The secularists of Palestine … organizations, parties, elites and civil institutions (1 of 2)

Despite all the difficulties and challenges surrounding the presentation of secularism and the adoption of its ideas among the Palestinians, regardless of their geographical presence, due to the conservative nature of the Palestinian society and the existence of effective and influential Islamic currents, Palestinian organizations, especially the leftist ones, some cultural elites, and many community institutions Al-Madani adopted secularism as an intellectual and political vision represented by separating the religious from the political, and not to include it in it.

According to researchers, the “Palestinian Declaration of Independence Document” issued by the Palestinian National Council in its (19) session held in Algeria on November 15, 1988 included many of the principles of central secularism when it stipulated that “the state of Palestine belongs to the Palestinians wherever they are, in which they develop their identity.” Cultural patriotism, and they enjoy complete equality of rights, and their religious and political beliefs and their human dignity are preserved in it, in a parliamentary democracy based on freedom of opinion.

It also stipulated “freedom to form parties, sponsor the majority, minority rights, respect for the minority the decisions of the majority, and social justice, equality and non-discrimination in public rights on the basis of race, religion or color between women and men, in light of a constitution that secures the rule of law and independent judiciary on the basis of full fulfillment.” Palestine’s spiritual and civilizational heritage of tolerance and tolerant coexistence between religions over the centuries.

However, what was stated in some articles of the Palestinian constitution of the text that “Islam is the official religion in Palestine and all the monotheistic religions respect them and their sanctity, and the principles of Islamic law are a main source of legislation” aroused the anger of secular currents because, in their view, it represents a resounding revolution against the brilliant history of the contemporary Palestinian national movement. The stipulation that the religion of the Palestinian state is Islam represents a withdrawal from the idea of ​​a “democratic state” as well as secularism, which was presented by the Fatah movement in its famous statement to the United Nations in November 1968 … according to the Palestinian writer, Samar Barghouti.

In his characterizing the existence of secularism in Palestinian circles, Palestinian academic and journalist Dr. Saeed Ayad said, “Secularism exists (theoretically), mainly in the intellectual and political structure of the leftist factions, although its influence in terms of mass expansion is limited and weak given the decline in the political vision of these factions.”


He added, “Likewise, the left-wing currents have not been interested enough to spread secular thought since its establishment for fear of colliding with the value and religious heritage of large areas of people. Therefore, secular thought remained confined to slogans and speeches, and it did not turn into a real practice reflected in laws and public behavior.”

He continued in his statements to“Arabic 21”: “Perhaps this is due to the ambiguity of the concept of secularism among many citizens, and then resistance to this thought by counter-currents with references of religious interpretation,” he said.

Regarding the ideas and visions that the Palestinian secularists seek to spread, Ayyad pointed out that they are “interested in and interested in disseminating the enlightening and free thought without clashing with other contradictory ideas, based on their deep belief in the necessity of plurality of opinions in the framework of a true democracy that opens horizons and spaces for every thought to express its essence and vision freely.” .

Regarding the extent of the existence of organizational frameworks for secular currents in Palestinian circles, Ayad believed that “there are no organized frameworks for the secular in the political or partisan sense, with the exception of what exists among the Palestinian left-wing factions, but there are important frameworks in the social context through civil society institutions that try to empower the intellectual structure of society from Many sectors are opening up to other ideas. ”

And he added: “But it faces subjective and objective difficulties, which makes its impact so far not of the required scale, and is unable to radically change, especially in laws and regulations, with significant progress in this, but it is slow, although there is an important effectiveness of academics and writers in this field, this is reflected. In their research, intellectual seminars and creative production. “

He described these efforts as “gradually accumulating the possibility of changing from a monolithic vision of society to intellectual pluralism, which in turn leads Palestinian society to the future on the basis of the right of every citizen to exercise his political, social and economic rights in accordance with his vision that must be protected by law. Society, the concept of the state and its reference. ”

For his part, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hebron, Dr. Moataz Qafisha, pointed out that “secular ideas are most prevalent among the leftist Palestinian organizations, and they do not directly present their ideas and slogans, with the absence of organizational and institutional frameworks that adopt the theses and visions of secularism and call for them directly.” .

He added, “In recent years, there has been a significant decline in the presence and influence of secular currents in Palestinian circles, due to the presence of effective and influential Islamic currents that lean in their propaganda and mobilization campaigns to stir up religious sentiments by posing attractive religious slogans” according to his description.



Qafisha noted in his speech to“Arabic 21” Some leftist organizations, such as the Popular Front and the Democratic Front, are also using religious slogans in their propaganda and electoral campaigns, because they feel that the various Islamic currents are using religion to attract the street and influence it by stirring up these slogans.

Regarding what secular currents lack in order to achieve greater presence in Palestinian society, the academic Qafisha stressed that it “needs to renew the political discourse, in addition to the need to provide practical solutions to the problems and concerns of the life of the Palestinian citizen.”

In turn, the Palestinian writer Ayman Khaled pointed out that “with the emergence of the terms of liberation and the resurrection of colonialism and others, the idea of ​​renaissance became based on confrontation with the West, and between the expansion of communism and its death, the cultural and party elites were divided according to the existing political colors.”

He continued: “In Palestine, the elites were divided between a communist who sees secularism from a Marxist perspective, and between others that are lost between nationalism and others, but in general the cultural identity remained turbulent, reflecting the general differences between those trends.”

And Khaled warned in his dialogue with “Arabic 21” However, “when we dealt with secularism, it is as an intellectual system that needs an institutional framework to be completed, and this is not available because the partisan mind dominates the institutional mind, and this keeps the idea of ​​secularism the subject of a partisan and political debate rather than a cultural system that can be a scientific basis for various fields.”

Speaking about what is lacking in the secular Palestine, he stressed that “what is lacking is what is lacking in the general Palestinian people, who, like other societies in the eastern Mediterranean, still confuse outdated customs and traditions, with culture, religion and the general nature of life.”

Personally speaking of the nature of the Palestinian mind governing thought and politics, Khaled described this by saying: “Despite the presence of the largest percentage of educated Palestinians among the peoples of the region in terms of proportion and proportion, the Palestinian mind still retains the entire (holdings) of the tribe from the fragile and turbulent thought to the complex of the individual party leader who does not Similar to him, to the political party that may not gather twenty members but sees itself as the owner of the renaissance project, “as he put it.

He outlined his idea by emphasizing that “the secular idea is present on the students’ board as a big title, but most of the school’s students respect the opinion of the tribe’s sheikh more than they respect the school professor .. The parties, factions and cultural circles have kept the secular idea captive to debates only, and this is the most we can do. ”



Source: عربي21 by arabi21.com.

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