Home Page - Gulf in the Media
HomePoliticsEconomy                               Set Gulfinthemedia.com as home page
Opinions
"Postings of opinions published in the Gulf and international newspapers
 Print  Send This Page
Save Listen to this Article
Can the Islamist movements deliver?   

Arab News - 28 March, 2012
Author: Osama Al Sharif

Arab Islamist movements have never been so close to grabbing power through open and democratic elections as they are today.

They have already succeeded in Tunisia and Egypt. They are expected to do well in Algeria’s upcoming polls. And if elections are held in Jordan this year, under a favorable voting law, they are expected to reap between 25 to 35 percent of the contested parliamentary seats.

Islamist parties are gaining ground in Kuwait and Bahrain. They make up the biggest opposition in Sudan. And in post-Qaddafi’s Libya newly formed Islamist parties will play a major role in the political future of the country.

In Syria, the banned Muslim Brotherhood party has a commanding position in the Syrian National Council, which represents most opponents of the regime of Bashar Assad. In the Gaza Strip, Hamas, a group with close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan and Egypt, has been in control since 2007.

In Yemen the Islamists are reasserting their presence, and historically the Muslim Brotherhood was considered as the largest opposition group to the rule of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

In almost every Arab country today political Islam is thriving, but it is not of one color. The Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest and most popular political movement on the scene, is regarded as moderate compared to radical and fundamentalist parties and groups such as Al Tahrir Party. In Iraq Shiite Islamist parties, some of which have strong ties with Iran, have jockeyed for power and became major political players. Most Sunni parties have allied themselves with a secular coalition led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki has been accused of stirring anti-Sunni sentiments in an attempt to monopolize government.

It is now clear that the biggest winners from the Arab Spring, the popular wave of non-ideological anti-regime uprisings that have been sweeping the region for more than a year, are the Islamists. They have already won a majority in Tunisian, Egyptian and Moroccan parliamentary elections.

But can they be trusted to deliver and maintain a civil state which enshrines democracy and pluralism? Furthermore, can they confront the complicated social, economic and political challenges which previous governments have failed to meet?

In Egypt there are worrying signs that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis are running away with the political process. Together they control Egypt’s two-chamber Parliament. Earlier in the week the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and Al Nour Party dominated the 100-member body chosen by Parliament to write a new constitution. While there was nothing illegal in the way the Islamists took over the panel, they were immediately attacked for excluding liberal, nationalist, secular and independent figures. Critics of the move say Islamist domination of the constitutional body will produce an Islamic constitution, or one that reflects the ideological beliefs of the Islamists, while ignoring Egypt’s diverse cultural and religious realities.

Earlier the Muslim Brotherhood said it will not present its own nominee to the presidential elections to be held in May, but recent signals indicate that the movement is having second thoughts. It is clear that Egypt’s Islamists have abandoned earlier promises not to usurp the political process and to work with other parties and political streams in a fragile transitional phase. Such contradictions have inflamed an already tense atmosphere. The ruling military council has launched an unprecedented attack on the Muslim Brotherhood calling on it “to be aware of history’s lessons, to avoid past mistakes ...and to look to the future with the spirit of cooperation.”

In contrast, Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood has unveiled a “national covenant with the Syrian people” from its exile in Turkey. On Sunday the movement pledged to respect democracy and share power in a civil state once Assad’s regime is toppled. “We want a democratic Syria and we do not want to control the country alone,” it said in a statement. It added that the group was committed to “a civil and democratic republican state with a parliamentary system, in which all the people are treated equal regardless of faith or ethnicity.”

But the Muslim Brotherhood is not alone in the political arena. The recent rise of the Salafis, whose ideological and political agendas differ markedly from those of the Muslim Brotherhood, is a cause for concern. In Egypt and Tunisia the Salafis have made it clear that their aim is to establish a Sharia governed Islamic state.

The truth of the matter is that the Islamists have not been tested before. And in spite of repeated assurances, there are no guarantees that once in government they will not try to impose their own views and beliefs or interrupt the democratic transfer of power.

For the time being popular sentiments favor the Islamists after decades of persecution by authoritarian governments. The Islamists are already in control in Tunisia and Egypt and other countries will soon follow. It is the biggest test yet for political Islam and the future of a region that is still grappling with the issues of democracy, human rights, pluralism, secularism and civil state.


Osama Al Sharif is a journalist and political commentator based in Amman.
 
