by Barry Rubin
Hussein Ibish is one of the more interesting Arab writers on regional affairs. In a piece published by the liberal site “Lebanon Now” [A patronizing narrative pigeonholes Arabs] he contemplates the broader meaning of the Libyan election. Although official results are not in yet it appears that the U.S.-backed National Forces Alliance led by the NATO-installed leader, Mahmoud Jibril, won a big victory.Continue reading Islamists Are Generally Winning But Not Everywhere and Not Inevitably
In this light, Ibish critiques the idea that “assumes the inexorable rise of Islamist parties.” He is right and properly adds: “Libya shows that Islamists can be defeated in contemporary Arab elections, and this should be celebrated and emulated, not ignored or dismissed.”
Part of the problem, of course, is that the mass media and the analysts it generally features have so often—with almost monopolistic power—repeated that Islamists wouldn’t win or that it didn’t matter because they are really moderate. This has created a reaction among wiser people who warn the Islamists are winning and aren’s moderate.
Ibish doesn’t want the Islamists to win and stresses that they can be defeated. The question, of course, is how they can be defeated.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, was published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reports, and Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media
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