Sir: It was quite surprising to see many journalists, western and local, sounding alarmist at the win of ‘Islamist’ parties in the elections in Tunisia and Egypt. According to some of them, these parties would now impose strict Islamic shariah and curb secularism through their policies.
What they have failed to realise is that it is not possible to root out secular values from the movements that led to the Arab Spring. If anything, these Islamist parties have treaded very carefully so as not to sound radical and alienate their electoral base. I believe they are going to follow the Turkish model rather than bringing about any so-called ‘Islamic’ reforms in their respective countries.
Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) is a centre-right political party but it has not done anything to change Turkey’s secular constitution. Instead of sounding alarmist, all journalists and analysts should laud the Arab world for ushering in democracy and respect the ballot box.
Source: DAILY TIMES