True Activism (Or what’s left of it) and What it has to Do with Islamic Liberalism: For

So Politics is the new “Cool”, kinda of weird actually, for people who have been falling in and out of Politics all their life. People like me and many guys and gals I care about. But gotta go with the flow. And God there is no more beautiful flow than this. Art, Politics, and Culture entwining together and revolutionizing into the new Trend. Perfect, Right? No. Not really and you’re about to know why.

Youssef Chahine said that the Egyptian people are as spiritual as they are sensual. Not many people pay much attention to that description. Although it really wit holds the answer to pretty much everything that is going on now in Egypt. 

Egyptians adapted Western Concepts, Ideologies, and Dreams. They neither adopted them fully (even if they did they wouldn’t know how to fit them in our society and culture) nor did they adopt only what can be beneficial and resourceful for our Egyptian Community. The thing is this is where ignorance is actually a blessing.

Liberalism concepts that have been adopted at the beginning of the Arab Spring and not only Egypt, concepts like Democracy, Freedom of Speech, Social Justice and Dignity, and Bread to all. They are the basics, basics of existence, of life, and of Freedom. That’s why Liberalism is the most adopted ideology around the world more than communism or fascism. Because it’s simple and just. The blessing of ignorance lies in people not knowing the definition of Liberalism in the first place. So it’s the How that’s the problem. How to adapt old rules into a new game.

Liberalism stands on a secular ground. Many activists have called for that more than once on more than one occasion. The thing is the separation of  religion from the state, gosh the separation of religion from anything doesn’t come naturally to Egyptians at all. They are simply too spiritual. They want Democracy, they want freedom of speech, they want social justice, and they definitely want economic prosperity and equality. Because it just all sounds good and just and more importantly because they are way too sensual to pass on things as great as that. The dilemma lies in the balance between the sensuality and spirituality.

How to work around the profound connection with God no matter what their religion is and merge that with Liberal and Modern Concepts. The thing is on real ground what has proved to us is that it is achievable. 

So let’s just stop and reassess for a second okay? Who are the people, who are working, really working, for the welfare of the Egyptian Community now? Sadly the same ones who were working in 2007 in the Worker’s Protests, and the same people who stood in Khaled Said’s silent protest on the Corniche of Alexandria holding candles. They didn’t change, which is sad and frustrating, but none the less TRUE. Because you need to take out the remainders of businessmen that were in direct co-operation with Mubarak’s Regime and are in defiance now, the wanna bes, the hypocrites, and the God damn thieves that didn’t get their chance to rob and con the Egyptian people in Mubarak’s era out of their money, their businesses and market are blooming now. So taking all these out, who do we have left?

A Muslim Brotherhood 20-year-old member that just doesn’t believe in what the elders and Brotherhood administration is saying any more and has a feeling in the bottom of his gut that something is off.

A 20-year-old Salafi member who has been in exile in his own country all his young life, dazed confused and just wanna do the right thing.

A young 20-year-old think he is but really is not Liberal that has been brought up on the banks of Western education and has been affected by it more than he’d like to admit.

Young folks that have gone down in 2007, 2009, and 2011 and will probably go down in 25 January 2012 too.

They don’t know what they’re called and try hopelessly to gather and mobilize themselves in organizations and movements that always have the same title, I mean you can only say the same thing in so many words “Egypt”.

They don’t know anything else and they don’t care about nothing else, all they know is Egypt. And so they try to make sense of an illogical predicament that no one expected and no one knows how to react to.

They try to hide behind figures they think are true and good. These people disappoint them in so many more ways than one. Worst thing ever to happen to someone who believes in the idea of believing is being let down. So they are let down, time and again.

They break off and defy. Then when they do it, takes them forever to figure out just what the hell they’ll do now. But they figure it out in time. They are the answer, the missing piece. Unity in real world. True  Unity. They will find their way. Now they might not know what they’re called but I do.

Islamic Liberalism many won’t like me that much now. But you don’t have to like me or listen to me or read my opinion, all you have to do is take a true and honest look around you and see.

You’ll find a traditional coffee shop at the corner of my street where most of the men in my neighbourhood hang around and about.

College professors, students high school and college, butchers, supermarket owners, dry cleaners, etc… They hear the prayer Christians help Muslims lay down the mats to pray and sit down waiting while they do. Then when they come back they switch on the T.V. and instead of watching the news then turning on the radio (to listen Eza3et El Aghany (Oldies Music Radio Broadcast)) or watch the soccer match or the concert airing, they tune in to the political and social talk shows instead. They hear the hypocrites out then turn them off and turn on the radio. The radio in the background they talk politics and life till 2 am. Day in day out. Now tell me what you call that ? They argue what democracy is Professors butting in to state things they really don’t know a thing about in the first place but they’re all happy none the less. Christians don’t think they’re marginalized and the Coffee Shop owner don’t give a damn in God’s name if that boy that comes everyday with his friends has a beard so long it makes the ground look so darn close. What do you call that ? Agree with me or not that’s Islamic Liberalism. No fancy definitions, or long explanations, simply profound.

That’s how our society has fit the new fancy words in their normal lives. After Eisha prayer and before El Fagr prayer. Don’t fight the people. Don’t force upon them what they don’t accept. Lay your tongue down and sit down and observe how they solved your difficult dilemmas. Then put a name tag on it. Islamic Liberalism.

Marwa Arafa

This piece was published on


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