The historical ancient castle in the Garmian area


Secularism vas Theocracy

Muhammad Hussein

Although people have experienced so many political systems to govern, we can divide all those systems into 2 different categories by their method to treat religion. In this case, we have just secularism and theocracy which are continuing in their clashes in many fields for hundreds years. There are many differences between secularism and theocracy, but the more crucial differences reflect in their history, their dealing with human rights and their sources of legitimacy.

Historically, there is a major difference between secularism and theocracy. As I studied, secularism was made after the enlightenment era and modernity processes which began from French revolution, and it has grown after 19th century. On the other hand, theocracy was started from Jehovah God in Biblical Greek in 1513 B.C.E. The first one came with the 19th century, but the second one came in the ancient religious societies thousands years ago.

Another major difference between secularism and theocracy is their treating with human rights. First, secular systems respect people’s different worships and religious values, but in theocratic systems there is just one formal religion that government imposes upon all citizens. Second, secular systems treat all religions and sects equally, and don’t give privileges to some one against others; however theocracy based on one religion and special sect; it can’t treat every religions and sects equally. Fore example, in Iran just a specific type of Muslim people who are Shia are treated respectfully by the Islamic Republic of Iran, so all other 14 religions and sectarian groups who are not Shia  are suffering under Islamic regime. Third, secularism has built the majority of its values from some concepts such as personal rights, national identity, human rights and equality, but theocratic systems just focus on some transcendental values which come from holly books or “God”. For instance, In Iran people are treated based on their worship, but in Swede every one is treated based on her\his character without considering their worships.

 These are not all serious differences that should be mentioned between secularism and theocracy.

Another important difference between secularism and theocracy is their sources of legitimacy which they are completely different about. First, a secular system brings its legitimacy from the parliament which is elected by citizens, but theocratic government brings its legitimacy from God or holly books. First one needs people’s voting in democratic contexts or people’s supporting in communist systems, but theocratic rulers suppress their people’s to implement their holly rules and laws. Second, in secularism, presidents or kings usually take their responsibility about all things they do, and there might be a consequences for their political performance; however in the theocratic system no one can force the ruler to take their responsibility. Religious rulers normally consider themselves as a sacred leader, so they are supposed to be above any question which people may pose it to them. Third, in secular systems law and constitution are more flexible, but in theocratic systems they are very inflexible. In secular governments, people who make the laws can change it too, but in theocratic governments it’s difficult to change laws and constitution which are supported by government.

In conclusion, about many points secularism and theocracy are different. The most important differences are their history and methods to deal with human rights. Finally, their sources of legitimacy are the depth of the whole controversial points which they are different about.

Military services shouldn’t be Mandatory


Dealing with military service is a serious topic because it has been considered a strategic issue that is related to the national security. So whenever we talk about it, we should be careful about how to treat it and discuss it; otherwise we might face some unwanted consequences especially if we are living in Middle Eastern countries. The serious discussion has been ongoing about military service which is the method of selecting people to this service, and the main question is still continue about both voluntary and mandatory military services. Which of these can be useful and how can we get benefits by using them to build the good arm? I think to build a strong, patriotic army without wasting people’s time, military service should not be mandatory.

It’s difficult to build a strong army via mandatory military service. First of all, the army that is built by mandatory service can’t choose the right person to hire, so it chooses someone who isn’t ready to serve in the military field. For example, if the army chooses the person who just wants to be a musician, then what outcome of this bad choice will be expected, and who can certain us that we won’t get the bad effects of this wrong choice. Second, with the compulsory military service it’s difficult for troops to be a powerful protector for the country, so that no one can grantee us that this kind of soldier won’t be failure in their duty? (The Team of researchers, 2011).

