Arabism, Islamic history

Ideology: Arab nationalism, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Third Way

More about the Muslim Brotherhood

First I’ll recap a bit. The point of this Blog is to show the complexities that led to the war in Syria and to dispel the myth it is solely about religion or minority groups ruling Middle Eastern countries. Having said that, historically there are two main ideologies in the modern Arab world, that of Islam and that of Arab nationalism. Both of these are exploited by Britain and its cohorts.

An example being Britain’s ambivalence towards the Brotherhood, as it appears to be in favour of its reign in Egypt, is definitely in favour of it in relation to Qatar and dead set against it when it concerns Hamas in Palestine. The standards set by the Brotherhood appears to be the yardstick by which Islamic states are measured, as according to an article in the on-line version of ‘the National’ in 2012, the Qatarian Brotherhood was disbanded, as the state of Qatar was conducting its religious duties properly.

Though this blog is about Syria, it cannot be disassociated from its Muslim neighbours.

The Third Way (computer revolutions)

Must mention there is a third way in the Arabic world; by this I refer to the distorted and de-politicised viewpoints that are a product of ”social networking”, clicking on a computer is hardly a social act and much of the camaraderie results from feelings of pity, ignorance and gullibility (look at the Syrian lesbian story). There is another dimension, the monopoly game  is dependent on a form of social control that entails people sitting at their computers and never meeting each other. Be warned Arabic world, in spite of the over use of the new ”f” word, if you do organise a live action in Britain, at the wrong time, you will be arrested for conspiracy.

It is interesting that the ”Arab Spring” momentum was  forgotten once it disappeared from main stream media. On the computer, it had already degenerated into ”death porn” and ”charitable begging” campaigns. I suggest people in Britain devote their short attention span to putting their own house in order rather than pontificating about, or implying the freedoms they do not have. The personal freedoms people do have seem to eradicate any semblance of the free will needed to achieve equality (and I don’t mean equality of opportunity).

‘The Making of the Modern Arab World’, epi 3

Having got the third way out of the way, I’ll return to the Muslim Brotherhood and the ‘Making of the Modern Arab World’. The third in the series, broadcast on Radio 4 on Christmas eve, discussed the rise in support for the Brotherhood as Arab Nationalism descended into authoritarianism, following several defeats by the Israelis culminating in the battle of Yom Kippur in 1973. Needless to say there was no mention of how the presence of the Zionists was designed to make divisions in the region, not to mention, to provide a military base for Britain.

There was though, discussion about former President Sadat and his neo-liberal policies, which bought into the monopoly game, a move that required a settlement with the Israelis and the signing of the agreement at Camp David, in the United States.You will have to look into this yourselves folks but suffice to say, according to the programme, this contributed to Sadat’s subsequent execution by one of the more radical members of the Brotherhood. Of course, this was early days and the Emirates states had really struck oil and the war between state socialism and Islam was well underway.

The Mandates

The series certainly had its merits but its definition of ”modern” is somewhat off-key. True you can go back centuries but I do feel the series would have benefited from more discussion about the Mandates. If Arab nationalism was destined to fail then it is more because of the struggles that took place between imperialist western powers and the inhabitants of the mandated territories than the rise of socialism and the religious factors, which may have been resolved once dust had settled between the Arabs and the Turkish.

The programme spoke of how many Egyptians, Syrians and North African Arabs were enticed to the Gulf for work and how many returned inspired by the ideals of the Caliphate system. What it did not say was that many people were also drawn to Arab Nationalist Iraq, which too offered work and inspiration. A former but very close friend of mine enjoyed this experience. Syria was not in such an advantageous position as it has little oil and is vastly populated but like Iraq was state socialist at this time.

The same friend also condemned the Emirates, including Saudi, for not being proper Arabs. He referred to the harem system and to how the Emirates, including Saudi Arabia refused to share its wealth among the Arabic nation. The harem is associated with the enslavement of women and slavery in general and has a long history among the Arabic nations. This was never advocated in the Qu’ran but all scriptures are open to interpretation.

Next time

I realise I still haven’t written an entry on the Caliphates but do not want to present a linear account. Next time I will explore the implications of the mandates and offer an explanation for the divisions in the nationalist movement, which was detrimental to Syria. Even though Syria was under French rule, Britain was all for creating a Zionist state in Syria as well as in Palestine.


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