Has the Arab Spring given way to the Islamist Autumn? A new report (pdf) by a UK based security expert warns of a possible renaissance of the al Qaeda vision and continued rise of radical Islam around the world.
When the Arab Spring first began sweeping dictators from power in popular uprisings across the Arab world the world looked upon the changes as a democratic revolution which would bring freedom to the people of the middle east and beyond. But as time continues to pass it looks more and more as if the big winners in all of theses changes are not those who would like to see liberal western-style democracies, but rather the Islamists. This has led some people, including the former UK Foreign Minister David Miliband to talk about an ‘Islamist Autumn’.
In Tunisia and Libya fundamentalist Salafi Muslims have risen to prominence and power. In Egypt thousands of protesters are still in the streets after the Islamist President Mohamed Mursi issued decrees placing himself above legal reproach in order to push through a new Islamist inspired constitution. And then, of course, there is Syria, where Islamist fighters, some of whom are suspected of having links to al Qaeda, are playing a major role in the uprising against President Bashar al Assad.
And the rise of Islamism is not confined to the Middle East. The report mentioned above from the Oxford Research Group also points to Africa – to places such as Mali and Nigeria. Although al Qaeda as an organisations is weak, the report suggests that the al Qaeda vision may be on the rise again. Currently all of these Islamist groups are largely unconnected with each other – but they all aspire to the ideal of a single Islamic Caliphate ruling the Muslim world, and eventually the whole world.
You can read the report here: