Monday, August 1, 2011

Will Fundamental Islamists fill the void left by Arab Revolution?

Demonstrators at Tahrir Square, Egypt.
Last Friday after prayers from mosques Muslim Brotherhood lead demonstrators at Tahrir Square which was the largest after the 11th February overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.
The protesters led by salafist calling for a strict implementation of sharia laws are stoking fears and tension from secularist whose basis for democracy and freedom was core for the Arab revolution. The secularist who started the revolution boycotted the demonstrations last week and they risk being pushed away by Muslims.
With over 90% Muslim population and the Brotherhood being the longest opposition party and the one that suffered most under Mubarak this demonstration is an attempt in showing its muscle in the country’s politics.
The BBC reported death, violence and guns shots were heard especially in Sinai region bordering Israel by Islamists.
Arab dictators loathed by their citizens and backed by the West helped curb fundamentalists groups like Al-Qaeda through the iron rule. Ironically their control couldn’t reach the mosques making radicals to flourish through religion.
It was from the mosques that last week’s protests were organized as torture and indiscriminate jailing is controlled, will radicalism find a free opening?
Already Israel which abuts Arab countries is afraid of Islamist shifting the revolution away from it course which may aid the Hamas.
Though the revolution desire to outset a dictator by popular uprising is the main glue holding together disparate functions, tribes and religions, once the erstwhile figure is removed there is danger on internecine squabbles to start.
Consider the killing of Libya’s National Transitional Councils commander Abdel Fatah Younes who defected from the government to aid his tribe in Benghazi. Reports indicate he was killed by rebels from an opposing tribe.
Gaddafi has already gone on record taunting the West supporting the rebels that his 42 year iron rule checked tribal and religious strife in his country, which begs the picture after his demise.
Further in Yemen the upheaval has disintegrated into tribal functions and Al-Qaeda clawing each other and the government giving President Abdullah Saleh a life line.
The picture is grim in Syria where the 40 year of ASSAD dynasty is fraying at the edge with the West and neighbors fearing the void left behind. This void with over 200 sects and tribes and the country which abuts Middle East volatile areas has made a resort to soft diplomacy unlike open one in Libya.
“What makes Syria distinct is that the region and the system has a close structural link with every conflict or player in the region: Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, Lebanon, Israel, America, Iraq, Turkey.” Rami Khoun, a Middle East analyst from Lebanon is quoted by Reuters.
This Syrian empty space, reflecting other Arab revolutions, can cause sectarian  violence and satellite sates between Shi’ites and Sunnis, Arabs and Kurds/Tribes, and Christians and Muslims which Islamists like Al-qaeda can thrive in the turmoil.

1 comment:

  1. the decisive moment is here with the arabs, what will the african union, america, united nations, arab league and e.u do to assist the revolution finish its course?
    the most important part is to let the arab citzens decide what they want, then assist them achieve their goals. that is what all these stakeholders have failed in doing. issues of israel, hamas, etc are secondary to what the egyptians want