The Arab Spring Elections: The Season for All Islamists!

At 15:09 Cairo local time, on 12 October 1992, with an epiccenter near the small city of Dahshur, 35km south of the Egyptian capital, with a magnitude of 5.8, but was unusually destructive for its size, came the devilish earthquake causing 545 deaths, injuring 6512 and making 50,000 people homeless.

It was the most damaging event to affect Cairo since 1847. I was working in the city of Muscat; the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, and that quake was a disaster of the full meaning that gathered us, at home and abroad, to send all what we could for helping. Even Arab countries in the Arabian Peninsula rushed to send billions of US dollars. The politically restricted Muslim Brotherhood group went into the streets with tents, food, medical care, and every aid more than the government would offer for the humble victims. Then, people knew how helpful the Muslim Brotherhood and how bad their government was.

During the 30 years of the Egyptian dictator Mubarak’s regime, Muslim Brotherhood group members were gradually sent into prisons, and for security reasons, before all fake elections happening during the last 3 decades, Egyptians used to hear that the Ministry of Interior is gathering such members, for no reason, just to prevent them from going into the race of elections.

Forbidding Islamists from joining elections pushed them to work in the fields of union’s elections of engineers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, and so on. They could have, here and there, a solid ground to build, with a real contact with people, especially during crisis, and the majorities found those Islamists are closer to them than the blood Jugular vein, as the Holy Quran says.

With the same situation repeated in the similar dictatorships of the Middle East, we could answer the surprising question of “Why Did Islamists Win the Arab Spring Elections?” with no surprise!

There were two democratic elections of the Middle Eastheld after the Arab Spring. One was in Tunisia, in October 2011, and the other in December 2011-January 2012 for a lower house of parliament inEgypt. In both cases Islamist parties did the best. In Tunisiait was the Islamist Annehda (Renaissance) party that got 41 percent of the votes. In Egyptit was Hizb Al-Hurriya wa Al-Adala (Freedom and Justice Party), the political face of Muslim Brotherhood, that got 47 percent of the votes. But it was worse in Egyptthat Salafis, a very fanatic group, represented by Al-Nur (the Light) party got 29 percent, which could be added easily to the previous winner.

In Egypt, all declared – and undeclared – facts show that Arab Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar, again, were helping Islamists with billions of US dollar to win the elections. They wanted to build a restricted wall of those fundamentalists to stop the wave of liberal wings that launched the revolutions. They helped Bin Ali to run away from Tunisia, and they offered the same option for Mubarark. They want stability of their thrones.

The Middle East has been the home of an evolving Islamic civilization since the 7th century, not only in religion and religious practice, but in values, manners, habits of thought and behavior. All invaders of the Middle East ended up being “Islamized.” But modern invaders wanted to build their elite, of liberal thinkers who went to study in Europe and the United States, and military dictators who were appointed and supported by the west. Now, it is true that the war between those two groups – liberal and military – was in favor of the Islamists.

Egyptians voted for religious parties for reasons other than just religion. They are fed up of the secular governments, with fake elections, false promises, and gangs of industrial giants. Sometimes you vote for the sake of hating the other party, not loving the elected one. In Morocco, America’s staunchest North African ally since the ’60s, election results gave the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) the right to head a coalition government. It won 107 of the 395 seats in the National Assembly — with low turnout (45 percent) partly because of a boycott by the February 20 coalition of pro-democracy parties, which demand a new constitution limiting the king’s powers

People are against the United States policies in the Middle East, so they want parties that loudly attack such policies, to win. With a reference to the poor societies, jobless youths, corrupted ruling elite, the Islamists focused their campaigns on economic development, income redistribution and ending corruption. They also waved old Islamist preoccupations of the Occupying State of Israeland-Americanism. And after decades of work to create networks of social services that governments failed to provide for the poor urban masses Islamists could gain such historical winnings. In Kuwait, the recently held elections got similar result that gave the Islamist opposition the majority of the Umma Council, (House of Parliament). The corruption of the government for the last decade pushed the Islamist opposition members to win.

Islamists, Islamists, Everywhere, but no clear future of democratic life, was born yet. As in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, we may find similar situation in Libya, with Muammar Qaddafi gone. In Syria they are prominent in an opposition front that may eventually displace Bashar Assad. In Lebanon, the ruling behind curtains, Hassan Nasrullah’s Islamist Party “Hizbullah” is a landmark, supported by the Islamist Revolution of Iran.  And in Palestine the Islamists of Hamas, a branch of the Muslim Brothers won the free elections that were refused later by the west, something the western powers could not do with the new winners in the Arab Spring countries, but it is clear they seek cooperation with Islamists, as new rules of the region, to make their profits safe.

While the new government in Egypt is seeking to collect 1 $ billion as a loan, a few weeks ago, the documents revealed in Egypt after the fall of Mubarark showed that this dictator took the money denoted by Arab countries for the sake of helping the victims of 1992 Egypt’s Earthquake.  He put the amount in a special account only managed by him. The account holds almost $9 billions! This could show why people are seeking another door, away from all corrupted doors.

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