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Purveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 04:28 PM
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Fuelling Islamophobia?
Professor Hussein Solomons, resurfaced this week with another open editorial exposing his warped sentiments on the aftermath of the Arab Spring and the rise of political Islam in Tunisia, Egypt and even Turkey. This has been a hypothesis frequently deployed by the Free State University professor exemplifying his neo-conservative, pro-Zionist views that Muslims are terrorists and that anything Islamic is a threat to security, stability and democracy. The op-ed in question not only expands on his theories but also capitalises on his distorted analysis of the Arab Spring on both a factual and theoretical basis, displaying the flawed nature of the Professors theories as well as his suggested academic excellence.

On a factual basis, Professor Solomons has used incorrect statistics in his article when referring to the electoral results for both the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Nour in the recent Egyptian elections. But this can be easily overlooked and forgiven. His theoretical misjudgement, however, cannot.

Firstly, the Professor assumes that support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Ennahda in Tunisia was based on voter sympathy. In his view Egyptians and Tunisians voted for these parties because they were previously repressed under the fallen autocratic regimes and also because of their charitable work in the community. In this instance Professor Solomons assumes that people voted out of sympathy and not toward change, a naive assumption to say the least. Surely Egyptian and Tunisian societies, after suffering decades of repression and persecution would not simply use their first democratic elections to vote into power a political party simply because, that party itself was a subject of such repression? These societies are indeed victims of totalitarian regimes but are not stupid; they are people wanting change and improvement.

Secondly, as a Muslim and an intellect, I take objection to the label Islamist that Professor uses so liberally and undeserving. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Ennahda in Tunisia and even the AKP in Turkey are all Islamists according to the Professor even though these are distinct parties, from different countries, governing disparate peoples. But because the majority of these party members are Muslim and refer to Islamic codes on morality and ethics as guidelines in governing, they have suddenly been branded by the Professor as similar and Islamist in nature. For good measure, the Professor throws in random examples of their Islamic nature to highlight his theory that secularism and Islam can never be combined, even though these examples are unrelated and isolated. He compares Ennahdas objection to mixed-sex classes at universities with the AKPs crackdown on Kurdish minorities, failing to appreciate the fact that the Turkish-Kurdish conflict has spanned centuries with plural causes that need to be appreciated.

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