Call for papers vol 9, no. 1, 2018 is open until 30 March 2018

NATO AND THE ARAB SPRING-THE MEANS FOR A COMPLEX SITUATION

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not include provisions conflicting with the Koran. A bill has been submitted to the Parliament to punish infringements upon «Sacred» values. Prime Minister Jebali himself
went as far as bringing up the possibility of a sixth caliphate...
A similar ambiguity is to be noted with the Egyptian Party for Freedom and Justice. The younger members of the party claim that democracy is essential, that Coptic Christians should be considered as brothers and that woman should be equal to men. President Morsi stated that he would not put into question the peace treaty with Israel and reacted very firmly against the commando attacks in Sinai on August 5, 2012. However, a substantial number of «Brothers» do not identify with the modernism of young executives often educated in Western countries, but in the famous quote: «Allah is our objective, Prophet Muhammad is our leader, and the Koran is our constitution». Similarly Western decision-makers worry about the key part played by the Syrian Brothers at the heart of the revolt, even when the leaders of the Syrian army affirm their determination that Syria respects all confessions.
The problem comes mostly from the violent Salafist groups for which the Arab Spring is an unexpected opportunity to be back under the spotlight.
Salafism advocates a return to the idealized Islam of pious ancestors or salafs that give priority to the Sunna and the practice of the Prophet (Rougier, 2008). Ibn Taimiyya in the Twelfth Century and Ibn Abd El Wahhab, the founder of Saudi Wahabism, in the Eighteenth Century are key references of Salafism, having promoted and in stored a rigorist if not puritan Islam.
Salafism often appears in a quietist, unpolitical way, mostly bent on having the believer follow the precepts of the Koran literally. But it is only a short step between the latter approach and Jihadism, or the use of violence in the name of Jihad, sometimes called «the Holy War» -a Christian word- be it local Jihad, as in Chechnya or Afghanistan, or global Jihad (Al Qaida). «All Jihadists are Salafists, by definition, but all Salafists may not necessarily be Jihadists» (Malek Chebel).
It’s in Egypt that Salafists have achieved a significant political breakthrough with 25% of the votes in the Constituent Assembly election going to the Al Nour Party (the Light). This party advocates a society where Charia law would apply relentlessly, particularly to women’s status, thus challenging the Muslim Brothers who look undeniably keen on modernism and reforms in comparison.
The situation is fairly similar in Tunisia where Salafists are quite powerful. The movement did not run for the 2011 election. A mere Tunisian Party for Prosperity was set
up in 2012, a Salafist party, which called for the return of bigamy- Salafists prefer to use street demonstrations as a weapon, be it sometimes violent.



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Security Dialogues by Toni Mileski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at sd.fzf.ukim.edu.mk.

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