Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Arab Revolutions Will Produce Islamic Democracy
By Khalid Amayreh
PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, April 4, 2011
Non-Islamic democracy is impossible in the Arab world
Many westerners are quite gloomy about the prospects of democracy in the
Arab world, following the historic revolutions that have taken (and are
taking) place in several Arab countries. They are worried that
true democracy in Arab lands might bring to power Islamic democrats who
would seek to reconcile human rights, civil liberties with the
Islamic rulings. In other words, they dread seeing the Islamization of
Some of these critics are quite
ignorant of the truth about the Arab world and Islam, and
with a good reason. Decades of anti-Islam incitement,
spearheaded by Zionist circles, more or less succeeded in tarnishing the
image of Islam in many western countries, portraying it as
tyrannical and anti-democratic.
Others are quite malicious. They
know that the re-adoption of Islam, even the reinstitution of
the Islamic political authority, is the "natural
way" for Muslim people. After all, Islam has always been the soul of
Arabs, and asking them to abandon Islam, in favor of imported
western ideas and ideals, would be tantamount to
asking them to abandon their human and cultural identity.
probably most, westerners seem to lament the demise of
despicable tyrants such as Hosni Mubarak, Zeinulabedin Bin Ali. Some
are expressing consternation about the imminent downfall of Muammar
Qaddafi, the eccentric Libyan dictator who has impoverished and
murdered his people in order to appease his megalomaniac tendencies.
There is of course a clear and large amount of hypocrisy in
the Western approach toward reforms in the Muslim world. The
West, which is not a monolithic power, backed and shielded Arab
dictators for years, fearing that true democracy in the Arab world
would bring to the forefront a new breed of elected leaders who are
more or less unfriendly to western, especially American interests in this
part of the world.
Nonetheless, western hypocrisy goes much
deeper. For while people anywhere in the world should have
the natural right to choose their leaders freely, Muslims are not
supposed to choose leaders who are viewed as opposed to Zionist Nazism
or American imperialism.
There is also conspicuous moral and
logical inconsistency in American and even European stand on Arab and
Israeli democracy. According to this inherently duplicitous
western view, it is perfectly fine if Jews in Israel elect
Nazi-like parties such as Habayt Hayuhedi (the Jewish home),
Shas, National Union, and politicians like Avigdor Liberman and Benyamin
Netanyahu, that adopt clear-cut fascist formulas. On the other hand,
however, Muslims must be constantly warned against Islamic parties
whose political formulas are actually very much similar to those of
Christian democratic parties in West.
We are not
denying the fact that there are some extremist Islamic groups,
such as al-Qaeda that should be fought relentlessly as long as they
behave the way they do.
However, viewing a billion and a half
Muslims with different cultures and ways of thinking, as carbon copies of
a tiny, fanatical group is both illogical and unfair.
west may encourage Arabs and Muslims to show genuine concern for human
rights and civil liberties. This kind of interference is innocuous and
harmless. But we Muslims don't like to be told to refrain from
electing Islamic parties. After all, we are Muslims, and telling us to not
elect Islamic parties is tantamount to telling us to give
up Islam itself and adopt another religion.
It should be clear to
all that Arabs, like everyone else, have the right to elect their
governments and leaders freely according to their conscience.
Moreover, for the sake of mutual understanding and constructive
future relations between a democratic west and a democratic
Arab world, the former would have to give up some of its
cultural arrogance and accept the timeless truism that people may
thoughtfully and sincerely hold different views and lead
different ways of life.
After all, God created us different when He
could have created us identical.
I said that whether the West likes
it or not, Islam has always been and continues to be the
zeitgeist (spirit of the times) throughout the Arab world. Hence, it
is an expression of intransigence or perhaps ill will on
the part of some western circles to warn Muslims in countries such as
Egypt and Tunisia against electing parties with an Islamic agenda.
The Muslims of Egypt have the right to elect a Muslim democratic party
just as Christians in Germany have the right to elect a Christian democratic
As I mentioned above, there is a heavy legacy of
misunderstandings, rumors and canards about Islam in the west, some dating
back to the ancient hostilities between Islam and the west while many
of the recent misunderstandings have been disseminated by Zionist
circles, especially through the media over which Zionist lobbies
have quite an influence.
While Muslims are not obliged to imitate or
copy certain western aspects of democracy, there is nothing wrong in
having, learning, and borrowing from the rich and long western
experience of democracy.
Having said that, however, it
should be sufficiently clear that Muslims are under no obligation to copy or
adopt anything that is incompatible with the principles of their