Same old story

Bad economic conditions in Egypt= Rising Islamism = Bigger excuse for the government to be more autocratic and corrupt= worse economic conditions in Egypt.

Comments

  1. Circle or downwards Spiral?

  2. Read that article this morning. Although I would certainly classify myself as religious or spiritual, I would be interested to correlate povert, religosity and fundamentalism (of any theological origin from Arian Nation, NOI, Neo-Con, etc). While one should be able to rely on a belief in God at any income, it seems that the more destitute we become, the more we rely on and depend on God for solice. This is a comfort in our time of need as it has been to believers from Noah, Aaron, Moses, David, et al.
    It leads to the question, what is wrong that now instead of feeding the soul with deeper understanding, it opens people up to the brain-washing, hateful, simple-minded, existance of fundamentalism. It’s as though instead of free-thinking people would rather have someone decide everything down to the most minute detail of daily life.
    In addition, why is getting married so difficult these days?

    Peace,
    aisha

  3. aisha
    If there is a correlation between poverty and fundamentalism, as you suggest, why isn’t there African Christians, Burmese Buddhists and Indian Hindus on a fundamentalist jihad equivalent? Is the Islamic world, so much more hard done by, as to explain this?

  4. It could be worse.
    Institutionalized Islam and a seventh century economy.
    Or is that worst?

  5. Egyptian in Germany says:

    Very interesting comments. Why can’t religion be an important element in making people more active in life and strive to better their self including their work careers and to strive for betterment of status. Only looking at religion as a way to escape the difficulties of life is a very limited view that unfortunately is practiced by many in the Middle East.
    Egyptian in Germany

  6. 2. murid_aisha:

    “It leads to the question, what is wrong that now instead of feeding the soul with deeper understanding, it opens people up to the brain-washing, hateful, simple-minded, existance of fundamentalism.”

    This problem has always existed – look at how people have treated others of a different religion through the ages! Today, however, the preservation of life is not so closely linked to a neccesity to work hard half your life, and so more time has been freed to nuture despair/resentment/hatred…

  7. I really like the correlation between rising conservatism and the increased incidence of verbal harassment and cat-calling on the streets of Cairo. Economic deprivation REALLY fucks you up then.

  8. Ya Habibi,

    I used to believe that there were no Buddhist militants, although I knew of Christian militants for quite some time.

    Although this story is 4 years old, here is a link to a massacre by African Christians Militant Christians in Africa
    Christian militants in Indonesia convicted of killing over 70 Muslims article by FOX news 2006

    Sri Lanka is the first of occurance of militant Buddhists I had found Buddhist extremists Previously the only Buddhist extremism I had found was self-emoliation; by setting themselves on fire they protest their situation while harming only themselves. This group of Buddhists, however have assaulted Muslims and Christians while setting fires to churches and mosques.

    You asked, “aisha
    If there is a correlation between poverty and fundamentalism, as you suggest, why isn’t there African Christians, Burmese Buddhists and Indian Hindus on a fundamentalist jihad equivalent? Is the Islamic world, so much more hard done by, as to explain this?”

    I do not necessarily think that the “Islamic World” needs to explain that. I would in return, “What IS the Islamic world?” Indonesia is the largest Muslim country, Darfur in The Sudan is an area where the poorest of Muslims have been slaughtered, starved, raped and run-off by the “Arabs” who are just as black, speak the same language and run the capital. Turkey and Tunis have oppressed and banned the hijab while the more afluent oil-wealthy nations are really only a semantic step away from slavery of their often Muslim brothers and sisters from poorer Southeast Asian nations. With a
    plethora of choices about “Islamic world” we need a better, more tangible definition.

    I would not disagree that religiosity has throughout history lead to bigotry and genocide or dislike and oppression. However, I think that religion and spirituality have the ability to change people on a singular, or communal level in a way that is positive. This is not to suggest that I believe religious political parties are the answer. The aspect of personal development like recovery from addiction, or health and happiness at home. Wealth does not make happiness. That said, there is a part of globalization that feeds unrest more than any jihad movement. In fact, I’m slowly working my way through a book called “McWorld vs Jihad”; it is one of the driest reads yet continuously thought provoking and informative. It points out that the lack of care that corporations give toward the new global communities is a large part of the world wide disaffective and disgruntled religious and social prevalance toward anti-western ideals.

    Don’t get me wrong, there’s far more militant jihadi fundies in the news than any other group for 5 years combined. Perhaps I am being too optimistic, but I believe Islam can change lives and communities, as can Chrisitanity and Buddhism. The problem is with strict and inflexible, exclusive beliefs which are based in fear and unhappiness. The world wide problems with poorer people being unhappy and therefore more susceptible to fundamentalist brain-washing seems to have more to do with Global inbalance and corporate inequality. I think that the problem is that while it is common in human nature to turn to religion in a time of need (aren’t many of us praying more in our desparate times?). Those with the money who sweep in to help in times of despair seem to be the more militant and unfriendly dogmatic forms of religion.
    I grew up in Neo-Con areas of the US where some religious Pastors thought brown people were happier in slavery, and gay people should be killed or put on an Island. Skirts were below the knee, and modesty was a social requirement. The more poverty, the more people would blindly follow strong religious views into their perceived happiness where immigrants took “our jobs, welfare and health care” while we “work hard to pay for it”.

    Just a very long train of thought… I don’t think the correlation is so simple as Islamic. It seems globalization, income, religion and resistance seem to collide to bring about renewed religious fanaticism.

    Peace,
    aisha

  9. UGH, that was L-O-N-G

    sorry…. I seriously shouldn’t be so opinionated. :) But I’m just theorizing here.