Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, August 2012
Islamic Movements Must Not Be Distracted by Hecklers
By Khalid Amayreh
PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, August 27, 2012
The recent ascendancy of Islamic forces, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, to the political forefront in parts of the Arab world has generated many enemies.
Secularists, pseudo-liberals, anti-Islam Arab nationalists as well as heretical sectarians have all suddenly emerged from their protracted dormancy to fight the Islamic movements' efforts to re-Islamize societies, end political tyranny and despotism, stem the tide of corruption and achieve economic development and prosperity.
Such a phenomenon would be perfectly normal were not for the fact that these generally marginal forces conceal a real rejection of democracy and popular will in their hysterical endeavor to tarnish the Islamic movement. They easily forget that the Islamists earned, not arrogated, their achievements.
In Egypt this week, some secularist intellectuals called for a million-man strong demonstration to vilify the Muslim Brotherhood and President Muhammed Mursi. However, to the secularists' chagrin, only a few hundred protesters showed up, a majority of whom were followers of the Coptic Church.
The protesters sounded so frustrated, so irate and so disillusioned that they called the Brotherhood "murderers" and "traitors."
Needless to say, the highly-charged and manifestly mendacious epithets used in reference to Egyptian Islamists underscore the desperation and bankruptcy of the anti-Islamic forces.
It also illustrates the fact that these people are unable to come to terms with the fact that the people of Egypt have elected an Islamic president and an Islamic parliament, although the latter was dissolved by the so-called Constitutional Court, which we all know would never ever have adopted that infamous decision had the liberals or secularists or Mubarak's men won the elections.
With big mouths and little minds, the anti-Islamists have been making the illogical accusation that the Islamists are monopolizing power. This is a despicable canard since each and every winning Islamic candidate was duly elected by the masses in fair and free elections monitored by the whole world and supervised by relevant state institutions.
In fact, if we add the malicious intent inherent behind the canard, the big lie becomes a real crime since the ultimate goal of this unrelenting cycle of incitement and vilification is to foil the democratic process and carry out a coup against the will of the people.
This is certainly not freedom of speech. Freedom of speech, as far as we know, doesn't include calls for murdering a democratically elected president.
In Libya, the remnants of Muammar Gaddafi's supporters have blown up one or two car-bombs during the Eidul-Fitr holiday. Their sinister goal is to murder and maim as many innocent Libyans as possible in order to destabilize the fledgling democracy. These treacherous terrorists want to sow terror, violence and chaos in order to make the Libyan masses regret having revolted against and toppled the criminal autocratic Gaddafi regime.
In Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring, the "France Party", which includes Tunisians who are Arab in name but French in everything else, including culture, enmity to Islam, and lifestyle, have been revolting vociferously against the new democratically-elected Quasi-Islamic rulers of the North African country.
The brazenness of some these people's demands would give one the impression that the right thing to do was to maintain and consolidate the colonialist French culture, including excessive secularism, hostility to Islam, nudity, atheism and promiscuity while combating everything and anything remotely related to morality and Islam, the religion and way of life of the vast majority of the Tunisian people.
And in Morocco, the enemies of Islam seem hell-bent on thwarting the first Islamic government by holding it responsible for all the troubles in the failed monarchy ever since independence in 1956.
Even in some relatively innocuous entities in the Mashreq (eastern or Asiatic part of the Arab world), we are beginning to hear terms such as the Ikhwanization of the state. The term is not innocent or neutral. It is meant as a euphemistic rejection of Islam.
The disseminators of this poisoned propaganda know too well in their heart that the use of terms such as the "Islamization of the state" wouldn't achieve the required goal, namely to incite the often unsuspecting public against the Islamists. (It might actually produce a boomerang effect.) This is why they employ the more tendentious term "the Ikhwanization of the state" in order to discredit the Muslim Brotherhood's Islamic platform.
In one oil-rich Gulf Sheikhdom, we have been affronted with one prominent security official who seems to have particular difficulties shutting his mouth up. The visibly ignorant official, whose tongue functions much more swiftly than his mind ever does, has been vowing to arrest and imprison Islamist elements, comparing them with dangers posed by Iran.
The utter absurdity of that official's remarks prevents this writer from further commenting on him and his ludicrous ranting lest I inadvertently accord him a dignity he doesn't deserve.
Needless, to say, the Islamic movements in the Arab world must not preoccupy themselves with such distractions. The shipyard dogs are too many and it would be futile and counter-productive to waste attention and energy that should be utilized elsewhere. The dogs bark but the caravans must go on.
Indeed, instead of keeping reacting to bankrupt and malicious detractors, the Islamic movements should get busy implementing serious social and economic programs, including fighting poverty and other social ills and helping college students who don't afford to pay tuitions.
More to the point, the Islamic movements should see to it that alternative and effective media outlets be founded in order to help shape an Islamic public opinion which can be mobilized when necessary. This is a paramount matter since the existing public-sector media in countries such as Egypt and Jordan is decidedly anti-Islamist if not anti-Islamic.
Hence, the Islamic movements are urged to create as many new satellite TV stations as possible along with a large number of attractive and versatile internet sites in various languages in order to communicate the Islamic message and accurate information to the largest possible audience.
This is not to say, of course, that the Islamic movements should scale down its devotion to the Palestinian cause and confrontation with Zionism and Israel.
In the final analysis, the Islamic movement's commitment to the Palestinian cause is the single most important factor contributing to Islamists' popularity among the masses.
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