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What were people actually expecting from the "Arab Spring"

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    So after all the protest in 2011-2012, arabic nations involved in the Arab Spring have just about had Islamist parties voted in by the people.

    Morocco
    Tunisia
    Egypt
    Libya
    Yemen - Al-Qaeda affiliated groups take over much of the south
    Syria (most popular oppisition - Islamist), many Lebanese Al-Aqaeda affiliated groups are pretty much killing anyone who isn't one of them.

    Yet with countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman, states with more Islamist governments in power anyway, people are protestors for more socially liberal positions?
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    I was not really expecting much just hoping really. I hoped for democracy in the Middle East so that people can select their own governments free of both domestic and international interference
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    It's easy to look at the protests in places like Egypt and think "hey, these guys want a more liberal society" but unfortunately those protesters were in the minority when it comes to the entire population of the country.

    Was hoping that these countries would become fairer and more independent without the international community having to get involved.
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    It has nothing to do with having an Islamic Party take charge. It's about introducing true democracy.

    Democracy in those countries was only present as a concept, but this concept wasn't put into practise. E.g. Fixed Polls and whatnot.
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    Explain to me how Egypt, Libya and Tunisia have had Islamist party voted in? And explain to me what Islamist party means. As in what kind of illiberal legislation have these Islamist parties brought?
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    I knew that the Arab Spring would turn into an Islamist Winter. In countries with low levels of education, high levels of poverty and a disposition towards authoritarianism and backwardness, it is the only logical outcome.
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    The opportunity for them to democratically elect a government in free and fair elections that would reflect the will of the people. If they elect an Islamist party to power in a free elections no one has the right to pour scorn of them for it.
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    (Original post by Carecup)
    The opportunity for them to democratically elect a government in free and fair elections that would reflect the will of the people. If they elect an Islamist party to power in a free elections no one has the right to pour scorn of them for it.
    You are correct that islamist winning the elections reflects the will of the people, however you are incorrect in saying we have no right to express our disdain for such a government.

    We are perfectly within our rights to scorn them for the election of an islamic government who favour the adoption of a system that is viewed by many as barbaric and unjust. Just like people in the 1930's were perfectly within their rights to pour scorn on the election of the Nazi party.

    The will of the people it may be but that does not mean it is good.
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    I just hoped they would achieve secular democracy. Theocratic parties shouldn't be a choice.
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    Who exactly are these "people" you speak of? The Western media? Guardian readers? Students? Workers? Women? The middle classes? The uneducated masses of those countries?

    Everyone had their own expectations and the revolutions were whatever we wanted them to be...the Western media concentrated a lot on what the liberal minded students and Twitter activists were after. They didn't consider the knowledge (or lack therof) the average uneducated citizen has with regard to political matters or party politics. In countries with a majority uneducated population, it is quite easy for those few liberal, progressive voices to be snuffed out and for revolutions to be hijaked by reactionary elements who appeal to the ignorance of the masses via the promise of religion. If your country has no tradition of democracy, respect for human rights or individual liberty, and the people have never experienced these ideals, all you're left with are lots of traditions and religion, which tend to be antiquated and reactionary.

    The Middle East will never become free until it is democratic and secular. Just one isn't enough. And for people to appreciate the value of secularism, they need to be educated first.
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    I think Western media had a lot to do with the assumption of people that the Arab Spring will lead to a liberal and secular Middle East. They completely exaggerated the role of Social Media and downplayed or even ignored the role of Mosques and Friday prayers. I read somewhere that many Arab Christians attend Friday prayers in Syria, not to pray, but to take part in the organisation of protests. But the Western media can't be blamed to think the protesters demanded a secular state, because those where the voices they heard, the liberal-minded, Western-educated, English-speaking Twitter and Facebook users, which make up a tiny chunk of those populations.

    I also find it extremely presumptuous to speak of an "Islamist winter", which shows how many people are buying into the idea of an Islamist boogeyman. First of all, many post-revolutionary Arab countries had free and democratic elections. The media in those countries gave all parties the opportunity to present their programs and the people had the choice. The Islamists won and I think we are ought to felicitate them for that. The people have chosen Islam, not secularism. To say they did that because they're uneducated is quite insolent. Perhaps they just voted for Islamist parties because they had the best campaigns and talked about the needs of the people, rather than just glorifying the West, which was largely what the secular parties were concerned with.
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    Who exactly are these "people" you speak of? The Western media? Guardian readers? Students? Workers? Women? The middle classes? The uneducated masses of those countries?

