'Arab Spring' Ignores the Rise to Power of Islamist Factions ; FROM THE RIGHT

Article excerpt

Pos t-revolutionary Libya appears to have elected a relatively moderate pro-Western government. Good news, but tentative because Libya is less a country than an oil well with a long beach and myriad tribes. Yet even if the government of Mahmoud Jibril is able to rein in the militias and establish a functioning democracy, it will be the Arab Spring exception. Consider: Tunisia and Morocco, the most Westernized of all Arab countries, elected Islamist governments. Egypt, the largest, has experienced an Islamist sweep. The Muslim Brotherhood didn't just win the presidency. It won nearly half the seats in parliament, while more openly radical Islamists won 25 percent. Combined, they command more than 70 percent of parliament.

As for Syria, if and when Bashar al-Assad falls, the Brotherhood will almost certainly inherit power. What does this mean? That the Arab Spring is a misnomer. This is an Islamist ascendancy.

It constitutes the third stage of modern Arab political history. Stage I was the semicolonial-monarchic rule, dominated by Britain and France, of the first half of the 20th century. Stage II was the Arab nationalist era ushered in by the 1952 Free Officers Revolt in Egypt. …


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