The End of Political Islam?

Egypt is in an uproar as thousands of demonstrators have gathered to cheer the army’s coup over President Mohamed Morsi and the Brotherhood of Islam.

It’s exciting times for enemies of “political Islam”, the fall of the Brotherhood of Islam could inspire secularists throughout the Arab world to rid themselves of their Islamic rulers.

However, all is not well in Egypt as we await a new popular election to choose who will lead Egypt in the coming years.

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Embattled Syrian leader Bashar al Assad believes the Egyptian coup to be a turning point in Middle East politics:

“What is happening in Egypt is the fall of what is known as political Islam… Anywhere in the world, whoever uses religion for political aims, or to benefit some and not others, will fall… You can’t fool all the people all the time, let alone the Egyptian people who have a civilization that is thousands of years old, and who espouse clear, Arab nationalist thought… After a whole year, reality has become clear to the Egyptian people. The Muslim Brotherhood’s performance has helped them see the lies the (movement) used at the start of the popular revolution in Egypt.”

I have every hope that Assad’s words are true.

AssadPrayingI would love to believe that this might be the beginning of the end for “political Islam”, and that in the years to come we might see popular (read: elected) secular governments rise up in the Arab world.

Today, there is word that along with the overthrow of the puppet of the Brotherhood of Islam, Morsi, and the leader of the group himself, has also been arrested. Mohammed Badie has been arrested, and some 300 Brotherhood members are being actively sought for arrest.

This could very well be the end of political Islam in Egypt. But I just don’t trust it.

While many Egyptians may be glad to see the Brotherhood go, we must not forget that Morsi was the popularly elected President. He was chosen by the people of Egypt in their last election after the overthrow of the previous President (and dictator) Hosni Mubarak.

In fact thousands of counter-demonstrators took to the streets after the coup in support of the Brotherhood of Islam and Mohamed Morsi.

This means that there is a lot of uncertainty about what the near future holds for Egypt. Today, there is a great deal of resentment towards the Islamic politicians in Egypt… but that could all change tomorrow.

The Egyptian people have come to a crossroads; not many people get the opportunity to change their entire political course, and Egypt is getting a second chance.

They misfired the first time, but with the army revoking the Constitution and overthrowing the Brotherhood of Islam, perhaps the people of Egypt will not make the same mistake twice.

I would love to say that I am optimistic about their chances, but I’m not. The hardline Islamic worldview is just too pervasive.

I think it would take a miracle for the people of Egypt to overcome it and fix their broken political system.


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