In The Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful




[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]


Arab world is in turmoil since the end of First World War in 1918 and the division of Ottoman Caliphate into “artificial” five Protectorates under the joint “conspiracy” hatched by French and British: Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. The House of Saud was “recognized” to administer the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as its despotic rulers. The Emirates of Kuwait, Bahrain, Muscat and other tiny UAE states were created by the British to serve their colonial interests better under its “patronage.” Later on, the monarchies of Syria and Iraq were overthrown by dictatorial Bathist regimes; Palestine was “handed-over” to Bani-Israel through British-American-Russian conspiracies; Lebanon was left to the anarchy of Marionette-Christians, Druze-Shiia and Sunni tribes, fighting together intermittently till Saudi Arabia negotiated a truce 15 years ago and late Rafik Hariri became its Prime Minister allowing Syria to stay in Lebanon with its 35,000 army to be withdrawn subsequently in gradual phases to maintain peace and order in the area.


During the last fifty years the Arab world, from the waters of Persian Gulf to the coast of Morocco earned freedom from European Colonial power’s subjugation but soon slipped away into despotic monarchies or military dictatorships. Any attempts to restore people’s rights of franchise or democratic process in any of these countries were thwarted by the established undemocratic regimes of these Arab countries and the Euro-American countries, unfortunately, in spite of their wild “claim” of standing for democracy and human rights kept mum. Rather, they provided helping hands to the massacre of the people and their democratic efforts in these lands. The recent history of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Saudi Arabia is telling its sordid tale how its freedom-fighters were put to gallows and butchered by their respective undemocratic regimes under the tacit approval of the so-called “champions” of democracy like President Bush, President Chirac and PM Blair. They are the ruthless “murderers” of democracy and its growth in the Muslim world. Posterity will give its harshest verdict against these “democracy-clad- hypocrites” of the twenty-first century.


The current slow and steady flow of democratic trends and changes creeping in the Muslim world in the wake of the mightiest Tsunami waves of December 2004 that meaningfully “spared” the Arab world from its menacing path have now plunged into its political firmament with “hopes” for future. It is not sudden and spontaneous as being claimed by President Bush. In fact, its undercurrent waves were there moving and agitating the minds and hearts of the Arab intelligentsia and Muslim youth but living under the totalitarian regimes of the Arab world like “sleeping” cells. It is human nature that it cannot tolerate “oppression’ [Zulm] for long as the Creator and Sustainer of this cosmos abhors “Fasad” [transgression] in any form for considerable long time. The forces of cause and effect burst up producing counter mass movements everywhere out of the womb of “disgusting” undemocratic stalemate. The recent development of world events confirms this natural trend.


Seventy years of constant oppression in Russia was overthrown by its own President Mikhail Gorbachev in the name of “perestroika” in 1990; Kamalist dictatorship in Turkey is being put to an end through its own military “fathers” to meet their extreme urge to be the member of EU; the USA in its own interest gave “free” protection to Kurdish to build an autonomous identity in the north of Iraq – the preamble towards the emergence of an independent Kurdish State and a balancing force in new Iraq; growing signs of “Pan-Shiism” from the Eastern part of Saudi Arabia to Gulf States and from Kuwait to Syria and Lebanon, is the “third” challenging force to Arab dictatorial regimes in the region: the cumulative effect of all these factors are the emerging natural signs of progressive democratic trends and milestones towards a positive change in the Arab world.. They will cast their shadow on the political developments in lands from Casablanca to the waters of Tigris. It tantamount like the silent “low waves” of an impending Tsunami storm that is going to generate and unfold political process more and more open in the Arab world.


President Bush actually wants to “fish” in the troubled waters of Euphrates and Tigris that is created by his own unimaginative war thrust on Iraq. Actually, the presence of existing 14,000 Syrian army in Lebanon is a “menace” to the security of Israel. As such, the USA is “forcefully” demanding Syrians to withdraw its army from Lebanon and thus, “disrupting” the support that Hezbollah is getting from Syria and Iran. The declaration of 74 years old Hassni Mubarak of Egypt to have multiparty system in the forthcoming presidential elections in June 2005 is the recognition of his agitated people’s demand for change. Municipal elections in SA were long overdue committed by the Royal Saudi family. Elections in Palestine were inevitable after the death of its father Yasir Arafat. So is the case with Bahrain and Kuwait where the undercurrent for democratic process was bursting up long before the war in Iraq.  The Al-Jazzira TV station has played a wonderful role in bringing the echo of “change for democracy” in every Arab house. President Bush now wants to “capitalize” these trends and natural urges of Arabs for his propagation for democracy through which he is only planning to establish his puppet regimes in Iraq and Lebanon, if possible, and coerce other Arab dictators to toe down his lines in the region.


In fact the Arab world could no longer afford to ignore the democratic trends in their respective countries. Credit for the democratic opening goes to the oppressed Arab people, youth and the intelligentsia, not to Whitehouse or Pentagon who never bothered to restore democracy in these lands by withdrawing their illicit support to the despotic regimes and rulers of Arab countries. This way, in fact, the USA has delayed the process of democratization. Had its influence and “support” not been there, Arab world could get its democratic process introduced in the body politics of their respective country much earlier. In the wake of mighty waves of Tsunami these “low” waves of democratic trends in Arab world are the most welcome signs and we greet them with open arms. I fear the USA may not disturb and delay this democratic process if it does not withdraw its infamous support to the illegal undemocratic regimes of the Muslim world including that of the Arab countries. Hope, President Bush does not “burn” his fingers again as he did in his first term.



Shamim A Siddiqi

March 7, 2005