The Contemporary Challenges Of Muslim Ummah In Middle East
Middle East is the backbone of Muslim Ummah. “Arab Spring”- the popular revolutionary wave that swept the most parts of the Middle East and North Africa since it first started in 2011 changed the course of history in more than one way. The world had watched demonstrations and protests spread across countries in North Africa and the Middle East. The uprisings with the massive participation of social network-savvy youth ousted the dictatorial rulers, in what some people called the Facebook revolution. A wave of unprecedented and well-coordinated protests took place in several countries. These pro-democracy movements rose up against the dictatorial regimes and corrupt leaders that had ruled autocratically for decades. It leads to a domino effect throughout the Middle East commenced with the fall of regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen and provided hope of a new Middle East characterised by democracy, public welfare and stable regimes. Many were optimistic about a promising future. The popular uprisings were called the “Arab Spring” forecasting a bright future and changes for the better for the Muslim Ummah. As usual, the revolutions were challenged by the state machinery. The revolutions heralded an end to the entrenched autocratic regimes, particularly that of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Subsequently, after the conduct of fair democratic elections, the Muslim Brotherhood assumed power.
However, the deposed forces along with the active connivance of Zionists removed the elected president-Mohammad Mursi in a military-backed coup de tat. The doyens of democracy across the globe maintained criminal silence or tacitly supported it. The hopes of a sustainable change and peaceful transition of power through democratic means were belied. The events in hindsight proved that getting rid of a dictatorial and corrupt regime was not enough. Sustaining revolutions without building democratic institutions, balanced media, a strong economy, democratic political culture fair justice system, good governance and restoring confidence in a new democratic order, proved a failure.
Instead of going anywhere better the Middle East yet again went into a spiral of ethnic and civil wars. Yemen is boiling in an atrocious civil war where living condition is much deteriorated. Syria is not any better than Yemen where the country is becoming a battlefield for superpowers and a laboratory of human massacres. Western powers are engaged in a bitter phase of proxy wars amongst themselves in the Middle East. Millions of Syrian and Iraqi refugees are facing the worst disaster of the century. Sectarian conflicts among Arab countries are reaching a new height. With the result, the popular uprising gradually started converting into a new phase and in the new version, as the protests and rallies didn’t provide the solution for the said cause as per the wishes of the people. The annihilation commenced in Syria with the rise of Free Syrian army (FSA). The Free Syrian Army was actually a group of defected Syrian Armed Forces officers and soldiers. Its purpose was ‘to bring down the Assadin regime’. But remember the FSA was actually the coalition group of 90% Sunni Muslims, a small minority (Shia)i.e. Alawites and some Druze units. In the meantime, the ill-discipline and infighting weakened FSA, while Jihadist groups entered in Syria and became more effective than FSA. Here the ideological warfare started, so a conflict commenced among the various factions which were working altogether against the long-lasting regime. Resulting in the initial conflict against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS, IS). The said group has struck the fear into the hearts of leaders around the World. The group began in early, a decade ago as al-Qaida in Iraq, before rebranding as ISIS.
Recent decade so far has been overshadowed by a plague which roots, western powers have proclaimed, can be found in practice of Muslims. And though politicians have been careful not to publicly brand all Muslims terrorists, the narrative has nevertheless been one of suspicion. The words terror and Islam have been juxtaposed too many times in media for establishing a favorable discourse and alibi to flare up the conflicts and strengthen imperialist presence there. With the rise of Trump, strengthening foothold of Assad regime in Syria, Sisi in Egypt, Russian intervention in the region and renewed wave of Islamophobia, the hopes of a peaceful Middle East look bleak in the near future. It is time to wake up and respond to deepening crises internally, as historically Ummah has responded after every disaster.
“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” – George Orwell
(The author is a blogger writer and a software engineer by profession.
The author may be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)