The Rise of the Islamists and their Legitimacies

The Rise of the Islamists and their Legitimacies
Zouheir Kseibati

The latest surprises of the Parliamentary elections in Egypt complete today the picture of the earthquake that toppled the traditional equation in the struggle between the ruling party and the non-religious parties in favor of the “Muslim Brotherhood”… Many signs of this picture wouldn’t have taken shape without the US impetus to stir up the storms of change in the “The Greater Middle East”.

In the next few days, this same impetus completes the shifting of Iraq to the “total” representative legitimacy era, in the post-Saddam “permanent” Constitution age,… in favor of the triumph of the religious Shiite forces. In few weeks, the project of shifting the Palestinian Authority to an era of partnership with an Islamic force (“Hamas”) should supposedly be completed. Hamas will acquire, via the electoral channel, a representative legitimacy in the post-Intifada truce age.

…. From Iraq to Egypt to Palestine, and after Lebanon, the US impetus has controlled, and still does, the direction of the electoral course to its endings. These endings of eras will not always be happy ones in the episodes of the change circle, whether for the authority or the ruling authority parties. An exception to the cornerstones of the US project to disseminate democracy by encouraging the governments or forcing them to seek a decision from ballots, is the new Iraq, where the growing authority is the first newborn following the invasion that overthrew the force that controlled the will and life of the voters, and which no opposing party or bloc could have been able to defeat. But this does not rule out the reality that this same growing authority is accused of using the US military presence to subdue its opponents – including armed individuals – under the pretext of standing up to the “democratic” change process. It is in fact accused of attempting to impose a totalitarian regime with a US “oversight”.

These gentlemen, the architects of the region’s turmoil, are themselves the symbols of a thought that is closer to the preaching approach, which crowned the new world order with the hold of Christian radicalism that classified humans into two blocs: absolute good or absolute evil. It is a total selection between black and white. With reference to the outcome of this approach in the Middle East, the electoral course may wind up in the rise of the religious forces and parties, which have a natural tendency to classify others into two blocs: either with or against, subject or enemy, an absolute truth the victor monopolizes in the ballot boxes, and an absolute lie each opponent thereof is charged with.

If one aspect of impartiality is to foresee the experience of the victor from the “Muslim Brotherhood” in Egypt, in his dialogue with the authority and his participation in the decision therewith, and the experience of the “Islamic Resistance Movement” (Hamas) in Palestine – if the elections take place – then the practices of the religious forces that mounted the throne of the executive authority in Baghdad do not leave room to praise its leniency with the other voice… not even to save the reputation of the US democratic project.

It may be said that the preaching approach of the new conservatives in the US has particularly paved the way for the rise of the Islamic forces in the region, after they had suffered from exclusion, oppression, and compulsory eclipse. The question/problem is whether the administration of the President George Bush has intended to facilitate this rise of blocs what Washington has worked hard to accuse of terrorism or being silent,  and agents of countries included in the “axis of evil”. This is applicable to the “Brotherhood” (being silent) and “Hamas” (indicted of being the agent of Syria and Iran). But the most important after the completion of the electoral process in Egypt and Palestine, are the manifestations of the group’s and movement’s dealing with the authority and the other voices in the two societies, religious and party. In Egypt, the “Brotherhood” dealt with the ruling party away from the revenge rationale and with the Copts away from the skepticism obsession. In Palestine, the major test for “Hamas” is to avoid the Israeli trap aimed at pushing it to fall in the quagmire of the authority’s temptation, and replace it as a negotiator…in case it wins a broad legal parliamentary representation, which seems likely due to “Fateh’s” failure.

Still, the electoral track will not transfer the country to the age of Democracy if each victor wants it to be a State with the criteria of the absolute truth and absolute voice. One should also be aware of the architects of hidden projects in Washington. Following Iraq’s predicament, they are still capable of drawing more than one scenario to repeat the crisis of Algeria in a revived format; then everybody will win hell.