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ACM Home arrow Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World

Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World

Of the seven oldest continuing democracies in the world, five are constitutional monarchies, four of which have Queen Elizabeth II as their sovereign.

This is testimony to the fact that constitutional monarchy under the Westminster system is the only constitutional model which has been imported by other countries and which has operated successfully for any extended period of time.

This is not limited to the Christian world, Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Reformed. Constitutional Monarchy has worked very well in Arab and other Muslim countries.



...more freedom, peaceful transitions of power....




In these countries there has been more freedom of speech, with governments changing in elections or on the floor of parliament. Minorities have been better protected. The Copts in Egypt are a case in point. They were best protected under the British occupation and then the constitutional monarchy.  It was only after the installation of a republic that the persecution recommences, along with restricted rights and a dictatorship.

It would be unrealistic to expect that a monarchy in a developing country be as little involved in the direction of the government as in say, Canada.  But even where the monarch  actually governed as in say Iran, few would doubt that the position then was vastly superior to what is happening now.

A marvellous feature of monarchy is how it evolves, and evolves in a democratic direction, as we see today in Morocco.

Had the Shah survived  (and the French and American governments of the day must bear a great part of the blame), it is likely that under his son Iran would today be a happier, freer and less threatening power.

  

King of Morocco announces referendum Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Friday, 11 March 2011

One of the freest, most stable Arab countries, a constitutional monarchy, has just announced significant reforms. That the first Arab government to do this is a constitutional monarchy should not pass by unnoticed.

 The King of Morocco,  Mohammed VI, is being praised at home and around the world  for proposing wide-ranging reforms. France calls these 'important, responsible and brave.' 
( See the video clip below)

Image


The Kingdom of Morocco was for the first half of the twentieth century a French protectorate with a small Spanish protectorate in the north, Tangier being an international city administered by the consuls.



...independence and tolerance...





Led by King Mohammed V the Moroccans gained their independence in 1956, although the small Spanish enclaves of
Ceuta and Melilla remain in the North. (Spain regards these as integral parts of Spain; Morocco insists they are part of Morocco)

Morocco has been one of the most stable Arab countries, friendly to the West. Its Jewish minority has enjoyed the protection of the three Kings since independence. This is consistent with the attitude of the Sultans, as the Kings were once named,  who gave a haven to the Jews expelled from Spain, and later to the Spanish M
oriscos, the descendents of Jewish converts.



...reforms to the constitutional monarchy....




 Image

Already a constitutional monarchy, King Mohammed VI has significantly increased political freedom, while retaining an active role in the governance of the country.

In a television address to the nation on 11 March 2011, the King has promised a referendum to increase the independence of the judiciary, and to provide a stronger role for parliament and political parties. There will be a programme to devolve more power to local officials.


According to reports, the speech also appeared to go down well on the streets. This video clip is of a news report by Euronews, the major European news supplier.

'It was a speech of the future and for the future of Morocco, hand in hand with all Moroccans. We are united for the development of the country,' said one reveller after the address.

This video clip is of a news report by Euronews, the major European news provider.





 
Gaddafi suspended from UN Human Rights Council - what was he doing there? Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Wednesday, 02 March 2011
The UN General Assembly has suspended Libya from the UN Human Rights Council over leader Muammar Gaddafi's brutal crackdown on opposition protests.

Some readers may be surprised that Gaddafi’s people were on the UN Human rights Council. Was this a joke?

The Australian (2/3) reports that the 192-member assembly passed a suspension resolution on Tuesday by consensus, without a vote, after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the body to "act decisively" against Gaddafi.

Image
[ Colonel Gaddafi]


The UN should be embarrassed by the fact that Colonel Gaddafi’s Libya ever had a seat on the Human Rights Council or its predecessor. At one stage Libya assumed the presidency.

It is not only the Gaddafi regime. Governments with appalling human rights records are there and even deign to sit in judgement on countries like Australia.




...Gaddafi and Mugabwe still in the UN, but not the Commonwealth...





Gaddafi may be suspended from the Human Rights Council. Libya is a full member of the UN.
 
Compare that with our Commonwealth. If a member is guilty of human rights violations it gets its marching orders as Zimbabwe did. But Mugabwe is still in the United Nations.


Image

Libya was under British administration after our victory over the Nazis in North Africa, albeit briefly. Power was handed over to the anti-Nazi king Idress, subsequently overthrown by republican Colonel Gadaffi. But the link is probably sufficient for Libya to apply for membership of the Commonwealth. And before the republican movement ridicules this , there is a queue trying to get in.

One reason may be is that our Commonwealth  is one international organization with standards.





... republican movement's disdain for Commonwealth...




 

[Continued below]

Read more...
 
The King of Libya Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Wednesday, 02 March 2011


From London, Pierre Prier described Libyan Crown Prince Muhammad al-Sanusi watching a TV report of   Libyan insurgents brandishing the flag of the United Kingdom of Libya, red, black green and with a star and crescent, rather than the all green Gadaffi republican flag.

Image

He was reporting for the leading Parisian newspaper, Le Figaro on 28 February, 2011.


At 51, Crown Prince Muhammad al-Sanusi is heir apparent to the throne of Libya. His great-uncle King Idris I was overthrown by Colonel Gaddafi  forty-two years ago.

Image

This great popular revolution will ultimately be victorious, thanks to the unity of the Libyan people," he told Le Figaro.





...restoration...






Does Muhammad al-Sanusi  dream of a restoration?

