MEMRI: Reform in the Muslim World

..."What is clear in all the Arab countries that emerged out of the ruins of the Ottoman [empire] and later out of the colonial rule, is their absolute failure to cultivate the non-material aspects of civilization, that is to say, cultivate an integrated humane civilization. These countries grew out of one kind of autocracy and replaced it with another kind of autocracy, which purported to be nationalist when in fact it was tribal and sectarian. In other words, these countries exchanged foreign colonialism for a tribal colonialism under those called 'family.'

"The ancient Arab poet put his finger on an essential human truth when he described injustice coming from one's family as the hardest to bear. Yes, discovering the falseness of family is hardest to bear, and leads one to despair and depression. When one is surrounded by injustice, it leads one to distrust all of mankind, [and] this distrust of mankind is the source of [all] ruin. It is the source of the moral desolation, which, in turn, leads to spiritual disintegration. Yes, this is the very opposite of humane civilization. This, essentially, is the great failure of all the regimes that are [now] gradually perishing in the so-called Arab countries. For none of these various regimes succeeded in building an integrated people. Every one of them is based on tribal and religious tyranny. And since religious and tribal tyranny is the opposite of freedom and of human spirit, it cannot last. It is a temporary state, which soon collapses when faced with the outburst of a call for human freedom. Ultimately, freedom is the [true] human nature....

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