Left is pushing Tunisia into “abyss” says Morning Star Article.
The Morning Star has published a curious article by Ramzy Baroud titled, ‘The Arab turmoil: where do we stand?‘
Baroud has been published by Counterpunch.
Writing after the Boston Bombings he noted on the 2nd of May, ” hating Islam’ is also a convenient pretence to achieve foreign policy objectives that are centred around imperial domination, thus natural resources.”
“It is an essential component of ensuring that a largely uninformed public is always on board whenever the US is ready for yet another military adventure involving Muslim countries.”
Why is this happening now?
Baroud enlightened us.
In the Middle East,
…a new war is brewing, one that is largely aimed at ensuring that the current chaos underway in the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ countries will yield favourable results from the view points of Israel, America and the west. The new push for military intervention started with Israeli allegations that the Syrian regime is using chemical weapons against opposition forces, followed by British-French allegations, and finally, despite brief hesitation, concurred by U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel.”
This development has, shall we say, yet to come to pass.
In his latest piece Baround tries another tack.
He underlines that
The Islamic dimension of Arab rebellions – some of which turned into bloody civil and regional wars – should have been palpable from the very start to anyone interested in understanding political reality beyond its usefulness as a propaganda tool.
Islam has and will always be a component in shaping Arab nations.
Political Islam is a manifestation of a century-long struggle where Islam was a platform of political expression, governance and jurisprudence which resisted many imported and Western-styled trends. It has now moved to the heart of the ongoing strife.
Throughout the years there has not been one successful union between Islam and Arab ruling classes – successful in the sense that it contributed to progress, rights and prosperity for all.
Islamists were either co-opted or conflict reigned. The atrociousness of the results of these conflicts varied depending on how clever Arab rulers were in their management.
Political Islam is a “political expression” of a form of Islam that concentrated on law and the state that “resisted” Western trend. It can be co-opted, or conflicts will result.
Apparently this is eternal, and “always” be there.
It might have been useful to ask, and what is this kind of Islam an “expression” of?
Many on the left consider it an ideology that articulates the interests of the pious bourgeoisie, structured in some of the most organised political forms in the world (the ideal-type being the Muslim Brotherhood and Khomeni’s Iran).
They have a history, in this “century”, in which the spectrum of political Islam has played its anti-Western culturalism, and bound it to a pro-market, capitalist, political agenda. They were, and are, the ferocious opponents of the left wing of anti-colonial Arab nationalism.
Political Islam is a vehicle for the views of sections of the national capitalist classes, disaffected functionaries, and the urban poor. Out of of power. Political Islam has constructed ‘micro-states’ or rather “micropowesr’ (as Foucault called them) where their moral rules are enforced by pressure up to the point of violence.
The “governance and jurisprudence” these political ‘expressions’ advocate are of a ‘total’ character, that treat the population like believing cattle under the rule of Islamic ‘legal’ specialists.
The dire consequences for religious – and often ethnic (Kablye, Kurdish) minorities, women, gays and non-believers are well known.
Today they are threatened by a new political wave in the Middle East, one that is made up of liberals, trade unionists, and a variety of left groupings, including the remnants of Arab ‘Nassarism’.
Clearly this worries Baduad, particularly the secularist forces who most resolutely oppose the forces of Islamism.
Baroud cites Algeria as an example of how not to treat Political Islam,
In Algeria, an attempt at harmonisation went terribly wrong. The 1991 Algerian civil war lasted for over a decade and resulted in the death of up to 200,000 people.
He locates the problem in the military cancellation of elections, which the Islamist FUS was tipped to win.
But the problem lay deeper.
The FIS had already begun constructing its ‘micro state’ attacking and killing it secularist opponents.
On Egypt Baroud states,
Egypt is now taking its first steps towards becoming another Algeria during the civil war. Do the coup leaders truly understand the repercussions of what they have done?
Without going into details on Egypt we note that the Muslim Brotherhood government had already begun building its religious state.
Since the end of last year Morsi was ruling by unfettered decree and there were plans to submit all legislation to the (unelected) decision-making power of the religious authorities.
On Tunisia Baroud opines,
A recent assassination, this time of nationalist politician Mohamed Brahmi, followed an earlier assassination of another high-profile politician Chokri Belaid.
Tunisia stands divided between those who want to topple the government and those who insist on its democratic right to govern.
Either way, there is no doubt that some suspect hands are trying to push Tunisia into an abyss that is being marketed as Islamists v secularists.
No mention is made of Brahmi and Belaid’s association with the left-wing Front Populaire.
