The folkloric primitive traditions and practices wrongly named ‘Beliefs’, that intellectual giants like Taha Hussein, Yehia Hakky, Tewfick El Hakim, Youssef Idris, Youssel Essebaei and Naguib Mahfouz denounced and fought in most of their novels and writings; are still controlling minds and lives in almost all the rural and desert territories of Egypt!
Why? Because of poverty.. The poor have no alternative but to trust, believe and follow the only institutional figure apparently ‘honest’ and ‘truthful’, and that is the “Imam”.. For he’s the one who knows the word of Allah, recites the Koran, guides the prayers, and celebrates the sermons.. And that’s not all, because an Imam is the only available reference for counseling, and here lies the danger of the role!
The Imam of a village have manifested for centuries the cultural pathology of a chronic and rigid close-mindedness, due to his undeveloped static medieval knowledge, which drive him as well to trust and follow another institutional figure: “El Omda”; because he is richer and more connected, then by force he knows better.. He represents “Uly El Amr” isn’t he?
But the Omda himself isn’t free; for he’s controlled, so to say, by the “Ma’Mour” who in his turn reports to the “Hakemdar” who follows the orders of “Modir El Amn” whose subordinate to the Minister of Interior! And each of them has his own personal pressing needs and ambitions which leave little to no room for slower curios observation and profound critical analysis as the bases for any evolutionary knowledge.
But let’s return for a while to the Imam, who in most cases also assumes the role of the “Teacher”, he’s also obliged to concede certain compromises vis-à-vis the village Doctor, the Land-Owners, the Pharmacist, the Grocer, the Butcher and so on. Of course all these compromises entails a blind eye, a deaf ear and a favourable counsel (fatwa).. Because the indisputable order is “The Duty of unconditional Obedience to Uly’L’Amr”.
Such restrained and short-sighted poor understanding of life, society and culture produces not only individuals economically poor, but as well infected by poor morals, poor health, and much poorer restricted sense of belonging (you can imagine what type of new generations they will breed); save some very rare examples (hundreds of self empowered individuals who forced their way out from the mold and turned into illuminating stars in literature, science, art, jurisprudence, industry and finance) just to prove the rule (tens of millions of other short sighted units grown and educated identically to become deprived from any ambition).
The same concept applies for today’s approach to issues like authority, power, and the rules of governance.. Take the two major contenders in the Egyptian Political Arena: The Muslim Brotherhood and the Military Institution.. Both are structured on the foundations of “Hierarchical Blind Obedience”, the first by faith the other by discipline; so that whomever thinks differently or manifests his malcontent becomes automatically an Out-Cast.. An Ex-Communicated individual destined to rot in oblivion if not condemned for “Treason”.
And because the majority of the countries’ citizens originate from rural and sub-urban areas, torn between the teachings of a poorly prepared Imam and the late night Sat-TV pornography (now available and accessible via internet and cell-phones, both along with other handy technologies are very aggressively marketed and cheaply sold); you can figure out the sorts of any social, political, administrative, economical and cultural referendum or elections.
These two institutions have seeded the Winds of oppression and submission for centuries, and today We are harvesting the Storms of chaos, insecurity, economic crisis and political instability.. Who knows for how much longer we’ll live it.
We change ourselves, we change the equation. Logic but hard and time consuming, yet feasible; in theory! In practice? Given the dominating and brain washing Institutional Theosophy: Heretic.. Unimaginable.. Insane.. Unbearable.. Impossible!Pass On The Word.