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Yes, They Do! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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“Many will take their money and leave the country. Investments will stop. Unemployment will grow, and Egypt will be isolated from the world,” said President Mubarak of Egypt in a statement to the Egyptian Al Osboa newspaper concerning the danger posed by the Muslim Brotherhood and politicized Islamist currents if they were to take hold of power.

Yes! They do! The Egyptian President’s statements are best proven by the cases of Afghanistan, Algeria, the Sudan and Hamas, as well as al Sadr’s and al Hakim’s Iraq. Hezbollah, the actions of which have become divine, and above all Tehran, the capital of the misuse of religion, are two more examples.

Politicized Islam, and whatever slogan it raises, has proven to be politically frivolous. Just as everybody condemns corruption in authority, namely authority in the Arab world, political frivolity, which is on the same level as corruption, should also be condemned; the former is financial corruption, whilst frivolity is the corruption of the right of the land, the people and the future of the nations.

In the case of Palestine, we must condemn Hamas’ frivolity in the same way that we criticized Fatah’s corruption. The same applies to Lebanon’s Hezbollah and others.

Politicized Islam used moral assassination against its opponents, primarily the stigma of “treason”, which here means international legitimacy that governments gain from the international community. We see Hamas, however, singing the praises of Tehran, financially of course, and so does Hezbollah, ideologically and financially. The Brotherhood is delivering one statement after another in support of Iran, as well as the Dawa Party in Iraq, the Mahdi Army and the Badr Brigade. Even a number of Al Qaeda leaders are based on Iranian soil.

What is odd is that by doing so, they are following in the footsteps of Syria’s Baathists and their relations with Iran. Syria, which backs Iraq’s Sunnis, strikes the Sunnis in Lebanon and even in Syria itself! Today, we do not know what is religious and what is not; therefore, following corruption, we now have the disease of political frivolity!

The rise of politicized Islamist currents to power is an indication of the expulsion of capitals that are in search of stability rather than political frivolity and recklessness. Just watch and compare the flow of foreign capital into Dubai alongside the volume of funds flowing into Qatar. Certainly, the balance tilts in favor of Dubai because capitals dislike political instability, or rather recklessness. “Oil-rich” Iran is today suffering from a petrol crisis! However, on the other hand, and this is what matters the most, Arab governments must promptly proceed with consolidating the concept of citizenship and deepening its role in imposing the supremacy of the state of law and guaranteeing freedoms and rights. No one is calling for the elimination of religion, since people in the entire Arab world worship God and do not accept separation from religion as a religion.

Therefore, Arab governments must embark upon creating employment opportunities, developing education and giving these minds that yearn for success a chance, developing the health cadre, stepping up privatization, developing the judiciary, promoting transparency, giving all parts of society the right to work and to achieve, and ensuring freedoms; otherwise, the opportunity would be more in the favor of politicized Islamist currents, not out of love of Ali but rather to spite Muawwiyah.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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