In addition to this pint, mandatory military service may harm people’s patriotic loyalty toward their country. First, it causes bad feedback from those people who have served in compulsory military, so it creates hate and hostile feeling with those people whom we depend on to protect our country. It’s difficult for anyone who doesn’t like to be in military services become a proper solder so that it’s not logical to wait this kind of soldier to protect your country.  If we take the Turkish army as an example, we can know how the mandatory military service is not the good method to build a faithful army because a soldier who was hired by mandatory military might be misused for the wrong aim as we have seen in Turkish military example.  As a Toodayzaman’s columnist said”, neither democracy nor security can be provided with such a military”. Also he described Turkish army as incurable disease that has engaged just with military cubs and threaten democratic civil movement in Turkey. (DAĞI, 2011).

These reasons aren’t the all points that I have about bad effects of mandatory military service. It wastes an important amount of people’s time. First, the young time which is very necessary in life is wasted by the mandatory military service. There are many people who need to be volunteer troop in the national army; why do we prevent those people who need to participate in military service and force someone else who need to spend her\his young life in different activity? It’s not fair to waste people’s time compulsory in the military service, and force them to do another job in spite of their eagerness and skills. Young time is very essential for everyone, so people should spend this time to build themselves and prepare for their future not in a military camp which doesn’t fit their desire; so young time should be used to finish high education not military service because young people need to get profession and personal ability. That’s why young people need to engage with their personal matter not military service.

In conclusion, military services should be voluntary and fits soldier’s willing because it’s difficult to build powerful, loyal troops by forcing people to serve.  Also, it’s wasting people’s young time which is very phenomenal for them. I think we should leave military service just for those people who like to serve.


1-      Bauer: Rheinisch-Westfalisches Institut fur Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), Ruhr-Universitat Bochum (RUB),

Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA); Bender: Institut fur Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB);

Paloyo: Ruhr Graduate School in Economics (RGS Econ), RUB, RWI; Schmidt: RWI, RUB, Centre for Economic

Policy Research (CEPR). All remaining shortcomings are the authors’ responsibility. A.R. Paloyo gratefully

acknowledges the _nancial support provided by the RGS Econ. Correspondence: Thomas K. Bauer, RWI,

Hohenzollernstr. 1{3, 45128 Essen, Germany;

1-   DAĞI, İHSAN . When the Turkish military becomes a threat. Web. <;.

2-  Graham, Cork . Compulsory Military Service the Answer? >.


Danish high school students to collect money for Iraqi youth footbal project

In 2012, most Danish high school students will take one day off their studies to work and donate thier sallery to the NGO Cross Cultures, who will set up a project in Iraq to encourage young Iraqis to engage in football activities. This happens because of the yearly one-day campaign “Operation Day Work,” where Danish student give away one day of thier education to improove the living and educational conditions for the youth in poor countries around the world. This year, Iraq has been chosen bcause of the devastating war that thew country have undergone during the last decade. “Many Danish feel that by paticipating in the war, Denmark also have a responsibility to biuld up the country. The Middle East have not been chosen by our campaign for many years, and this alternativt educational project suits our goal”, Ida Cordius, member of the Danish Operation Day Work Commitee said to Awene. She also highlighted the fact that young Iraqis have been among the worst effected victims of the war. 2011, Peru was chosen as the project country. The donation from the Danish students reached 1,1 million American dollars (USD). However, the Cross Cultures project in Iraq, that is carried out together with the organization Grassroots, is expected to get an even larger donation sum. This is due to the lack of positive stories from the Middle East, coordinator at Cross Cultures, Jens Juul, told Awene. “There have been a lot of negative attention from the press on Iraq, and we have been chosen because we want to change that image. Also, The Arab Spring have contributed to the Danish focul on the Middle East as a region”, Jens Juul said and added that he expects the donation from the Danish high school students to exceed 1,5 million American dollars (USD). As of today, only one in four young Iqari citizens is engaged in sports activities, and only one in ten young Iraqis is a member of a sports comunity.
By Jakob Sheikh, Danish twinning journalist at Awene.