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Rumi - Quotes
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
― Rumi

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.”
― Rumi

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
― Rumi

“The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.”
― Rumi

“What you seek is seeking you.”
― Rumi

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
― Rumi

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.”
― Rumi

“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”
― Rumi

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
― Rumi

“Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.”
― Rumi

“When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you're not here, I can't go to sleep.
Praise God for those two insomnias!
And the difference between them.”
― Rumi

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
― Rumi

“Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death.”
― Rumi
“Knock, And He'll open the door
Vanish, And He'll make you shine like the sun
Fall, And He'll raise you to the heavens
Become nothing, And He'll turn you into everything.”
― Rumi

“Forget safety.
Live where you fear to live. Destroy your
reputation. Be notorious.”
― Rumi

“My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”
― Rumi

“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.”
― Rumi

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How Egypt is showing the Path of ‘how to’ achieve a True Democracy in the region
Only a Benevolent force can transform primitive states into a genuinely Liberal Democratic one

By Freydoon Khoie

It is a sheer naiveté to imagine that old nations like Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and others like them, could become liberated states overnight by so called Islamist revolutions or such chaotic events like Arab Springs and turn into a fully democratic, industrialized, well developed civilized and prosperous nations in a year or two. To expect such a thing would be as foolish as expecting a bicycle repair shop in Tehran or Cairo to manufacture a 777 Boeing just because it is desired or a good idea.

To transform Egypt, Libya, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan etc., into advanced economies like the United States, Germany, France, Japan, will take minimum of hundred years even if the right people and the right conditions were in place, let alone that we have the wrong people and the wrong conditions at work.

The reality is that Iran or Egypt, Syria or Iraq, and just about all the countries other than western Europe, North America, have been ruled by corrupt, violent and malevolent leaders for thousands of years and as the result of such evil regimes which continue in one form or another upto this day, our people have been kept under-developed, illiterate, poor, sick, divided, superstitious, with no infrastructure, no knowledge and no information on how to build a modern country in the 21st century where all the modern and industrialized nations whom are far ahead find helping us to do so contrary to their national interest.

It was relatively easier back in 15th century if we had benevolent and capable leaders which we did not and when Europeans were building universities and discovering science and technology, our rulers were building more elaborate harems and focused on more creative sensual gratifications and when one in million stood up and told them about the value of knowledge, science, technology and education like Amir Kabeer in Iran, he was quickly put to death to close the door of light and keep the nation in darkness, exactly what Khamnei and other Mullahs are doing today in Iran, or what Mursi wanted to do in Egypt, and what Shia leaders like Nasrollah and Al Sadr are doing in Lebanon and Iraq and as discussed, the advanced economies see their interest in supporting those who inadvertently keep us in darkness so that we remain weak and easily controlled, abused, exploited.

As we, the thinking, caring, progressive class of Iranians, Egyptians, Syrians, Iraqis, Libyan are in a serious fix, we must realize that it is not all a zero sum game. Even with these terrible odds, fortunately, there are still righteous, conscientious and honorable people among the leading nations who do not agree with their more cynical and selfish countrymen and are in favor of genuinely helping us to liberate ourselves from our own ignorance, weakness, backwardness and utter poverty. History is filled with such good men like Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and in the present time, men like Senator John McCain, Tony Blair, and a host of other great men and women in the west who believe that a world in which 10% are free and 90% are slave is not sustainable and peace and security in such a world is mere illusion and thus we, the people of the oppressed world should not give up hope.

Today, we are witnessing how few courageous Egyptian generals decided to take unilateral action and prevented their hard earned progress to be reversed by such regressive groups like Muslim Brotherhood and take Egypt back to 7th century as the Mullahs did in Iran and in fact Iran’s misfortune have been a great lesson for all the Arab and Muslim countries for not allowing such criminal elements like Hezbollah, Al Qaida, Islamic Jihad, Taliban etc., to take power and take them back to 7th century. Just to point out to one example of benevolence American action, I must mention that before US invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban regime did not allow girls to attend school while today 44% of the school children are girls and the education they receive will permanently liberate them from ignorance, poverty and oppression. Something that British rulers did not allow for centuries.

The benevolent General Sisi is pressing on with what he and his colleagues correctly believe that it is the right thing to do for Egypt. Egypt's new draft constitution reflects the coalition of left, central and right political parties and entrenched state actors who followed the national mandate and removed Mursi from his office which he had occupied fraudulently. In the short run, the strength of this coalition -- and its ability to achieve a convincing mandate in the January constitutional referendum -- will determine whether the political transition can move forward peacefully. In the longer run, however, Egypt's outlook remains positive. Transition to genuine democracy is only possible through a process of supervised benevolent authority. A nation with 50% illiteracy, living under poverty line is not ready for French style democracy. The benevolent leadership should first provide a national education system with democratic orientation and start teaching the students the meaning and principles of democracy by having them to ‘elect’ their class president rather being ‘appointed’ and from there build up the ramp towards democratic society and this will take 25 years of authoritarian but certainly benevolent rule.

In December 2012, following a mass outcry over a constitutional declaration that placed his own edicts above judicial scrutiny, Mursi ordered the Islamist-dominated parliament to quickly complete a new draft constitution within forty-eight hours and then without any dialogue with the people, or explanation to the voters of what was he offering in the constitution, put it to a referendum two weeks later. Although the Mursi controlled media claimed that his constitution passed with 64 percent of the voters, the low 33 percent turnout undermined its popular legitimacy, and the non inclusive nature of the drafting process catalyzed a mass opposition movement that eventually culminated the national mandate for Mursi’s removal and his imprisonment as a fraud Islamist that he is.

