Rule by fanaticism

Rule by fanaticism
: This is why we cannot allow a religious tyranny to replace the secular tyranny in Iraq:

Preaching to tens of thousands worshippers at the Qadhimaya mosque in northern Baghdad, Sheikh Mohammed al-Tabatabi said: “The west calls for freedom and liberty. Islam is not calling for this. Islam rejects such liberty. True liberty is obedience to God and to be liberated from desires. The dangers we should anticipate in coming days is the danger to our religion from the west trying to spread pornographic magazines and channels.”

Under Saddam, Iraq was a secular society. Women had equal rights with men and freedom to dress in western clothes. It was more lax than many of its neighbours about alcohol.

But Sheikh Tabatabi said: “We will not allow shops to sell alcohol and we ask for the closure of all such places and we ask you to use every available means to bring this about.”

He added that women should not be allowed to wander unveiled around Qadhimaya City.

You heard the man: They reject liberty.

Democracy is synonymous with liberty. Human rights, too, are synonymous with liberty. The choice of leadership and law must remain at all times in the hands of the people. If the choice of leadership and law is in the hands of the leaders then that is not democracy or freedom or liberty, it is, by definition, tyranny. And you cannot convince me that any people will willingly choose tyranny.

: See, too, this interesting blog post by Iman. An Iranian, Iman argues that Iranians are racist (Persians v. Arabs) as Arabs are racist (Arabs v. Persians). It’s a complicated neighborhood, that.

The post also touches on some jealousy and jousting that will occur between Shiite clerics in Iraq, which houses the most holy sites of that large slice of Islam, and the clerics of Iran, where Shia leadership migrated because of Saddam’s persecution.

And then it observes:

…an important problem is that Shia clerics mostly are conservative and do not like to involve any political affairs….

They are suspicious about western style democratic governments. Maybe it has different meaning for them like sexual freedom, selling alcohol in shops and the like. History shows that they have had better relationship with dictator kings in compare to elected government.