Now, I live in the United Kingdom, where the state does more surveillance than any other functioning democracy and requires extra-legal and untransparent censorship by internet service providers (because "Won't somebody think of the children?"). But even to me, this statement--at an international meeting, no less--sounded borderline unhinged. A few raised eyebrows and exchanged knowing smiles. Chatting to a European diplomat afterward, I asked what had just happened. "Oh, it's just what they do now," he said.
The failure of the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey once again exposed a cognitive chasm between many in the Western and Muslim worlds when it comes to upholding ostensibly universal values surrounding democracy and self-determination. Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre who, along with Frantz Fanon, led the Western intellectual struggle against colonial mass slaughter and torture in Algeria, defined "mauvaise foi" or "bad faith", as insincerity towards one's professed highest values which inevitably ends in self-deception and defeat. In this vein, it was sobering to watch the leading news networks in the United States, such as CNN and Fox, when it seemed the Turkish coup might be succeeding. A number of American politicians and network "experts" could scarcely suppress their glee over the thought that the elected government would be overthrown and another General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi type junta in Turkey would, according to them, "serve American interests". Even The New York Times, labelled the popular defence of democracy a "counter-coup", and the millions of common citizens who repeatedly defied death as being akin to Erdogan's "sheep".
Who elected Tony Blair as the prime minister of the United Kingdom for more than a decade (1997-2007)? Did Iraqis vote for him - anyone in the Arab or Muslim world? Which UK political party did he represent: the retrograde Conservative or the progressive Labour - in fact as the leader of the Labour Party between 1994 and 2007? How many votes did he receive as the leader of the Labour Party? How many blue-blooded British and UK citizens freely and fairly voted for Tony Blair during the election?