What happens after freedom?

In light of the continuing political uprising throughout the Middle East, American leaders are reported to be recalculating their approach … Continued

In light of the continuing political uprising throughout the Middle East, American leaders are reported to be recalculating their approach to Muslim world.

Politico’s Ben Smith wrote this week that the Obama administration “clearly sees an opportunity,” signaling “that they’re hoping the changes in Tunisia and Egypt spread, and that they’re going to align themselves far more clearly with the young, relatively secular masses” in countries like Iran, Algeria and Lebanon.

Is this a new moment for American relations with Muslim countries? Is freedom a religious or secular idea?

We are all rejoicing that the Egyptian youth succeeded in winning freedom from an oppressive regime.

We now hope that the youth in other Middle Eastern countries will also rise and overthrow the dictators who have oppressed them for so long. Yet, we have not given much thought to the question: What does freedom really mean? Is it really enough to overthrow a dictator and have no viable replacement? There is a political void in Egypt that is going to take a great deal of effort to fill. The political structure in any country is built on the foundation of economic, social, religious and other forms of exploitation. This, unfortunately, is an outcome of the materialistic societies that we have built over the past few centuries. Materialism breeds selfishness and selfishness breeds all the evils that beset modern societies everywhere, including the United States. So, one must ask: Is it enough to win the right to vote and be able to elect a government? What about the exploitative foundation on which so many political systems rest? We have experienced this in the United States where we have powerful lobbies that influence elections and elected representatives. Can we elect people to the House or the Senate who will truly represent their constituencies rather than the powerful and rich lobbyists?

In short, the depth of political disaffection depends on the extent of oppression. We in the United States have comparatively milder disaffection because the oppression we suffer is contained and we have the freedom to make money.

In the Middle Eastern political imbroglio the only point for us to rejoice over is that for the first time we supported the people’s aspirations instead of supporting dictators as in the past. Significantly, many of the youth leaders of the Egyptian uprising frankly said that the western countries should keep out of this fight. They see the West as having supported the dictators all these years and bringing them to a state of despair.

Some commentators have recently made a very important statement that has not received the publicity it deserves. Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists were able to emerge as ideological leaders as result of the political oppression in the Middle East. If there was political freedom where people had not only the right to vote but the right to a better life, terrorism may not have flourished as it has. For our own selfish reasons we made bad choices of friends in many parts of the world. We paid lip-service to democracy while encouraging dictators. Whether we like it or not we now must shoulder the blame for living in fear of terrorist attacks.

So, to come back to the question: Is freedom a secular concept? Freedom is a universal concept which will only be meaningful when citizens are empowered are not exploited by anyone — politicians, religious leaders, economic giants or cultural demagogues!

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  • artistkvip1

    well said and true ..i think… i would only add that it seems to me that freedom when it is real and the people unite not by propaganda or violence,.. but instead to move cohesively in the direction they themselves wish to go at a particular time.. based on the absolute truth… as they understand it .. the garment of freedom that holds the group together should be the one they choose for ….themselves maybe.. as loose or as tight as is comfortable for each individual group of people perhaps people allowed their own self government will have a stake in the process they will not be likely or lightly to throw away .. because it is .. what they have asked for…themselves.. ownership is a well understood principle of human nature.. when you are one of the owners .. you care..

