Tareq Ramadan, Artificial Debates, and The Real Problem

Islam has a role to play in Egypt’s future. To thrive, Egypt requires a suitable method of using Islam and other factors to attain stability. Ideally, this would be a simple matter of evaluating the gain to Egypt of various options and implementing the right one. This would mean the hardest part is agreeing on what the right interpretation of Islam and any other factors and their proper role.

However, being colonized has muddled the debate for Egypt. The current situation should not be this hard to deal with. There was a critical point at some time in the past when Egypt should have decided to take a step back and find another way forward. Perhaps this was actually many little instances, and poor decisions were made in minor cases all across the country. Either way, Egypt is now forced into a new critical situation, one with much less beneficial outcomes. And an outcome that will be good for Egypt will not be easy to obtain. The different factions of Egypt all have different levels of combinations of foreign influence. True sentiments about what must be done are hidden behind artificial incentives.

Tareq Ramadan addresses the particular influence of the West on secularization in Egypt and the Middle East. Secularization is easy to argue about, but the true problem is that freedom from oppression is not tied to secularization. Though Western secularization coincided with the adoption of Liberal freedoms and the separation of church and state, attempts to copy this secular shortcut to success have failed. Instead, religious control of the state was changed to state control of religion.

Egypt, and any colonized nation, doesn’t need a change of face to improve their condition. They need to struggle from the hole that colonization left them in and work hard to gain the skills necessary to have a healthy society. But they must also themselves not as victims of colonialism, but as potential victors in the resulting struggle. The fact that foreign powers have had control for years does.

The Egyptian military has the same interests as foreign powers – self-gain. They fight to win because once they’ve one, they are situated to reap the rewards. What Egypt needs is a champion who wants Egypt as a nation to thrive. The protestors in the square faced a critical point, but they blew it by not following through.n’t matter – only the lessons that can be gained from it do.

So, as far as his controversial attack on the liberal elites, it doesn’t matter what they can do. What matters is if they can see the real problem, and are pursuing an appropriate solution. Perhaps Egpyt’s political powers are afraid to succeed in attaining the goal of prosperity and independence. Perhaps they would rather their country remain in its currently tragic position than to overcome their problems. Or maybe they prefer to know that it was not their fault. They may be afraid of losing the ability to blame their problems on the West, even though the blame is justified.

There are a large number of atheists in America.[i] Some major reasons atheists cite for opposing religion reflect their tunnel vision in their conception of religion. They evaluate it based on what they would expect it to do, and since it fails, they condemn it.

These atheists act the same as the anti-Islamists and ant-interventionist groups within Egypt. Egyptians cannot subscribe to these negative positions manufactured through Western ideas. And in fact, this is a completely artificial debate because the West does not have complete secularization. Political leaders in many Western countries including the United States reference religious ideas in their individual political activities. Secularization is not an absolute good or evil, but rather is one of several factors influencing a nation’s health.

Ramadan himself succumbs to the doctrine of condemnations for contradicting his ideal when he criticizes internet culture for its anonymity. The point he brings up is interesting, and a possible explanation for the inability for the revolution to establish a powerful and resilient changing force. However, he becomes lost in the artificial arguments many internet-haters find themselves in, and fails to elaborate his argument.