Egypt: Only Secularism can guarantee Justice and Equality

Secularism is not at all opposed to religion, not a single bit. Politically, it simply means the separation between government and religion. Worship, by all means, but do not include religious ideology in the bodies that run people’s’ affairs. It makes so much sense, doesn’t it? If we in Egypt adopt secularism then we can expect the following:

1. No more political parading in the name of Islam, which means an end to the abuse of Islam for political ends.

2. No more political interference in how people practice religion, e.g. Friday prayer sermons will no longer be ‘directed’ by the government.

3. A much more fair system of inheritance, e.g. there is no longer any reason why the man deserves as much as two women.

4. Eliminate any possibility of someone legislating for issues such as compulsory wearing of the veil/niqab or prohibition of consumption of alcohol on religious grounds.

5. A renewed focus on real scientific research as opposed to pathetic attempts to ‘Islamise’ the knowledge coming from the ‘West’ or finding proof that the Qur’an had already predicted the most recent and ground-breaking scientific discoveries.

6. A real attempt to protect freedom of worship for all: Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Pagan, Buddhist, etc., etc., including the freedom to worship nothing at all.

7. An end to medieval laws that criminalize any critical assessment of religion, in particular Islam.

8. And perhaps most important of all: it might help move religion back to where it can do the most for people: PRIVATE LIFE

A secular political system will eliminate fundamental injustices and inequalities and set Egypt on the right track. Unfortunately, religious parties have gained a lot of ground in the recent elections, and it might be a few years before people have a sufficiently developed political consciousness to be able to separate their personal identity from how they would like to be governed.

A Momentary Lapse of Reason?

The topic of this post concerns the current Egyptian Parliamentary Elections. As you can see in the photo on the left this respectable looking gentleman is calmly placing his ballot card in the ballot box while the similarly inclined observers do what they usually do : observing the whole process. Nothing seems amiss here; a normal democratic election. Now turn your attention to the photo on the right and what you see is a respectable lady (indeed respectable for all humans are, or at least should be treated as such) climbing a ladder, risking breaking a limb for the sole purpose of exercising her constitutional right. Now, two questions pop up. One, I suppose, from you and the other from me. You might ask (only if you are not initiated into the Egyptian notion of elections) why is this lady climbing a ladder to get into the polling station, why can’t she just go through the door ? Ah ! Now it gets very complicated, she can’t get through the door because the police guarding the station have blocked all entrances. But why have they done that ?! (You might exhort) They have done that because they have received instructions to ‘indirectly’ maneuver the result of the election towards a certain candidate. All while maintaing the fairness of the elections, for indeed the problem does not lie in the judges who observe the process ‘inside’ the station, nor in the sifting of the ballot cards, the problem lies outside the station, where the voters are not allowed to pass through the entrance to vote !!!! With your curiosity satisfied I now turn to mine. Why do you think this lady is risking going up this ladder ? Do you think she actually believes that having a certain candidate instead of another will actually change her state of affairs ? Or is it that only death will prevent her from exercising her constitutional right ? Is there more to it ? I can only guess…