As a result, the courageous and proud leaders took charge and removed Mursi from his office and placed him under arrest and made amending the charter a first-order of priority. A July 8 declaration suspended the constitution and outlined a new process under which a ten-member committee of prominent, nationalist legal experts would amend it. Afterward, a fifty-member committee "representing all categories of society and demographic diversities" reviewed, amended, and approved the draft. While the latter committee drew from across the social spectrum, it was ideologically consistent with the coalition that ousted Mursi: it contained even two prominent Islamists, and a plurality hailed from non-Islamist parties that have historically won very few votes in elections.

The current draft constitution reflects the anti-Islamist dictatorship coalition in three respects. First, it is far less Islamist than its predecessor. While it maintains that "the principles of the Islam must be respected" (Article 2), it erases Article 219, which delineated the specific sharia sources on which to base legislation. It also removes Article 44, which prohibited "Insult or abuse of all religious messengers and prophets," a typical trick by Islamists to eliminate free Speech and free press and modified the article regarding al-Azhar, the country's preeminent Islamic institution of learning, which no longer must be consulted "in matters pertaining to Islamic law." Most notably, the new constitution bans religious parties (Article 74) which is the best possible thing for Egypt and should be followed in all Muslim countries. We do not need to invoke religion in general and Islam in particular, just because we are talking about political reform, socio-economic justice, pluralistic political system and personal freedom.

Second, the new draft grants broad autonomy to the security services, military, and other state institutions that participated in Mursi's ouster. For example, it establishes a Supreme Police Council, which must be consulted on all laws pertaining to the police and national security (Article 207). And in addition to granting each judicial body "an independent budget" and the autonomy to "administer its own affairs" (Article 185), it empowers the Supreme Constitutional Court's General Assembly to select the court's leadership (Article 193). It also empowers the Supreme Judicial Council to appoint the government's prosecutor-general (Article 189), an authority granted to the president under the previous constitution.

The new draft is particularly generous toward the military and it should be. The preamble emphasizes that the military has been the state's "pillar" since nineteenth-century ruler Muhammad Ali, and hails "our patriotic army" that "delivered victory to the sweeping popular will in the January 25-June 30 Revolution." Like the previous constitution, the latest draft mandates that the defense minister be a military officer (Article 201), protects the military's autonomy over its budgets by empowering a security-dominated National Defense Council to review them (Article 203), and allows civilians involved in violence against the state to be tried before military courts (Article 204). But the new charter goes even further, requiring less legislative oversight for military trials, mandating that the defense minister can only be appointed with the approval of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces during the next two presidential terms (Article 234), and empowering the state to fight "all types and forms of terrorism" (Article 237) -- a sufficient authority for the benevolent military in its ongoing crackdown against pro-Brotherhood forces which is necessary to uproot Muslim Brotherhood and completely dismantle the organization once and for all.

Unfortunately, the downside of the constitution is that the new draft reflects leftist parties' insistence on a more expansive government role in providing social services. This should have been complimented by allowing more market forces and private sector to handle these issues which would become a source of economic growth and job creation. In addition to the many state responsibilities envisioned in the previous constitution, the charter now commits the government to "achieving social justice" (Article 8), providing "food resources to all citizens" (Article 79), and guaranteeing the elderly "appropriate pensions to ensure them a decent standard of living" (Article 83). However, this article was necessary to counter the Muslim brotherhood’s fraudulent promises of free food, shelter, education and health to deceive the voters. It also mandates an specific state spending: at least 3 percent of gross domestic product must be spent on healthcare (Article 18), 4 percent on education (Article 19), 2 percent on higher education (Article 21), and 1 percent on scientific research (Article 23) -- all of which must be put into effect by fiscal year 2016/2017 (Article 238). This is the proof that the current leaders are benevolent because unless Egyptians are given education and health they will not be able to liberate themselves from illiteracy and ignorance which is the source of abuse by the Muslim Brotherhood preachers.

A successful referendum is expected and will allow the political transition to move forward, the massive state spending that the new constitution need close attention in the long term, suggesting that the current government must encourage national productivity and economic growth to generate the needed revenue for a full enforcement of the charter. In particular, once the government fulfills the constitutional requirement to spend 10 percent of GDP -- not merely 10 percent of its budget -- on specific social services, it could catalyze a rise of confidence in the economy. The latest economic data highlights the low risk of such state spending: Egypt's cash reserves fell from $18.6 billion to $17.8 billion between October and November, and the government does not expect indefinite generosity from the wealthy Persian Gulf states that pledged $12 billion to Cairo following Mursi's removal. Yet if the government tries to avoid these outcomes by not following the new constitution, Egypt will continue to lack the legal rationalism that any stable political system requires.

Given the U.S. interest in a stable Egypt moving toward effective civilian rule, Washington's response to the upcoming referendum should emphasize both short- and long-term goals. This means encouraging a fair and clean voting process by pledging U.S. military aid if the referendum is conducted properly. And since a successful referendum will saddle Egypt with a constitution that is the choice of the vast majority of Egyptians, Washington and its allies should continue their aid and encouraging Cairo to proceed with a progressive and gradual economic and political reforms.

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