DR. S. AUSAF SAIED VASFI
FEBRUARY 11, 2011 would go into Arab, nay Islamic, nay world history as a red-letter day. It was the day when the numb-headed Egyptian president, dreaming of lifetime presidency, entered live into history.
That, however, is not the news. The 2-point news is that not a single dog barked when Mr. Hosni Mubarak boarded the plane for his plush resort in Sharm al Sheikh. And no member or sympathiser of the Ikhwanul Muslimeen threw a pebble during the 19-day at anyone.
Mr. Hosni Mubarak, the tragedy is, went unrepentant, and understandably unwept and unsung. The Qur’ān has rightly advised: “Faa taberu ya ulil absaar” or “see, learn a lesson, o ye who have eyes.” At another place, the Holy Scripture has driven home the point: “Fa innaha laa ta’amul absaaru wa la kin ta’amul qulubul lati fissudur” or “it is not the eyes that become sightless; it is the hearts that get blinded.”
Similar was the case with Mr. Mubarak’s predecessors, Mr. Gamal Abdel Nasser and Mr. Anwar al Sadat. Power, arrogance and schizophrenia had got into their heads – these were the most trying times for Islam in Egypt, the land of Prophets. Seven seas of Arabia, to quote Shakespeare, cannot wash their hands, drenched in Muslim blood.
According to Egyptian intellectuals, generations of a century have been destroyed by the freaks, who shifted the axis of Islam from Faith to Arabism. Mr. Nasser decided to do away with “Bismillah-irrahman-irraheem” and introduced beginning of official writings with “I begin in the name of Arabism”. He felt pride in being progeny of the Pharaohs. Mr. Hosni Mubarak, in just 19 days had been written off from world map. Tunisia took only 29 days.
From the womb of repression a strange phenomenon has been born. Now a massive movement, armed with weapons is not necessary. A single person is enough to dethrone a “Your Majesty” as we see in the case of Tunisia. An unemployed graduate, who dared to sell fruits without a licence, Mohamed Bouazizi, 17, showed the doormat to Zine El Abidine, who has found refuge in merciful Saudi Arabia. The same happened in Cairo, whose chief was out of touch with his countrymen, who refused to trust him. Both revolutions were leaderless, shorn of any ideology. It was injustice and multi-dimensional injustice alone which toppled these personages of cards.
Each and every media person, who has visited Tahrir Square, had noted the young boys voluntarily removing garbage over there. The veil-clad women enthusing their sons and daughters to go to the dangerous spot, old men taking their children to the place to show them history-in-the-making, hoping loudly: “If I could not see freedom, one day my children and their children would come here, recall the epoch-making event and lead life of a free Egyptian.” Thomas Friedman quotes a boy in the New York Times: “This is my earth; this is my country; this is my home. I will clean all Egypt when Hosni Mubarak will go out.” Ms Mansoura Ez-Eldin, a writer in Cairo, recalled: “I will never forget the site of an aristocratic woman, driving through the narrow side streets in her luxurious car, urging the protesters to keep up their spirits, telling them that they would soon be joined by tens of thousands of other citizens.”
SITTING ON POWDER-KEG
It looks as if the entire West Asia and North Africa is sitting on a powder-keg: Algeria is tense and is being threatened by unemployment and poverty; Morocco’s problems are appalling illiteracy, absence of women’s rights and is tense; Mauritania suffers from poverty, illiteracy and radicalism; Djibouti faces acute unemployment and is tense; Comoros’ issues are poverty and unemployment; Jordon is confronted by bad governance; Libya does not have free press and suffers from unemployment and is tense; Somalia is afflicted with piracy and poverty; Bahrain literally sits on bagfuls of gun powder. So is the case with Yemen, whose main problems are massive unemployment, acute poverty and terrorism; Egypt is in turmoil, heavily punctuated with unemployment, poverty and absence of rights; Sudan suffers from civil war, violation of human rights and is about to be partitioned; Lebanon faces civil strife; Saudi Arabia does not allow political parties and intellectuals feel restless; Iraq suffers from Shia-Sunni complaints and is unstable; Kuwait suffers from male disinterest in education and has limited democracy; UAE is afflicted with unrest among migrant workers; Qatar is stable with no major problem; Oman is uneasy and Syria does not allow democracy.
The anti-Islamic, self-proclaimed messiahs everywhere argue their non-case, passionately warning that “deluge after us” and if the Ikhwan comes to power, there would be anarchy, chaos and total disorder. To quote from an editorial of The Hindu, Jan. 20/11: “After an absurd attempt to blame the Ikhwanul Muslimeen or Muslim Brotherhood the Mubarak regime turned to violence with the police and semi-official thug militias, using tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets against protesters.”
Let the prophets of doom come forward to substantiate maligning of the Brotherhood, on whose shoulders however now an onerous responsibility rests. They have to prove how a caliphate proves better than a democracy; how the interest-free banking proliferates welfare in an Islamic state; how the divine-oriented politics creates poise and equilibrium in society; how the dignified gender-norms create conditions in which a lonely woman can all alone travel fearlessly from Lidmorts to Mogadishu, and Mauritania to Sinkiang. If, Heavens forbid, they fail, the upholders and advocates of Islam will lose face for no fault of theirs.
More strength to the elbows of the strugglers!