The rapid and surprising fall of Tunisia, the sudden reversal of the Sudanese government’s hold over the south (allowing for the free vote of southern Sudanese for independence), the riots in Egypt and now Yemen, the simmering opposition in Iran, the re-emerging insurgency in Iraq, the unrest in Pakistan, the ongoing insurgency in Afghanistan, and the emerging opposition in Lebanon to a Hezbollah take-over of the country are all signs pointing to widespread discontent in the Middle East and throughout the Arab and Muslim world or Islamic Civilization.
Freedom will out.
This means that the aspiration for freedom that is such a part of the human condition will rise to the surface and lead people at times to flee or to rebel.
On the other hand, the forces of total-control which envision a strong government as the head and master of all things, with total political regulation and control over all things in life, are always seeking to counter and suppress this drive for freedom.
What we are witnessing in the Islamic Civilization is a clash between these two forces; the natural thirst for human freedom, which for women and non-Muslims especially is in such contradiction to the way most non-Western Muslim clerics interpret the Holy Writ of their faith, and the forces of total-control which see government as the vehicle for an imposed religious ideology as a vision for society and “solution” to their problems.
The thirst for Freedom is imperfect and often in seeking freedom people choose snake oil cures sold by crafty demagogues or prophets and wind up without gaining freedom despite strenuous efforts and sacrifices.
While Islamic Civilization is indeed in a phase of imperialistic expansion, seeking to conquer new territories and bring more people under the dominion of its religious ideology, it is also essentially at war with itself. On one hand, differing versions of the thirst for freedom and on the other the Sunni and Shia visions of the total-government implementation of their “solutions” to the problems they face in the form of a religious ideology.
It is difficult for us, on the outside, to classify these events on an individual basis as being this or that version of total-government or this or that version of freedom-seeking.
In Egypt, for instance, one sees total-government seekers like the Muslim Brotherhood seeming to join with freedom-seeking students and Coptic Christians in one single uprising against the Mubarrak dictatorship.
Is this one event a total-government seeking event by radicals against a comparatively religiously moderate regime or a freedom-seeking event against total-government in general? For some protestors it is an effort to move towards a more radical form of total-government and for others it is a move towards more freedom and less government in general.
It is in times like these that governments under threat look for scapegoats.
The Iranian government, while its leaders genuinely hate Israel and the West as part of their radical Shia Islamic faith, is using external foes to distract its populace from the internal situation which so many find distasteful and which they increasingly oppose. The attempted Iranian take-over of Lebanon, which some see as near completion, is but another gambit in an overall campaign to find external scapegoats and make their own people drop their opposition to the regime.
As this winter of discontent potentially become a spring uprising governments under pressure will look to a scapegoat, and that scapegoat for the Islamic civilization is now the Jew and the Jewish state. Indeed, if Israel did not exist as the Pan-Islamic bogeyman to keep the populace from thinking too much about the failure of their own governments, it would have to be invented.
The fact is that most of the disputes the nations and peoples of the Islamic civilization have with the non-Islamic world are contrived inventions by a ruling elite meant to make oppressed women and minorities and poor, exploited workers and peasants forget the real source of their misery- their own governments and the religious ideologies those governments follow.
To say that Sharia law is to the 21st century what the Communist Manifesto was to the 20th century (and remains in some circles as well as China) is not entirely off-base. Sharia law, whether Sunni or Shia, is a total-government approach to a pan-Islamic religious ideology that enslaves and oppresses human beings, robbing them first of their rights, persons, and property and then of their dignity.
Today, the Islamic Civilization, almost across the board, is facing its own potential demise as the impetus for freedom clashes with the total-government religious ideologies that dominate most Islamic nations today. This does not mean that this civilization will collapse, but it does mean that the governments of Islamic nations will increasingly oppress their own people while going out to find external scapegoats, making them, at best, unpleasant neighbors.