Wednesday,20 March, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1347, (1 - 7 June 2017)
Wednesday,20 March, 2019
Issue 1347, (1 - 7 June 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Freedom — an unfinished symphony

If this is the “Age of Reason”, where is the reason?

If the world is governed by logic, logic has taken flight and left in its stead indignity, incredulity, insanity.

Out to enjoy a pop concert in Manchester, England, 60,000 to 80,000 fun-seekers were horrified when some wild creature pointed his gun and killed 22 youngsters. He himself was barely 22.

Born in the UK, Salam Abede was the son of Libyan immigrants who escaped the turmoil and torment of their native land to find refuge in a safe suburb in Manchester. Little did they know that Britain had the biggest Libyan community, openly Islamist extremists, radicalising second and third generation Libyan/Brits. Where was the M15, M16 or the world-famous British Intelligence apparatus?

Those all-black clad madmen, carrying the banner of Islam, were not satiated with the young blood in Manchester, they ambushed vehicles on a desert road filled with Egyptian Christians (Copts) on their way to a retreat at the remote Monastery of St Samuel the Confessor, in Minya. The Draconian demons slaughtered the occupants, killing at least 28, half of them children.

They shall pray no more on this earth.

These tragedies occurred as faithful Muslims throughout the world welcomed the holy month of Ramadan, that sacred month of worship, charity, loving, giving and forgiving.

If only those so-called Muslims knew something of their religion.

Tears flow incessantly as we weep for the innocent bloodshed, whether here, there or anywhere. It is all human blood. It is all human tears. 

To flee the carnage and devastation of one’s native land and seek a new life of freedom and justice has been practised successfully through the ages by millions upon millions.  Immigration is even necessary for our own survival. Immigrants have populated the Americas, Canada, New Zealand, Brazil, Australia, South Africa and have established supposedly free societies. But so-called freedom is relative. Societies create laws. Laws curtail our freedoms.

Freedom gives us the right to do only what the laws permit in order to safeguard their security and privacy. They call it democracy… “demos” meaning “people” in Greek and “katsia” meaning “power”.

Its brief existence in ancient Athens was swiftly crushed, and could never raise its head during the Dark Ages, which were even darker for the distressed, the depleted, the impoverished.

Since the 18th century democracy found a new voice and dared to raise it. It struck the hand that whipped and maimed and killed.

But “democracy” is not perfect. Churchill described it thus: “it has been said that democracy is the worse form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

When a decision is made to migrate, uproot oneself from one’s precious native land escaping a hateful or dysfunctional society, we dream of castles in the air, of success, dignity, wealth, happiness, but the dream often turns into a nightmare. Fifteen per cent of all immigrants return to their native lands when they discover there is no dream land. Too many barriers block the road to happiness, especially discrimination.

Integration is hard and slow. Assimilation in an alien culture takes time, effort and hard work.  Where is the paradise promised?

It is also partly the fault of the receiving nation. They exert no effort to embrace the strange new-comers, help them, teach them or welcome them. Moreover they discriminate against them.  Equality goes down the drain, they are treated as inferiors. Consider the international media coverage on the Manchester and the Minya massacres. There goes democracy.

Immigrants clutter together to retain their dignity. When you rob a man of everything, what is left?

They start to feel angry, resentful, regretful.  Their anger and hate is understandable.

This by no means justifies the criminal acts of radical Islamists, even those who turn against the land of their birth. Still it sheds some light on the trials and tribulations of the “oh so fortunate immigrants”.

No one enjoying freedom and happiness at home chooses to wander away from it. Circumstances such as wars, floods, famines, persecutions, force the unfortunate to seek fortune, but it is not always within reach, even in a so-called leading democracy.

The 20th century saw the peak of democracy and the rise of communism — a bad word to democrats, an unjust form of government. Is it possible that things have come full circle. Today liberal democrats such as Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and leaders of the American Democratic Party have come closer  to that bad word… while it has failed in most countries even in Russia.

Communism robs the individual of basic freedoms. With all the leaks, surveillance and spying so does America, bastion of this so-called democracy.

Forget about liberty, privacy, equality or justice. 

Any shred of doubt that democracy is an unfulfilled dream, that true freedom is yet to be granted wholly and fully to an individual, watch the quick exit of certain countries from the European Union.

The hope lies in the US and the success or failure of Donald Trump — assaulted on a daily basis by the progressive Democrats and the liberal press.

Let us wish him success or the hole in this ideal idea of democracy will grow larger and larger, until it disappears or is buried once again by the stupid, selfish actions of a privileged, power- hungry, camera-addicted class of elitists.

“Most people do not really want freedom because freedom involves responsibility and most people are frightened of responsibility.”

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

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