Failure of Turkey coup ‘to revitalise Arab Spring’

 19 Aug 2016 - 16:01


By Khalid Mejdoub

A bu Zaid Al Muqri Al Idrisi, a prominent Moroccan thinker, believes the failure of the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey will lead to a reawakening of the “Arab Spring” and inspire Arab young people to take to the streets once again to demand freedom, dignity and social justice.

Speaking to Anatolia, Al Idrisi stressed the importance of raising awareness among the region’s youth regarding what he described as the “schemes of the imperialist powers”.
According to Al Idrisi, “external factors” have become key to determining the political orientations of the people of the Middle East and shaping events in the region.
A Moroccan preacher and intellectual, Al Idrisi currently serves as a member of parliament for Morocco’s ruling Justice and Development Party, which leads the country’s current government coalition.
He is also a member of the World Association of Islamic Literature and the World Federation of Muslim Scholars.
The following is the text of interview with Al Idrisi.
How will the failed coup in Turkey affect the Arab region in the short term?
Al Idrisi: The coup attempt in Turkey was intended to decisively lower the curtain on the Arab Spring. Although Turkey isn’t an Arab country, it supported the Arab Spring due to its commitment to democracy, which began to emerge in some Arab countries [in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings].
The failure of Turkey’s July 15 coup bid helped to restore the hope — which had almost been extinguished (due to events that followed the 2011 uprisings) — that the Arab peoples might one day rule themselves.
The failure of the coup… will serve to prevent any possibility of the return of military rule in Turkey… and limit its army to its proper function of guarding the borders and protecting the homeland while refraining from involvement in politics.
But Turkey’s success comes at a price. Hypocritical western countries have already begun voicing concern about so-called human rights violations (allegedly committed by the Turkish government in the wake of the coup], when what is actually happening is that the coup plotters are being rooted out so that they cannot stage a comeback.
Why have Arab states remained in a state of paralysis following the Arab Spring’s failure?
Al Idrisi: Latin America should serve as a model for us in terms of awareness and mobilisation.
In order to escape from over two centuries of US hegemony, during which Washington treated South America like its backyard, a “Latin American Spring” began, which was suppressed with the same cruelty and monstrosity as has been seen in the Arab world.
But each time these “springs” are thwarted, they eventually rebound with even greater vitality until you have states today like the Brazilian, Venezuelan, Cuban and Bolivian models.
Now we (the Arabs) are passing through the same phase through which the Latin Americans passed for the last half-century… We must struggle, again and again, using hit-and-run tactics.
I expect we will need three separate cycles or waves of political awareness and mobilisation — which the imperialist powers will constantly try to spoil — before we achieve our demands for justice, freedom and dignity.
So will Arab youth take to the streets once again as they did during the 2011 uprisings?
Al Idrisi: This is very likely; and not just young people — young and old, educated and uneducated will take part in the struggle. Moroccan scholar Mahdi Elmandjra predicted such an uprising ten years before the eruption of the Arab Spring in 2011.
And the reaction on the part of the imperialist forces to what will eventually take place in the Arab world will be even more violent, like what we have seen in Egypt, and what is planned for Libya and Yemen.
What advice do you have for Arab youth in the current circumstances?
Al Idrisi: The next generation of Arab youth understands the transformations taking place better than we do. They are cleverer than us in the use of new technology and social media; they better understand the discourse of this age; they are closer to reality. But they must be on guard against selfishness and infighting, which has already fragmented many Islamic parties and movements.
Do you attribute the current paralysis of the Arab world to internal or external factors?
Al Idrisi: External factors have become crucial to the formation of our identities as Arabs, our orientations, and the events shaping our lives. The renowned Palestinian intellectual Mounir Shafiq refers to this in his writings.
But this does not relieve us of our responsibilities. In this regard, I would draw one’s attention to the Quranic verse: “…whatever evil befalls you is from yourself” (4:79).
This verse was revealed during the defeat at the Battle of Uhud, yet the Quran deliberately refrains from mentioning the external factor, which was the invasion by the tribe of Quraysh. Rather, it speaks of the internal factor, which was disobedience to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).