Jobless PhD holders
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2017-01-19
Author : Saeed Al-Seraihi
It is an absolute right, rather a duty, of Saudi universities, whether government or private, to attract highly qualified expatriates to become staff members to uplift their educational standards regardless...
Saudis are not racists
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2017-01-19
Author : Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi
The title of this article is taken from a video posted by the well-known media figure Kamal Abdulqadir on his Twitter account. The video talks about the ferocious racist campaign...
Iran bids farewell to Obama with insults
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2017-01-19
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
It is the story of the frog that carried the scorpion on its back to cross the water to the other bank. As soon as it arrived, the scorpion stung...
A dove in Davos? Calling Zarif's bluffs
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2017-01-19
Author : Faisal J. Abbas
One has to give it to Jawad Zarif. Not only can Iran's chief diplomat bluff, but - as attendees at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting found out -...
Saudi Arabia - the region's cornerstone of stability and security
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2017-01-19
Author : Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri
Time after time, Saudi Arabia has called for conferences in order to exchange views, present proposals, set up centers and build alliances. These actions are taken in order to secure...
Welcome, Oman!
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2017-01-17
Author : Samar Al-Mogren
In view of my interest in journalism and culture, I closely follow the developments in the Arab World. But it is Oman that has drawn my attention the most. It...
The Saudi islands, Egypt and political 'fahlawa'
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2017-01-17
Author : Faisal J. Abbas
Pundits commenting on Saudi-Egyptian relations in light of the recent issue over the two islands of Tiran and Sanafir must remember that land disputes between neighboring countries are common; indeed,...
Gulf states are the Arab nation's backbone
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2017-01-17
Author : Khalaf Ahmed Al Habtoor
I cannot help thinking there is an architect with a plan to weaken Egypt and create distance between Egyptians and the peoples of the Arabian Gulf. I fear this plot...
Unemployed Saudi engineers
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2017-01-16
Author : Hala Al-Qahtani
A long time ago, a ministerial committee comprising representatives from the Ministries of Civil Service, Finance, Education, Defense, Municipal and Rural Affairs and the Saudi Council of Engineers was formed...
Strong action needed to prevent adhl
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2017-01-16
Author : Samar Al-Mogren
Many Saudi men have been doing injustice to their daughters by preventing them from getting married....
'Expatophobia'
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2017-01-16
Author : Mahmoud Ahmad
Last week, a shocking cartoon was published in a local Saudi daily targeting expatriate workers that sparked anger among many people, mainly expatriates working here in Saudi Arabia....
Davos has potential to be more than just hot air in a cold climate
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2017-01-16
Author : Frank Kane
Travelers from the Arabian Gulf to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) 47th annual meeting - which kicks off tomorrow in Davos, Switzerland - will experience a temperature swing of roughly...
Iran in Yemen: See no evil, hear no evil
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2017-01-16
Author : Baria Alamuddin
Western leaders have displayed astonishing unwillingness to acknowledge the evidence of their own intelligence agencies and militaries concerning Iranian interference in Yemen and the region....
Saudi Arabia's big debate on cinema, concerts
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2017-01-16
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh has created a state of confusion after replying to a question on a TV program concerning the Kingdom's entertainment reforms....
We must transform Saudi society or collapse
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2017-01-14
Author : Mishari Al Naeem
Our country is going through a transformational period and facing economic difficulties. It seems that we are going to see sweeping changes in the traditions that govern our society....
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
1 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Thu Jan 19, 2017| 20-ربيع ثاني-1438هـ
Iraqi forces to complete liberation of E. Mosul soon - Al-Abadi
Syria against Saudi Arabia, Qatar taking part at Astana talks
UAE Court sentences three to jail for terror acts
Bahrain King hails Egypt's pivotal role
Iran's Zarif sees possibility to work with KSA over Syria, Yemen
Kuwait 'well positioned' to ease lower oil impact
Martyrs role model of devotion: Mohamed
GCC braces for budgetary cuts
OIC to discuss Muslim Rohingya crisis in Myanmar
Nicaragua leader supports Qatar's Unesco candidate
UAE, New Zealand to strengthen economic ties
Shoura to study fees on expat remittances
Oman major boost to bilateral relations with Canada
Iran 'hostile' to US involvement in Syria talks
Kuwait MPs slam rising expat numbers, remittances
  Op-Ed
Emissions cheating: carmakers need to make radical changes
No end in sight to migrant woes
A dove in Davos? Calling Zarif's bluffs
Saudi Arabia - the region's cornerstone of stability and security
More>>  
    Reports
NBK Report on oil markets
GCC Banking Sector Quarterly - 2Q16
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    GRC Analysis
The Benefits of NATO-GCC Strategic Ties
The GCC and the EU's New Global Strategy
For the GCC States, a different Europe to deal with
    GRC Commentary
Climate COP 22 in Marrakech Important for the Region
Earth Day 2016: The Promised Day
An Evolving Saudi-US Relationship
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities for the GCC Countries
Salalah: The Economic Development and Spatial Fragmentation of a Globalized Port City in Southern Oman
Foreign Investments in the GCC and Investments of GCC Countries Abroad
    GRC Newsletters/Bulletins

Enter your email to get the Newsletter
Go
A Note on Syrian Refugees in the Gulf: Attempting to Assess Data and Policies
      
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | About Us |
Weather | Qibla Directions | Hijri Date Conversion Tool
Full Page :total time:0  |   07-- 07 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 07 - 07--en--sess-enreq-en-coming