The Islamists have a Long Way to Go
What happened in Tunisia is welcome. A fasiq has been removed. He was one of a chain of fussaq evenly spread over the Middle-Eastern countries (none denied a share) who, un-provided by nature with enough grey matter, but well-provided with a character no less worthier than that of hungry wolves, have found their way to positions of absolute power commanding over the lives, minds, and religion of the people. Most of them came to power helped along by the Western countries, or planted, when they were young and ambitious, who used brute force to find their way up, or inherited the top position from their equally unbecoming predecessors. Once in power, they spent their first few years in digging in, and had little time to further their intellectual capabilities (if originally there was any), acquaint themselves with geo-political matters, economy or strategies of the neo-colonial powers or the neo-con groups, and, therefore, got corroded from outside and decayed from inside.
Having taken away freedom of the people, following the command of the West, (and egged by each other of the M.E. rulers), these knights and their Sancho Panzas of the Arab world were, and are, a major reason for the stunted material growth of the region and moral and intellectual decadence of its men and women. Politics for them was absolute control over the humans, suppression of the voice of dissent, and hindrance to the establishment of democratic institutions. They promoted yesmanship, favoritism and nepotism. Sycophants were (and are) their advisors. Gradually, that became the culture of the region which converted men and women to robots and mannequins, who danced to the discordant tunes of their immediate bosses.
It was too much to expect from this oxidized ruthless iron pieces, ignorant of the ways in which wealth they stole is created, who were not any better than night-club owners, whose culture – imported from the West and adulterated with the local – was that of wealth, wine, and women – to do any service to their people. They had little regard for their people, their aspirations, and their wishes to lead a simple, honorable life. The Tunisian mad cap for instance, would not allow Muslims to Pray in public or women to wear Hijab. Mosques were to be opened for no more than a few minutes, and had entrances installed with punching machines to register those who dare attend them. He was a little Fir`awn.
Gone is he, and another after him. Good riddance. A few more are expected to go, but of course they will only after they have seen some blood. The West watches with unease its agents tossed into the dustbins.
Will the Islamists assume power next, anywhere in a dozen of totalitarian regimes? Will a popular government emerge from the chaos? Will the new rulers refuse subjugation to the West? Will the revolt lead to a revival of Islam? These are questions for which the Western and Middle-eastern secret agencies have no clear answers. After all, the American Embassy in Egypt is the largest embassy in the Middle-East, infested to houseful by the secret agents, but which could not predict the revolt against Western puppets. So much they know about how to analyze the data they receive: the kind of data Alexis Carrel once thought (Man the Unknown) would be enough for making of a new Man!
Correct answers to the above questions will come from study of the nature of the present revolts.
Economy and social developments completely ignored for some 50 years, or where attempted, made a mess of, by those who rejected Islam because they thought it came in the way of progress and development, the whole area sank into the dark abyss of illiteracy instead of knowledge, indolence instead of hard work, gossips instead of dynamic action and produced multitudes who, as was said in the former communist states, “pretended to work, and the government pretended to pay.” The agricultural lands were there, but not developed, farmers were there but not encouraged. There was no such thing as industrial or agricultural policy. Further, while the Information age set in everywhere in the world, the only meaning to the term ‘information’ that the rulers attached was the information that the secret service passed on to them, while those that were spied upon the year round, (the educated) interpreted the IT age as the age of internet-chat, Facebook, and, of course pornography. The result was that while they could provide cheap workers for, say, Call Centers, or software producing centers, like India did, and earn millions a day, if they had opened IT related colleges or trained software programmers, they could make no profit from the electronic age.
So, no industry worth the name, no agricultural products that could appear on Japanese tables, and no IT services or manpower reaching far and wide, the economy in general sank. On the other hand, a variety of factors pushed the food costs globally up, which, for people already living penury lives, made extremely difficult to sustain themselves. In Egypt for instance, the labor class can only afford bread, but no vegetables, let alone meat or dairy products.
