It is a matter of fact that the totalitarian and authoritarian regimes fear the truth, therefore, they fear even the mere words and ban the free opinion and expression.
Actually, the authoritarian system and the totalitarian system, in particular, rest on intellectual repression as an indispensable pillar to these systems where there is one truth, which is the only legitimate expression or opinion resting on the official propaganda. Those all should take from and comply with the system or the regime’s ideology, which is much more important than the country’s constitution and represents the ‘absolute truth’. Nothing contradicts this official ‘truth’ may exist in the authoritarian or totalitarian country, and if existed it should disappear after it labeled as an invasion by the country’s foreign enemies through domestic traitors.
Can you even imagine that this is the situation in Islamic Iran, revolutionary Baathist Syria, Hamas-occupied Gaza strip and Hezbullah-dominated Beirut southern suburb? In the twenty-first century, this is more than catastrophic. It is really a shame that mere opinion can drive a human to prison, torture and humiliation.
The free opinion and expression are essential and effectual prerequisites for change in the Middle East, as they constitute, in my opinion, something like antidotes to the authoritarianism. The more the freedom of expression exists, the less the political system is authoritarian and vice versa. The freedom of conscience and expression is a real and indispensable foundation for the political reform and progress in the Middle East.
The U.S. and EU should support directly the freedom of expression in the Middle East and should pressure the authoritarian governments on this question, with a special attention to the totalitarian regimes in the region. The international community has the responsibility to protect the endangered Arab liberals and reformers for their opinions.
For Middle East liberals, danger is real; fear is legitimate.