Democ­racy is the only way to free minds and thoughts

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Sabri Mag­dacy

The term ‘democ­racy’ in­di­cates a high state of free thought and ex­pres­sion, re­li­gious tol­er­ance, in­di­vid­ual lib­erty, po­lit­i­cal self-de­ter­mi­na­tion, a fair and just so­ci­ety through ma­jor­ity rule and voting passed on from people to the govern­ment. The state’s most im­por­tant du­ties in these kinds of regime are treat­ing the in­di­vid­ual as a cit­i­zen with full rights and du­ties, and al­low­ing people to achieve their rights and in­ter­ests.

The right to flour­ish, to free­dom, peace and dig­nity are con­sid­ered the un­der­ly­ing prin­ci­ples of democ­racy which, in its deep­est mean­ing, has al­ways stood for truly hu­man so­lu­tions and hu­man prob­lems; democ­racy re­spects the rights and dig­nity of ev­ery­one, not just the few.

Of course, the ini­tial foun­da­tions of this ad­vanced ide­ol­ogy were based upon the prin­ci­ples of ra­tio­nal­ity af­ter a bit­ter strug­gle waged by Europe’s schools of thought down the ages.

Hence, we can as­sert that the con­cept of po­lit­i­cal democ­racy is so­phis­ti­cated and rigid, since it is pos­si­ble to im­prove the shape and con­cept of democ­racy depend­ing on the time and place. No won­der the sys­tem has spread across con­ti­nents and been adapted by dif­fer­ent cul­tures.

The Euro­pean peo­ples val­ued this kind of sys­tem, and they con­sid­ered it a typ­i­cal Euro­pean in­ven­tion, even though the con­cept is the prod­uct of dif­fer­ent faiths and cul­tures through­out hu­man his­tory. In re­al­ity, how­ever, the Euro­pean na­tions has been as­so­ci­ated with this sys­tem for the pur­pose of achiev­ing max­i­mum free­dom, jus­tice and equal­ity among the people.

The Euro­peans tried very hard to adopt demo­cratic sys­tems in all spheres of po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and so­cial jus­tice and used these pre­cious val­ues to lib­er­ate the people from monotony and in­tel­lec­tual stag­na­tion, which in turn led to growth and sub­stan­tial progress in Western Euro­pean coun­tries. The sys­tem proved to be the only one ca­pa­ble of serv­ing the Euro­pean na­tions and get­ting them closer to one an­other.

The em­pha­sis on democ­racy by all means reached all parts of Europe, in­clud­ing the east and all the coun­tries con­trolled by the Nazi regime in Ger­many and the fas­cist regime in Italy, as well as most of the states ruled by pro­le­tar­ian dic­ta­tor­ships for decades.

Grad­u­ally, the demo­cratic sys­tem spread to many coun­tries in East Asia and Africa as well as most of the na­tions of Latin and South Amer­ica.

The time has come for real democ­racy to play a role in res­cu­ing the Arab world from the re­ces­sion, monotony and isolation which hin­ders the in­tel­lec­tual march to­wards progress; with­out a real demo­cratic sys­tem, that will not be pos­si­ble.

We watch on as Arabs and Mus- lims de­mand this kind of regime. And the old "The people want regime change", is grad­u­ally chang­ing to the more ac­cu­racy and cred­i­ble "people wants to eman­ci­pate the mind"--a very rev­o­lu­tion­ary slo­gan which clearly in­di­cates the need for a change in men­tal­ity in the Mid­dle East and the Is­lamic world. Af­ter all, “Man must first be trans­formed in­side in or­der to change the world around him.”

It is very clear to­day that the val­ues of the demo­cratic ide­ol­ogy can play an ac­tive and ef­fec­tive part in the re­nais­sance of our peo­ples and the con­sol­i­da­tion of the true mean­ing of life among the mem­bers of our com­mu­ni­ties.

Why are the Kurds not en­ti­tled to what are en­ti­tled to?

The Kurds are an an­cient na­tion in Mid­dle East. They have lived for thou­sands of years in their ar­eas of ori­gin, Kur­dis­tan, which in­cludes parts of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, “Ira­nian Azer­bai­jan” and Ar­me­nia.

Un­for­tu­nately, there are no ac­cu­rate sta­tis­tics on the num­ber of Kurds in the world, al­though es­ti­mates in­di­cate the ex­is­tence of ap­prox­i­mately 35 to 40 mil­lion Kurds. Half of them lives in Turkey, where they make up 20-25 % of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion; the rest are di­vided be­tween other coun­tries such as Iran, Iraq and Syria. In ad­di­tion, large num­bers of Kurds have em­i­grated to Europe, the United States, Le­banon and Rus­sia, due to po­lit­i­cal crises and re­peated per­se­cu­tions against them in their coun­tries of ori­gin.

