Monday, December 19, 2011

Islamists Have Nothing to Offer, But Religious Totalitarianism

Islamists Have Nothing to Offer, But Religious Totalitarianism

CDHR’s Commentary: While there is legitimate apprehension circulating in the Middle East and around the world regarding Muslim parties wining preliminary elections in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, one has to listen to what the heads of these parties say. They are promising an end to corruption, poverty and oppression. These are the reasons that drove millions of people to the streets to risk their lives to rid their countries of oppressive despots who have subjugated them for decades. These Muslim parties’ fates will be the same as the ones they are replacing if they do not keep their commitments to the new generation of Arabs whose worldly aspirations and needs overcame their crippling fear of their states’ cruel police and security apparatus. It seems that many Western analysts and experts are overlooking an extraordinary factor when they write about or discuss the Arab Uprising even when facts on the ground contradict their abysmal forecasts.
All an astute observer has to do is to look at the freedom and justice seekers (men and women) facing states’ tanks and bullets in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. They are willing to pay the ultimate price to end centuries of religious and political totalitarianism. This new generation of Arabs who are tortured, shot at, killed, starved and incarcerated will not stop at anything less than liberation from the yoke of oppression imposed by the men and institutions that have
coercively dominated their lives and livelihoods for decades and
centuries. For the first time in their tumultuous history, the Arab
people are looking inward instead of blaming outsiders for their systems’ gargantuan failures to meet their basic worldly needs. Unlike the Islamists, the new generation of Arabs yearning for freedom did not have platforms to air their grievances until now. They discovered that freedom is not free and decided to create platforms from which they can make their voices heard and their needs met. Tahrir (liberation) Squares are the new platforms where they can force whoever wins elections and rules think twice before going against their demands for better
governance that works for them instead of enslaving them.
What the Arab masses, rich and poor, are fighting and dying for is
above and beyond what the Islamists are capable of offering:
liberation from all forms of dictatorship, especially
oppressive religious taboos and the imposition of stifling doctrines. One can learn a lesson from the Iranian masses’ support for the Islamists Revolution in 1979, until they discovered the Mullahs for who they really are: Power seeking hooligans. The Arabs, especially liberals, youth, women and minorities, in Tunis and Egypt are already engaging the Islamists politically and in some cases physically over their political future.
At the end of the day, the freedom fighters will win, especially if
they receive genuine support from the West which has thus far taken very cautious measures in selective places and continues to support
tyrannical systems in places like Saudi Arabia and other small but
wealthy Gulf states which finance Islamists and anti-democracy groups in Arab and Muslim countries and the international community,
especially the West.

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