We have been wondering what "the Arab Spring" is really all about. Media commentators have elatedly described the many Arab street protests and the widespread uprisings against tyrannical Arab Moslem leaders as "the Arab Spring." They say that the common people are supposedly rebelling to obtain democracy, fighting for freedom and liberty such as we have in America. Are they right or wrong?
From our perspective, all we have seen so far is some limited successful efforts to remove tyrannical Arab Moslem national leaders from control, but no efforts to get at the real root of the problems. Yes, the people seem to want more freedom and less repression in their daily lives, but we don't see any great movement to overthrow their repressive Islamic laws.
American democracy includes freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and respect for life. We don't hear the Arab protesters demanding such democratic freedoms.
"The Arab Spring" is supposed to be interpreted as a fresh new, warm breeze blowing across the Middle East. It is supposed to be replacing "the Arab Winter" of cold, frozen oppressive conditions. But so far, we have really not seen much thawing out from the long Moslem icy age.
In Egypt that hardcore Moslem Brotherhood seems to be taking control after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak. In Yemen the Al Queda forces seem to be in position to replace the ousted Yemeni leader. So what has been gained by the great protest activities? Even more strict Moslem government and control? Even stronger terrorist mentality and activity?
In Libya the long-time dictatorial leader Muammar Ghadaffi is maintaining armed conflict against his protesters, killing hundreds of his own countrymen. In Syria the same is happening, as dictator Assad has turned his military forces against his own people, also killing hundreds. And of course, the masses do not have the firepower that the military have, so they can hardly expect to overcome.
At the recent G-8 Meeting in France, western governments pledged $40 million to "newly democratic nations" in the Middle East to help them develop democracies. Who are these "newly democratic nations?" Has anyone been able to identify them? And if their leaders do receive all that money, what will they do with it? What have Moslem leaders everywhere done with all the foreign aid money they have received?
If money could solve the Moslem oppression problems, several Arab countries already have plenty of it, especially Saudi Arabia. But who has seen any desire for democratic freedoms among the Saudi leadership? Or any other Moslem leadership, for that matter?
As we have said, democracy requires a foundation of values that Islam does not have. Judeo-Christian values are the foundation of American democracy, and Islam is quite the opposite.
Will those supposedly new democratic Arab Moslem nations suddenly allow greater freedoms for women? Will they suddenly show respect for Israel and her right to exist? Will they automatically become friends with the United States and appreciate our democratic values? Will they suddenly cease their hatred and persecution of Jews and Christians? Will they allow freedom of religion in their countries?
Will they allow democratically elected officials to replace their dictators and monarchs? Will they automatically halt all their terrorist activities around the world and live as peaceful, cooperative citizens? Will they throw out their oppressive Moslem laws and start living by more kind and tolerant Judeo-Christian values?
Don"t count on it!
"Spring" will never arrive in the Arab Middle East as long as Islam holds oppressive sway over the minds and hearts of the people.
Dr. Al Snyder is a former professor of Communications at Liberty University in Virginia and North Greenville University. He has done extensive missionary work in Israel and Africa.