The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

Bamako — Strict Sharia, or Islamic religious laws, imposed by the Islamist rebels controlling vast swathes of northern Mali are driving thousands of students out of schools. Dress codes have been imposed, boys and girls are forced to learn separately, and subjects deemed to promote "infidelity" have been struck off the curriculum.

Outraged parents are transferring their children and some students are opting to miss examinations rather than learn under these conditions....

Boubacar Sissoko, a schoolmaster in Timbuktu - a UNESCO World Heritage site - said the Islamists "terrorize the children" with the new laws. "They have introduced their own programme and new subjects like Islamic education, or collective prayers that they themselves conduct," he said. The arrival of the Islamists in the north in March and the unrest that followed have left only 107 students out of 429 at the school.

Mali's education ministry estimates that around 5,000 students have fled to schools in Bamako and other southern towns since Islamist fighters of Ansar Dine, an Islamist group that wants to apply Sharia law throughout Mali; the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), a small Islamist group; and the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA), who want to create a separate secular state in the north, seized northern Mali when a military coup on 22 March ousted president Amadou Amani Touré in Bamako.

The combination of conflict, harsh drought, food insecurity, and now the imposition of Sharia law, has internally displaced 146,900 people, and more than 150,000 others to neighbouring Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Although schools have taken the brunt of the draconian Islamic laws, residents can also no longer watch television, men cannot shave their beard or use tobacco. On 20 June, a Timbuktu couple was flogged 100 times in public for having a child out of wedlock, sparking condemnation by shocked and angry residents.

"I was really shocked to see these poor youths undergo such punishment simply because of having a child. It made me cry. It's a shame," said Mariama, a schoolgirl.

"We are living in another world," said Attaher Maiga, a Timbuktu resident, pointing out that the Koran does not forbid football, tobacco or shaving one's beard.

But the Islamists defend their laws.

"Sharia has to be applied whether the people like it or not, we will enforce it. We are not asking anybody's opinion. We are not democrats. We are servants of Allah who demands Sharia," Sanda Ould Boumama, Ansar Dine's spokesman in Timbuktu, told IRIN.

Girls are forced to wear djellabas, or full-body robes. "On 7 May, Ansar Dine and its ally, Al Qaeda in Maghreb, reopened schools in Timbuktu and Gao, a town to the east, but students began a new system [of learning] unknown to them before the occupation of the region," Timbuktu Education Director, Abou Bacri Cissé, told IRIN.

"Not only did they impose a new education system, separating girls and boys in classrooms, they also separate the students in groups - boys learning in the morning, and girls in the afternoon," he said.

In classrooms in Gao, "Boys sit in front and girls at the back, like in mosques," Beydi Koné, a journalist in the town, told IRIN.

Amahane Touré, a teacher in Gao, said only 21 pupils remain in her eighth and ninth grade French class, among them three girls. Previously there were 69 pupils, including 19 girls.

"We are searched every day before going to classes for fear that we are teaching the subjects banned under their Sharia. They forbid us from teaching certain subjects like biology, philosophy, civic education, under the pretext that they promote infidelity," she said.

"I understand the plight of the parents who fled with their children, but as teachers we have the duty to teach those who remain, even if the conditions are tough, especially due to Sharia imposed by Ansar Dine," Touré said.

In the weeks after the military coup, heavily-armed MNLA rebels and Islamists gained an unprecedented hold over northern Mali. The MNLA declared independence soon afterwards, but the move was rejected by its Islamist allies as well as the international community, and caused divisions among the armed groups in the region....


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"Sharia has to be applied whether the people like it or not, we will enforce it. We are not asking anybody's opinion. We are not democrats. We are servants of Allah who demands Sharia,"

Hello Leftard Utopianists, are you reading this? Oh, of course not, you don't want to do anything which may disturb your dogma.


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Mission Overview

Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them. 

At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.

Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.

We need to capture this information before it is removed.  The site already contains sufficient information to cover most issues, but our members add further updates when possible.

We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.

The 4 Freedoms

These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 
1. SP Freedom of Speech
Any speech is allowed - except that advocating the end of these freedoms
2. SP Freedom of Election
Any party is allowed - except one advocating the end of these freedoms
3. SP Freedom from Voter Importation
Immigration is allowed - except where that changes the political demography (this is electoral fraud)
4. SP Freedom from Debt
The Central Bank is allowed to create debt - except where that debt burden can pass across a generation (25 years).

An additional Freedom from Religion is deducible if the law is applied equally to everyone:

  • Religious and cultural activities are exempt from legal oversight except where they intrude into the public sphere (Res Publica)"

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