web analytics
October 24, 2014 / 30 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



The Islamist Tsunami and Arab Society

Supporters of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi

Supporters of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi
Photo Credit: Wissam Nassar

The main difference between the constitution in Turkey and the one in Egypt is that in Turkey, the constitution was protected historically by the military which defended the secular state against Islamization – until recently it has been undermined by pseudo-judicial persecution – while the Egyptian military has no guiding political or religious principles. The Egyptian military will accept whatever deal allows them to maintain their rule. It matters little to them whether women’s faces are covered or not; whether Christians will enjoy full citizenship or not, or whether liberals are free to express themselves or not – without the restrictions that all Islamists long to impose.

Islamists’ supporters in the Arab revolution should learn from history and particularly from that of the Iranian Revolution, in which the liberals similarly formed an alliance with the Islamists, only to be slaughtered by them afterward. Once the Iranian clerics came to power; they focused on Islamizing society, not on building democracy and striving for social justice – both of which had been promised during the revolution.

Within months of the founding of the Islamic Republic, female government workers were forced to wear head coverings, women were barred from becoming judges, gender segregation laws were promulgated, and the age of marriage for girls was lowered to 13.

We would do well to recall that even though the Islamic Republic was not welcomed widely in the region because of its Shia revolutionary principles, the Iranian Revolution did have an impact on peoples’ social, as well as the political, lives. In Saudi Arabia, for example, two extremist Islamist developments – one internal and other external, both of which took place in 1979 — changed the direction of Saudi society: the attack and takeover by Juhaiman Al-Otaibi and his Islamist followers on the Al-Masjid al-Haram [Grand Mosque] in Mecca, and the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Both the Al-Otaibi assault and the Khomeini Revolution and were widely condemned in Saudi Arabia but, because both criticized and embarrassed Saudi Arabia – the country that includes the two holy mosques, in Mecca and Medina – as not representing Islam virtuously, the Islamist outlook was adopted as Saudi government policy and the foundational Wahhabism of the kingdom aggressively reinforced.

As a result, all plays, fashion shows, international events, and cinemas were banned in Saudi Arabia. The so-called Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, known as the “religious police,” or “the Commission” (hai’a in Arabic) increasingly harassed people on the street, and “control” became the watchword of the 1980s, particularly for women. Female broadcasters were prevented from reading the news; all female singers and other women vanished completely from the television screen; women without their ID cards could not walk around, even with their husbands, and sometimes even ID cards were not enough for the “religious police.”

Saudi Arabia continued this method of reinforcing Islamization, not only inside its own borders but also among most of the Sunni communities in the region — primarily to establish a balance in outward piety with its rival, the Shia Islamic Republic of Iran. Since it founding in 1979, the main mission of Iran has been to export its Islamic ideology and galvanize the Shia Muslims across the Muslim world against their own governments and against the international community.

Until the shock of September 11, 2001, when 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, the world was not even aware of the effects of this Islamization. Greater pressure was subsequently exerted on Saudi Arabia to open up its society and loosen its hard-line Wahhabi influence on society.

Although the Islamists are now in power, their biggest test is yet to come: Can they offer solutions to the people’s largely economic woes that brought them out onto the streets in the first place? And will the Islamists in the Arab world be compelled to meet their people’s needs through the workings and compromises of day-to-day government rather than the imposition of an ideology in the name of religion?

However, if you perceive that act the terrorism on 9/11 was the result of an unwelcome revolution and an unsuccessful extremist attack in Mecca, imagine what the impact of the Islamists’ successes in the Arab revolutions will be, not only on Saudi Arabia, but across the world?

About the Author: Najat AlSaied is a Saudi PhD researcher in media and development at University of Westminster in London.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Islamist Tsunami and Arab Society”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Indepth Stories
Eller-102414-Cart

I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.

Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

More Articles from Najat Fawzy AlSaied
Copts

Radical Islamist ideology must be analyzed and challenged or the fight against terrorism wil have no end.

Supporters of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi

Whenever the Muslim Brotherhood are asked if Sharia law will be imposed, the response is that their intention is to build a “democratic and civil state” that guarantees freedom of religion and the right to peaceful protest.. But anyone who traces the actions of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists over the past decades — in Egypt, Tunisia or anywhere else in the Arab world — will see that their intention is to further Islamize their societies, not to create civil alternatives.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/the-islamist-tsunami-and-arab-society/2012/07/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: