at a December 10-11, 2007 Rome Conference entitled, "Fighting for Democracy in the Islamic World,"
renowned historian Bernard Lewis intoned,
"The authoritarianism present in the Middle East region is not part of
the Arab and Muslim tradition, but it has been imported from
International, then offered as putatively convincing support for his thesis
the non-sequitur observation that during the Ottoman Empire, the Sultan
(presumably, in the course of making decisions) consulted all the dignitaries,
and when he ascended the throne he would greet the crowds, uttering "Allah is
greater than you are."
Ottoman era "proof," seems like a desynchronized "Spy Versus Spy" Mad
Magazine segment with Lewis playing the role of both "Department of Joke
and Dagger" agents, simultaneously, when juxtaposed to Lewis’ own entry on
hurriyya-Arabic for freedom-which appears in the venerable Encyclopedia of
completely at odds. Hurriyya "freedom" – as Ibn Arabi (d. 1240) the
lionized "Greatest Sufi Master", expressed it - "being perfect slavery."
And this conception is not merely confined to the Sufis’ perhaps metaphorical
understanding of the relationship between Allah the "master" and his human