In the land of Egypt, events have unravelled at breakneck speed over the last few days, catching most external observers off-guard. Anti-government protestors’ gathering in Cairo had led to a stand-off between the Muslim Brotherhood Presidency and the select masses (despite the dichotomy, this seems factual upon first review). The Egyptian Army, funded by yearly US aid, stepped in and pronounced a warning that, failing resolution of the issues raised by the protestors (in effect dictating to the government that they must accede to public pressure) within 48 hours would leave them with no choice but to remove the President from his post. Lo and behold, that process was exacted upon termination of this deadline and Mohammed Morsi was removed from the Presidential Office, the Chief Justice Adli Mansour being installed as the transitional Interim President.
This dynamic and fluid situation can be assessed from such a vast array of angles that it requires strict literary discipline to limit the discourse to a selection from that range. So this article will focus upon the few facets of the discourse which are the most conspicuously self-evident.
The most glaringly obvious is the bearing of this event as an indictment upon the mutually juxtaposed axioms of liberal democracy. The idealist adherents and proponents of democracy would be well served to remember that the theoretical aesthetics rarely match the practical realities. The so-called ‘Islamist’ government of Egypt compromised on many of the Islamic ideals it was set up to espouse, participating and strengthening the facade of democracy, ensuring the continued protection of the illegitimate entity of Israel, seeking the pleasure of the USA and its western allies and approving many anti-Islamic stances within legislation (nightclubs, nude beaches etc.) as expected however, this did not prove a sufficiently deviant gesture to the godfathers of democracy n the West and their secular agents within Egypt. They continued to see the ‘Islamist’ government as an inconvenience, which did not represent the true liberal values that democracy is geared to serve and advance. Liberal, secular, capitalist thought is of paramount importance and democracy is merely a protective tool. This is evident in the attitude of the USA, UK and other bastions of this corrupt ideology upon the news of the fall of the Egyptian government. The fact that a democratic government was deposed by the military is of little relevance to those pontificating the virtues of the system. It is imperative that democracy select a ruling class which preserve and protect the interests of the West within the country. Muslims have certainly not forgotten the democratic experience in Palestine over the past few years. Hamas’ election by the masses meant very little whilst they continued to present an anti-Israel stance. Democracy is nothing but a sham unless it serves the geopolitical purposes, as the West’s continued support for many despotic, dictatorial regimes across the Muslim world continues to evidence. The Egyptian people would be well served to remember this harsh lesson from this sorry episode.
The protesting forces have included some interesting entities, quite baffling for a neutral observer. Firstly, the Salafi Al-Nour party have displayed despicable opportunism amidst the unfolding troubles. They were the second largest party during the election last year and formed an important component of the Ikhwan led government. They have swayed from referring to the former President as “our brother Mohammed” to joining the opposing forces in calling for Morsi’s ouster, within a year. The epitome of this scenario culminated in the presence of the Al-Nour party representative on the stage directly behind the Military chief during his announcement of the replacement of Mohammed Morsi with an interim government. The political manoeuvring, stemming from a thought of protecting vested interests rater than pursuit of and adherence to principled truth, is clear evidence of the corrupting influence of democratic politics which ails even those entering the arena as promoters of sincere virtue and strict Shar’a.
The second saddening protagonists within this scenario have been the guardians of the Al-Azhar University in Egypt. An institution which used to take rightful pride of place amongst the bastions of knowledge, advancement and academic prestige for many centuries, a hub of intellectual thought and a foundational centre of Islamic discourse has sided with those calling for the removal of the ‘Islamist’ government. The seculars, Coptic Christians and a few sincere Muslims duped into this opposition represent a toxic ideology based upon economic and secular liberties. Al-Azhar has chosen the wrong side in this battle, in opposition to its traditional values. Yet this does not come as a surprise. Al-Azhar has been a tool and mouth-piece for the army establishment for many decades and have once again towed the line it was instructed to follow. A sad occasion.
The above discourse leads one to investigate, very briefly, the factors and influences of Western powers, and their puppet rulers across the Muslim world, within Egypt. It is interesting to note some of the major trends of discord across said Muslim nations. The idea, as outlined above, is the establishment of friendly, secular governments which continue to take their inspirations and orders from the West, perpetuating the intellectual and economic imperial hegemony of the West over them. Three nations stand true to this analysis more than most. Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt, not blessed with oil wealth to tamper the economic woes of people as easily, have seen the smacking hypocrisy of international democrats over the past few decades repeatedly. Nearly half of Pakistan’s post-creation history has been spent under military dictatorship rule. These dictatorships operated with the total blessing of the USA and its allies, serving their interests in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), Afghanistan (twice), Kashmir and Kargil amongst others. They were never pushed to install democracy whilst the West continued to groom potential democratic leaders for transition such as Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto. Turkey presents a startlingly similar example. After a lengthy period of dictatorship pressed through the democratic process reluctantly. The AK party of Erdogan now faces the exact scenario that has transpired in Egypt. Thousands have recently protested, allegedly angered by the plans for developments over a park, have behaved in a vile manner attempting to dethrone the democratic government. The West has issued statements in favour of the “people’s wishes”, despite Turkey being an important member of the NATO alliance. The Egyptian story has been detailed above. The major comparison between these three vibrant nations is the large armies they all have, all funded by the USA considerably. These forces continue to exist as loyal allies of their funding allies and democracy is a negotiable insignificance so long as Western influence can be exerted through this method over these large Muslim powers. The anti-government protests in Iran in 2008 present further evidence of the same.
Finally, the major cause of sleepless nights in the West is ‘political Islam’, the ideology that the deen of Islam provides all solutions including the political And governments should be moulded in this format when governing Muslim nations. The downfall of Ikhwan and Hamas is presented to advance the notion that Islam’s influence over the political sphere is a recipe for disaster. These were not Islamic governments. They were democratic governments and the dichotomy between the pragmatic democratic and Islamic values they hold led to their downfall. Let us not be duped into this erroneous belief. Islamic governance can, and only will, be established on the footsteps of the Prophethood of Mohammed (Peace and Blessing Upon Him) and in the model of the Khilafah Rashidah that followed thereafter. Let us direct our energies into the correct channels. The Muslim people hold great power, as the brave revolutionaries of Syria continue to display, which should be directed at shaking the thrones of the unIslamic leaders across the Muslim world. This article will conclude by relaying an anecdote that one may take heart from in the current unfolding of events.
Yasser Arafat relays that he was on a tour of the UAE and there was a large demonstration in Gaza as part of the ‘Intifada’ against Israel. He watched the state television which made no mention of the event. In his lunch with the Emirati head of state the following day, Arafat described his irritation at this and questioned the omission of this from the news stories. In response, the Sultan smirked sheepishly and asked “would you like us to teach our people how to protest and throw rocks when they are unhappy with those governing them, so they may take us down one day”. It is high time Muslims awoke to the reality of their true power and installed Islam in the lands held by them on trust from the Creator of the heavens and the earth