Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Hijacking the popular revolution | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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[Historically speaking] the fruits of various revolutions in the Arab world have not been harvested with the will of the people in mind. In Egypt, a revolution for change took place in 1952, championing reform and an adherence to post-monarchical values, whereas the Egyptian people actually wanted Islam as their means of reform, as advocated by Imam Muhammad Abduh and Sheikh Jamal al-Din al-Afghani. When the Free Officers assumed power [in 1952], they cast Islam aside, denounced the Shariaa, and ruled according to a constitution derived from French and English law.

In Yemen, the Ulama, judges, and intellectuals, such as al-Zubayri, Ibn-al-Nu’man, al-Kibsi, and others, staged a revolution [in 1962].They were putting forth the Islamic project, against the Yemeni Imamate. However, Abdullah al-Sallal, a former student of Abdul-Nasser, hijacked the Yemeni revolution along with the military. Again, they cast Islam aside, objected to Shariaa law, and ruled in accordance with a set of legislation derived from various, dubious sources.

The Algerians staged their glorious revolution against French colonialism, under the leadership of great Islamic scholars such as Abdelhamid Ben Badis, [Lakhdar] Brahimi, and others, all carrying the spirit of Islam. Yet when Algeria achieved independence, it was governed by a socialist, western-orientated regime, which deprived the Algerian Muslim people of their ambitions, and aspirations for Islamic rule. Abdelhamid Ben Badis said: The Algerian people are Muslims, Islam is inherent to the Arab nature.

In Sudan, the Mahdi reformist revolution took place, advocating a project of Islamic renaissance. When English colonialism was ousted, military figures assumed power, although they knew nothing about Islam. Hence, they rejected the Shariaa, and imposed a foreign, western-orientated constitution.

In Libya, the descendants and followers of the martyred fighter, Omar al-Mukhtar, were eager to raise the banner of Islam [during the 1969 revolution]. However, the Libyan people were surprised when this movement was hijacked by a government that discounted the Shariaa, and usurped freedom.

In Iraq and Syria, the people were one hundred percent Muslim, and they led their struggle and revolution against French and English colonialism, under the banner of Islam. However, when the Baath Party assumed power in both countries, its first move was to denounce Shariaa, and marginalize Islam. Baath followers used to chant every morning: I believe in the Baath party as an unrivalled God, and in pan-Arabism as a sole religion. God Almighty, this is a grave lie.

[Regarding revolutions in the Middle East], no one has adhered to Shariaa Islam, its rule, doctrine, and approach, except King Abdulaziz Bin Abdul-Rahman, when he led the revolution in the Arabian Peninsula. He was revolting against delusion, heresy, division, dispute, looting, and robbery. His first announcement was that Saudi Arabia was an Islamic state, which was governed according to the Koran and Sunnah. He wrote on its flag: “There is no god other than God, and Muhammad is His Messenger”. This follows the course of our ancestors, in reviving the innovative, reformist call of Imam Muhammad Bin-Abdul-Wahhab, may God have mercy on his soul.

This is not hypocrisy or flattery, but it is a fact to which historians, western or otherwise, have testified. Such historians include Jalal Kishk, author of “The Saudis and the Islamic Solution”. He is an impartial writer, who wrote this book from a neutral standpoint, supporting it with documents and evidence. Another example would be the late Austrian Muslim, Muhammad Asad, who mentioned in his book “The Road to Mecca” that he had met King Abdulaziz Bin Abdul-Rahman. According to Muhammad Asad, all that King Abdulaziz spoke about during their meeting was Islam, and his pride in the religion. Asad concluded by saying: Whoever listens to him would think that God had commissioned him alone to uphold Islam.

The Tunisian people are Sunni Muslims, who adopt the Maliki doctrine. Their land is the home of great heroes and conquerors such as Uqba ibn Nafi, Ibn-Khaldun, and al-Tahir Ibn Ashur. It is also the land of al-Zaytuna and Kairouan. The majority of Tunisian people want Islam [as their source of governance], apart from some left-wing parties. The followers of such groups consider themselves to be worthier of running the country than anyone else, and thus believe they have the right to remove Islam from Tunisian life. This is another example of a revolution being hijacked, in the same manner as previous Arab republics.