Possible new stability in the region is an old story, but this time something is different. This time journalists and reformers are expressing opinions that may reflect changing attitudes among the people themselves.
Tyrants and dictators are different than governments that suppress people, and that could be a key to what is now taking place in the
Writing for a Tunisian media outlet, Kapitalis, journalist Rachid Barnat has an interesting take on why current uprisings throughout the region are so different from those in the past. Though his observations could be as far off target as previous predictions, the fact that reporters like Barnat and others, who have lived through decades of chaos themselves, are voicing the rise of new thinking must be taken seriously.
Islamic goals should not be confused with the will of the people who are challenging authority in places like
This movement is basically about separating church and state, and the Islamists, through their zeal for power and control, have created the resistance themselves.
Barnat’s words are important: “Some are complaining and regretting that the revolutions have given birth to Islamist powers. (But) they are wrong. It is a good thing that following the fall of dictators in
“While all this was really bad for the countries, it was also a boon, since the people were able to see what the Islamists can do when they are in power. Had the Islamists never come to power, not only would they have been able to continue presenting themselves as victims, but people would have gone on believing in the miracles that they promise.”
A significant word here is “victims,” which is one of the core principles of Islamic fundamentalism. Without “victimization” much of the jihadist movement is weakened. Islamists gain much of their strength when “victimization” is combined with “intolerance” and “justification”
Barnat makes another major revelation, “when a party is based on religion, it cannot be moderate nor allow liberties, and that deep inside, it has a totalitarian nature, since it is supposed to implement God’s word, basing (everything) on the shari’a which, according to Islamists, is the continuation (of God’s word), as (affirmed by) the ‘scholars’ who interpreted the Koran!
“People could also understand that there is nothing worse than utilizing the word of God in order to rule. These Islamists, due to their incompetency and their abuses of all kinds, have also shown to an increasingly large number of people that religion should not interfere with politics and that it should remain where it is supposed to stay: in the hearts of people and in the mosques!
“As a last consideration, Islamists, unintentionally, promoted, like nobody had done before, the idea of a secular state in Arab countries….”
Powerful statements coming from a journalist in a region where it has long been impossible to speak such truths. If Barnat is expressing the feelings of a majority of the citizens in the countries presently in rebellion, this represents perspectives we have not heard previously from that region.
As a final salvo, Barnat makes a bold prophecy. Though he cannot predict when Political Islamism will fall, he claims it will, indeed, die.
“I am convinced that Islamism will be defeated without violence, through the electoral process, or else violently in the event that it does not accept the popular will; it will die of the same death as did inhuman ideologies.
“Aren’t we already seeing the first signs of this decline before the final fall? The current events in
“And beware of those who, for their personal ambitions or because they are not up to what history expects of them, are willing to make unnatural alliances with Islamists. Neither the peoples nor history will forgive them.”
No matter how well intended, we have long believed we can inflict Western ideologies upon the will of other cultures. Now those cultures are fighting from within according to their own beliefs.
This could be the beginning of a Middle Eastern revolution that changes the world forever. It may not happen soon enough, but it may be a start.
About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world.
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