Freedom of expression in the Arab world: the theory of silencing the imagination: when a myth spreads, the dream of progress is shattered


Freedom of opinion and expression in the Arab world in the face of a serious social machine to silence the imagination that works efficiently. Writer and novelist Khaled Al-Khamisi writes for the Qantara website about the mechanisms of social repression and the reasons why most Arabs fiercely defend the existence of political monitoring mechanisms on the creativity of artists and writers.

Does the journalist have the freedom to write all the ideas he wants that do not contradict the provisions of the law?

Can the writer freely express the package of ideas that he imagines are appropriate for the progress of his country?

can he Enjoying Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Which states it That everyone has the right to enjoy freedom of opinion and expression, and this right includes his or her freedom to have opinions without harassment, and to seek, receive and convey information and ideas to others, by any means and without regard to borders. ?

The thoughts of those who read these questions will turn to the mechanisms of political, legal and judicial repression, and sometimes to some constitutional articles, which can represent constraints for any free thought. But here I will talk about social oppression in our Arab region.

I would like to start with a simple and definitive answer to these questions.

This freedom is not guaranteed to a serious writer.

Although Everyone speaks for his defense of freedom, but it seems to me that the majority of Arabs are fiercely defending themselves for the existence of political monitoring mechanisms on the creativity of artists and writers..

The question is: how did we realize that people who do not hold political office are a tool of oppression in society? What are their tools of repression? Who trained them to practice repression? What ideas form the intellectual framework for their repressive practice?

Conservative Arab society and mentality Promotion of virtue and prevention of vice

We can describe Arab societies in general as conservative societies. That is, they are societies that work to preserve traditional institutions in society, that support stability and defend hierarchy rather than equality, and that view innovation with suspicion. Priority is given to the concept of order, which supports the current distribution of wealth and social status.

Therefore, we find in the Egyptian constitution, for example, an article that reads: “The family is the basis of society, its foundation is religion, morality and patriotism, and the state is passionate about its cohesion and stability and consolidation. of its values ​​”. It is a course that explains clearly and in clear terms the values ​​of a conservative society that aims at the cohesion and stability of traditional values.

These societies also support the interference of their members in the affairs of others and the moral judgment of their actions. More often than not, the least educated and the most reactionary clearly interfere in the lives of those around him.

Some attribute this blatant interference to their understanding of the doctrine of enjoining good and forbidding evil, and to their perception of the meaning of the noble hadith: “Those of you who see a questionable, change it with your hand. If you can’t, then with your hand. his language What is reported?

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