Speaking to Le Figaro in Paris in December 2007, he had left the door ajar, " If the Libyans were to  choose the monarchy, I would be available . If they make another choice, I will respect it. "

Muhammad al-Sanusi was installed in a Paris hotel, 300 meters from Gaddafi's flamboyant tent, which he brought with him on an official visit to Paris.


 

...vengeful republicans....



The heir to the throne was then a soft-spoken man, with a short beard and wearing a dark well cut suit. Pierre Prier syas that at that time, he  trying to make his  voice heard, without much success.

 He said he had been threatened on the Champs-Elysees.  He remembers seeing his father, Hassan Reda, Libyan television signing the death certificate of the monarchy while King Idris I was abroad.

"My father told me afterwards that they  had put a gun to his head," he recounted.  

After two years in prison, Hassan Reda and his family lived under house arrest in Tripoli until one night in 1984. On that night militants of the revolutionary committees ordered them out and burned their house down.




...exile...





In exile in London, Mohammed al-Sanusi sees himself as a possible rallying point, "an umbrella for all the opposition groups."

He is prepared to talk to everyone - except the armed Islamists.




...the future?


In this 24 February interview with Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips, the Crown Prince asks the international community to help remove Gaddafi from power and stop the ongoing "massacre".





[Continued below ]

Read more...
 
Calls for Saudi constitutional monarchy Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 01 March 2011
More than 100 Saudi academics, activists and businessmen are calling for Saudi Arabia to be turned into  a ''constitutional monarchy'', according to the French newspaper Le Figaro (8/2).

This would be a revolution. Saudi Arabia has little in common with a constitutional monarchy (see below).

The statement  said the kingdom is facing a “prevalence of corruption and nepotism, the exacerbation of factionalism, and a widening in the gap between state and society.’’

They said oil wealth should be better distributed to the people instead of being channeled to expensive projects with few immediate benefits.


Image
[ King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz ]



.



...reform demanded...



 ''We will submit these requests to King Abdullah at a later stage,'' said Khaled al-Dakhil, a teacher of political science at the King Saud University and one of the 123 signatories of the petition.

''We have high hopes that these reforms will be implemented. Now is the time.''The petition calls for the election rather than appointment of a consultative council, and the creation of a constitutional monarchy - a demand that led to the arrest of activists in 2003-04.It also calls for greater participation of women in social and political life.

A  protest is being called for 11 March . It is not clear if the statement and protest call are connected.




...little to do with constitutional monarchy...


Image
[In the Australian State Coach ]


[Continued below]

Read more...
 
King Mohammed V of Morocco 1909-1961 Print E-mail
Written by Harold Schmauze   
Monday, 28 February 2011

While the world’s attention today focusses on the civil war in Libya, the Kingdom of Morocco commemorates the 50th anniversary of the passing away of the “pater patriae”, the father of the fatherland, His Majesty King Mohammed V.

King Mohammed V (10th August 1909 – 26th February 1961) (Arabic: محمد الخامس‎) was Sultan of Morocco from 1927-53, exiled from 1953–55, but he was again recognized as Sultan upon his return, and King from 1957 to 1961. His full name was Sidi Mohammed ben Youssef, or Son of Sultan Youssef, upon whose death he succeeded to the throne.



A well documented biography can be found here.

Sidi Mohammed Ben Youssef
was only the third son of Moulay Youssef, the brother of the ruling sultan, Moulay Hafid. But in 1912, when the French occupied Morocco, Moulay Youssef replaced his brother as sultan. Sidi Mohammed Ben Youssef grew up in the royal palaces of Fez and Meknes, where an Algerian teacher tutored him.

On 18th November 1927, at the age of 16 Sidi Mohammed was chosen by the college of ulemas (religious scholars) to succeed his father. This choice was influenced by the French protectorate authorities, who hoped that this timid and docile youth would remain removed from the affairs of state.

Isolated in his palace, Sultan Mohammed V, during the initial years of his reign, seemed to accept his unimportant role. During this same period the first nationalists organized a movement which led to the formation of the Istiqlal, or Independence party, in 1944. Already by the late 1930s the Sultan (who assumed the title of king in 1956) had secretly collaborated with some of these nationalists.

During World War II, however, Sultan Mohammed remained loyal to France, but in January 1943 at the Conference of Anfa, a suburb of Casablanca, the Sultan dined with U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt, who opened up the perspective of an independent Morocco if the Sultan would aid the Allies in recruiting Moroccan troops for action on the European front.

In 1947, during a speech at Tangiers, Mohammed Ben Youssef departed from the written text which the French authorities had approved and openly sided with the nationalist cause.

The crisis in Franco-Moroccan relations intensified after the war. It was aggravated by the attitude of conservative resident generals who repressed the nationalist party. Stripped of real power, Mohammed V was often forced to condemn the Istiqlal officially while secretly he encouraged its leaders.

Beginning in 1947 the situation deteriorated. Encouraged, even pushed, by the preponderant colonialist groups, the French authorities in Rabat tightened their direct control over the administration, an act which further diminished the Sultan's authority.

The latter resisted by the only legal means at his disposal and refused as often as he could to countersign laws and decrees. He also attempted to bring the growing abuse of his powers to the attention of the French government, but all of his attempts to change the protectorate status failed.




...Deposition and Exile....





April 1954 : Mohammed V is in exile on Madagascar. The Sultan poses with his children. From left to right: Aïcha, Hassan (the future King Hassan II), Malika, Abdellah, and Nezha. On the sultan's knees: The youngest princess, Amina, who was born in exile.


[Continued below]

Read more...
 
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