The Kur­dish people have suf­fered re­pres­sion and per­se­cu­tion in ev­ery coun­try in the Mid­dle East. While most of the people in the world have got what they wanted and gained their in­de­pen­dence, the Kurds were not given a chance to es­tab­lish their in­de­pen­dent state. In­de­pen­dent Kur­dish states have thus only ex­isted for very short pe­ri­ods of time in ex­tremely limited ge­o­graph­i­cal area--the “Repub­lic of Ma­habad”, for ex­am­ple, be­tween 1946 and 1947 in Iran.

This is clearly a nat­u­ral right, and can­not be re­fused or-stood against. Still, when­ever the Kurds de­manded the right to es­tab­lish their in­de­pen­dent state, we find some­one scream­ing and mak­ing a lot of noise, even though the de­mand is le­git­i­mate rights as we men­tioned.

It seems that what is a le­git­i­mate right for oth­ers is for­bid­den to the Kurds, or that it is a taboo that can­not even be ut­tered, while for oth­ers it is ac­cept­able and even de­sir­able-as in the case of Kosovo, East Ti­mor or South Sudan.

The ques­tion that al­ways comes to mind is why does the Kur­dish dream an­tag­o­nize most of the Arab states? What if the ma­jor­ity of people in Iraq were Kurds and the Arabs made up only a mi­nor­ity of less than 10-15 %? Wouldn’t the Arab states sup­port their fel­low Arabs then to es­tab­lish their in­de­pen­dent state as they de­fend and sup­port the es­tab­lish­ment of a state to­day for the Arabs of Ah­vaz in Iran?

For­tu­nately, the sit­u­a­tion in the world has changed now, be­cause the time of re­bel­lion and disobe­di­ence is no longer use­ful as far as stat­ing how to put things in a civ­i­lized way. And the dan­ger posed by gov­ern­ments and author­i­tar­ian regimes no longer ex­ists. And the de­spi­ca­ble at­tempts in which they were try­ing to blur the Kur­dish iden­tity and to paint it with con­tam­i­nat­ing ideas no longer ex­ists, ei­ther.

It seems very clearly to­day that the will of the people is stronger and very dom­i­nant, and their will to live in free­dom, honor and dig­nity will pre­vail no mat­ter what in the end. In ad­di­tion to that, it is very cer­tain to the Per­sians, Turks and Arabs that the will of the Kur­dish people can­not be de­feated, be­cause the Kurds can with­stand, cope and man­age things bet­ter than most na­tions in the area. I could say with­out ex­ag­ger­a­tion that the Kurds could reach the high stan­dard of a truly civ­i­lized na­tion, es­pe­cially given po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity, so­cial peace and sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth.

I have no doubt that the govern­ment in the prov­ince of Kur­dis­tan are work­ing very hard to sus­tain the eco­nomic boom and prove their abil­ity to sur­vive de­spite all the dif­fi­cult chal­lenges they face both in­ter­nally and ex­ter­nally. There­fore, many econ­o­mists ex­pected the ar­rival of Iraqi Kur­dis­tan in the ranks of ma­ture economies in the next ten years. And to pro­mote this goal, the strate­gic vi­sion of Iraqi Kur­dis­tan for 2020 is of a ter­ri­tory ahead of other ter­ri­to­ries in the re­gion (if we as­sume the sur­vival of the federal state), or a highly de­vel­oped coun­try in eco­nomic, so­cial, cul­tural, ju­di­cial and moral terms with po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity, pop­u­lar par­tic­i­pa­tion, qual­ity of life and gov­ern­men­tal in­tegrity.

In fact, the ex­is­tence of huge amounts of oil and gas in Kur­dis­tan is a great chance for the Kur­dish govern­ment to im­prove their fu­ture in the hope that they will ben­e­fit the people of Kur­dis­tan and sur­round­ing coun­tries.

Cer­tainly, the prov­ince needs a re­nais­sance and to con­sider the fu­ture to safe­guard the dig­nity of the Kur­dish people and the other mi­nori­ties liv­ing in the re­gion for the sac­ri­fices they have made to this day.

Of course, we can­not for­get the dis­pute be­tween the prov­ince and Bagh­dad, but their dif­fer­ences can surely be ne­go­ti­ated. We do not ex­pect things to go through smoothly and eas­ily, but it is well known that “Rights are taken, not given".

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iraq

© PressReader. All rights reserved.