There is no concept of the civil society within these Muslim states whatsoever, let alone the concept of defending someone else’s right to hold contrary views and values and fairly compete within the marketplace of ideas. The ”Arab Spring” was always doomed from the start.
Why Islamists Always Win “Fair” Elections
December 14th, 2012 – 4:21 pm
I must quote extensively from a MEMRI analysis of the Egyptian referendum on the new constitution because it shows so vividly how politics work in the Arabic-speaking world today, especially when voting is involved.
First, the analysis presents the pro-constitution camp that is the Islamists. They coordinate their efforts and launched:
“A massive joint campaign aimed at persuading the public to endorse the constitution. This campaign includes holding conferences and symposia across Egypt; training thousands of Muslim Brotherhood activists to promote the constitution, some of whom are even going door to door, according to reports; and also recruiting mosque preachers and satellite channels in the efforts to persuade the public. Especially prominent in this campaign are the attempts to appeal to the average citizen and to impress upon him the economic and social advantages of supporting the constitution.”
Now, what about the opposition to the Islamists, those who might be called moderates?
“In contrast to the unified pro-constitution camp, the opposition organizations that oppose the constitution, headed by the National Salvation Front, have been inconsistent and uncertain, especially in deciding whether to boycott the referendum altogether or to merely urge the citizens to vote against the constitution. Only on December 12, three days before the start of the referendum, did the National Salvation Front officially declare that it would participate in the referendum (on certain conditions) and vote `no.’ The oppositionists’ efforts to persuade the public mainly took the form of online campaigns on social networks, as well as flyers and pamphlets distributed in the streets.”
In other words, it is no contest. One might add that in Tunisia, Syria, and other countries (including non-Arab Turkey) as well as Egypt most of the time, moderates are not united or disciplined. They are also more poorly funded and more naïve about how to operate politically than the Islamists. The Islamists, or at least some of them (and that’s all that’s necessary) are prepared to use intimidation and violence; the moderates not. And that’s all in addition to having the advantage of appealing to a very powerful, deep-seated religious belief held by the majority. Even though there are unIslamist and even anti-Islamist interpretations of Islam they are not clearly and systematically articulated to counter the Islamist version.