Dr. Turki Al-Hamad (links)
Ein erstaunlicher Essay des saudi-arabischen Intellektuellen Turki Al-Hamad in der führenden arabischen Tageszeitung Asharq Alawsat vom 21.2.2007:
Thoughts on Liberalism
„For some people, the concept of ‘liberalism’ connotes moral decay and degeneration, an anti-religious attitude and little else. For those who share this perspective, liberalism makes everything permissible and valid leaving no place for religion or morals in a liberal society.
In this view, a liberal society is one built on the pursuit of pleasure and is comprised of individuals who are governed by their physical desires, the love of money and women, instant gratification and nothing more.
If indeed Western societies comply with the aforementioned description and yet they were able to dominate the world today, of which we are a part of, then it is we who are at the core of this dilemma not the West…
But if there are other faces to the truth, why should we reduce them to practices that already exist in our societies and may perhaps even be more than what is happening there. But the prevalent freedom there, which is condemned and absent here allows for us to know what transpires in their states but prohibits us from tarnishing the image of the angels in our countries. The freedom of choice, even if it involves ethically questionable practices in some respects, also indicates a freedom that lacks suppression, unrestricted freedom for research, freedom of speech without the muffling of mouths, freedom of the press without piloting, freedom of expression without limits, freedom of criticism without taboos and the freedom of belief without repression.
In the relationships between liberalism and morality, or liberalism and religion, the emphasis lies on the fact that liberalism is not concerned with the individual’s conduct so long as it does not transgress beyond its own scope of rights and freedoms. If it does cross that line, the consequences become severe. To be morally degenerate is one’s own business as long as the consequences do not harm others, such as getting drunk and driving a car or assaulting a girl in the street, for example – then it is no longer one’s own business alone. Choosing to be religious or atheist is one’s own call and it is what all religions have asserted. “The righteous path has become distinct from the erroneous one, let they who want to believe, believe, and let those who will it, reject.” [Quranic verse]
Some may be shocked by such discourse, but the truth eventually imposes itself. Imposing one’s belief on others, whatever the reason may be, may force them into adopting that belief superficially, however, does it penetrate their inner consciousness and transform them? This constitutes the question and is where the difference between liberal, totalitarian, theocratic or authoritarian societies lies; liberalism permits a reconciliation between an individual’s internal and external being whereas all the other forms establish contradiction as the basis of the relationship between those two antipodes within individuals; which yields the phenomenon of hypocrisy.
You may have not been a communist during the days of the Union Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), you may have even hated communism, however you couldn’t but laud it, the establishments of Lenin, the glories of Stalin, the firmness of Kruschev and the achievements of Brezhnev. The same applies to Saddam’s Iraq, Assad’s Syria, Qaddafi’s Libya, Castro’s Cuba, Mao’s China, and the Iran of the Shah and Khomeini (same difference)*. Hypocrisy is the prevalent philosophy and the dominant code of conduct in such cases – and here lies the difference between liberalism and other models. Hypocrisy is absent in liberalism where the internal and external merge and all masks are dropped.“
*Und hier darf natürlich jeder Leser im Geiste ergänzen: Das Königtum der Familie Saud.