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.
 
Jordan awards ICD sukuk mandate
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-04-19
Author :
Jordan's Ministry of Finance signed an advisory agreement with the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of IDB Group....
Can anyone give ear to Rafsanjani hue & cry?
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2015-04-19
Author : Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Well done Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani for revealing the painful reality of the Iranians who endure the oppression heaped upon them by the regime...
Obama's call to the Gulf
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2015-04-19
Author : Muna Al-Fuzai
The US administration announced on Friday that US President Barack Obama will receive the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at the White House on May 13 and at...
WHAT IF
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2015-04-19
Author : Talal Al-Ghannam
Good morning dear readers. In this article I will replicate my old series of 'Only in Kuwait' with a new title: 'What if.' I will leave the answers to be...
The difference between Charity and Strategic Philanthropy
Source : Gulf Today  
Date : 2015-04-19
Author : Dubai Abulhoul
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be a part of the YouAE Connect Leadership and International Development Trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand, with the Salama Bint Hamdan...
Congress is necessary safeguard on Iran deal
Source : The Peninsula  
Date : 2015-04-19
Author : Bob Corker
Any deal on Iran's nuclear program would affect generations to come, which is why it was troubling to watch President Barack Obama and his deputies try to shut out the...
Accountability is the new buzzword
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2015-04-19
Author : Khaled Al Maeena
The Ministry of Health still occupies prominent space in local papers, which have reported that several health officials in Jeddah were relieved from their posts for shortcomings in their performance....
Hillary's Middle East muddle
Source : Khaleej Times  
Date : 2015-04-19
Author : Bernd Debusmann Jr.
Among the many questions prompted by Hillary Clinton's long-expected announcement that she will run for president is this: where does she stand on the key issues of the Middle East?...
Strait talking about oil
Source : Khaleej Times  
Date : 2015-04-19
Author : N. Janardhan
Oil markets fluctuated about five per cent during late March and early April following three significant events – the Saudi-led coalition air strikes against Al Houthi rebels in Yemen; the...
Militarization of the Middle East
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-04-19
Author : Abul Rahman Al-Rashid
Iran's first acquisition after signing the draft nuclear deal, amid promises to lift sanctions, were not cars, airplanes, refrigerators, or women's purses - but rather long-range missiles! Iran was overjoyed...
GCC takes the initiative
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-04-19
Author : Rasheed Abou-Alsamh
For years one of the most heard refrains behind the scenes in the halls of power in Washington was: "Why can’t the Arabs take the initiative to defend themselves?" This...
Russia's positive message
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-04-19
Author : Salman Aldossary
As much as it has surprised the international community, Russia's decision not to veto the UN Security Council resolution on Yemen has sent a glimmer of hope that it will...
Downplaying the Iranian threat
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-04-19
Author : Bandar Bin Moamar
In the 1980s the world witnessed the Cold War between the capitalist and communist camps. During those days, I was studying in the United States. The then US President Ronald...
Yarmouk cries for help
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-04-19
Author : Harun Yahya
The world of advertising is strangely self-contradictory. We are bombarded daily with commercials or ad films luring us to consume a variety of foodstuffs including different kinds of chocolates and...
Is Iranian influence near?
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2015-04-17
Author : Nayla Tueni
Iranian president Hassan Rowhani's adviser on ethnic and religious minorities' affairs Ali Younisi said last month that Iran was an empire whose capital is Baghdad. During the "Iranian identity" conference...
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
1 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Mon Apr 20, 2015| 01-رجب-1436هـ
Kingdom pledges $ 274m for Yemen
Obama urges GCC to help with chaos in Libya
Rebels obstructing flow of aid: Coalition
GCC industrial investments rise
RCC to boost China trade integration: QNB
Saudi stocks: Total market cap exceeds SR2 trillion
Russian pressure sought on Assad to let in medical aid
Iran dismisses US threat of military option
Hezbollah 'distorting facts like Khamenei'
Bahrain's overall imports increase by 15 per cent
Kingdom prioritizes investment to achieve growth: Al-Assaf
Troops retake most of Iraq's key refinery
UAE ranks 16th for exports
Bahraini King, Blair discuss developments in region
Opec told to consider return to oil quotas
Oman Air and Cargolux sign joint venture agreement
Iran starts testing Iraq gas pipeline
    Newspaper Editorials
Israel bulldozes Palestinian rights
Spreading terror
More>>  
    Opinions
Militarization of the Middle East
Russia's positive message
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    Reports
Prisons in Yemen
Hearing on U.S. Middle East Policy
More>>  
    Bank Reports
Saudi Arabia Banking Sector
GCC Equity Monitor - Global
More>>  
    GRC Analysis
Saudi Arabia and the ASEAN Periphery: Cambodia, Myanmar, and Brunei
NATO and the Future of Gulf Security.
Saudi-Vietnam Relations
    GRC Commentary
Price of not heeding Kingdom's advice
On Relations between Rulers and Citizens: The Need for a New Social/Political Contract in the GCC States
Key Issue Facing the Saudi Ruling House.
    GRC Book Review
Beyond Regionalism? Regional Cooperation, Regionalism and Regionalization in the Middle East
India, GCC and the Global Energy Regime: Exploring Interdependence and Outlook for Collaboration.
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
United Arab Emirates’ Legal Framework of Migration
Evaluating Financial Literacy Training for Migrant Workers in the Gulf
The Socio-Political Background and Stakes of ‘Saudizing’ the Workforce in Saudi Arabia: the Nitaqat Policy
    GRC Newsletters/Bulletins

Enter your email to get the Newsletter
Go
      
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | About Us |
Weather | Qibla Directions | Hijri Date Conversion Tool
Full Page :total time:0  |   32-- 32 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 32 - 32--en--sess-enreq-en-coming