Tahrir Square is Too Deafening to Ignore

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  • 8/4/2019 Tahrir Square is Too Deafening to Ignore


    Tahrir Square is too Deafening to Ignore*N.Jamal Ansari

    Young tech-Savvy men and women riding on Facebook and Twitter gavebirth to Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia and Lotus Revolution in Egypt. Bothsucceeded. The revolutionaries were armed with only computers and smartphones and just by walking down on the streets they demolished palaces in onestroke. The calculas or the dynamics of the revolutions will be studied andresearched by the academicians in future but presently shivering is felt by mostof the 22 Arab States. Palaces are fearing streets and are trying to read the pulseof the masses. Arab world has learnt another lesson that United States ofAmerica is not a dependable ally and cannot be trusted for too long. All thesedevelopments are going to change socio-politico scenario of the Arab World, ifnot immediately then in future.

    Before analyzing Egyptian revolution, we must take a glance over the mapof Arabia. In one corner of the West of Suez Canal lies Republic of Mauritaniawhere General Mohamed ould Abdel Aziz had seized power through a militarycoup. In April 2009 he called elections and swept the polls resulting in dictatorianrule which is breeding poverty and illiteracy. King Mohammed VI of Moroccoassumed the throne in 1999 and has enormous executive powers despiteMorocco having an elected Parliament. Again widespread poverty and literacyrules over Moroccan streets. Handpicked by the army President AbdelazizBouteflika rules over Republic of Algeria. It too faces grave poverty thoughliteracy rate is high which has increased unemployment. In Great SocialistPeoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Col. Muammar Gaddafi is firmly ruling since1969 but failed to remove poverty and the under current of anger is brewing.Republic of Sudan (which is going to be divided into two countries shortly) is

    presided over by Omar Al Bashir where civil war has torn apart socio-politicostructure. President Bashar-al-Assad is ruling with iron fist over Syrian ArabRepublic which has one party system and disallows any political space. AliAbdullah Saleh is ruling Republic of Yemen since 1978 where poverty, socialunrest and terrorism is common sight. Kingdom of Saudia Arabia is being ruledby House of Saud since 1931 and leaving aside a negligible hidden dissent,stability and continuity may be found. Other kingdoms and emirates from Qatar tothe UAE are also in trouble as the young generation is becoming increasingrestive. Among all these tiny sheikhdoms Qatar and Oman are stabilized in realsense.

    There are similarities in all these countries. Most of the rulers are ruling in

    the name of Islam but at the same time suppressing Islam in one way or theother. All these countries have not Islamic principles of governance and thedistribution of wealth is totally disbalanced. While the palaces have perfumedgardens, the streets are full of deprivation and denial. Every Arab State has alarge population aged below 30 which cannot be ignored now. Unemployment isfast rising and the westernization of the soil by rulers has created false dreamsamong this huge under 30 population. This is the generation to which statecontrolled media cannot hide facts for long, as they have access to the World

  • 8/4/2019 Tahrir Square is Too Deafening to Ignore


    Wide Web and do not forget that this is the population which wants to turn socio-economic pyramid up side down and this is what exactly happened in the Tunisiaand the Egypt.

    In all Arab countries, the welfare program devised by rulers has collapsed.Earlier the masses on streets had heavily subsidized food, cheap services, easy

    employment in public sector, old age pensions etc but now all these subsidies,foods and pensions are being withdrawn. Rulers developed commerce andindustry on western model i.e Capitalism and not on Islamic principles.Surprisingly those who ruled in the name of Islam also feared Islamic principlesand sentiments more. That is the contradiction in all Arab States including SaudiaArabia which is the biggest ally of USA in the region.

    Revolution in Tunisia and Egypt should be viewed against thatbackground. The only difference between Tunisia and Egypt is that PresidentZine El Abdine Ben Ali did not put up a resistance while President HosniMubarak refused to read writing on walls till last moments. Uprising in both thecountries is going to dent palaces in all Arab countries with varying degrees.

