WASHINGTON, September 15, 2014 — For activists and others who are in prison due to their desire for freedom, September 15 is International Democracy day.
In the year 2007, the United Nations General Assembly resolved to observe this particular day as the International Day of Democracy. The purpose of promoting such a subject was to introduce the principle of democracy to the world, inviting nations to contribute to this concept by bringing democracy to their country.
The unfortunate news is that there are entire minority groups and tens of millions of individuals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) who are denied democracy. The United Nations has failed to address this issue and convince these countries that democracy would benefit them in regards to tourism, financials, as well as standards of living.
In this report, we will mention a number of nations which lack democracy and are known to imprison human rights activists, imposing on them severe torture. We then ask the United Nations to bring new ways of introducing the concept of democracy in regards to these nations.
“Religious freedom” is a concept that the Saudi government never tried to understand or allow for the sake of humanity. The massive Wahhabi influence on the government of Saudi Arabia bars others from the free practice religions other than the Wahhabi version of Islam. Wahhabism is considered by most to be an extremist group that sponsors terrorism and persecutes other religions. An example of such sponsorship is the terrorist group that carried out attacks on the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001: a well-funded extremist group, al Qaeda.
Lack of women’s rights is another result of a lack of democracy. Saudi women are less represented in political, economical and social fields. They are not allowed to participate or study certain fields of education and are prohibited to drive because of Fatwa (Legal opinion) of the Wahhabi scholars.
Shia Muslims and Christians are the main target of religious authorities who enforce Wahhabism in the country.
Since 2011 and the start of the Arab spring, many countries got rid of their dictator leaders. In the case of Bahrain, however, because of western political interest in the region and honoring of the wealthy kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the United States assumed that the majority Shia Muslim populations in Bahrain are OK with the current minority dictatorship.
The democracy that the United Nations and the US promote does not apply to this country. We, the United States, even close our eyes to the arrest, torture and rape of women and children because of our alliances.
According to Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and the research done by Holly G. Atkinson MD, “Bahrain’s Unprecedented Use of Toxic Chemical Agents against Civilians” cost the lives of many Bahraini citizens, yet, the lack of US response shows how much we care about democracy if the particular government is our ally.
Democracy does not mean giving up religion, ethnicity and/ or culture. The concept of Democracy must be presented to benefit the people of the nation and bring more peace and tolerance to the region.
A reward system of increased economic incentive or respect can be used to encourage democracy. Reward system can come from countries by expanding their relations, economically and financially.
While there are many historical attractions in the Middle East, the dictator regimes have scared off tourism. Democracy will bring more tourist to the country, more interaction to the museum and business as the tourist will be less fearful of arrest on grounds of religion. Change in favor of democracy shows acceptance that religion is an internal communication toward your creator and no one should be permitted to convince you otherwise. There are many countries lacking tourist because of fear of being arrested. Saudi Arabia is one example. You can stand in Time Square of New York and pray in middle of side walk without having fear of disruption or arrest. But in Saudi Arabia you get arrested because of praying by Saudi Religious forces.
Democracy encourages respect within a nation. If the governments respect its people, the people are bound to express their concerns and work to better their ties of their nation. People of different religions should sit down and agree to disagree; they should learn tolerance and acceptance towards each other. No one likes to leave their nationality and rely on another country for the sake of freedom. If the government system involves its people in running the country, no one would have anything to complain about.
The price of not having democracy is higher than having one, but the fear of losing power leaves governments refusing, and eventually not being able to create order in their nation.
There are many people dreaming to have a basic taste of democracy and live free in this world. Democracy is not an impossible concept, but we need to deliver it right to get a good result. People should not get arrested because of their rights. There should not be any political prisoners or citizenship revocation because they think free, or want to live free.