By Nastik Durrani, New Age Islam
July 7, 2013
Religion neither was the system of any country nor can it ever be. If it becomes so, it will be destructive to both the religion and the country. This is the situation in some Muslim countries. This rule is not specific for Islam but it applies to all the religions, whether heavenly or earthly. There can be a relation between the individual of religion and his faith whether it is God or something else. This is the reason the renowned Iraqi poet Anwar Shaul had presented the slogan in the twenties of the last century that ‘Religion is for God and country is for everyone.’ This clearly means that religion should be dissociated with country. Country is a virtual personality which has no religion while one can or cannot believe in religion.
The rules of religion are generally static and constant while the rules of country or government are changeable and evolve according to space and time and people depending on which system people like. It depends on the collective and individual thinking of society.
Religion is a spiritual relationship not material. If attempts are made to materialise it, it will be corrupted. The history of religions and countries is a clear proof of it. When Christianity merged into political power in Europe, the stat took a horrible tyrannical shape which discriminated against people on the basis of religion. As a result persecution and bloodshed became commonplace. And when it was dissociated with the affairs of the state, the state emerged in a civil and secular shape and justice without discrimination was possible. Religions should be freed from the confines of politics and politics should be free from the shackles of religion because it has relations not with the affairs but with the individual life of man.
For decades, Muslim Brotherhood and likeminded organisations had been raising such religious slogans which had nothing to do with the life, problems, requirements and aspirations of the people despite keeping in mind the fact that the followers of other religions also existed in the region. These slogans were the legacy of the bygone centuries that had been invalidated by time. ‘Sovereignty’ is for Allah alone’ and ‘Islam alone is the solution’ etc. These Islamic forces did not content themselves with it but also adopted the path of violence which they called jihad. This jihad was unleashed in both Muslim minority and majority countries to spread Islam, for example, in the form of 9/11. These political Islamic forces continued this jihad with maximum force even in those countries where they got power as in Afghanistan, Iran, and Sudan and before them, in Saudi Arabia. But then from Tunisia, the Arab Spring originated and swept off Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Syria which is still burning and it seems that Iraq will also not survive this Arab Spring wave.
Political Islamic forces were able to hijack the power in the Arab Spring countries with the help of five factors:
1- Best organisational network of the Muslim Brotherhood in some Arab Spring countries and the huge financial aid they get from some countries and companies.
2- Ignorance of common people about the realpolitik of these forces when they are out of power and the impact and influence of religion and religious scholars on the behaviour and thought of the people.
3- Lack of collective conscience among the people of these countries, particularly when most of the people are facing poverty and unemployment.
4- Weakness of democratic opposition forces and their internal differences; everyone wants to grab the seat of power on its own.
5- Support of the western countries to them; they think (or pretend to think) that these forces represent the Muslim majority of their country and protect the western interests in their respective countries; and the fear of the western countries of the democratic social forces in those countries.
Today, we are witnessing the truth that the moment the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in Egypt, their murderous weaknesses and shortcomings came before the world. Intellectual exercise took the place of the reality in Egypt which needed immediate and practical steps for its problems but the intellectual pride of Mohammad Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood dominated their politics and behaviour. They tried to impose their hegemony over all the state organisations and local administration being oblivious to the problems of poverty and employment. They even stopped the distribution of food among people to get their support and concentrated all their attention towards the freedom of judiciary, journalism and democratic forces. Such cases were filed against dozens of journalists that were absurd. As a result, this created restlessness among the people. Initially they protested in a low voice but on June 30, this protest took the shape of public outpouring and the nation demanded the removal of Morsi and his party from power. In a very short period, Al Tamarud movement succeeded to collect 22 million signatures against Morsi and his party. Moreover, a big majority of people supporting Muslim Brotherhood also withdrew its support.
On 30th June, billions of people started protesting not only in the capital but across the entire country which was about to take the shape of civil disobedience against Morsi and his party throwing the whole country into a severe crisis. Keeping this situation in mind, the army intervened and deciding in favour of the people, removed Morsi and appointed the Chief Justice of Supreme Court as the interim president until the sections imposed on the constitution by the Muslim Brotherhood were removed which they had incorporated into it without giving respect to the views of others, and until a new president is elected through elections to be held under the new constitution. Muslim Brotherhood had had the opportunity to rule over Egypt but they proved that they are not qualified for the job and the slogans and ideology they are carrying on their shoulders do not actually represent the true picture of Egypt.
The circumstances in Egypt should make the democratic forces in Egypt cautious as there are great possibilities that in near future the Muslim Brotherhood may try to spread anarchy and political mayhem because they still enjoy the support of political Islamist outfits like Hamas. The unity of revolutionary democratic forces is extremely necessary. If it happens, it will have its positive effects in other countries of the region.
The Arab Spring is still in its nascent phase and has not climaxed. The spring of nations will continue till their legitimate demands are met and till the autumn of aspirations. This spring is eternal.