Skip to comments.(Catholic) Patriarch sees Egypt faced with a choice: Democracy or Islamism
Posted on 03/31/2011 2:56:00 PM PDT by NYer
.- "We don't have an intermediate choice" between Islamism and democracy, says Cardinal Patriarch Antonios Naguib about the future of Egypt.
For the head of Catholics in Egypt and the Pope's right-hand man on the ground, Egypt is destined to be either a nation where freedom, equal rights and democracy prevail, or a Muslim state in which these values are intrinsically compromised.
The head of Coptic Catholics in Egypt spoke openly to CNA about the high stakes transition that comes on the heels of the Tahrir Square protests that forced Hosni Mubarak to resign his 30-year presidency.
Cardinal Naguib was relaxed as he took a coffee break from his second day of meetings with fellow bishops to hammer out the concluding documents for last October's Vatican synod for the Middle East.
He now calls that two-week long meeting about the present and future of Christianity in the Middle East a "prophetic vision and voice," in light of the widespread uprisings in Middle Eastern and North African nations.
The synod called the people of the Middle East to strive for the shared values, said the cardinal.
One recurring theme of the synod discussions was the fundamental importance of a healthy space between religion and government to allow for the protection of religious and personal freedoms.
A referendum passed by the large majority of Egyptians on March 19 shows there is a hesitation in the nation to separate government actions from a religious foundation.
Nearly 78 percent of the population voted in favor of an partial amendment of the constitution which concentrates on modifying the powers of the president. Those who oppose it say it does little to bring about the civil and social change demanded by the February and March protests in Cairo.
Cardinal Naguib said the referendum result shows the deep influence of Islamists in society.
"Unfortunately, it was presented in a religious light," he said. "Instead of speaking about political and social choice, religious vision and choice was spoken of - which for me and for many falsified the orientation of this movement for change."
Before the vote, an "Islamist current" presented the referendum in the streets and the mosques as a choice for or against Islam - a vote for or against an afterlife in paradise, said the cardinal.
Put in such a way, "the overwhelming choice was for religion and paradise - which is very normal," he observed.
"This approach confused the orientation and direction of the process and twists the original scope of the movement that brought about the change, he said. The Coptic cardinal explained that he sees the fusion of the religious and political realms as "a mistaken vision."
In a recent speech to the German parliament, the cardinal said that from the moment it became clear that the protests would be successful "we have seen figures and forces, completely absent at the beginning, appear and even dominate the scene."
"The most visible of these are the Muslim Brothers who seem to wish to confiscate the revolution."
The original objective of the movement, he told CNA, was "democracy, a civil state, equality, a state and an order based on equal rights and responsibilities for all, on the real participation of all, the exchange of government and authority. All of the components of a modern civil state."
Twenty-two percent of voters asked for this through a complete overhaul of the constitution. They included Muslims and politicians who harshly criticized an unwillingness to bring about greater change.
The fact that more than 40 percent of the voting population turned out for the vote was also very significant. This "massive participation" - by Egyptian standards - was unprecedented and could have never happened under the previous regime, said the cardinal.
Still, those who hope for a democratic state are looking to the future with what he described as "a bit of apprehension."
The Islamist influence witnessed before the referendum vote "causes a little fear for those who don't want the process to be guided by a religious vision, pressure, and authority ... And, this is the fear for the future which is also repeated for the successive phases.
The cardinal is putting a lot of weight on these "future phases" in which he hopes a definitive change of the constitution will be carried out.
After parliamentary elections in September, a commission will be formed to address the scope of the modifications. From this step will come the guidelines for the new president.
"These are the three stages, three moments that are definitive for the future," Cardinal Naguib said.
The elections, he concluded, will have an effect on the entire Middle East, which looks to Egypt as a model.
"If there is pressure on choices by religion that come in to dominate the other civil and political aspects, certainly we will be heading into a religious state," he said.
For this, I've always said, How will the future Middle East be? One of the two. Either democratic, civil and modern, or Islamic.
"We don't have an intermediate choice."
Obama will do his utmost to make certain that Egypt is not only Muslim, but radical, terrorist Muslim!!! End of story!!!
