“Many observers claimed recently that the warnings uttered by Arab rulers regarding the dangers of radical Islam are meant to keep these regimes in power. Maybe, but nonetheless they may be right.”
“Don’t count on democracy,” by Guy Bechor for Ynet News, February 26:
[…] If there is one change in Egypt, it has to do with the blunt emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood, which mocks democracy. The Islamists are already feeling like the state’s future masters.
The provocative return of the Egyptian Khomeini, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, was meant to grant this revolution a face and an identity; an Islamist identity. Qaradawi was the one who issued the call for Israel’s destruction last week in his appearance before hundreds of thousands (and possibly millions) of Egyptians in Tahrir Square. He opposes the United States and the Shiites, and is of course in favor of a religious Islamic regime in Egypt. This is a grave blow to anyone who thought that Egypt is moving towards democracy; it is also a sign of things to come.
Just like in Iran in 1978, secular leftist protestors fought to topple the Shah and in favor of Khomeini’s return, yet once he arrived he simply pushed them out of the way. The same is happening in Tunisia. Last week, we saw seculars protesting there after they suddenly realized what they did: With their very own hands they are paving the way for the rise of radical Islam in the country. Preacher Rashid Ghannouchi, who rushed to return to Tunis just like the Egyptian Qaradawi, is organizing the previously banned Islamist party ahead of the “democratic elections.”
The common perception is still about the “domino effect” — that is, tyrants shall be toppled with the click of a button. Another “Like” on Facebook, and we”ll have democracy. However, there are no suckers in the Middle East, and nobody will be giving up easily.
Many observers claimed recently that the warnings uttered by Arab rulers regarding the dangers of radical Islam are meant to keep these regimes in power. Maybe, but nonetheless they may be right. After all, radical Islam is the only organized alternative to the authoritarian regimes and has a solution for every problem: “Islamic law is the solution.”
The Middle East this year is just like what we saw in Iraq in 2003, in Iran in 1979, or in the Palestinian Authority in 2006: Nice talk and theories about liberalism and democracy, yet in practice what we have is anarchy and violence, terrible death, and Islamic autocracy waiting down the road.