    Everyone had their own expectations and the revolutions were whatever we wanted them to be...the Western media concentrated a lot on what the liberal minded students and Twitter activists were after. They didn't consider the knowledge (or lack therof) the average uneducated citizen has with regard to political matters or party politics. In countries with a majority uneducated population, it is quite easy for those few liberal, progressive voices to be snuffed out and for revolutions to be hijaked by reactionary elements who appeal to the ignorance of the masses via the promise of religion. If your country has no tradition of democracy, respect for human rights or individual liberty, and the people have never experienced these ideals, all you're left with are lots of traditions and religion, which tend to be antiquated and reactionary.

    The Middle East will never become free until it is democratic and secular. Just one isn't enough. And for people to appreciate the value of secularism, they need to be educated first.
    Typical French person's response.
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    (Original post by Ups7)
    rather than just glorifying the West, which was largely what the secular parties were concerned with.
    The secular parties were mostly made up of "communists" and arab socialist parties, that is exactly what the "west" doesn't want, when looking at the Islamist parties, you find they are more pro-capitalist, which means stability in America and the EU's eyes, and for Russia and China, its even better.
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    (Original post by prog2djent)
    The secular parties were mostly made up of "communists" and arab socialist parties, that is exactly what the "west" doesn't want, when looking at the Islamist parties, you find they are more pro-capitalist, which means stability in America and the EU's eyes, and for Russia and China, its even better.
    I don't think that's true. Many secular parties were formed after the revolutions, most of them being centre-left liberal democratic not socialist. Arab Socialism is more associated with the former regimes. The parties that came second to the Islamists in countries like Egypt (Wafd party) and Tunisia (CPR) were liberal parties, with a strong pro-Western mindset.

    You're right about Islamist parties usually being pro-Free Market, which has probably something to do with the fact that many of their members are actually quite bourgeois, see businessmen like Khairat al-Shater (Muslim Brotherhood), which kind of defeats the whole Islamist=uneducated argument.
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    (Original post by Ups7)
    (Muslim Brotherhood), which kind of defeats the whole Islamist=uneducated argument.
    Exactly, when you delve into it, you find most people who lean to the extreme ends of Islam, and may carry out any sort of attack, are from Middle-class, or wealthy, educated backgrounds.
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    Hosni Mubarak on a pogo stick.

    Boom Boom!
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    (Original post by tamimi)
    It has nothing to do with having an Islamic Party take charge. It's about introducing true democracy.

    Democracy in those countries was only present as a concept, but this concept wasn't put into practise. E.g. Fixed Polls and whatnot.
    da*** is this supposed to mean


    The people want Islamic parties to take charge look at the opinion polls, what do we do, ban parties we don't like and say you can select from the ones we like. If left unchecked the Arab Spring would have given Islamic parties not secular western puppets and I knew this from the beginning but Egypt has been successfuly hijacked by the Americans and so has Libya, so, nothing suprising at all really.
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    (Original post by ShredMaster)
    Typical French person's response.
    Yes I'm clearly French because it would be impossible for a Brit to support freedom, democracy and secularism all at the same time :wtf:
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    (Original post by prog2djent)
    Exactly, when you delve into it, you find most people who lean to the extreme ends of Islam, and may carry out any sort of attack, are from Middle-class, or wealthy, educated backgrounds.
    Yeah, I think the current head of al-Qaeda Ayman Al-Zawahiri is a surgeon and had his own clinic in Cairo. I think this has much to do with the fact that when you're poor, you don't really have any political aspirations, certainly not on a global scale. You're more worried about food prices rather than attacks on the West.

    On another note, I don't think Islamist political parties are in any way, shape or form comparable to movements like Al-Qaeda.
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    I completely second Democracy's points on the importance of having both a democratic and secular society to truly be a free society. And on the notion regarding uneducated citizens. Whoever expected such countries to become ideal overnight is an idiot. European nations took 200 years, millions of lives and countless elections to fully embrace the concept of a free society. Hopefully Arab nations will not have to pay the same price, yet the difficulties are there. The citizens of such a country will need to get accustomed to the democratic process and of continuous active civil participation. The constitution of such countries needs to be continuously strengthened as to ensure the rights of every citizen equally.

    Countries can't become truly democratic and free overnight. Nobody expected such change; except for the naive. What we are seeing is not just change but an actual start to a process. A process dictated by the citizens of the nation itself that can only lead to progress, stability and true freedom. We can only hope that certain examples of such a process within the Middle East will shine, which in the end could only serve as an example for others within the Middle East to follow.

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