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Wikpiedia: Theocracy is a form of government in which a god or deity is recognized as the state's supreme civil ruler,[1] or in a higher sense, a form of government in which a state is governed by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided. In Common Greek, "theocracy" means a rule [kra′tos] by God [the.os′]. For believers, theocracy is a form of government in which divine power governs an earthly human state, either in a personal incarnation or, more often, via religious institutional representatives (i.e., a church), replacing or dominating civil government. Theocratic governments enact theonomic laws. Theocracy should be distinguished from other secular forms of government that have a state religion, or are merely influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held "By the Grace of God". A theocracy may be monist in form, where the administrative hierarchy of the government is identical with the administrative hierarchy of the religion, or it may have two 'arms,' but with the state administrative hierarchy subordinate to the religious hierarchy.

Now, for Morocco and Egypt.

Morocco: The ruler of this country - Mohammed IV is a proclaimed descendant of the infallible Prophet Mahomet; he retains the ultimate authority to dissolve the legislature, to appoint or dismiss the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet. This is NOT anecdotal and is significantly more "theocratic" by nature than governing "By the Grace of God" (and BTW - "govern" the Queen of England does not). Furthermore, Morocco's penal code is rooted in Sharia which is openly promulgated by the Government. Given this, one can effectively argue that Morocco is a form of theocracy.

Egypt: The original text of Article 2 of the 1971 Egyptian Constitution read: 'Islam is the religion of the State, Arabic is its official language, and the principles of Islamic Sharia are a principal source of legislation.' On May 22, 1980, the text of Article 2 was changed to read, 'Islam is the religion of the State, Arabic is its official language, and the principles of Islamic Sharia are THE principal source of legislation.' The result of this amendment effectively transformed Egypt into a 'constitutional theocracy,' in which no legislation could contravene Islamic legal principles. The widespread existence of official, government-established Sharia courts in Egypt (as in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sudan, Yemen) provide further evidence of the theocratic nature of Egyptian government. That this fact mortally offends some Egyptians changes not the fact that there are similarities between the Egyptian and the Saudi Arabian social orders.

The law being a direct expression of political orientation, one can say that the political system in these two countries subjects its citizens to God's Word Will and Law. That's not theocratic?

by Lynch on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 12:59:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You could at least try to get some basic facts right if you're going to post on here.

The current ruler of Morocco is Mohammed VI, not Mohammed IV. E.g. Mohammed VI of Morocco - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mohammed VI is generally opposed by Islamist conservatives, and some of his reforms have angered fundamentalists. He also created a new family code, or Mudawana, which granted women more power.[3]

Quite the firebrand theocrat.

As for Egypt - how many allegedly Sharia stonings have there been there recently?

Of course to the nuttier fringes of the neo-con West all Arabic countries are the same by definition, so it's unrealistic to expect to any nuance, experience or local insight.

So far you're doing an excellent job of living down to that assessment.

Did you know that Canada is a theocracy too?

ICL - Canada - Constitution Act 1982

Whereas Canada is founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:

So are Germany, Ireland, Australia, and the Bahamas - among others.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 01:46:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
May I suggest that you go to Wikipedia and change the definition of what a theocracy is by adding: "the characteristic of theocracies is when there are Sharia stonings". You can also add: "Germany, Ireland, Austria and the Bahamas - among others, are theocracies." Don't forget to sign and add your e-mail to the post.
by Lynch on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 02:03:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And what the hell does any of this have to do with Al Qaeda terrorism and 9/11? My inklings tell me that you are pushing Islamophobia, hate for Islam in support of the right wing Zionists and Neocons here in America.

Yet your persistent historical and substantive errors seem to make you totally unqualified to discuss anything in this area. Why don't you give it up?

by shergald on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 02:20:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why should we do that? I don't think that anyone here believes that?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 05:13:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh? It's really Rhetoric 101.

Lych: gives Wikipedia's definition of what a theocratic state is - one that is governed by immediate divine guidance... whose officials are regarded as divinely guided... which enacts theonomic laws. It can be argued that this is the case in Egypt given that its constitution stipulates that Sharia (read: infallible, theonomic law) is THE principal source of the country's legislation, and that its executive branch applies this divine legislation through state sponsored Sharia courts.

ThatBritGuy responds by saying: "Egypt can't be a theocracy coz there haven't been any Sahria stonings lately"... and goes on to say that "if this is your definition [it's Wikipedia's, not mine] of what a theocratic state is then Canada, Germany, Ireland, Australia and the Bahamas - among others - are also theocratic states"

If ThatBritGuy so firmly believes what he wrote, I suggest he amend Wikipedia to reflect his beliefs, either:
a) by adding something like "theocracies are governed by immediate divine guidance... practicing Sharia stoning" or
b) by leaving the definition as is and adding something like "according to this definition, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Australia and the Bahamas - among others - are theocratic states" or
c) by enlightening us all with his very own, completely different definition.

