Reforming school curricula in the new Arab world should be undertaken as soon as possible. It is also important to rewrite the Arab people’s history and expurgate all the lies that were elevated to the level of infallible truths bydefunct authoritarian regimes. It goes without saying that students should be taught, at all levels, that free and universal elections should be the only criterion that governs the relationship between the ruler and the ruled. Students should also be taught that the right to withdraw popular legitimacy from the rulers through elections is the best safeguard against the culture of subservience.
Freedom and Democracy
The original (Italian) version of this article was published on Maroccoggi Newsletter 09.While the Arab Spring is assuming unclear characteristics that should hopefully lead toward democratic systems in countries led, until very recently, by authoritarian regimes, the Kingdom of Morocco instead is moving along a totally institutional and non-traumatic path toward constitutional organisation, which is progressively resembling parliamentary regimes well-known to Europeans.
In Egypt, as in Tunisia, democracy is something still to be shaped, but these societies are not voiceless, nor are they without public opinion. The oppositions consist of a broad galaxy of movements, but they are not burning Israeli or American flags in the streets. They are demanding rights, transparency and legality. Resetdoc presents an article by our late and much missed friend Silvio Fagiolo, a scholar and former ambassador to Egypt, who died a few days ago. This article was published in the March-April 2011 issue of our magazine Reset, devoted to the Arab Spring.
The young Egyptians have decided to return to Tahrir Square (Liberation) to defend the revolution. The strategy is always the same: to demonstrate peacefully in order to achieve the objectives.
Unlike the rest of the countries in the Middle East region, Morocco has been quick to pursue constitutional changes, which try to address the aspirations the Moroccans have been calling for. A small minority remains unsatisfied with these changes, a larger minority has shown contentment with some reservations, and the majority supports the changes. This tells me that the referendum scheduled for July 1st is heading toward majority support.
For many Turks, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a man of the people; born in 1954, he spent his early childhood near the Black Sea coast, moving to Istanbul at 13, where he sold simit (sesame buns) on the streets and played semi-professional soccer. He went on to become the mayor of Istanbul in 1994 in a rags-to-riches tale of hard work and charisma. Now, the third-term prime minister faces undesirable regional and domestic instability.
After publishing an “intellectual chart” of reformers in Islam in our magazine Reset in Italian, with its last issue ResetDoC.org has offered its English-speaking readers a first compass to navigate those encouraging dialogue in the Muslim world, with a closer examination of three great thinkers: Abdou FIlali-Ansary, Abdolkarim Soroush and Muhammad Talbi. Here two new profiles of thinkers committed to intercultural reflections: Nilüfer Göle and Navid Kermani. READ HERE
Recep Tayyep Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party has won general elections for the third time. Hugh Pope, former correspondent from the Middle East for the Wall Street Journal and for Reuters, and now director of the Turkey/Cyprus project of the International Crisis Group discusses the reasons and consequences of this victory.
Turkey – The almost 50% of votes that Turkey’s electorate gave Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the June 12th elections proved once again that the democratic Islam that Erdoğan and his men represent is profoundly linked to the feelings and moods of the nation. But the overwhelming victory Erdoğan hoped to achieve—in order to have the power to change the constitution unilaterally, as well as to become a “Republican sultan” in Turkey’s political narrative—did not happen.
"It was not Islam that bore the responsibility for the political and intellectual weaknesses afflicting Muslim societies—as many a European observer of Islam suggested— but the failure of Muslims to properly interpret their foundational texts in accordance with changing needs" (Mohammad Zaman, p.7)
Ten years have passed since the Bonn Conference, and on December 5th the international community will have to address the results of intervention in Afghanistan. But, in view of Bonn II, neither the government in Kabul nor the international community have yet consulted civil society, which a decade later continues to demand to be acknowledged as a subject capable not only of presenting proposals, but also of negotiating them.