Revolutions of the “Arab spring,” which led to the overthrow of the regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and which may strip of power several more Middle East leaders, have triggered the movement for the restructuring of Arab countries on the basis of the Islamist ideology, Kommersant writes. The attempts to inculcate the shariah laws in the life of modern society are also being made far away from the Arab world. The imposing of a policy “in the name of Allah” upon the world is fraught with the danger of another “conflict of civilizations,” the newspaper believes.
The physical destruction of Muammar Gaddafi coincided in time with an important statement made by Mahmoud Jibril, head of the executive committee of the Transitional National Council of Libya. “We adopted shariah as the main basis of our legislation. Any law, which is at variance with shariah, will be cancelled,” said the new Libyan leader.
Jibril’s statement came as an unpleasant surprise for the United States and its allies, Kommersant continues. Libya is beginning a sharp turn, which does not fall in line with the Western scenario. Trying to forecast the consequences of the coming transformation of the Libyan Jamahiriya into an Islamic country, most experts agree that the imposing of shariah may trigger another round of a civil war. Those who hope that the new Libya will combine moderate Islam with democracy are in for another disappointment. The establishment of “Islamic values” is sure to become an effective instrument for kindling strife between tribes and clans of Libya.
The developments in Tunisia and Egypt – the two Middle East countries bordering on Libya, which also lived through the overthrow of secular regimes, show that the upsurge of Islamists in the country, ruled by Gaddafi for a long time, is evidence of a new trend. The democratic elections, held on October 24 in Tunisia, the first country of the “Arab spring,” were confidently won by the Islamic party of Al-Nahda (Renaissance), led by its leader Rashid Gannoushi, who returned from exile. Al-Nahda was banned during the previous regime for extremism.
The latest public opinion polls point to the coming turn towards Islam in Egypt. Parliamentary elections are planned to be held in Egypt, the largest country in the Middle East, on November 28, at which Islamic Muslim Brotherhood Party, banned under Hosni Mubarak, is likely to win a victory. The stand assumed by the Tunisian Islamists gives some hope that Tunisia will remain a secular country, while the Muslim Brotherhood Party of Egypt has already made it clear that it is going to be more radical than the Islamic Party of Turkey.
The upsurge of Islamists in the countries of Arab revolutions expands the territory of the spreading of radical Islam and gives a second wind to the movement for the creation of states, based on shariah. The echo of the developments in the Middle East reached South-East Asia recently. Islamists from the Narathiwat Province of Thailand, which borders on Malaysia, staged several acts of terrorism, killing dozens of people.
The world mass media report that the moral and ethical norms, imposed by Islamists, encroach ever more actively upon the life of modern societies in various parts of the world. Acute conflicts between the secular administration of justice and shariah courts, which exist side by side, take place more and more often. The appearance of supporters of the introduction of shariah in Western Europe was the most unexpected thing. Some initiative group, which calls itself Sharia4Belgium, created an Islamic court in Antwerp, the second largest city of Belgium. It will handle family and other conflicts of the people, who came from Muslim countries.