    Already masses have come out on the streets of Jordan and Yemen demandingpolitical reforms. Though in Jordan, Kind Abdullah has succeeded in calmingdown the anger of young generation but in Yemen the street people clearly wantAli Abdullah Saleh out of office. In Algeria too Abdelaziz Bouteflika is trying tosave his regime by pressing police on the streets. Bahrain is also in danger zoneas it has a sunni regime while the majority of population belongs to shiaism andthe latest reports are that shias have begin to call for departure of the sunniregime.

    The reaction of the Arab rulers after the Tunisia and Egypt revolutionshould also be analysed academically. Sharp minded rulers have began initiatingreforms and calming down popular anger. Jordans King Abdullah has appointednew cabinet to deal with the grievances of the masses whereas Al Sabbah rulingfamily of Kuwait has made it clear that they agree for more political space.Facebook and Youtube were banned in Syria but now Basher Al-Assad hasordered to lift the ban. In Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh made it clear that he or hisson will not contest 2013 elections. Another policy change is that most of theArab regimes have decided to increase social budget for welfare of masses. Justbefore Mubarak bowed to peoples wish in Cairo, the ruler of Bahrain KingHamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa announced a budget of $2,700 for each family. InSaudia Arabia two-third of population is under 30 years age and theunemployment rate is 10 percent. It is witnessing rising inflation and fallingincomes. It has announced no policy shift for now but the latest report are thatPrince Khalid Al Faisal, Governor of Mecca Province is trying to reach out underthirty years population. Recently he invited five young people including a bloggerand briefed them about sincere measures taken by the government. In the end ofmeeting he told them with a smile, Do send our royal regards to the youngpeople on Twitter. This one sentence indicates the feeble attempts to reach outto masses.

    Ruling families of the Arab World had realized that the fall of Mubarak inEgypt will directly hit them and so they tried every trick of the book to support

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    Mubarak and ensure his continuity. King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz had extendedsupport to Mubarak. He declared that, in case the US withdraws its financialsupport to Cairo, my kingdom will prop up Egyptian President Hosni Mubaraksregime.

    Lets consider another political fact which is often ignored. Iran is not a

    Arab country but in the terminology of western military and political policy makersit has been included in the Extended Middle East. A harsh reality is that the roleof sunni Arabs has shrinked considerably. No Arab country has a major role toplay in the regions politics. Only three countries are key players and they areneither Arab nor sunni. At one corner of extended middle east we have Iranwhich is a shia state and on the other end is Turkey which is secular in ideologyand in the middle lies the Israel, a Jewish State. Sunni Arabia commonlybounded by the Arab nationalism is ceasing to exit. It is for the sunni Arabthinkers, academicians and analysts to ponder over why such a time came?

    My analysis is somewhat harsh. I have discuss the issue of Arabnationalism in detail in 1998. I had concluded my article Confronting Islam or

    Arabism (Published in the Radiance, 5-11 July, 1998) with remark that, TheArab world must shed its Arab nationalism and embrace the Islamic world as awhole because the mosaic of final conflict is being set and the target is notArabism but Islam. In Egypt Abdul Gemal Nasser began a systematic assault onIslamic principles and the trend continued with Sadat and Mubaraks regime.Deviation from Islam created an uneven society based upon injustice whichforced the masses to push the sand palace of Mubarak to ruins. I am sure it isgoing to happen all over the Arab World, if the rulers did not shed the love forwest and their Arabism which is a western concept and failed to adopt Islamicideals. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rightly described the Egyptian Revolution asIslamic Wave and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is not wrong whenhe reminds that the fall of Mubarak took place exactly after 32 years to the day ofthe fall of Shah Mohammad Raza Pahlvi on February 11, 1979. He sees therevolution as the, emergence of a new Middle East that will doom Israel andbreak free of American interference.

    Tahrir square has send a strong message to Arab leaders. It was theAmerican diplomacy and foreign policy which collapsed with Mubarak in TahrirSquare. American policy in Egypt was guided by the fear of Muslim Brotherhood.Tahrir Square defeated American ally by muslim brotherhood which is realessence of Islam. All Arab States should read the message and must follow thepath shown by Islam in every aspect. Western concept of replacing muslimbrotherhood (Ummah) by Arabism will not work. Ultimately all the muslimcountries will have to return to the Islamic concept of governance. That is theonly solution.

    *The writer is Aligarh based socio-politico analyst.