Have the multitude of mutinies in the Arab World put to rest the widely held belief that political Islam is fundamentally incompatible with democracy?
Concerted attempts have been made by the global liberal intelligentsia and leftist commentariat to suggest that series of tumultuous uprising in the Arab world is free of any Islamist underpinnings, fundamentally secular in nature and essentially premised on craving for ‘universal’ values like democratization, respect for human rights and graft free governance. That the teeming millions who assembled in Arab Streets did not chant slogans glorifying PBUH nor seek inspiration from medieval Islamist imagery was apparently indicative of the ‘secularised’ nature of these revolts. That transformative technologies were leveraged in this electronics enabled revolt and visible faces who lead from front were the types who potentially idolize Zuckerberg rather than Zawahir, has been touted as clinching evidence that imagination of Arab masses could be captured through ways and means beyond doctrinal exhortations blared out by loudspeaker wielding Mullahs. As much as Global left tries with its patented intellectual sophistry, they are barely able to hide their glee at the heightened geostrategic vulnerability of Israel in a post Mubarak era.
Predictably a similarly themed discourse is getting faithfully regurgitated in India, save for few perceptive interventions by Kanchan Gupta and Swapan Dasgupta. An excitable celebrity media doyen from India (under cloud for wheeling dealing with shady lobbyist on behalf of Mubarak type ruling formation) jet set to Cairo, caught hold of few fashionable Arabs, lived her secular fantasies and was back to tweeting inanities on triumph of secularism in Egypt. Few JNU bred Marxists even suggested that extreme pauperization of Arab societies, engendered by neoliberal economic policies of the IMF emasculated autocratic regimes, triggered the revolt. An unabashed UPA fanboy masquerading as neutral observer and a typical babalog NDTV journalist attempted a pathetic political hit job without realizing that their benefactors had indulged in far worse rhetoric.
We would be more than happy to be proved completely wrong in our prognosis but any perspicacious observer would genuinely nurture an apprehension that Islamist theocratic totalitarianism is now set for an imminent return in revolt hit parts of the Arab world. Muslim Brotherhood is for now, doing an extraordinarily excellent job of camouflaging its true theological underpinning and tactically seeking to bid its time by indulging in subterfuge like projecting an international recognized technocrat like Mohamed ElBaradei given that its likely to please aesthetic sensibilities of the liberals in west.
It would utter naivety not to be reminded Brotherhood’s existential principle at this juncture “Allah is our objective, the Prophet is our leader, the Koran is our law, jihad is our way, and dying in the way of Allah is our highest objective”. After justifiable ecstasy over scalping a dubious dictatorial dispensation dissipates and normalcy returns (Facebook crowd etc back to rigmarole of daily life) it would be interesting how events unfold. Any ‘democratic’ arrangement without Muslim Brotherhood would be simply impossible. In the neighboring Tunisia an Islamist leader, who is given to maximalist interpretation of Koranic Injunction and was exiled by the now deposed regime returned back home to rambunctious welcome, clear pointer to the groundswell of support and what is bound to happen next.
We are no great admirers of despotic autocrats of Arab States (many of them serial recipients of Congress government‘s dime a dozen named –after- Nehru international awards) though it could be argued that they are marginally more enlightened than dynastic ruling classes of peninsular Arabia. However they did serve as a remarkable bulwark against the Islamofascism. But courtesy the fashionable wave of ‘secular’ revolt and alleged ‘democratic’ wind blowing through the Arab world, the layer of protection that rest of the world enjoyed had against rampaging religious warriors is complete undone.
It’s pertinent to remember that Egypt has long emerged as intellectual nerve centre of Arab Isalmism. Salafism was doctrinally incubated in Egypt and became an abiding article of faith for transnational Ummah. Given that Muslim Brotherhood is surely bound to play an instrumental role in the future scheme of things, world needs to be mightily worried
It’s just a matter of time before ruling dynasty of Arabia flush with petrodollars or for that matter even the Ayatollah regime of Iran step in and fill the power vacuum. Basically what we would see is transmogrification of these Arab states from a client state of America to a Pakistan style, available for the highest international bidder type state. A robust American response would have in order to strategically preempt this distinct possibility. But given that current president strongly believes that rhetorical flourishes and global Ummah outreach is substitute for purposeful diplomatic interventions, Islamist upsurge is now an unstoppable phenomenon.
Meanwhile what would be implication of such events for India given that we live in an interconnected world. Remember a movie called Rang De Basanti and multiplex mutinous syndrome that afflicted the ‘youth’ after that viewing that movie (lame apology of film-propaganda for ruling Congress dispensation). Last reliably heard that those ‘Youth’ are now waiting for Raul the messiah to step in and clean the Augean stables of Indian politics
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