Wednesday, March 07, 2012

"Arabs Are Beginning to Miss the Dictators" by Khaled Abu Toameh

Many people thought the Arab Spring would bring about much needed change to that region. They believed, naively perhaps, that ousting the much hated authoritarian leaders from their countries would somehow improve their lives. After all, things couldn't possibly become any worse than they already were. Did they not realize who was waiting in the wings ready to hijack their hard-won freedom, or did they just not care?

According to award winning Arab Muslim journalist, Khaled Abu Toameh, it seems people are having second thoughts about their Arab Spring. It's an interesting read.

Arabs Are Beginning to Miss the Dictators

Freedom of speech, instead of growing, has died. "We are not with this Spring of violence, war, destruction and killing." — Patriarch Beshara al-Rai, head of Lebanon's Maronite Church.

On the first anniversary of the "Arab Spring," many Arabs are beginning to wonder whether they would soon start missing the corrupt dictators who ruled them for the past few decades.

The "Arab Spring" was supposed to bring democracy, transparency and reform to the Arab world. It was supposed to end human rights violations and see the birth of a free and independent media.

The "Arab Spring" was supposed to promote the rights of women and minorities in the Arab world and encourage young Arabs and Muslims to abandon extremist views and terrorism.

The "Arab Spring" was supposed to be led by young and charismatic Western-educated activists who would bring moderation and pragmatism to the Arab world.

The "Arab Spring" was supposed to turn the Arab countries into attraction for tourism and investors from all around the world.

But judging from the outcome of the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, it is evident that the 'Arab Spring" has failed to achieve any of these goals. As far as many Arabs are concerned, their "spring" has thus far proven to be a total disaster.

Residents in several Arab countries affected by the "Arab Spring" protests said they feel less safe now than they did before the uprisings, according to a study conducted by Abu Dhabi's Gallup Polls.

The four Arab countries where the leaders have been toppled are now in the hands of Muslim fundamentalists, who used the "Arab Spring" as a vehicle to rise to power.

Tunisia's Islamist party, Ennahda, is already demanding an Islamic state. Human rights activists say that with the arrival of the "Arab Spring," freedom of speech in Tunisia, instead of growing, has died.

Nabil Karoui, owner of a Tunisian Tv station, is currently on trial for blasphemy after airing the French-Iranian animated film "Persepolis," which features a cartoon depiction of God. About 150 lawyers filed lawsuits against Karoui for "violating sacred values" and disturbing public order."

Read the rest of the commentary on Stonegate Institute.

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