Ever since Mubarak regime ousted from power last year by the incredible Egyptian popular revolution Egypt political future has remained unclear. Tahrir Square protests still ongoing and violence are often the aroma of these events. The sudden eruption of the Egyptian revolution has taken the world by surprise and so have the events of the post revolution period. This phenomena is truly worth studying for all of us particularly those who have an interests in political science. When examining the history of revolutions we shall find that any Revolution is often lead by a group of revolutionary leaders who take the lead and begin establishing their political vision and embark upon a new governing system and consequently the masses follow the commands of their leaders. But this is not the case with the Egyptian revolution. It has become clear that the Egyptian revolution is very unique in respect to the overall structure of world revolutions. It is leaderless, faceless, and most importantly has no clear vision in the political sense. It lacked political vision and consequently it lost ground to the Islamist movements; as was seen through the latest general elections of “nation assembly -Majlis Alsha’ab” early this year.
One year has already passed since the Egyptian revolution began and it has become very clear that this revolution is still ongoing and there is no sign of an end. This ongoing phenomenon is part of the unique character of this revolution which indicates that the Egyptian revolution is undergoing an evolution. This process of evolution is moving towards a profound goal and that is the freedom of the human spirit. The reason for this unique character, in my opinion, is because the Egyptian youth who are the dynamic force of this revolution, are not satisfied with the overall achievement so far. Their achievements thus far can be classified as a political freedom. The first such achievement, on the political front, is the fall of the Mubarak regime and the second is the general elections which enabled the Islamist elements to win the majority seats.
Certainly this revolution has already achieved one dimension of its goals and that is the political freedom. The people of Egypt have freed themselves from the powerful grip of political dictatorship. They have yet to achieve the second and most important dimension of their goal and that is their freedom from the clutches of the religious establishment.
In fact the entire Middle East and the Muslim world are yet to achieve their freedom from organized Muslim religion as well as establish religious freedom. What I mean by “freedom from organized Muslim religion” is a freedom from the grip of the self proclaimed guardians of religion. Freedom from the organized religion of Man and begin to freely embrace the religion of universal values of our existence. True religion should be embraced by the free will of Man and not Man is embraced by its oppressive demands. True religion should be with true objective of human freedom which would elevate Man towards his or her true sense of being. Religion whose objective is to serve the human cause and not ask of Man to serve its creed and encourages him to sacrifice his life for it; as it is the case with Muslim terrorists. Freedom from the organized Muslim religion does not mean to throw away everything to do with this religion and then search for another religion. No and absolutely not, what is required from us as Muslims is to free ourselves from powerful grip of the control of the religious establishment and give them their true size and role in our affairs and the direction of our future. They should be taken as an entity of consultation and not as guardians over our present and future. Their guidance and wisdom and recommendations are to be sought by us and not imposed by them as divine edicts from above the heavens. It becomes our prerogative and choice to adopt or reject their advice and guidance. If their advice is to serve the human cause then we may adopt it otherwise we should be at liberty to reject it without fear of religious condemnation or “declaration of infidelity” or as it is known as “Takfir” Furthermore, there is no religious freedom in the Muslim world. Leaving the organized religion of the Muslims is punishable by death-according to the distorted “Shari’a Laws”; death sentence is issued by the guardian of the religion and not necessarily by the official law of the land. In addition, no non Muslim individual or group are allowed to preach any religion other than Muslim religion and such attempts are prosecutable and may lead to eminent death. In comparison, Muslims in the west are free to practice and preach their religion as well as the freedom to buy a church and convert it into a mosque.
Egypt is a very crucial country for the prospect of true freedom in the Muslim world. It is worth mention that most if not all modern Muslim movements and particularly all modern terrorists Muslim movements; such as AL-Qaeda and its affiliates- have sprung out from Egypt. In other words we can say that “what goes on in Egypt does not stay in Egypt” Hence the dynamic of the Egyptian revolution will profoundly influence and shape up the future of the Muslim world.
In Egypt recently there are some promising signs for the prospect of an important rift between the young generation or the youth of “Tahrir Square” and the Islamist movements. During the continuous peaceful rallies held by the Youth of the Egyptian revolution, in Tahrir square, the Islamist parties made their opposition to such rallies very clear. And they have instructed their followers not to participate in the peaceful Tahrir square protests. These Islamist leaders began to make political concessions to the military supreme Council, merely for the purpose of ascending to power. Now this rift in political vision is very important sign that a new era is beginning to take shape. This era is that of freedom from religious dictatorship which is far more dangerous than the secular dictatorship.
The major problem of the Middle East is not limited to the secular authoritarian regimes but is also related to the religious dictatorship which controls the minds and souls of the Muslims. Both of factors, the secular and religious thrive on the “Fear factor” As for the authoritarian regime opposing the regime means to face the wrath of the beloved leader. As for the theocratic regime, opposing them means to face the wrath of the religious ruler in this world as well as the wrath of their “god” on the Day of Judgement.
Now the Islamist took over the Egyptian parliament through a majority and these Islamist are under the illusion that they succeeded riding on the revolutionary youth to ascend to power but they under-estimated the true strength of this revolution. This revolution does not seek its strength from the backward religious teachings nor any current secular ideology. Rather it seeks its strength from the true human spirit which is destined to live free and aspire to claim its humanness.
The future of the Muslim world will hinge upon its freedom from the tyrannical Muslim religious establishment and it is the only way to embrace the future.
Originally published on: www.al-insan.ca