-- ------------- -------------- ------------------- -------------------
Sunday , February 5 2023

Fatwas on electoral fraud: excused if the intelligence permits, and excused also when deporting a heretic

This post has been read 14659 times!

FOR a long time, Arabs have been trying to mimic the Western democracies, even if in terms of shape, but they failed even in mimicking because they are not yet convinced that the principle of democracy lies in the rule of the people, because wherever you are, you will be entrusted to someone.

One of the Kuwaiti officials was right in his response to a question about having a parliament similar to Britain, and a constitutional monarchy as seen with the English rule. The official said, “Bring a society like the British, and take whichever democracy you want”.

Incidentally, I read a story a few days ago about a ruler who summoned three clerics and asked them, in the presence of his minister, about the Sharia ruling on rigging elections.

The first said, “It is excused if it was at the request of the intelligence services”. The second replied, “In order to prevent the heretic’s success, it is permissible for us to manipulate the ballot boxes”. However, the third had a different opinion, as he said, “Rigging is forbidden. It is like stealing from the people”.

The ruler dismissed them from his assembly, turned to his minister, and said, “Write down the following – We have appointed the first cleric. He is a liar and he knows that he is a liar. This is the type of character we require.

Also write that we appoint the second cleric to be in charge of the Grand Mosque in the capital. He is a fraud and he knows that he is a fraudster. These types of people are desirable.

As for the third cleric, withdraw his license because he is honest and knows that he is honest. This is the kind of people we need to cross out”.

He then turned to his minister and asked him, “As for you, what do you think about rigging the elections?”.

The minister said, “Can someone like me give fatwas to someone like you, my lord?”

Then the ruler said, “As for you, you are a hypocrite, and you know that you are a hypocrite. This type of person is loved”.

The first parliamentary elections in the Arab world took place in Egypt after the Constitution was amended in 1922. On that day, the legislative authorities were given a scoop of freedom.

The first manifestations of weakness came in the call to monitor the king’s actions and expenses. Despite the mild clash between the parliament and the palace, the insistence on continuing democracy in 1949 led to the beginning of the collapse of the monarchy when some politicians accused the palace of having bought corrupt weapons to fight in Palestine.

This political clash led to the emergence of a military coup movement called the “Free Officers”, which was able to overthrow the monarchy in 1952, after which came a military authority that worked according to the aforementioned story.

However, a serious attempt was made during the era of the late President Hosni Mubarak in order to produce a legislative authority that could develop democratic life according to what it should be.

The surprise was that the elections that took place at that time, which led to the victory of the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood Group, were based on fraud from outside the intelligence department. It was from the Muslim Brotherhood Group that sought to bribe people with the most basic necessities of life such as rice, ghee and other food items based on fatwas issued by their clerics.

In the elections that followed, when the rest of the parties tried to confront them, they raised their voices loudly, accusing the regime of fraud and overturning the results of the voting process. This coincided with the start of protests in Tunisia against the background of the incident related to the young Mohamed Bouazizi.

In both countries, the Muslim Brotherhood Group – the instigator – was present in the scene, with the support of the administration of the former US President Barack Obama that was calling for a “New Middle East” that begins with “creative chaos”.

This helped in hijacking the election results after the January 25 uprising and led to the Muslim Brotherhood Group’s rule in the two countries. However, Egypt, after nearly two years, was able to overthrow the Muslim Brotherhood Group’s rule through the June 30, 2013 uprising. Tunisia is still trying to recover from its impact.

Irrespective of the outcome, it is a fact that we in Kuwait experienced this early on. In 1967, elections were rigged in an effort to recruit a certain segment of parliamentarians of a particular political nature. However, this attempt failed, and a violent political movement rose on the sidelines.

For the first time in its history, Kuwait witnessed a series of bombings. Investigations later revealed, even the participants admitted, that Egyptian intelligence had intervened during the era of Jamal Abdul Nasser. The goal was to impose a certain leftist ideology consistent with the Soviet model at the time in the region.

Despite all the flood that took place in Kuwait over the past decades, starting with the dissolution of the National Assembly after electoral fraud, to the suspension of the Constitution in 1976 and 1986, and even the catastrophe of the Iraqi invasion, which was supposed to be a lesson in patriotism and integrity, the elections did not change much.

If the authority did not interfere in it, the intervention came from the forces of social pressure, tribal invocations, sectarian alignments, and the public buying and transfer of votes, according to what the political forces deem to be, up to the electoral “wastas” that have proliferated in recent years.

On the other hand, there was another social vision of the form of governance in neighboring countries, as is the case in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman where the advisory councils are chosen from the elite of society. These councils help the rulers derive the correct visions of state management, and so those countries succeeded quietly in their path towards development, away from the bickering that we see in Kuwait.

There is no doubt that it is irrational to overlook the experiences of societies that have been ongoing for 500 years or a little less in order to build a healthy democracy in a society that still throws the headband on the ground as a sign of strength, based on tribal and sectarian zeal, kinship and pride.

As is the case in Italy during the era of Franco and Mussolini, and Egypt after King Farouk, if there is no realistic vision for our society and the nervousness resulting from ignorance of the importance of choosing representatives in parliament, it will be more frequent perhaps in the future to revisit the story of the ruler and the three clerics, because the honest one will lose his license to give sermon as a cleric.

Finally, as a cure for all these ills, there is a need for a strong authority with an iron hand and a bright and open mind. Otherwise, we will continue to live with these diseases, and the country will grow backward. The wheel of development will stop, and most people will be scattered into tribal, sectarian and regional affiliations. The confusion of the authorities will increase, and this undoubtedly will pave the way for the birth of militias.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times