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You have to wonder if they’ll ever figure it out
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, July 05, 2007

Egyptian Intellectual, Civil Rights Activist Sa'd Al-Din Ibrahim has serious second thoughts about his previous support of Hamas running in Palestine's last election. In an op-ed entitled "I Supported Hamas's Right to Run For Election, But They Are Behaving Barbarically".

Most would say that's because of what they are.

Leopard/spots.

The fact that a group such as Hamas decides to participate in a democratic election doesn't change who they are, how they'll act if crossed or their goals. And that points to the naivety of "intellectuals" such as Ibrahim.
"This public position, which I have held for over 20 years, was not out of love for the Muslim Brotherhood or other Islamists, as claimed by the regime and its agents and by [my] secular colleagues. This call of mine stemmed, and still stems, from my profound dedication to human rights, and from my belief in free democracy for all, whether they be Islamists, Marxists, or atheists.

"In accordance with this principle, I defended, and still defend, the right of Copts, Shi'ites, Muslim reformers (quraniun), and Baha'is to freedom of belief and worship, on a par with [that of] Sunni Muslim citizens. Civil rights are indivisible.
But "civil rights" (individual human rights) as opposed to political rights (voting, etc.) are not 'group rights'. And that is where Ibrahim makes his mistake. I have no problem with his principle of "free democracy for all" but it makes no sense whatsoever to then throw that principle under the bus by advocating for groups who would only use such access as a means to impose their barbarity and totalitarian rule on others. And to his shock and chagrin, Hamas is proving that very point.

Copts, Shi'ites, in general, are not the same thing as Islamists such as Hamas or Hizbollah, nor do they want the same things. To pretend that groups which teach and practice peace (for the most part) are the same as groups which advocate violence and totalitarian rule is simply absurd.

Individual rights are the key. Groups which advocate and protect them are to be supported. Those which violate them and advocate the power of the collective over the individual are to be shunned. If you take care of protecting the rights of individuals, the rest pretty much takes care of itself. That's a lesson which seems lost on a society in which certain individuals are still kept in virtual chattel slavery and an entire gender is relegated to second-class citizenship. On the whole, individuality is crippled by their religion and their culture. And the result is sometimes extreme, as in the case of Hamas, et. al.
 
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So, then, do you oppose the right of members of the KKK, or other white supremacist organizations to run for public office??

Granted, it’s a bit different, in that our democracy is 200+ years old, and Palestine’s barely even born. Also to your point about cultural differences. Nor is this trying to make the groups morally equivalent.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I agree "One Man, One Vote, ONE TIME" is not democratic, BUT if that’s what you run on and the voting public OK’s it, in a fair election, what are we as bystanders supposed to do? "Do" at least, internally, to the Hamas/Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, they won an election. Sure we can say, "No Aid for YOU!" and should, but I really have trouble saying that FIS/Hamas/Nazi’s can not run or that an election won by them must be over-turned, it’s the "Will of the People" and on a libertarian website how can one deny the people or a person the right to make horrific mistakes? That is the hallmark of freedom, the freedom to be wrong, sometimes disatrously so. The living with the consequences is also a hallmark of freedom, too.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Keith:
So, then, do you oppose the right of members of the KKK, or other white supremacist organizations to run for public office??
I assume you remember David Duke? I also assume you remember how that all worked out?

Joe:
BUT if that’s what you run on and the voting public OK’s it, in a fair election, what are we as bystanders supposed to do?
Do you believe the present state in Gaza is what they ran on and is something the public is "ok" with?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Do you believe the present state in Gaza is what they ran on and is something the public is "ok" with?
Don’t know, what if they have a plebiscite and Hamas wins it? Hamas won the elections, handily. The Palestinians really can’t say they didn’t know who or what they were voting for, even if they couldn’t foresee the EXACT future state. When you pull for Republicans to lose, you may not be pulling FOR Democrats to raise taxes, but it is a foreseeable end state and ought to condition one’s electoral choices. Hamas beat Fatah because Fatah was incompetent, brutal and corrupt. Hamas promised to make the trains run on time and the public selected them. I’m not sure public opinion polls might not be divided on the current situation.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Don’t know, what if they have a plebiscite and Hamas wins it?
You already know the answer to that, which is why the post is entitled "You have to wonder if they’ll ever figure it out".
The Palestinians really can’t say they didn’t know who or what they were voting for, even if they couldn’t foresee the EXACT future state.
Heh ... when you have Palestinians publicly wishing for a return of the Israeli occupation, you can darn sure bet that what they’ve gotten isn’t even close to what they expected. And that again brings us back to the question in the title.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I assume you remember David Duke? I also assume you remember how that all worked out?
That’s exactly who I had in mind, and the results don’t have anything to do with whether you support his right to seek election.

That is like saying, I support Al Sharpton running because I know he wont be elected.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Put another way, who gets to decide which choices we get to choose from during an election...
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
That’s exactly who I had in mind, and the results don’t have anything to do with whether you support his right to seek election.
That wasn’t my point. The difference between a David Duke failing and a Hamas succeeding is the difference between a mature democratic culture and and one in its infancy.

The mature ones have all the democratic institutions well established, understands the ramifications of his succeeding and while protecting his individual right to seek office, show him the door electorally, knowing full well what he represents is anathema to that for which the nation stands.

None of that exists in Palestine and it shows. And that is the point of the post as well as commenting on the fact that the gentleman quoted doesn’t seem to understand it either.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Heh ... when you have Palestinians publicly wishing for a return of the Israeli occupation, you can darn sure bet that what they’ve gotten isn’t even close to what they expected.
SOME Palestinians may desire...that is not to say all or a majority of them want it....for the moment they may be blaming Bush and Israel for the problems of fiscal default.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
You have to wonder if they’ll ever figure it out
Well, it’s a pretty steep learning curve, and the results for not figuring it out are going to be fairly high- higher than the current state of chaos over there.

For their sake, they better figure it out, and as quickly as possible.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
The problem, Shark, is that the results so far have been the rewarding of bad behavior.

Oh, and Kieth, they can elect anyone they choose. However, we have to say, "Here are the minimum standards we expect to join the civilized world. Don’t want to meet them? Then we defend ourselves without limit until you do."
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
" This call of mine stemmed, and still stems, from my profound dedication to human rights, and from my belief in free democracy for all, whether they be Islamists, Marxists, or atheists"

This fits nicely with the thread on moral relativism.

"I Supported Hamas’s Right to Run For Election, But They Are Behaving Barbarically".

I love this line. He expected something other than barbarism from barbarians? Put Tarzan in a monkey suit at a soiree, and he will still eat with his hands and crap in a corner.

"Individual rights are the key."

Excellent point.

"The Palestinians really can’t say they didn’t know who or what they were voting for"

An example of the triumph of hope over experience.
 
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