Since the beginning of the Arab Awakening (Arab Spring), many developments took place. What are these developments and how will it shape the Arab world and the Middle East in particular?
Tunisia had its first free election. The Ennahda party outpolled all other parties by a wide margin. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s success in the upcoming parliamentary elections are guaranteed.
The Ennahda ruled government of Tunisia announced that the political system of the state will be based on Sharia law. The Libyan Transitional Council is working towards the same form of government. We also see a similar development in Egypt. Yemen will most probably follow the same trend.
It is thus ironic that many analysts and commentators on the Arab uprisings are of the opinion that democracy has reached the shores of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and will eventually reach the other Arab regimes soon. It might be that these analysts and commentators over-optimistically viewed the grassroots-led uprisings as a start to the democratisation process of these dictatorial regimes, and it certainly was the real intentions of the demonstrations.
However, the uprisings created a perfect situation in which fundamentalist Islamist groups could implement their Jihadist agenda. Some realised it too late as in the case of Tunisia and some will not realise it until the implementation of Sharia law has filtered through to impact every fibre of society.
“The power of Islam makes it virtually impossible for Muslims to distance themselves in any way from the politico-religious influence of Islam. Muslims must surrender even the most mundane aspects of their lives, and to resist is very costly”. (Islam: The House Left Behind – Dr. Daniel Shayesteh).
The recent developments will have a major impact on the Geopolitical landscape of the Middle East. Israel in particular has to adjust to the new realities. The development in Egypt, with the Muslim Brotherhood as the majority party in government, will almost certainly lead to the cancellation of the Peace Treaty with Israel, which necessitates a major rethink in the Israeli Defence establishment to protect the border with the Sinai. A Muslim Brotherhood Government in Egypt will pressure the Jordanian Government to also relinquish their peace treaty with Israel.
The Western powers and especially the United States have to monitor the development closely or risk losing their influence in the Middle East. If the new Islamist Regimes align themselves with Iran, there will be a real possibility that the Arab Spring will turn into an Arab Winter with dire consequences for the region.