  • ITs-TIME

    Last Time:APOCALYPTICALLY defined, AEGYPY & AEGYPTiANS:Original or Ancient Spelling of EGYPT & EGYPTiANS; the very place where “JEW”(s) forst arose on [Nebula-Built] Space-Ship Earth(s) along with their DRUNKIN [Racist] NOAHCH” Story et al. ANDfrom which the entire Bible of JUDEO-CHRiSTIANITY eventually developed on the foundation of that ‘proposterosity’ [Noy Only in The GEETA’s, KANGYURS, QURAN’s etc..] including the (Not DEsigner) I.D. of JESUS as a JEW, proclaiming, “SALVATION IS OF THE JEWS,” instead-of-G_D//Ishvara/Allah/IT. Aye???Aegypy happened to be their ORIGINAL-HOME-LAND (Not Pre-or-Post O-R-G-A-i-Z-E-D them From{Their AEGYPTIAN-SLAVERY into a PASSOVER-LINE to Escape Pharaoh-Law Enforcers (EXODUS) and thus TAKE-OVER-THE-MID-EAST via CANNANITES (todays PALi’s) ‘EGYPT & EGYPTiANS: Is the iMPORTANTO: OSIRiSOLOGY was the “Belief//Faith” of These “Mixed Multitudes Suddenly Turned (self Serving) ABRAHAMICS. They Worshiped CHEMOSH, MOLECH, AMON, YHWH, YAWEH, JHVH, JEHOVA & TODAY sing,AMEN-ra or -re or AMON. [Thank a 1/2 Man & 1/2 RAMma relic, HOLYi-COW!!]. Instead saying “OMM or “AUM, VAH” et al? OSIRISology Apocalyptically refine is: “Under MOSES BIRTH STORY, since the MYTHOLOGIST MOSES cunningly PLAGiARIZED (Not Only Muhammad, Smith, Vyasa, Gautama..) it to Mythologically CONvince his JEWISH’s-To-Be, or already ordained & Branded as flock or Herd (like COW’s, not only like MOPS) that his Jew followers that himself and they had ALL Descended from the MURDERER (SETH!) who was the Mythological ENEMY OF THE AEGYPTIANS or AEGYPT NATION from which the Original Followers of the MASS-MURDERER (i.e., the Mass 1st Born Baby Murders Story’s) Moses, et al ESCAPED!” Note: Unfortunately; The JUDEO-ABRAHAMIC-BEDOUINs turned JEW-ISLAMICs have/has taken over the OSIRISian Aegyptians (not originally ARAB), Let Alone the None-Arab ZOROASTRIANS PERSIANS (unlike Ishlami IRAN today) Nore MILLIONS Of Zoroastrians was Mass Murdered and Converted; Aegyptians Too but Left NO Records of Such; but the Careless OTTOMAN TURKEY via the ARMENIAN GENOCIDE gave US APOCALYPTARiANS asnap shot of How Massacrly The Ishlami Proceeded in their QUEST TO TAKE-OVER EARTH; instead of the JEWS!? So, Thanks For The BABYLONIANS to’v STOP’d the JEWiSH Terrors BCE; ELSE Today be Different WORLD!?

  • samsara15

    Freedom has many definitions. In some ways, freedom is a myth. Responsibility trumps freedom in every case, even in America. Freedom to do what, outside of that, one might ask? America is, in that senses, no mo free than anywhere else. If you think differently, consider our drug laws. Political freedom, however, is not a myth and is real. Oppression is not the opposite of freedom, and has nothing to do with it. Be it state control, religious control, or corporate control over our lives. Does political freedom for one group always mean less political freedom for another? I must say I consider the whole question to be an open one.

  • csintala79

    Deposing a tyrant is the easy part. The revolutions in France and Russia proved this. Both Louis and Nicholas were brought down relatively easily. When the state is rotting from within, the figure at the top is easy to topple. The bloodletting comes from those vying to fill the void. In one case it was another tyrant and in the other a dedicated, clandestine, highly organized revolutionary party. Neither nation devolved into democracy at the outset.

  • AgentG

    “Freedom is a universal concept which will only be meaningful when citizens are empowered are not exploited by anyone — politicians, religious leaders, economic giants or cultural demagogues!”Very true, but ultimately, citizens must empower themselves through knowledge and informed participation. This is not what we are seeing in most of the world’s democracies. The actual fraction of voters is usually a minority, with those being informed and involved representing a tiny fraction. Perhaps this is normal and to be expected. However, there is an enormous amount of disinformation in a free society that ends up promoting the interests of a very few, and feeds on ignorance and uneducation. It is also interesting that the for-profit media that dominate our public information landscape have been complete politicized. Since it takes initiative and effort to become truly informed, the vast majority do not do it. This appears quite a dangerous trend and a real threat to freedom and democracy.

  • underboss

    these people are animals and deserve none of our supportlara logan was beaten and gang raped in full view of thousands of men, most did nothing, hundreds cheered the attackers onislam has for centuries advocated the rape of women and children as just punishmenthow can we offer support for a “religion” (and that word is used loosely here) that taxes religions different than their own and subjugates half its population to virtual indentured servant statusas a liberal i can not support islam in any way, shape or formcriminalize islam