The causal reader may be tempted to think that the protests held this week in Tunisia, by the Front de salut national, backed by the Front Populaire, were led by those opposed to the Islamist led coalition’s “right to govern”. *
But Ennahda only rules as part of a coalition.
Perhaps more significantly the Tunisian Constituent Assembly, in which it has the largest number of MPs, is charged with drawing up a constitution on a broad, and if possible, consensual basis.
This is not taking place.
One of its coalition partners Ettakatol (with whom the Morning Star and the Communist Party of Britain have had debates) wants new elections.
They are concerned about allegations of cross-overs between Ennahda and the violent Salafists, whom they accuse of carrying out these assassinations.
There are signs of attempts to impose the kind of Islamist moral order sketched above.**
Baroud’s answer to the question, Where do we Stand?” appears to be – at least some way on the same ground as the Islamists.
Beyond that he solemnly concludes, after noting that in Syria, “the war rapidly took on a dangerous sectarian conflict whose implications are felt near and far,” that,
“There will be more blood, but a return to the past is surely a thing of the past.”
Which is not much of a response to the weighty question posed.
** The provisional aims of the widely based Front de salut national are (Europe Solidaire),
Les organisations de la société civile et les partis politiques composant le Front de Salut National et qui participent à la manifestation du 6 août « Six mois après l’assassinat du martyr Chokri Belaïd sans que la vérité soit établie » :
• maintiennent leur position et renouvellent leur détermination à poursuivre la lutte sous toutes les formes citoyennes et pacifiques jusqu’à la dissolution de l’Assemblée Nationale Constituante et les les institutions qui en découlent.
• réaffirment au peuple tunisien et ses expressions politiques, sociales, civiles, culturelles et de jeunesse, que le Front de Salut est uni autour de ces exigences minimales qui constituent une ligne rouge. Ces exigences sont indispensables pour sortir le pays de la crise qu’il traverse. Le front de Salut est en train de préparer la mise en place des instances de Salut national et l’établissement d’une feuille de route pour la période à venir.
• déclarent que la pays ne peut plus rester plongé dans l’impasse et la crise actuelle, nous prendrons juste après l’Aïd l’ensemble des mesures et procédures qui s’imposent pour le salut.
Front de Salut National
Tunis, le 5 août 2013
**Al Jazeera: “Mouna Ben Halima, an activist and hotel owner, told Al Jazeera that the protests prompted an outcry among Ennahda’s opponents over a host of other social and economic issues, including the arrests under the Ennahda-led administration of a 19-year-old activist of women’s rights advocacy group Femen, Amina Sboui, and dissident rapper Weld el 15.
List of Front du salut national supporters (initial):
Abdelbasset Sammari : Courant réformiste d’Ettakatol;
Mahmoud Besrour: Prospective & Développement;
Kheireddine Souabni: Parti d’Avant-garde arabe démocratique/Front Populaire;
Jawher Ben Mbarek: Dostourouna;
Hazem Ksouri: l’Association de la Tunisie Libre;
Mohamed Bennour: Tamarrod;
Taoufik Laâbidi: secrétaire général du parti Tounes Baytouna;
Bechir Rajhi: Citoyenneté et Solidarité;
Emna Mnif: Kolna Tounes;
Nizar Amami: la Ligue de la gauche ouvrière/Front Populaire;
Houssem Hammi: Alternative Sociale et démocratique;
Hatem Fekih: Mouvement du militantisme national;
Souha Ben Othmane: Mon droit;
Fathia Saïdi: Centre de recherche pour la formation sur la citoyenneté;
Sana Ben Achour: Association Baïti;
Ali Faleh: Parti du Front national tunisien;
Taoufik Saïri: Association Adam pour l’égalité et le développement;
Jilani Hammami : Parti des ouvriers/Front Populaire;
Zied Lakhdhar : Parti des Patriotes démocrates Unifié/ Front Populaire;
Zied Rajhi: Union des diplômés chômeurs;
Lotfi Ben Issa : Pôle démocratique moderniste/Front Populaire;
Fayçal Tebbini: La Voix des agriculteurs;
Mahmoud Doggui: Organisation du martyr de la liberté Nabil Barakati;
Khedija Ben Hassine : Afturd;
Radhia Nasraoui: Organisation tunisienne de lutte contre la torture;
Mohamed Kilani: Parti Socialiste ;
Nabil Ben Azzouz : Initiative nationale pour un front de salut national;
Noureddine Ben Ticha: Nida Tounes;
Nasreddine Sehili : Khnagtouna.