When asked on a television show about the current situation in Iraq and the state of corruption, which is hindering government formation even as ISIS prowls near the borders, Iraqi member of parliament Izzat Shabandar said: “I would accept a President and a government, even if 70 percent or 60 percent of it is corrupt and infiltrated, over a situation of void that might lead to dire civil war that lasts for a quarter of a century.”
The interviewer then asked him: “If this be so, then why did you not accept Saddam Hussein? He was a dictator, why do you accept (what you just said) but reject him?” Shabandar courageously replied: “If I had the present awareness before Saddam was toppled, I would have supported my country against the US invasion and let Saddam stay.”
Although I disagree with this politician over many of his views, especially as he belongs to the Shiite Dawa Party, which is equivalent to the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, I appreciate his candor in that he admitted the truth despite it being so bitter for many revolutionists to accept.
When Arab citizens do not care about this wealth, their inevitable fate would be what is happening now in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. Iraqi Arab citizens should never forget that those who led bloody revolutions in these countries are the Islamists who used religion and made it a pragmatic toolMohammed Al Shaikh
I definitely believe that what this Iraqi politician has said is what many citizens of Arab countries, who responded to the call of Qataris and the Muslim Brotherhood who used to call their movement ‘The Arab Spring,’ are currently saying. Experience is the best evidence. All those who were fooled by ideologies and slogans and who were swept away by revolutionary actions are now regretting it as security and stability are the state’s real fortune. When Arab citizens do not care about this wealth, their inevitable fate would be what is happening now in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen.
Iraqi Arab citizens should never forget that those who led bloody revolutions in these countries are the Islamists who used religion and made it a pragmatic tool. Here you can witness the consequences of these revolutions; what these false religious appearances had done to their countries — bloody civil wars, that just when they are about to calm down, they are ignited again and so on.
As for us in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, the withdrawal of Islamist movements and exposure of their true faces is reassuring. Their repeated attempts to ignite tensions again collude with peoples’ support for their leadership. It is also crystal clear that many of their traitorous figures who had worn false religious appearances have raised the white flag as they suddenly realized what happened to those whose stability and security were harmed by what was falsely called the ‘Arab Spring’. This ‘Arab Spring’ has exposed their schemes and made people realize what the true goals are.
Such Islamist movements are receding now. Years ago, I had expected this end for the Islamist movement; however, this so-called Arab Spring was tantamount to the high price which Arab people had to pay to get rid of these devilish movements that deceive people in the name of Islam.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Mohammed Al Shaikh is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah newspaper. He tweets @alshaikhmhmd.