For the record - I never said that Saudi Arabia and Egypt (or all Arabic countries for that matter) were the same. What I said was that there were similarities between some of these countries. That, surprisingly, seems to be an indiscernible nuance to some around here who, instead of trying to understand the broader picture of what is being discussed, take the time and energy to point out a typo (IV instead of VI) thinking that it will somehow give more weight to their arguments. Also, I am not what you would refer to as a Neo-Con... nor am I Sarah Palin's admirer. That's such a grossly simplistic way of interpreting our (much more complex) socio-political landscape.

by Lynch on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 01:32:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 12:40:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lynch:
he retains the ultimate authority to dissolve the legislature, to appoint or dismiss the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet.

So he is a monarch with real powers. As commonly the case with monarchs, the position is inherited.

Lynch:

For believers, theocracy is a form of government in which divine power governs an earthly human state, either in a personal incarnation or, more often, via religious institutional representatives (i.e., a church), replacing or dominating civil government.

I.e. if Morocco was a theocracy, their ruler would be appointed (in a real, not just formal way) by the church.

If theocracy is defined as a) a monarch with real powers (absolute or limited by constitution) who b) claims authority by divine will (grace of god, descendant of prophet/god) and c) enacts laws that lends support from religious texts, then most of the world prior to the 20th century would be defined as theocracies. I find such a definition less useful.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 06:23:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since the Wikipedia entry about theocracy has been mentioned, maybe this further precision could help clarify some disputed notions:

Theocracy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theocracy should be distinguished from other secular forms of government that have a state religion, or are merely influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held "By the Grace of God".

That's what we've been saying haven't we?

Also:

For believers, theocracy is a form of government in which divine power governs an earthly human state, either in a personal incarnation or, more often, via religious institutional representatives (i.e., a church), replacing or dominating civil government

(my emphasis)

By this definition, the Vatican comes up on top.

by Bernard on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 07:49:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Furtermore, theocracy is not caesaropapism

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 09:04:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All hail nominalism!

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 09:08:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Amusing examples of French Presidents and powerless Queens aside, what would be comparable to the current Egyptian system is if the (let's say French) Constitution proclaimed Catholic Canon Law as being supreme in the interpretation of civil and penal justice, and if the state financed Catholic Tribunals to administer that Canon Law throughout France. If that were the case, you'd all be screaming that France is an oppressive, freedomless, bigoted theocracy. Of course, you'd have a valid point. And yet at the same time, you're all arguing that Egypt isn't a theocracy and that I'm producing... what was the word? Drivel? Inquisitive indeed, and just so arrogant!

I fail to understand why so many of you go out of your way to defend (or at least ignore) Islam's excesses while at the same time being so quick to denigrate Christianity and the Jews. Instead of criticizing Wahhabist bigotry on ET, we get "Yellow Crescents Armband Alerts". While it's certainly commendable to denounce racism, it's outright dangerous to denounce it in a unilateral manner because doing so will just exacerbate racism on both sides.

by Lynch on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 01:32:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lynch:
you go out of your way to defend (or at least ignore) Islam's excesses while at the same time being so quick to denigrate Christianity and the Jews.

Perfect strawman. So, saying that Egypt is not a theocracy means defending Islam's excesses (whatever that means)? We simply don't accept your narrative equating Islam and terrorism, period.

And could you please tell us when we denigrated the Jews? Or Christianity?

FYI, I have lived more than ten years in Arab countries, including Morocco and Saudi Arabia, so I am well aware of the oppression and crimes that are committed in the name of Islam...

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char

by Melanchthon on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 02:30:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure we're reading the same thread. Perhaps you could point out where I equate Islam with terrorism.
by Lynch on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 03:44:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lynch:
he retains the ultimate authority to dissolve the legislature, to appoint or dismiss the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet.

So does the President of the French Republic...

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char

by Melanchthon on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 06:37:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and by the way, the President of the French Republic, as the successor of the French kings, is canon of many churches, starting with the The Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran

Les titres de chanoine du président de la République française

Le président de la République française est ainsi, en tant que chef de l'État et successeur des rois de France :
  • premier chanoine de l'Archibasilique de Saint-Jean-du-Latran
  • proto-chanoine de la cathédrale d'Embrun (proto-chanoine : c'est le titre du premier des chanoines, qui a préséance sur tous les autres chanoines)
  • proto-chanoine de Notre-Dame de Cléry
  • chanoine honoraire de la cathédrale de Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
  • chanoine honoraire de l'église de Saint-Hilaire de Poitiers
  • chanoine honoraire de l'église de Saint-Martin de Tours
  • chanoine honoraire de l'église de Saint-Martin d'Angers
  • chanoine honoraire de l'église de Saint-Martin de Chalons


"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 06:51:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...and let's not forget: co-prince of the principality of Andorra, along with the Bishop of Urgell, Catalonia, Spain
by Bernard on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 07:35:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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