Looking back at the Arab Spring
A standard definition of “Arab Spring” is: “The democratic uprisings that arose independently and spread across the Arab world in 2011.” (The unrest actually broke out in Tunisia, December 2010.)
Perspective, always tricky, is really tough in the midst of turmoil, political correctness and natural or “man-caused” disaster—all at once. I found a review of the Egyptian Arab Spring is profoundly useful in locating a solid place to stand and a clear view for the coming days as thousands struggle to find the answer, “Why?” We’ll review a few of my posts from the 2011 winter and spring. Let’s start with my first post on Egypt’s new “Spring”, January 30, five days after the commencement of the “spontaneous” uprising in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
Which Way For Democracy, Human Rights, Peace and Stability In Egypt?
That question is posed, one way or another throughout the media. The Obama government, we are told, has a very fine line to walk in this crisis. The President and his administration seem to have tipped away from the Mubarak Government in Egypt. Commentators are not overstating the danger, if anything, they are understating it. Egypt is a human powder keg and the fuse may already be lit.
Who can know if President Obama’s hard position towards Mubarak is the right path. In the first place, how can we know if the American “back channel” message towards Mubarak is really all that hard? Perhaps what we hear from the President is for consumption by the left here or Governments elsewhere.
Let’s be clear, we have been here before. In 1979, we faced an Ayatollah led Muslim extremist uprising in Iran There was a hated, American backed strongman (the Shah) in Tehran. There was a failed President Carter in Washington. 32 years ago, Carter took a hard line: he knocked out the props; the Shah fell. In Iran, we have the —about to be nuclear— dictatorship of the Ayatollahs. Who can calculate the price the World and especially America has paid for Carter’s failure? The human misery and death suffered by the Iranian people is staggering.
Could our current failed President be making the same mistake? Could a dictatorship of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt be as serious? No question, worse! The inevitable lost energy resources will bring the World to her knees. The hate and rage of the Arab Muslim world is about to explode. Who will come to Israel’s aid? Perhaps, not even the Obama-led American government. Israel can, and I would argue, will take out Cairo, Tehran, Beirut, and any other Arab Capital they find necessary —nuclear if necessary.
Where will it stop? What’ll the Muslim populations in Europe do? What will Obama’s teleprompters do?
I just finished the profoundly important novel, THE HAJ by Leon Uris (Doubleday, 1984). Novels often tell the truth better than non-fiction. I believe The Haj casts light into “this Present Darkness,” and speaks truth to the present crisis.
As the book ends, it is fall, 1956, Haj Ibraham al Soukori, Muktar of Tabah, the West Bank of Palestine, with his family, has been a refugee for years in Jericho, Jordan. The years have been life draining; Ibraham was very tired and weak. All he had left was the family honor. His youngest daughter, Nada, had tasted freedom and “brought dishonor and shame” to the family. He brutally killed her for the sake of the family honor. During a subsequent confrontation with, his youngest son, Ishmael, Ibraham dies of a massive heart attack.
After days of abject grief, Ishmael, asks his employer, Dr. Mudhil, an old and wise Muslim (pages 563-564):
“Why? Why, I whispered, “why.”
“You were three beautiful people who loved each other fiercely. But you were born into a culture which has no place for such love to express itself. We are accursed among all living creatures.”
“What is to become of us all?” I said, as much a groan as a question.
He was silent for ever so long. I watched the outline of his shadow swaying, moaning.
“You must tell me, Dr. Mudhil.”
“I shall tell you,” he said softly, in agony. “We do not have leave to love one another and we have long ago lost the ability. It was so written twelve hundred years earlier. Hate is our over-powering legacy and we have regenerated ourselves by hatred from decade to decade, generation to generation, century to century. The return of the Jews has unleashed that hatred, exploding wildly, aimlessly, into a massive force of self-destruction. In ten, twenty, thirty years the world of Islam will begin to consume itself in madness. We cannot live with ourselves . . . we never have. We cannot live with or accommodate the outside world . . . we never have. We are incapable of change. The devil who makes us crazy is now devouring us. We cannot stop ourselves. And if we are not stopped we will march, with the rest of the world, to the Day of the Burning. What we are now witnessing, Ishmael, now, is the beginning of Armageddon.”
“It is only fiction,” some dreamer or apologist or Secular Fundamentalist or Code Pinker might say. Here is my testimony. In the last six years, I have read extensively, more than 20 books, on Islam. I have read at least four borrowed from my library. Here, in no particular order, are several titles I own:
- Willful Blindness, Andrew C. McCarthy
- The Force of Reason, Oriana Fallaci
- The Sword of the Prophet, Serge Trifkovic
- The Iranian Time Bomb, Michael A. Ledeen
- The Looming Tower, Lawrence Wright
- The High Cost of Peace, Yossef Bodansky
- World War IV, Norman Podhoretz
- America Alone, Mark Steyn
- A God Who Hates, Wafa Sultan
- Son of Hamas, Mosab Hassan Yousef
- Muslim Mafia, P. David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry
- The Grand Jihad, Andrew C. McCarthy
- The Post-American Presidency, Pamela Geller with Robert Spencer
- Stealth Jihad, Robert Spencer
- Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t, Robert Spencer
- The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran, Robert Spencer
It is Islam itself, not simply the terrorists or the extremists that cannot exist with freedom. A few days after 911, a television host asked Franklin Graham, “Dr. Graham, what is the difference between Islam and Christianity?” Graham’s said, “The god of Islam asks you to send your son to die for him; the God of Christianity sent His Son to die for you.” Because Islam is the opposite of Liberty, Muslim governments must be some form of tyranny. Shariah law is a system of ordered tyranny. Until Muslims are converted to Christianity, Muslim countries must be tyrannies. To expect democracy to find soil to root and grow in Islam is futile and, frankly, stupid. Democracy cannot produce Liberty and human rights. Democracy must be born in Liberty.
There is not and will not be an attractive Muslim government. *I firmly believe Egypt must remain under the control of Mubarak until he can turn the government over to another sane, if ruthless, strongman. The Army is a required component of a stable Egypt. For the sake of the people of Egypt, the Middle East and the World, the Muslim Brotherhood must not gain control of Egypt.
*Obviously Hosni Mubarak did not hold power two more weeks.