Egypt’s government may soon become Hamas’s principal arms supplier. From Rubin Reports:
“Egypt’s relations with Israel and the U.S. are likely to become more difficult in the months ahead with an infusion of Arab nationalism and skepticism about Egypt’s landmark peace treaty with Israel. Many of those who helped oust President Mubarak, including secular democracy activists and Muslim Brotherhood leaders, say the 32-year-old treaty should be respected for now. But they add that when stability is restored, the pact should be submitted to the Egyptian people for approval, through a new parliament scheduled to be elected in September and then perhaps in a public referendum.”
In other words, all the commitments made by the military government are not valid after September and Egypt is quite likely to abrogate or simply stop paying any attention to its treaty commitments. And what is the U.S. government, the Obama Administration, going to do at that point since it is the guarantor of the treaty? Absolutely nothing.
The article continues:
“’There was no real end to the war with Israel, just a truce,’” said Shadi Mohammed, 26, a leader of the movement that helped promote the Tahrir Square demonstrations. Mohammed Maher, a Muslim Brotherhood activist, said that if his group gains influence through the elections, Egypt is likely to pursue closer ties with Gaza, opening border crossings and promoting trade as a way to undermine the Israeli blockade.”
Did you notice that? He’s a Muslim Brotherhood activist and a leader in the Tahrir Square movement. Only yesterday I received a letter from a New York Times employee—full of curse words and insults, by the way—saying that he spoke to many people in Tahrir Square and none of them said they were Brotherhood supporters. So obviously there weren’t any Brotherhood supporters.
Yes, honestly this is the kind of reasoning that often shapes mass media coverage of the Middle East. Sort of like the president’s advisor on counterterrorism explaining that Hizballah can’t be a terrorist group because it has lawyers among its members.
Yet the facts about the movement’s alliance with the Brotherhood and anti-American leftists was already on the public record before the revolution even began.
Democracy is indispensable to socialism. The goal of socialism is communism. -V.I. Lenin
The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism .-Karl Marx
Or military rulers could just crackdown and kill the
islamists without then going to democracy.
Democracy is the process by which they will get Islamism.
Egypt will be Islamic either way,even if it’s under democracy -which does not differentiate on faith and uphold morality at all.
You will still have the muslims wanting to kill the Christians there either way
On this topic we agree,hp
In this case, democracy would be even worse than what they have now. It will just be a mob voting in the likes of Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.
I’m curious, stfassisi, about your ideal political system. You seem not to like democracy. Are you saying that democracies are bad in comparison to republics, monarchies, or something else?
“”Im curious, stfassisi, about your ideal political system””
A system that recognizes the Catholic Church and her teachings as moral authority of the state.My personal opinion is that a Catholic monarchy would work best if it could be applied today
This article pretty much sums up what I believe...
Here are some excerpts
By Catholic social order is meant a society with its organs of government, traditionally referred to collectively as the State[vi], which recognizes the Catholic Church at its summit and is responsive to her teaching. Such a State orders its laws and institutions (however imperfectly) to the Christian moral code and the final end of man as a creature of God, destined for either eternal beatitude or eternal punishment. This State may be monarchical, democratic or republican in its political constitution, and we have seen examples of all three forms of government (or mixtures thereof) within the dominant Western mode of Catholic social order. What was essential to this social order, known as Christendom, was the presence of an organic link between the Catholic Church and the State in virtue of which the Church was the conscience of the State. It is that link which was broken, and the result has aptly been likened to the decomposition of a human body from which the soul has departed.
One of the great triumphs of the new fundamental orientation, otherwise known as classical liberalism, is to have banished from the mind of contemporary Western man the memory that Christendom was the form and pattern of our civilization for most of its history. Classical liberalism is the system of thought which progressively divorces the art of politics from divine law and mans final end in God, leaving the approach to God strictly to the individual members of civil society, artificially severed from its organs of government to allow for the fiction of the private believer. The liberal disjunction between civil society and the State, reducing the latter to merely value-neutral organs of government, was a radical break with the Western tradition that goes all the way back to Plato and Aristotle. Christendom, which combined the inspiration of supernatural grace with the natural truths of the Philosophers, was the historical fulfillment of mans divine ordination to life in the State, producing nothing less than all of the greatest achievements of Western culture in an alliance (by no means without its own peculiar problems) between the Church and political authority.
