Monday, January 31, 2011

A short message by Tariq Ramadan on Tunisia and Egypt

I have to admit being glued to my T.V. for a bit Saturday night watching events unfold in Egypt; stuff like this does not happen everyday. I'm totally out of my element in understanding the social-political situation of Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, but I have to say I see forms of Orientalism (see earlier posts on Edward Said) in some of the news broadcasts. This impression I get is that there seems to be this underlying fear that since we are predominantly talking about Muslim/Arab people here they don't have a shot in hell to do this thing democratically. Let us just wait to see how this all turns out.

Muslim theologian Tariq Ramadan gives some words about the hope for a democratic process in Tunisia and Egypt; I have read some of his works to get an idea of a Muslim thinker on modernity and concepts like human rights, democracy, etc that came out of it. His whole take on it is that Muslims can live peaceably in Western society just like Christians have been able to. In fact, his overall point is that most everyday Muslims who live in England, the U.S., etc. already do live in such a way:

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