The ‘Arab Spring’, as a seminal movement, was in serious doubt in this space as far back as May (Does The Arab Spring Turn to Winter?). The early results are in. Government backed religious violence in Egypt has target the Christian Copts; the abandonment of the peace treaty with Israel is just a matter of time. Al Qaeda has set up shop in the Sinai. Coming as no surprise to the attentive, Sharia has been declared the ruling authority in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. The Afghan President promises to support Pakistan should a conflict arise with the U.S. ‘Spring’ has yet to arrive in Syria and when it does it will be an Islamic spring. Iran continues to promise Jewish genocide, Islamic sectarian violence in Iraq continues, the Palestinians are intransigent and Lebanon is under the control of Iranian puppet, Hiz’bAllah.
That’s some spring we’ve got going on.
Add to that, throwing ourselves out of Iraq, a totalitarian Iran promising to become more so as the Mullahs attempt to eliminate the elected Presidency, and Yemen in flames; Turkey turning against the West in favor of Islamist goals and Bahrain fighting off Iranian surrogate violence. The U.S. Ambassador has fled Syria due to organized intimidation. It’s difficult to understand why anyone is still rhapsodizing about an Arab Spring. The Arabs have not had a spring since Saladin decided to control his newly won empire by using Islam as his bludgeon of control.
This space also warned of a growing attitude in Europe that contends we can just “live with” the rising tide of Islamism, its politics and the Salafist philosophical underpinning. The prediction was that the attitude will migrate to the U.S., it was not a difficult stretch then and the proof is growing. The ‘live with it’ attitude is not about facing geopolitical realities; it is about not being willing, confident or capable of fighting the war of ideas effectively.
Doyle McManus in the L.A. Times on October 23rd migrates to the European vision as a proponent of the legitimacy of Islamist parties and, of course, equates them with Catholic parties in Italy or Jewish parties in Israel. This is yet another example of the standard relativism on the left; demonstrating no understanding of the realities of Salafist goals and intentions. This thesis, by necessity, ignores the goals and repressions inherent in the Islamist movement. It also demonstrates no comprehension of current interpretations of the Koran. Mr. McManus ignores the endemic violence associated with Islamic ‘politics’ and so readily apparent in the ‘Arab Spring’.
Mr. McManus cites a study of 160 elections in the Muslim world demonstrating that after the first blush of elections, Islamist parties give way to secular parties; maybe so generally, but not in the Middle East. Palestinian elections elevated Hamas with Gaza fully under Hamas control. Elections in Iraq, Syria and Egypt have been, historically, corrupted affairs; ‘secular’ parties won but only by way of managed elections. Election fraud in Iran was so obvious as to drive Iranians to the streets in protest. The list goes on; Mr. McManus, apparently, failed to drill down just a bit beyond convenient statistics. Elections in states controlled by despots may have statistical validity absent context, but it ends there.
Democracy has no place in mainstream Islamic thinking. By the way, mainstream Islamic thinking is far from ‘moderate’ by our definitions. The writings of major Islamist Jurists attach little or no value to ‘laws made by men’, those ‘laws’ are nothing more than window dressing and remain in constant jeopardy of being struck down as being not Islamic based on the rulings of Imams that recognize no central authority beyond the Koran. The word of God as reflected in the Koran and the behaviors of Muhammad in the 7th century are the singular source of all social, economic, political and legal frameworks.
The war of ideas must be engaged on a fundamental level. The belief within Islam is that unthinking subservience to Islam is the only path to purity and freedom; “The Straight Path”. In the West our ideas of freedom revolve around individual rights granted by Natural Law and enhanced by religious beliefs. Islam subjugates individual freedoms to a theology frozen in the 10th century. The West elevates freedoms, evolves them and struggles to maintain them.
The dynamics of the Arab Spring should be evidence enough!