Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Nonie Darwish on Egypt

From the Huffington Post:
I am therefore not optimistic that the current uprising will bring democracy. Many Egyptians believe they can combine democracy with Sharia Islamic law. That is the first unrealistic expectation. Sixty percent of Egyptians want to live under Sharia law, but do not understand the ramifications. Many chant "Allahu Akbar" and "Islam is the solution." But the truth is, Islam can be the problem.

The most dangerous law in Sharia that stands in the way of democracy is the one that states, "A Muslim head of state can hold office through seizure of power, meaning through force." That law is why Muslim leaders turn into despots in order to survive. When a Muslim leader is removed from office by force, we often see the Islamic media and masses accept it and even cheer for the new leader who has just ousted or killed the former leader, who is often called a traitor to the Islamic cause.

That was what happened to the Egyptian King Farouk in 1952. The assassination of Mubarak's predecessor, Anwar Sadat, followed many fatwas of death against him for having violated his Islamic obligations to make Israel an eternal enemy. He became an apostate in the eyes of the hard-liners and had to be killed or removed from office. This is the reality of what Sharia has done and is still doing that causes political chaos in the Muslim world.

Many in the Muslim world lack the understanding of what is hindering them, as well as the foundation for forming a stable democratic political system. I fear that my brothers and sisters in Egypt will embrace extremism instead of education. I worry that they will continue to rise and fall, stumbling from one revolution to another and living from one autocrat to another while seeking the ideal Islamic state that never was. The 1,400 year old Islamic history of tyranny will continue unless Sharia law is rejected as the basis of the legal and political systems in Muslim countries.