St Mary Magdalene † St Bartholomew † St Alban †
Sunday 27th February 2011
In the past few weeks we have seen people protesting across the Middle East and North Africa. Many of these young people have sacrificed themselves for the idea of “democracy”. Western governments have slowly come round to supporting these protesters. Yet I feel there has been a certain reticence in their stance.
We can see why, for too many years the West has supported despots and Tyrants in that region by buying their oil and selling them arms or having military bases on their land. British Jobs was the cry from Business. Politicians said that the consequence of democracy would be the likelihood of Islamist-leaning governments coming to power.
Ordinary people of the region have paid the price of this stance. We will now have to learn to negotiate with the new leaders that emerge from these protests. We should support them as we show that "democracy" to us means the freedom to choose your own government – whatever its hue.
Our prayers will go out to those struggling for democracy but also at this time I believe we should show a bit of humility for past errors as these new leaders emerge.