Atanu Dey On India's Development

Keith Hudson: “Little hope for the ordinary folk of the Middle East”

| 4 Comments

You must read Keith Hudson’s blog. Here’s one post from it which I am stealing lock, stock, and barrel.

It looks as though the democracy movement in the Islamic countries of the Middle East is failing. Gaddafi appears to be suppressing the protesters in the same brutal way that Ahmadinejad did in Iran in 2009. The Tunisians presently fleeing their country for Italy in boats suggests that their new provisional government is no better than Ben Alis’s was. In Egypt, despite the resignation of Mubarak and the apparent success of the democracy movement three weeks ago, there is no sign that anything constructive is emerging from the army council. In Yemen, Bahrein and Saudi Arabia, any democracy protests are either snuffed out quickly or are prevented from happening. Pakistan kills Christians to popular acclaim. Afghanistan buries women to their necks and stones them to death so we are pretty reliably informed.

The irony is that the only Middle East country where secularists had successfully wrenched control away from Islam, where its Foreign Secretary was a Roman Catholic and where a Jewish synagogue still operated in its capital, was also the country that President Bush chose to invade in 2003. It was in Iraq also where women could dress without the veil, where academic freedom was largely tolerated and where the professional middle class (and the scientist class) was the largest in the Middle East (proportionate to the population). Iraq is now back in the Middle Ages where Sunnis are terrorizing the Shias with bomb attacks and the government looks on helplessly.

I could go on. The fact of the matter is that no country can hope to achieve a Western way of life for its population unless it first prevent mass thought-control by organized religion. In particular, scientists must be allowed to change their doctrines as frequently as their experiments tell them to. They must not be subject to religious doctrines which take generations, sometimes centuries, to adjust to reality.

Unfortunately, history seems to be telling us that predominant religious power can only successfully be put down by brutal methods. Emperor Qin did so in 200BC and China has remained secular ever since. In the 15th and 16th centuries various kings and princelings of Europe had to defeat the Pope in battle many times before sufficient freedom of thought finally emerged.

Whether Gaddafi wins or not in Libya, the whole of the Islamic Middle East is still generations away from any hope that free expression in both science and politics (and religion when kept within modest bounds) will be tolerated. Iraq might have done so in another one or two generation’s time, but no longer it seems. Otherwise, there can be little hope for a long time to come for most of those — women particularly — who live in the indoctrinated countries of the Middle East.

  • TiredProf

    “The irony is that the only Middle East country where secularists … was also the country that President Bush chose to invade” — of course. Isn’t that how USA spreads democracy around the world? We all knew that long back, no thanks to Hudson.

  • Kaffir

    “The irony is that the only Middle East country where secularists had successfully wrenched control away from Islam, where its Foreign Secretary was a Roman Catholic and where a Jewish synagogue still operated in its capital, was also the country that President Bush chose to invade in 2003.”
    __

    Seems to echo what Michael Moore showed in his film “Fahrenheit 9/11″ regarding Iraq – it was all roses and peaches before Bush ordered the troops to march.

    I’m not a fan of Bush or American hegemony, but to imply that Iraq under Saddam was a wonderful country because “secularists had successfully wrenched control away from Islam” is only speaking half truths regarding a brutal dictator and his oppression of Iraqis, including Kurds – who are quite happy that Saddam is gone.

    Other than that, the piece has some valid points.

  • larissa

    Iraq was always a violent place, all these Muslim countries would be going back to that state were it not for the artificial order produced by having a great deal of oil which enables prosperity while creating nothing or working hard…I believe that the prosperity of these societies is short lived, once they no longer can live off commodities, they will go back to their natural state…

  • shshsh

    Atanu you should quote from people who have been to the middle east, there is nothin more islamic about these countries than there is hindu about india….ur bias should not blind u beyond borders…