June 26th, 2012 | Global Times Arab world will not accept subcultural status
Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi has won the Egyptian presidential election by a narrow margin, becoming the first non-military president of the country. Morsi, despite emphasizing his secular ideas, was still being labeled as an Islamist president by Western media. The 51 percent vote he won indicated a highly contentious future for Egypt.
Going from a military-ruled state to a publicly elected government is a step forward for Egypt. But no one knows how long the country has to suffer in shifting from an authoritarian country to a stable democracy. We hope Egyptians are lucky in this regard.
It is clear that the West cannot dictate the direction of the revolution in Egypt or the entire Middle East. Fundamental cultural and political factors may be brought out and amplified by the revolution. Whether or not Morsi becomes more secular, his election may bring unpredictable changes to the outcome of the Arab Spring. Nobody now can guess what the future holds for Egypt and the Arab world.
The Middle East has contrasting values to the West. Washington has poured huge financial resources into Iraq, including thousands of soldiers’ lives, but can’t turn the country into a Western-style democracy.
Egypt was among the most secular of Arab countries before the revolution, but it seems to have hit the ceiling of Westernization. The Arab region may remain a strategic location indefinitely. Neither the US, Russia nor China can completely assimilate the region and turn it into a sub-cultural area.
The process of democratization is releasing the cultural and political character of the Arab world. When Arabs have the choice, it seems the first thing they do is find their own identity. Earlier, Palestine churned out the Hamas regime.
The Egyptian elections will no doubt encourage the Brotherhood in other Arab countries, impacting US allies such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
The West doesn’t have an exclusive influence over the Arab world.
The idea that a revolution in the Middle East will distance it from China is incorrect. Power is being restructured in the Middle East. All major powers can have their chance to expand their influence there.
China’s advantage is its power and more links between China and the Arab world’s strategic interests. There are also fewer clashes between the two civilizations.
The Arab Spring is losing its energy to export revolution. The region is unlikely to become an example for other countries to pursue democracy. The world is now reviewing the region beyond ideology.
By Global Times