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The Islamic Spring


By Mansour Abushnaf*

Iran was one of the central regions of conflict between the two

Mansour Abushnaf
Mansour Abushnaf

great powers at the time, the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States (US). The US was dependent on Iran’s role in tiring the USSR and stir up the winds of change to dismantle it. Despite westernization Iran was still a Muslim country, its ties with the US seemed unbreakable, this was all before and after Mohammed Mossadegh’s libertarian revolution during the first half of the 20th century, which was an expression of third world citizens’ desire to be free from the forces of colonialism and build an independent nation state.

Throughout the period of the Shah’s rule and his strong relationship with the US, his government resisted all liberal political movements. Blessed by the secular, liberal and democratic US; it imprisoned and beheaded the figures of all opposing liberal, democratic, socialist and communist parties.

However, the opposing religious party was dealt with leniently, “Ayatollahs” were excluded from the capital punishment, as the party was being prepared for a war against the USSR and igniting the Muslim population in neighboring Soviet states.

As the Iranian revolution thrived and the Shah rule collapsed, liberal, democratic and communist movements found themselves to be weak and lacking symbols and leaders, despite their long history of bitter struggle the religious front found itself to be the lone runner in the race towards control and power.

The Iranian revolution transformed political Islam into a more conservative one, similar to the revolutionary priests in South America who lead Christian farmers to socialism and excluded the dictatorial church from all governmental bodies.

Originated through the “Tehran Spring”, the Islamic spring takes off causing significant defections in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, the Gulf region, and North Africa. Orchestrated in the Arab region, it can succeed in fighting colonialism in Afghanistan, boost the Palestinian resistance movement through Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and defend Lebanese dignities and lands through Hezbollah.

This revolutionary Islam inspired by the “Tehran Spring”, inherited enlightenment and liberation slogans, turning conservative Islam from an ally to governments into an instigator against them. This form of Islam was able to occupy an intellectual and existential space in the minds of many, replacing the already drilled socialist, nationalist and especially secular views, which collapsed after the 1967 loss. Conservative Islam is tactically in place and is wielding its sword in preparation for the re-emergence of “Islamic Lands”.

Consequently, similarly to what happened in Iran and disregarding all secular forces, conservative Islam is turning the Arab Spring into an Islamic Spring relying on extreme tactics, and it is armed political organizations.

*A Libyan Intellectual and Writer