New! Promotional DVD about AV
Although new changes may happen quickly in the Arab world, causing our new promo to be outdated soon again, we launched our new 7 minutes video on the Arab world and the ministry of Arab Vision. You can watch it here and download it. Please feel free to use it to share our ministry with your friends, family and your church. To cover the cost of the production of this promo, your (small) donation is welcome!
Missiology for Arabs
Arab Vision is the owner of a webzine for missiological thinking in the Arab World, called St Francis Magazine. You may want to go there regularly for the great articles that we publish. This magazine is a project that we share with Interserve.
Egypt's Nightmare: Islamists or the Military?
The laws of nature are uncovering Egypt's nightmare after the revolution when Egyptians are suddenly facing the limitations and suppression Islam has created in their political institutions over decades and even centuries. The political drama keeps unfolding exposing only two deeply rooted forces who are the winners in the recent elections, namely the Islamists represented in the Muslim Brotherhood, or Askar, Arabic for military.
When the Egyptians where given the chance to vote in their president for the first time in their over five thousand year long history, they found themselves instinctively electing Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ahmed Shafiq, a no nonsense military leader and former Prime Minister. One of two men will win soon in the general election. The first represents a Sharia based Theocracy, while the second who is the lesser of two evils, represents the military. Traditionally the Muslim world has resorted to brute military force as the only way to restrain and contain the Islamists. But either choice has never accomplished a democracy based on freedom of citizens. Thus either choice for Egyptians will bring them back to square one; back to tyranny under either system, a destiny no Muslim state has succeeded to avoid.
Islamists and the army are the only two strong groups competing for political power in any country that calls itself Islamic. Yes there were some parties such as "Al Baath", a semi-socialist party that ruled in Iraq and Syria, and other parties that were fringe and without political roots and that were allowed to survive for a while by either Islamists or the military for some beneficial reason or another.
The only reason the Muslim Brotherhood is playing the democracy game today is because they know well that they have the votes to win. To reach Islamic goals Sharia entrusts Muslims to use practically any means; lying, exaggeration, slander, convincing and if that does not work, then outright violence and terror is encouraged under the name of jihad if it is for the benefit of Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood has perfected the art of lying and slander even against Egyptian citizens after the revolution. The Muslim Brotherhood have convinced the public and also themselves, that they are the party of "justice and freedom", which incidentally is the name they gave themselves after the Egyptian revolution.
As to Egyptians who wish to escape the tyranny of Sharia, and wish to retain a degree of freedom and protection for minorities and women's rights, their only option now is voting the military back in, if Shafiq can survive.
Even with the best intentions, Egyptian military or civilian heads of state must resort to tyranny in order to survive the wrath of the Islamists. If Shafiq wins, several Islamists predict a bloody confrontation and possible assassination attempts. The Muslim Brothers are encouraged by their Sharia to remove from office or kill any ruler who does not follow Sharia. They have even learned to delegate the dirty work of killing civilian governments to splinter Islamist groups and claim they have nothing to do with the assassination. But historically the Brotherhood has been responsible for the attempt to kill every Egyptian leader since World War II and succeeded twice; the Egyptian Prime Minister in 1949 and President Sadat in 1981.
With that in mind, if Shafiq wins he must be ready for a bloody war with the Brotherhood leaving him no choice but to put them in jails like all of his predecessors. But the dilemma gets more complicated when the civilian or military leader is ready to leave office to the next leader, and according to the Egyptian system today this has to happen every four years. It has never happened before in Egyptian history that a Muslim head of state holds elections in which he will not participate. This is unheard of in almost all Muslim countries with few exceptions, such as Turkey. Shafiq will find it very difficult to hand over power in four years to perhaps an Islamist who will no doubt prosecute, jail or execute Shafiq. For a Muslim military leader to hand over the keys to the presidential palace to an Islamist will also mean handing over his head. Muslim countries have a bad habit of jailing, assassinating and even torturing old leaders. Arab history has never seen a smooth transition of power except only in kingdoms such as Jordan and Morocco and even that sometimes gets violent. There is not one Muslim former president or leader who lives in peace in his own country after his term has ended. Can the new Egyptian 'so called' democracy stand that test?
The Egyptian revolution has already failed in the present and the near future because Egyptians failed to learn from their history. A true revolution in the Muslim world that would bring true freedom and democracy should be a revolution against Islam itself and removing Sharia from the Egyptian constitution, an act that will not happen in the present or the near future in Egypt or any Muslim country.
If there is anything we can learn from what is going on in Egypt today, it is the unmasking of the bankrupt Islamist political system that is based on fear and tyranny and how to avoid them or embrace them. So far the Egyptian elections have brought the Egyptian right back to their original choice; back to the future; either an Islamic theocracy or a military dictatorship.
The time has come for Egyptians to grow up and realize that if they elect Islamists then they must never cry out for freedom and democracy. They simply cannot have it both ways; Sharia and freedom cannot co-exist, period. By electing an Islamist government they will be kicking the can of tyranny to the next generation to deal with and perhaps in 20 or 30 years from now we will see their children yet revolt again for freedom and democracy; but this time they better aim at putting Sharia on trial and executing it instead of the generic dictator of the future.
By Nonie Darwish
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New book: Godly Leadership
What is lacking in many leaders is spiritual depth, writes Dr. David P. Teague. He has forty years of experience as a pastoral and mission leader. Very valuable book! Read more...