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Arab Tribalism: Response to Mark Goldberg

Reader comment on item: The Middle East's Tribal Affliction
in response to reader comment: Arab tribalism

Submitted by Gloria Stewart (United States), Jan 28, 2008 at 18:25

A tribe is a closed circle with limited access. This access is most often obtained through birth and marriage. The leaders of the tribe are normally elders with family connections. Successful ventures often involve the appearance of success rather than the fact of success. It can be form without substance. Leadership is usually not based on merit. Innovation, initiative and strategic planning tend to threaten the leadership of the tribe because they exhibit merit, individual initiative and self interest and at some point have to be based on actual accomplishment.

Islam does not only concern itself with religion. It is far more comprehensive. Being a Muslim is not like being a Presbyterian. I am sure Mark is familiar with sharia law which is attached to Islam. Islam also deals with economic, social, and cultural issues. Islam is a way of life as has been attested to by no shortage of Islamic scholars.

Under Mohammed the mosque was also the center of political power. It was intended to be. There was no separation of church and state. Nor does the concept of such separation exist in Islamic jurisprudence, scholarship or historical development. In the West we believe that our rights are given to us by God. If the state and the church are one, how can this be? Rights against the state would be then be rights against God.

I hope this clears matters up.

Gloria Stewart

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