Dr.Nasr Abu-Zeid: Rationalism and Liberalism
|Sunday, July 8,2007 11:40|
|By Saaed Abaddy|
I was glad to read the article of Muhammad Abdul- Ati-the liberal human rights researcher- titled, "liberalism and dependency are not two faces for one coin" issued at Al-Misri Al-youm on Tuesday 12th September last year.
I thank him for applauding my writings, and I would like to thank him for giving me the room to clarify what we can call as "ambiguity" in my article titled, "One-eyed rationality and lame liberalism".
The title leaves no room to consider it as ambiguous and that I am against liberalism and rationality; which are necessary modern values for our societies. It appears that relatively the high-pitched in my article against rationalism targets a specific kind of rationalism that"s why I called it "one-eyed" as well as when I called a certain kind of liberalism as lame. The result was confusion in understanding my words.
It"s worthy to point about the polemics ongoing about the constitutional amendments, where there are two warring parts; the regime and its ruling party from one part and the opposing intellectuals-regardless of their ideologies on the other part.
However, there can not be mere inconsistency between the "regime and its party" and the "opposition", because there are opposing voices that support the stance of the regime in some suggested developments and views.
There are some representatives in regime that are in accordance with the suggestions of opposition. In other words, the difference between opposition and the regimes is not like the difference between black and white.
It is irrational to find someone screaming for supporting Israel because all of us are against Israel… the villain the coward enemy…etc. Those who were screaming against Hezbollah were ascribing themselves with "rationality" while those who scream supporting Hezbollah were ascribing themselves by "nationalism". The inevitable result was that the rationales described in a medium of strain the opposite part as "irrationals" while the nationals described rationales as villains and betrayers.
Just to clear points, I declare as I declared since the beginning- and I am a rational liberal since my childhood-that Hezbollah –whom I greatly differ with its religious ideology- has taken his right in "resistance" in order to release captives at Israeli camps. his is the rationality of resistance regardless of the standards of loss and gain. Because if the criterion was loss and gain, then all revolutionist thinkers and politicians and even prophets were anarchists and irrationals, nationalists and not liberals.
However, what contradicts rationalism and nationalism and patriotism is that censures against Hezbollah would be and introductory to discharge Israel. This is what I called "one-eyed" rationalism that sees half of reality, and express their own ideologies.
I can see that it is my role to expose the one-eyed of some rationalists. And I use the word "some" because not all who criticized Hezbollah remained silent against the Israeli atrocities like the regimes.
I would like to point to Lebanese intellectuals who survived the adversary of war, criticized Hezbollah on bases of political thought at the same time they did not undermine their intellectual political and philosophical support for the patriotic national resistance led by Hezbollah.
However there are some Arab rationalists who exaggerated in criticizing Hezbollah to the extent they denounced the entire modern history; the history of nationalist anarchist revolutions as they say.
When the military regime in Algeria cancelled elections in 1990, I was from the minority of Arab liberals to criticize the overthrow of democracy in order to deprive Islamists from ruling under the pretext that they would alter situations and extirpate democracy.
I said at that time that any political power assumes regime through democracy will endeavor to eliminate democracy because the phobia of democracy is not related to Islamists alone in our political culture.
The bitter experience for Algeria because they cancelled elections was known to every body. I was following the Egyptian Satellite Channel daily during the presidential elections-after amending article 76 from constitution- and parliamentary elections as well.
I kept laughing at those who say that brethrens are making use of religion to rule, and that brethrens have a political agenda, as if political parties do not have to strain for rule and that they need not have a political agenda as well.
The target for these statements to refuse attributing the term political party on Muslim Brotherhood, because the talker did not recognize the paradox where he is asserting the term that he believes he is rejecting.
I believe that this assumption is a phobia from Islam that resulted from the dormant phobia in them from the war against terrorism. I heard one of my liberal friends saying, "The boots of soldiers are better than the paradise of Islamists".
At the end, I tell you my dear colleague Muhammad Abdul-Ati that Liberalism and dependency are not two faces for one coin, but you mean the "originated liberalism in culture" not the traditional liberalism. In this case, I agree with you, especially if you are linking between the individual democracies that are far from our reach now, due to the absence of the values of freedom and the individualism.
Our democracy will remain a procedural one just found in ballots and counting votes, but what votes?? They are the only votes that can be bought by money.
The individual can not feel the value of voting because his individualism is absent. I hope my friend that you understand that I am not against rationalism or liberalism yet I try to originate these principles in our culture, which is why we are in need for critic to crystallize situation.