the polls. It was that wave that swept Hamas into power in the Palestinian government in January, shocking Hamas itself."

What is more scary is our situation at home. We have a 19% approval rating of Dick Cheney. We have a 20% approval rating of our Republican Congress. We have a 33% approval rating of our President. People have lost faith in our Democracy and its ability to handle our problems. Voter turnout is low and corruption is high. Now more than ever, I've witnessed two changes. A change in our our politics work, and a change in religion. Our politics are now more partisan. Republicans have always been proponents of small, power checked, and underfunded government.

But Republicans have changed. Now they control the Congress and the Executive branch. It's natural to expect that dissatisfaction with our government is now at an all time high (short of civil war). The Neo-conservative meme being pushed is that our government is bad and doesn't work - but they are in control! How can this be? This segues us into my other perception that religion has changed.

Christianity branding has gone wild. In the media and politics religion is being brought to bear some kind of part in all this mayhem. Not as an instigator, but as a solution. This is what frightens me. The new Conservative movement is almost pushing failure in our government, and providing religion as an solution. Are Republicans pushing us to accept religion as a solution to Democracy's partisan problems?

Is not the same thing happening in the Middle East? Do the people of Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon (Israel for that matter...) perceive that government has failed them as well? Are we (both nations) giving up on government in place of religion willingly? Is this not the penalty for playing politics as a contact sport, rather than fair competition? Both nations are being pushed to accept demogoguery as a solution, rather than participate in their own governance.

If that is the case... God help me.


  • I touched on the changes in American civil religion in recent years in an essay for English a few months back, comparing it to the rise of Big Brother in _1984_, the social stratification in _The_Crucible_ and other stuff. It ain't good, but what's worse is the lack of public action about it. The citizens are displeased, but little is actually happening to cause changes to occur in our psychological climate.

    Keep stirring the pot, man!

    By Anonymous Brant, at 12:06 PM  

  • The confluence of religion and politics has never been at a more dangerous level in this country. The religion of the right is a cultish, fundamental mis-reading of virtually every theological concept of Christianity. It is indeed scary stuff and your point about fundamental Islam as an almost mirror image of Christian fundamentalism in America is very accurate.

    By Blogger RJB, at 11:22 AM  

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