Should the U.S. Interfere in the Liberation Protests in North Africa?
Egyptians in a solidarity move demonstrated for 18 consecutive days of protest until the former president Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign and the military took over the government suspending the constitution. Egyptians associated Hosni Mubarak with oppression and injustice;
for instance, the human rights lobby groups have always implored the exiled president to recognize the human rights and most importantly women rights. In most Muslim countries, women have been marginalized and resources are not allocated to them in equality; for instance,
education, employment and electoral positions.
In the United States, women participated effectively in the World War II thus earning the backing for the universal suffrage. Countries guided by Islamic law have been perceived by the Western countries as undemocratic, discriminatory towards women, catalyst for political violence and to some extent conducive for proliferation of terrorism and terrorists. These negative attributes have been blamed on the Islamic laws and the international forum seeks to have the countries separate religion from state.
Islamic law is derived from the teachings of the Qur’an and other religious teachings like Sunna and Hadith. The relationship between Islamic law and International has always been reduced to the religious affair versus secular affair or medieval laws versus modern laws. Islamic laws is
viewed as medieval in that it refuses to recognize modern changes and let women enjoy the contemporary rights like universal suffrage, non-discriminatory practices at work, freedom of expression, and discrimination on grounds of race, sex, religion among other medieval ‘injustices’. Islamic law countries are obliged to the Sovereignty of Allah and the supremacy of Qur’an. Any injustice in the Islamic countries is justified by the Sharia laws which are basically Allah guided/ Islamized laws.
Islamic laws have been regarded as divine and thus cannot be subjected to amendments; there have been epistemological crisis where Sharia laws have been amended to incorporate the modern concepts of jurisprudence and justice which is considered secular by Islamic beliefs/laws. The criticisms are based on unfortunate events (read terrorism) that have involved Muslim fanatics/fundamentalists and thus Islamic laws have been painted as violent and cruel.
Islamic brotherhood is founded on Prophet Teachings that integrate faith and community thus address the whole Muslim community as believers and hold promises that if they participate in Muslim teachers such as jihad, then they shall be rewarded as Allah. Well, this has been declared
as the fundamentalists’ views and now Muslims are calling for liberation case in point, Egypt, Libya (war still going on) and Algeria. A remarkable point in the Egypt protest was that it was not based on religion but politics; this stresses the point that Muslims now want redemption from the holds from medieval religious laws that prevent them from exercising democracy.
President Obama should definitely push for democracy in Middle East, North African countries; America is under self-imposed obligation of the ‘containment decree’ where it is the policy of America to help out citizens of a country who are resisting suppression. The doctrine introduced in 1946 in the effort to stop Moscow from expanding at the expense of people’s democracy.
It succeeded then and it should not stop, the president should continue carrying out the decree and continue being ‘modus vivendi’ for sought-after harmony. It was reported that the main opposition in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, did not participate vehemently in the protest to oust Hosni
Mubarak and neither do critics believe they will deliver the liberation the Muslims in North Africa are seeking. Since, they are bound by Islamic laws and teachings, they may adamant to amend the laws and give freedom of expression and association to the people.
Masud, Muhammad. K. ‘Human Rights from the perspectives of Religion and Law’ 2010, Law
and society in Islam. Retrieved on March 8, 2011 from http://www.maruf.org/?p=156