Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Divine injustice in the ballot box

HAX... Henrik Alexandersson.. a favourite stopping off point of mine for Swedish political gossip has a recent blog piece on electoral fraud in Sweden - speculating on whether the irregularities reported in the recent EU elections could have changed the outcome. An interesting topic for debate. Democracy hinges on the honesty and integrity of the voting process.

Interesting.. but not in the same league as this statement from Iran's Guardian Council reported by The Guardian on complaints of election rigging in Iran:

"Statistics provided by the candidates, who claim more than 100% of those eligible have cast their ballot in 80-170 cities are not accurate - the incident has happened in only 50 cities."

Read that again... in fifty cities the number of votes cast exceeds the number of eligible voters. (...by up to 40% I gather) That in my book is vote rigging of epidemic proportions ...and yet this seems to be considered a cause for reassurance....

Islam, in my understanding, has close ties between religion and politics - the state of the Islamic community reflects on the spiritual well-being of it's members. Quoting from the preface to Karen Armstrong's "Islam, A Short History"

"...the Quran gave them (muslims) a historical mission. Their chief duty was to create a just community in which all members, even the most weak and vulnerable, were treated with absolute respect. The experience of building such a society would give them intimations of the divine because they would be living in accordance with god's will"

Absolute respect is not expressed by stuffing ballot boxes... it is fundamentally repressive and unjust. ... and for moslems presumably not just morally, but spiritually wrong. And in this case condoned it seems not just by politicians but by spiritual leaders too. Double jeopardy.

It is a dilemma. What do you do when those leading you to a just society deliver injustice instead? How far are you prepared to go to stand up for justice and respect for all?.. and society's spiritual well-being?

What would you do, if your salvation depended on it?

Footnote: the original press conference explains the overflow to voters voting outside of the area where they live. A practice permitted in in presidential elections.

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