Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Please, Leave Oil as Ransom for Silence

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Please, Leave Oil as Ransom for Silence

Perhaps there are less civil disobediences to attain such a level of popularity as that of current social uprising in the Arab world. The social storm started in Tunisia however, tremendously has been challenged, but seems quite hard to erode or be diminished by far-reaching crackdown measures as Mr. Gaddafi, Bashar Asad, Abdullah Salleh and Hamad ibn Isa Al-Khalifa have held.

But, unfortunately, the economic and human cost of uprising is increasingly mounting, meanwhile. And the process highlights a picture that people will be unable to bring democratic change or even reform in the rest of Arab countries where still mass anti-government protests have not took place as Tunisians or even Egyptians did, in comparatively restricted extent of sacrifices. It is not so much unlikely that the increasing human cost of uprising dishearten civilians in the rest of countries where similar authoritarian regimes rule to revolt, and, thus, fail to achieve their desirable-democratic objectives.

It becomes almost decades that oppressive and authoritarian regimes have ruled people at whim and never thought about any domestic and global pressures. Regrettably, such pressures lacked and did not exist. The regimes have felt no restriction to cruelly suppress any opposition sound raised with the support of key international players as well as with the very global supportive mentality. People around the world would not felt the same as today if the current anti-government protests were held in 80s and 90s. However, Arabian regimes have not earned legitimacy from people, by which modern political establishment is characterized, but they exposed themselves as the only possible friendly regimes in the region. The regimes had support of both key international players and appreciating global mentality with themselves. People around the world used to fear about civil revolt which could wash away Arabian regimes, and its consequences for the global security and economic safety, therefore, they unwillingly and reluctantly continued supporting autocratic regimes.

Decades of 70, 80, and 90 were dominantly recognized by rapid development of Political Islam. In every Muslim countries a call for political change was raised, but not for democratic change or reform, for replacement of monarchs and kings with Islamic type of regimes. In Iran, Shah went away and Khomeini, with the most radical tone replaced him. I can recall even when I was refugee and attached to some revolutionary magazines and newspapers of Islamic republic, which aimed to export "Khomieniest project of Islamism" how were welcomed by lower layers of Muslim people around the world. From the answers by readers of those magazines, it was realizable that how Muslims were deeply in search of change that can diminish their years of humiliation and social indignity in those days. The humiliation was largely due to technological explosion occurred in the world and backwardness of Muslim countries. Arab and Israel wars were other factors that showed accelerated the process and fuelled humiliation further. Such a circumstance was not bearable at all.

Therefore, people were in frenzy search for a shield that can cover and unite them. And Islam was the only alternative to that prevalent condition and could provide Muslims to re-indentify themselves with it.
Thus, Political parties with the religious background were increasingly in upward stage. They started moving up on the political stairs. "Ekhawanul-Muslimin party" or Muslim Brotherhood Party rapidly growth in various Muslim countries, taken from Egypt to Syria. Parties like it were, on one hand, riding on the hurt religious feelings of people, on the other hand, claiming to meet deep-rooted social and political desires of civilians for change. Such an allegation pushed them up into a relative unbeatable social standing. It was not unlikely that similar type of Islamic revolution occurred in Iran occur in countries like Egypt and Syria.

Therefore, the phenomenon of Islamic revivalism was responded by fear and anxiety in the rest parts of the world. And the rapid growth and expansion of radical mentality and Islam fundamentalism was recognized as danger that threatens the interest of key global players in the world.
As result, an informal secret contract and political collision was made among countries that pushed for democracy and human rights, global mentality and authoritarian regimes in Islamic countries, particularly Arab ones: we oppress extremism, Islamic fundamentalism, and ensure smooth oil exports, and in turn, please shut your mouth and keep silent about human rights issues, democracy and such stuffs; ok? Yes, deal signed. The contract was accurately realized in the society. Islamic parties who maintained to be linked with ideology of political Islam terribly crashed and cracked down. That was the only positive point of the deal, if it ever had one.

I think it was horrible deal that dealt severe blow to the project of democracy and human rights in the region. Decades have passed but the contract signed remained intact. Nobody have tried to cross redlines. The contract becomes as legitimate tool in the hands of all illegitimate and undemocratic regimes to oppress any opposition sound raised by whatever aim and objective—if it even was for essential rights. Decades-long they ruled and played the smart game with the world: if we just leave away, Islamic fundamentalism will capture power, the thing which you abhor the most. Then keep your promise and do not tell us how to rule.

Therefore, regimes survived on the basis of the same philosophy. We clearly experienced that how key international players initially stood silent and kept eyes on the balance of power in Tunisia. When it become clear that Tunisian regime is not going to last any more, everything broke away and global pressures mounted, otherwise the deal would remain untouchable. However, it should be noticed that global mentality was already changed before the occurrence of revolution in Tunisia, but political decision makers kept continuing their commitment.

Now it is requested from all countries that strive for expansion of democracy and act boldly. Oil should not be anymore a reason for their silence. Rather playing a double game, as it is played now in the case of Libya and Bahrain, a united approach and attitude is necessitated for the succession of Arab civil uprising. Democratic reforms in the region are not only for the benefit of its domiciles, but comprise the very interest of all, even my country Afghanistan, where imported ideologies have pushed into edge of complete collapse. If really western countries, on the head US, sincerely struggle to defeat extremism, it should not continue its current pick-cherry policies in the region.

Jawad Rahmani is the permanent writer of Daily Outlook Afghanistan and Writes on National and International issues. He can be reached through mail@outlookafghanistan.com

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