Islamic Winter: Tunisian and Libyan 'liberation' leads to Sharia

Monday, October 24, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

The "Arab Spring" was predictably hailed by naive Western leaders as a positive development that would finally bring true Western-style democratic freedom to the masses of the Middle East.

But more than one analyst, including top Israeli officials, have warned that the Arab Spring is about to give birth to the Islamic Winter.

Tunisia was the first country in the Arab Spring to oust its long-time dictator. On Sunday the north African nation held its first free election since the uprising. Voter turnout was massive at 90 percent. The results surprised many in the West, but they shouldn't have.

By Monday afternoon with many of the votes counted, Tunisia's Ennahda Party was projected to take control of the parliament with a healthy majority.

Ennahda is labeled by Western media as a "moderate" Islamic group, but the description is misleading.

Ennahda supported Iran's takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and called for attacks on US targets during the Gulf War. Furthermore, Ennahda's ideology is based on that of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to impose Islamic law on the whole world.

And it will start with Tunisia. Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi announced recently that if his group won Tunisia's election, it would impose what he called "moderate" Sharia Law on what until now was one of the Arab world's most progressive nations.

A similar phenomenon is happening in Libya, whose liberation from the rule of Col. Muammar Gaddafi was so widely celebrated this week.

Post-Gaddafi Libya will have Sharia Law as the "basic source" of its civil laws, declared interim leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil on Sunday. Already Abdul-Jalil has altered several Libyan laws that did not line up with Sharia, such as banning local banks from charging interest and making it legal to again practice polygamy.

Abdul-Jalil urged his countrymen to celebrate their newfound "freedom" by shouting "Allahu Akbar," or "Allah is Great."

Egypt has yet to hold elections since ousting former dictator Hosni Mubarak, but all estimates are that the Muslim Brotherhood will either win an outright majority in the parliament, or hold such a large bloc that any future government will be beholden to it.

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is the grandfather of all extremist Islamic groups in the region, and the direct progenitor of organizations such as Hamas.

Islamists have also been consolidating power in Turkey and Lebanon, though did not require civil uprisings to accomplish their goals there.

As General Eyal Eisenberg, head of Israel's Home Front Command, warned months ago, the Middle East that is resulting from the Arab Spring will be a haven for radical ideology that increases the likelihood of all out war, a war that Eisenberg said "might even involve weapons of mass destruction."

With the Middle East under its former dictatorships, analysts were largely correct in surmising that weapons of mass destruction would never been used against Israel on a large scale, as those ruling regimes had a long-term interest in maintaining the status quo.

But the radical powers taking over in many nations largely do not share that concern, and are far more driven by messianic ideologies that compel them to destroy Israel in order to usher in a new Islamic golden age.

Don't miss the next issue of Israel Today Magazine, where we will explore this issue more in-depth with leading Israeli political scientists. Subscribe Now >>

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