In place of a great civilization ordered to Christ, the forces of liberalismquite suddenly in historical terms, and by force of arms at each critical junctureestablished a new order whose god is Liberty. We ought to call Liberty a god because, like any idol that man sets up for himself, its claims are deemed to supersede those of mans Creator. Whereas Christ declared that His apostles were to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost and teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you,[vii] the god of Liberty declared the age-old baptism of nations to be annulled and the Christian commonwealth to be abolished. Whereas Christ taught that political authority descends to man from God, even in the case of the procurator who unjustly sentenced Him to death, Liberty decreed that political authority ascends from the sovereign will of the people, so that even Gods law could be subjected to popular repeal.
Whereas Christ taught that His truth will make men free, Liberty insisted upon a previously unknown conception of freedom in society: the mere absence of constraint on human action by the State, save for that necessary to prevent violence and to protect the right to the ownership, use and enjoyment of private property in the pursuit of whatever thing each individual deems to constitute happiness. Without the conformity of human law to the law of the Gospel, the term violence inevitably contracted, while the terms property and happiness expanded in proportion to what unrestrained human weakness and popular consensus demanded. Hence today human life in utero may, at the option of its owner, be destroyed and disposed of as waste, or extracted and inventoried at the embryonic stage for sale as a consumer good. And not even the political opponents of these crimes against humanity are willing to oppose them on any ground but an appeal to the same sovereign popular will that put Liberty on its pedestal.
In sum, the god of Liberty has imposed upon Western civilization what Pope Leo XIII succinctly denounced as that new conception of law which was not merely previously unknown, but was at variance on many points with not only the Christian, but even the natural law.[viii] This new conception of law expressed itself in utterly revolutionary principles which contemporary man, abysmally ignorant of his own Christian heritage, now unquestioningly accepts as the received wisdom of the ages:
[T]hat all are equal in the control of their life; that each one is so far his own master as to be in no sense under the rule of any other individual; that each is free to think on every subject just as he may choose, and to do whatever he may like to do; that no man has any right to rule over other men .that the judgment of each one’s conscience is independent of all law; that the most unrestrained opinions may be openly expressed as to the practice or omission of divine worship; and that every one has unbounded license to think whatever he chooses and to publish abroad whatever he thinks [ix]
That these principles would destroy the foundations of our civilization was self-evident. Only forty years after Leo, Pope Pius XI observed that With God and Jesus Christ, excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation.[x] But perhaps not even Leo and Pius could have imagined the full extent of the civilizational debacle Liberty has wrought: not only the abortion holocaust, but an epidemic of divorce, the universal practice of contraception, the depopulation of Western nations, the relentless advance of homosexualism, the destruction of the family, the spread of orgiastic consumerism, the debasement of art, music and architecture, and finally the emergence of a veritable neo-pagan social order in which Christians increasingly face persecution for mere utterances against the orthodoxy of liberty.
In place of the Christian commonwealth, Liberty has erected a market-driven culture of rights, founded on the fiction of the isolated individual in a mythical pre-social, pre-religious state of nature, who is said to possess rights abstracted from any divine ordination to life in the State or any collective social duty to God. These rights are merely elaborate explications of Libertys one commandment: thou shalt not interfere in human action. Denying any ordination of the State to an objective common good conformable to Christ and eternal beatitude, the culture of rights has led to a tyranny of public opinion, enforced by despotic popular regimes which crush any attempt to secure true freedom through restoration of the Christian moral order, with its divinely ordained limits on human action and its positive duties in justice and charity toward ones fellow man.
thank you for taking time to post your opinion
“”thank you for taking time to post your opinion””
You’re welcome ,dear friend.
Since you have been posting good stuff from Belloc, you might want to consider this article from him.
The Faith and Industrial Capitalism
By Hilaire Belloc
Belloc is right on target!
Thanks again for the reading recommendation.
