The 21st Century Phenomenon



Prior to the so called “Arab Spring” the center of gravity in most of the Arab societies in the Middle East was the confrontation between secular dictatorships, supported and backed by the Army and security apparatuses, and with good relations with the Western Democracies on one hand and the Muslims Brotherhood in its different forms on the other hand.

The Muslims Brotherhood, whose slogan is “The Islam is the Solution” believes that Islam is the way to cope with the changes of modern times and fulfil and adjust the aspirations of Muslims within the changes and the progress of our time . Yes – the Muslim Brotherhood believes that the western societies, especially the USA, has a bad influence on young Muslims, they infect the Islamic World and should be fought back but they also believe that Islam is the best way to adapt and be adapted to Modern way of life in an Islamic form.

The Salafi Movement believes that modern times, modern phenomenons like Muslim nation states, democracy as such, women’s rights and etc’ are the source of all or most problems of the world in general and of Muslims in particular. To solve those problems Muslims should live like in the early days of Mohammed when there was no Muslim states but only a Muslim society living in accordance to the Koraan in modesty, purity and mutual responsibility. By its very definition Salafists reject the idea of the Muslim Brotherhood that Islam is the gate for good modern life and advocate that modernism is the opposite of true Islam.

While the Muslims Brotherhood, now in power In Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, have to cope with international responsibility, tremendous economic difficulties and to prove they have the key to combine and integrate Islam to the modern world – the Salafistm became the new radical Islamic opposition threatening stability and modernization of all the Muslim and especially Arab societies.

In Egypt the Salafist al-Nour party won about 27% of the votes in the general 01/2012 elections. Salafists in Sinai, in coordination with Salafists in Gaza Strip, controlled by Muslim Brotherhood offshoot – Hamas, launched an ongoing terror campaign against Egypt’s sovereignty in Sinai and challenge the Hamas in Gaza by firing rockets on Israel. In a bizarre twist of history Hamas in Gaza and Egypt’s president Mursi, who began his political career as a strong opponent of Israel’s existence and the peace treaty with Israel, have now a common interest to fight the Salafists (see – Al-Jora 09.14.12). Egypt resumed its military coordination with Israel and even the Hamas is now hunting down Salafi terror squads firing rockets toward Israel.

In Tunisia, also controlled by the local offshoot of the ‘Brotherhood,’ the Ennahda party, Saif-Allah Benahssine, leader of the Tunisian branch of the hardline Islamist Ansar Al-Sharia-Tun, slipped away after hundreds of his followers stormed out of al-Fatah Mosque, on Monday 09/17/2012. in Tunis, surrounded by over 1000 policemen and anti-terror units. Earlier Saif-Allah Benahssine led the violent demonstrations against the USA embassy following the 2 minutes broadcast of the movie “Innocence Of Muslims” which ridicules the Prophet Mohammad and Islam.

In neighbor Libya the local Ansar al-Sharia and Salafist groups stormed, on 09/11/2012, the American Benghazi consulate and killed 4 American personnel including the US Envoy C. Stevens. The Salafists in Libya are also destroying local Sufi and moderate Mosques and shrines same as their colleagues do in Northern Mali, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

In the chaos of the Middle East where Sunnis fight Shiites (see – Shiite Arc), Muslims fight secular dictatorships, Christians are persecuted, tribes and minorities (Alawites, Kurds, Christians) are fighting for survival or recognition there is a new power complicating the situation, the growing confrontation between moderate Sunni Muslims and the Salafists. It seems that everybody is fighting everybody all over the Middle East (see – MEAST INGREDIENTS).

Just two years ago there were many who believed that Israel is the core of instability in the Middle East. It is now obvious that Israel has nothing to do with the real problems of the region.

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