The West was always there to meet with their budget deficits, at high interest rates, and with an added condition that they would not utter a word, unless for fooling their own public, against American and Western policies in the M.E. In some countries the economy is in such state that sometimes the salaries of the governmental staff cannot be paid without some aids and grants from one of the Western countries coming in. So, every time the state faced with bankruptcy, members of the totalitarian regimes had to fly out in different directions to seek immediate financial bail out.
The above are the factors that have led to the present revolts. Primarily it is the unbearable economic condition, which promises to sink further. Islam and Islamic personalities have not played any significant role in it: the reason why Western powers have no excuse to look elsewhere while the dictators crush the uprising; nor can it agree to the replacement of the grotesquely wrong leaders with better ones, without assurance that new leaders will impose the same policies. The uprising is by those very people who voted for the tyrants to continue for that long, not by the Islamists. The Islamist in fact, would all but stay away, or remain in the background, because, they neither have able administrators in their camps, nor any solution to the collapsed economies. To assume the rule now would be self-destructive. In foreign policy too, no matter how much they have been criticizing the pro-West stance of their leaders, they cannot now take up the line of resistance to Western dictations, without losing the financial help, and would end up not paying the administrators and state staff who had sold themselves to the tyrants of the past, and draw six figure salaries serving as reward for loyalty.
The Islamists need decades of freedom, and millions in investment, to train and educate men and women in efficient administration – in addition to the moral, intellectual and spiritual training. The mechanism and machinery that produces the caliber which runs a country has never been in existence in these countries. If they took over the government, they will have to make use of the same manpower that – as sycophants – ran the country for decades, and brought it to the present state of decadence. In no time will these elements (the state officials) will turn the tide against the Islamists in power, and get the public to vote them out of power. On the other hand, if they believe that the men of their own group, those pious ones who can make a beautiful case for Islam when they speak for it, or who can deliver impressive speeches about the principles of an Islamic state, or who can write convincing books on Islamic economy, but who do not have an extensive experience of the jobs they are supposed to handle, nor have been part of the state administration, then, if they think that this class of people will be able to run the government, then they are hugely mistaken. A non-qualified, non-experienced person will cause the collapse of the postal system, if he is made a Post Master General, no matter how else he is qualified, how good a speaker, how prolific a writer, and how pious a person.
It is this realization perhaps that the Islamists are not in the forefront of protests, for, if their efforts bring the downfall, the onus of formation of the next government will be on their shoulders, and the shoulders are not strong enough to carry the immense load. That they have stayed in the background, is perhaps a well-considered policy. An added difficulty would be the material means that are missing. They cannot beg the West for aid. They would rather starve than beg. But, will the masses agree to observe patience while they rebuild the country and give a character to its inhabitants? Will the masses decide that dignity is more important than the electronic gadgets in their homes? They will only say as Musa’s companions said to him, when he (asws) brought them out of Egypt, from slavery to freedom, when they began to face hardships, “Musa! Is this what you have brought us out of the comforts of Egypt for?” And, “Musa! We are tired of the diet of Mann and Salwa. What comparison is there between this and the delicacies we enjoyed in Egypt: fish, fresh vegetables, tender meat and such other things!?”
A spontaneous mass movement neither planned by the Islamists, nor led by them, cannot be turned in favor of Islam overnight. Those who think this is a resurgence of Islam, a reawakening of the Muslims, may need to re-look into their analysis. The Islamic factor is there, but weak. As far as true Islamic resurgence is concerned, it is victory against odds – such as, for example, the defeat of the invaders in Afghanistan, if it were to happen – that brings respect for the Islamic leaders, and wins obedience of the masses. Islamists have a long way to go. The cry of the soul and not the churning of the stomachs, the self-sacrifice of a whole lot of people will tell; the unity of the Islamist groups will spark the dead coals; the adhan of the mujahid (not the mujtahids) will re-awaken the sleepers and the scholars in despair.