The rising revolutionary uprisings in the Middle East, especially in Egypt and Tunisia, highlighted legitimate worries of the growth of Islamic movement as Islamists were the only political current enjoying relative freedom in the society. The Islamic current in the region possesses organisation, financial resources, and is supported by Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran. All the suppressive and dictatorial governments brutally suppress the Left, communists, workers and currents that are struggling for freedom. The speedy capture of power by the Islamists in Tunisia and Egypt, following the mass uprisings in these countries, and in Libya as a result of NATO’s military intervention which led to them becoming an important force in the “Free Army” of Syria justifies the legitimate concerns and worries mentioned above. Initially, by exaggerating this risk and worry, the pro government forces in these countries, internationally and the right wing secularists tried to suppress people’s uprising. However, with the advance of the mass protest uprising, the Western governments changed their tunes and supported the Islamic currents.
Due to the lack of organisational and leadership of the Worker-communist movement, and the political manipulation of the West, the Islamists became active quickly, took the political power and Islamized the society even more than before. However, these tactics were confronted by the mass protest movement right from the beginning. The liberation movement, Left, workers’ and women’s liberation movements came forth against the Islamists, the Islamization of the society and the suppression. However, since the Islamists were supported by the West led by USA and their propaganda about the model of “moderate Islam” deafened everybody’s ears, the rise and fall of the Islamists appeared as an complex issue. Especially the Arab League and the Islamic Turkish government became ever more active and tried their utmost to gain political power in the region. Blowing the fire of a bloody civil war in Libya and Syria made the situation even bleaker and more complex. However, the situation changed quickly.
The Turkish factor
The situation in Turkey is an important factor in regional changes. In a country where the political and economic situations seem to be stable and despite the universal capitalist crisis, it’s economy is still growing and is seen as a model for successful “moderate Islam”, the fact that a mass protest movement against the government has taken shape seems unexpected. That is why the mass uprising in Turkey which escalated quickly surprised the world. The government of the Islamic Party was taken by surprise. Erdogan thought people would go home if the protests are violently attacked. However, the events in Turkey showed that the country is like a volcano and is simply waiting for an opportunity to erupt which was provided by the government decision to demolish the old Gezi Park in Istanbul.
People’s uprising in Turkey showed that the model of “successful moderate Islam” was just a bubble that would burst by people. Considering the escalation of protest movement in Turkey to overthrow the Islamic government of Justice and Development Party, it seems ridiculous to propose that the people in the region want an Islamic government of the Turkish kind. Not only did the people’s protests destroyed the dream of Erdogan and his Islamic Party to become a regional power and reconstruction of the Ottoman Empire, it also took away the hope of the bourgeoisie in the region and the Western governments led by USA who thought they had found the way to combat the revolutionary demands of the people for a social revolution.
Egypt and the downfall of Muslim Brotherhood
The situation in the region and the world is exceptional. The momentum of social protest movements all over the world is unprecedented. The world bourgeoisie is hard at work with all its power and the most advanced social-political engineering tools to silence the protest movements but has not yet succeeded. In the last two years, the bourgeoisie is busy, on the one hand suppressing people’s protest movements, and on the other hand preventing the deepening and radicalization of people’s uprising. However, the liberation movement, with all its ups and downs, is still progressing and is standing firm against suppression. The overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt was one of the results of this exceptional situation. The protest movement has not stopped even for a day. The coming to power of the Muslim Brotherhood was confronted by people’s protest from the beginning. The Egyptian army and the US ruling clique fully supported the Muslim Brotherhood and it was assumed that since Morsi’s name was fished out of the ballot box, people would be deceived by democracy and return home. This reactionary and anti revolutionary prediction proved to be wrong. Millions of people came to the streets and demanded Morsi’s resignation. Such mass movement has been unprecedented in history. To prevent the deepening and radicalization of the protest movement, the army, with the green light from the US government, stepped in and gave Morsi an ultimatum. This too was another bourgeois anti revolutionary way of diverting people’s uprising. They did not want Morsi to be overthrown by people! They wanted the ousting of Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood be credited to the army and national-bourgeois currents.
The downfall of Muslim Brotherhood by a mass uprising is tantamount to hammering of the last nail in the coffin of Islamist’s power. Following the protest movement in Egypt, the protest movement in Tunisia too gained confidence. It may not take long before the mass uprising topple the rule of the Islamists in Tunisia. The political protest movements in Turkey and especially in Egypt against Islamists wiped out any deceit or manipulation which tried to portray Islam as a mass and popular movement in the region. The so called image of “popular” Islamic movement has completely been scared which is an important step towards the strengthening of the liberation, equality, Left, communist, secular and women’s movements. This condition must be welcomed and recorded in history. The life of political Islam as a reactionary-terrorist movement which has been promoted as the anti-terrorist force against US, Israel, Western and government is coming to an end.
The sliding of political Islam; and mass uprisings
It is wrong to assume that what is known as political Islamic movement in the recent decades is the same as that of a century ago when it was represented by Islamic Fedayees in Iran and Muslim Brotherhood founded by Hassan al-Banna in Egypt. This movement is completely modern and was born in 1970s. It is the unruly child of imperialist powers which was first born in Afghanistan to combat Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was then nurtured to oppose the Left, communism and the danger of worker’s revolution in 1979 in Iran and to suppress the revolution in Iran. The coming to power of an Islamic government in Iran, a country which occupied a very important geo-strategic position in the region, whose government was known as the gendarme of the region and puppet of USA, especially when they named it the result of a mass revolution, made political Islam into a reactionary and counter revolutionary monster. To stay in power and suppress any shred of movements for freedom and equality, the Islamic regime in Iran made full use of this development. The occupation of the US embassy was one important and determining factor during the events. The introduction of Hamas by the Israeli government which was an attempt to oppose the Intifada movement in Palestine completes the dark history and the suppressive and reactionary role of this current and its closeness with the Western governments and state terrorism.
The Islamic current managed for a while, especially after September 11 and the attack by state terrorism led by US against Iraq, to cover its reactionary role under the name of fighting against state and Israeli terrorism. This period is finishing. The first blow was struck by people’s protests in Iran 4 years ago. Now, the mass uprising in Turkey against the model of so called successful moderate Islam and the fall of Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt have struck serious blows on this monster. The Islamic movement has fallen to the ground and the final blow must be struck on it so that it cannot rise again.
Women’s liberation movement plays a determining role. The enmity of political Islam with women’s freedom and liberation is clear to all. Today, the Islamic movement is known as the biggest enemy of women’s freedom and liberation. The misogynist record of Islamic movement, especially in Afghanistan, and Iran has revealed any doubt on the matter. An important factor in people’s awareness in the region, especially in Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey is the history of the few past decades in Iran and the relentless struggle of the women’s liberation movement in Iran. People and women of the region have learnt many lessons from the fate of Iran and the women’s liberation movement there. Women’s liberation movement is one of the most important enemies of the Islamic movement. The latter is known for its misogynist treatment, Islamic hijab and gender apartheid. Women’s liberation movement and Islamic movement are two opposing fronts. Women’s liberation movement in the whole of the region must organise and unite its forces against political Islam and make ensure that the Islamic movement cannot raise its head. We must declare that we will not allow the regional and international bourgeoisie use social-political engineering to present this reactionary force to oppose freedom, equality and prosperity. We must declare that the era of political Islam has ended. People in the region have risen against it. Mass protests have destroyed any hope of this movement to regain power.