The best news I’ve had in a long time comes from the Islamic world today, via an article compiled by The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), an organization which translates into several languages the news emanating mostly from the Islamic world, as well as their newest project encompassing Russia.
The best way to describe the organization would be to say that it looks at world civilizations as they relate in conjunction to, and apart from, global contribution. Mostly the work involves translation services, which leave contextual interpretation at the grasp of the reader. Occasionally, a perspective analysis is provided which pieces together a look at growing trends, or strategically analyzes a historical movement in ascertainment of how it may have evolved, or perhaps what it might portend for the future.
These special reports serve several useful functions: to provide an accurate assessment, as much as that’s possible, of the outlook for society, as a whole; to highlight growing social movements; to allow understanding into the culture of one whose language we do not know and to allow us to formulate our own, independent analysis based on these revelations by the mouths of those speaking them.
I find the MEMRI reports to be the most objective work out there, without bias except for the inability to process every situation extant in the world and for, perhaps, its filtering effect because of quantitative limitations, to provide selections geared at a freely-adjusted society and its impact upon such by those it is extracting materials from for its perusal.
Today’s special dispatch deals with the decision of the leader, Rached al-Ghannouchi, of the Tunisian Al-Nahda party, and his councilmen to branch off the formerly Islamist-oriented mergence of all socio-politically amalgamated subsets into their respective identities, separate, and still respectful to its emergence from an Islamic heritage, coming as a change from the parties’ original idealogical associations toward the militantly-motivated Muslim Brotherhood.
Such a move would begin the process of democratizing Islam for all, including women, and to allow a free society to develop within the framework of an overarching majority Islamic society. Turkey has had such a similar basis, but I think it has been more party-centric in its rule, and is occasionally revertive to Islamic hegemony, as is presently in the making with president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s turn toward Islamic authoritarianism.
It proposes not to be a secularly-based ideology, as was the case in the Ba’athist Iraq of former leader, Saddam Hussein, whose cruel, clan-based authoritarian rule resulted in some of the worst atrocities carried out against his own people, who he often suspected of subversion. His children were sadistic cretins who enjoyed conducting physical torture on individuals, for sport. This type of rule would not make a good model to emulate.
It seems to set itself out as something new. It’s hard to discern the specific outline of its formulation, but it surely seems a wonderful way to bring all the elements of society together into a joyful expression where they can be free and yet still mindful of their heritage and faith. Perhaps this will be the fire of the Tunisian spark, which began with the Arab Spring, and will flower into the Jubilee Age.
Staff, The Middle East Media Reseach Institute (MEMRI): Special Dispatch No. 6579. “Separating The ‘Political’ From The ‘Islam’: Tunisia’s Al-Ghannouchi And Reform Initiatives In The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood”; The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI); August 18, 2016: http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/9398.htm