I see that you think a monarchy is the best governmental option, but I noticed in your article that it seems to say that as long as the state rules in accordance with natural law, the government form is pretty insignificant, be it democracy, republic, or monarchy. Do you think that our constitutional republic would be fine if the constitution was actually followed, particularly with its support of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
“I see that you think a monarchy is the best governmental option, but I noticed in your article that it seems to say that as long as the state rules in accordance with natural law, the government form is pretty insignificant, be it democracy, republic, or monarchy”
If a democracy or republic gives final authority to Catholic social teaching and morals it would be OK . Our system in the US grew out of a Calvinistic view of God that is not Catholic,this is why it’s failing.
“”Do you think that our constitutional republic would be fine if the constitution was actually followed, particularly with its support of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?””
Let me define what true Liberty is and is NOT in Catholic teaching...
True Liberty is NOT the right to do whatever one pleases- like read pornography,have an abortion,homosexuality etc..
Some people think this might lead them to happiness and these are all protected under the US constitution today.They would not be allowed in a Catholic system
True Liberty is freedom from error ,dear brother.You Know. The truth shall set you free!
Pope Leo XIII said the following...
It is manifest that the eternal law of God is the sole standard and rule of human liberty, not only in each individual man, but also in the community and civil society which men constitute when united. Therefore, the true liberty of human society does not consist in every man doing what he please, for this would simply end in turmoil and confusion, and bring on the overthrow of the state; but rather in this, that through the injunctions of the civil law all may more easily conform to the prescriptions of the eternal law. . . . The binding force of the human laws is in this, that they are to be regarded as applicants of the eternal law, and incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law, as in the principle of all law . . . Where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest while obeying man we become disobedient to God.
“Our system in the US grew out of a Calvinistic view of God that is not Catholic,this is why its failing.”
My opinion for its cause of failure is that material prosperity and a general loss of faith have caused people to be less disciplined and indulge in their basest desires, leading them to abandon the original principles behind the Constitution. Until the 1960’s I’d say the system was working quite well.
“True Liberty is NOT the right to do whatever one pleases- like read pornography,have an abortion,homosexuality etc..”
No disagreement there.
“Some people think this might lead them to happiness and these are all protected under the US constitution today.”
I don’t think they are actually protected because of the constitution, but because of a perversion or bypassing of the Constitution. Correct me if I’m wrong, but none of these were allowed in the earlier days of America, and we still had the Constitution then.
“True Liberty is freedom from error ,dear brother.”
Yes, it is. I’ve been wondering something, though, about the nature of freedom. We’d both agree that there is no freedom to, for instance, view porn, although the sin only directly harms yourself, right? How is that consistent with having freedom of religion, which allows for heresy (something that only directly harms yourself), being allowed?
The constitution does not define God according to Catholic Dogma.If it did there could be no perversion to bypass.
Wed both agree that there is no freedom to, for instance, view porn, although the sin only directly harms yourself, right? How is that consistent with having freedom of religion, which allows for heresy (something that only directly harms yourself), being allowed?
Great question dear friend.
Because God gave man a free will we will always have the ability to error and not follow true freedom.
Religious and non religious pluralism has made america weak and un-united.
Belloc understood that muslim countries in time would be somewhat united and powerful or become a pawn of communists. I think the latter is going to happen.
Dear friend ,I came across this very good article from the Remnant Catholic Newspaper.It’s the best chance to help the US
“Because God gave man a free will we will always have the ability to error and not follow true freedom.”
I understand that, but I don’t understand why viewing porn should be illegal while being a heretic should be legal. You do think porn should be illegal and freedom of religion legal, right? It just seems inconsistent and I don’t know how to reconcile those two positions.
“Belloc understood that muslim countries in time would be somewhat united and powerful or become a pawn of communists.”
He was very prophetic in that. I think we’re seeing a caliphate form right in front of our very eyes.
I read the article you linked to. I found it to be a good read. While I don’t agree with everything in it, I agree with its general argument which seems to be that government can’t go against natural law just because it is the will of the people.
“”but I dont understand why viewing porn should be illegal while being a heretic should be legal.””
One can be a heretic and be invincibly ignorant and still follow the law of love written on our hearts with the potential to not be a heretic that can not be forced by being illegal since love can not be forced
There is no possibility of being invincibly ignorant and having anything to do with pornography,it’s a pure demonic evil act of free will that can have no love attached to it