New Middle East, But Angry, Islamic and Democratic One

Under this heading, Director of Ibn Khaldoun Centre for Political and Social Studies Dr. Saad eddin Ibrahim wrote to mock at what the American President and his administration call a new Middle East. He said that he has heard of this scheme from senior American officials following official visits paid by delegations from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and, bottom line, Israel. The aim of these successive official visits to Washington, he says, is that the US demands a new, regional quartet to act as an axis in confrontation of what it dubs as the terrorist axis which embraces Iran, Syrian, Hizbullah and Hamas. The writer said that he had earlier weeks ago written an article in the Washington Post with the article bearing a heading very similar to that of our article.” Yes, New Middle East But Angry, Islamic and Democratic One”  He quotes the cream de la cream of his Washington Post article which goes as follows in part: Actually there will be a new Middle East especially after the five week war on Lebanon, and this is normal after any wars or revolutions. However, he says, this newly born Middle East will not resemble that which Bush and Rice dream of. It will not be tolerant to or allied with the Americans. This amorphous, angry Middle East will emerge some day and we all will eventually discover that it is an Islamic one with original Middle East genes rather than a hybrid one. The new Middle East will bear features of Hizbullah, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood as well as Turkish and Moroccan Justice and Development parties. These groups and movements have established themselves as far as social and economic activities are concerned. They had emerged successful in social and economic aspects before joining political or military arenas, with the social and economic services preceding or going side by side with their struggle for liberating their countries. It is such groups and movements that survive and thrive, as it is taken for granted among us, sociologists, that any living thing succeeds and survives as long as it adapts to its environment and its members help enhance this environment, something which these groups and movements do. These groups and movements succeeded in what the modern official states failed, at least throughout the past six decades (1945-2005). They have taken roots, taking Islam as a point of reference and a slogan, and they will continue to exist and even grow, unfortunately, against the willing of Bush and Rice. Four successive regimes (King Farouk –Nasser- Sadat- Mubarak) have failed to obliterate the Muslim Brotherhood. And so did the 80 –year Turkish Kemalesque secular state in its relentless efforts to uproot Islam as a reference from the heart of the Turkish people. Shiite Hizbullah has withered the storm and survived attempts of Israeli five successive prime ministers from Begin to Sharon, and the sixth one is likely to be ousted after the historical defeat Israel sustained in the recent war. Hizbullah also survived four American presidents who have been and still are seeking to obliterate it.
Dr. Ibrahim touches on one the most important factors which have helped these groups and movements to survive the political and economic dilemma which has plagued the Middle East, mainly the choice of leaders and corruption. At the political level, he says that these groups and movements easily rotate power within their respective bureaus, citing the seven successive Muslim Brotherhood Chairmen from Banna to incumbent Chairman Mohamed Mahdi Akef, and the Hamas successive leaders from Yassen to Haneya. He ironically strikes a comparison between this simple rotation of power within these groups and Gaddafi of Libya, Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen and Mubarak of Egypt. He even mocks at the state- legalized parties including Wafd, Tagammu and Labor and other secular parties in Egypt and other Arab countries which witness no change of their leaders, which, he says, has led to these parties drowning in stagnation and inactiveness. In terms of corruption, the writer says that the Islamic movements have survived it in spite of its growing financial resources. He ascribes this disciplined system to the simplicity and modest life of its leaders, adding that these groups and their leaders have been with the masses on better and worse, with their leaders immune against pageantry of life or gloss of power.
On his prediction of the future of the region, Dr. Ibrahim said that the masses in the region are now outrageous over Israeli aggressions, the US blind bias with Israel and the pathetic silence and disgraceful position of the Arab rulers whom the masses accuse of collaborating with the Israeli American alliance. He predicts that the brutalities Israel has committed against Lebanon and Palestine will stir the Arab masses into ousting the incumbent Arab regimes. On the fears of some skeptics that the Islamists do not adhere to democracy, Dr.Ibrahim countered that the Islamic groups and movements such as Hizbullah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Morocco have accepted and exercised democracy by joining the election process in a way much better than the US expected. The writer considers the extremist organizations such as Taliban in Afghanistan, mullahs in Iran or Turabites in Sudan and, bottom line, Bin laden groups, as exception of the rule, saying that the latter don’t believe in democracy or election. He sees that such diehard entities are on the decline while the supporters of Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hizbullah and other popular movement are on the rise. He concluded by saying that the Middle East which is being built by the democratic Islamists from Turkey to Morocco will be a democratic region sooner or later.