I just want the best for my country. That is what people who carry out coups with weapons in their hands in front of government buildings always say. They claim to be acting for the best, yet point their guns at democracy. A coup d’état is a proof that guns cannot help achieve “good.” Such coups are always followed by deaths, executions, unease and conflict. People who want democracy are restless, the public is restless, but the uniformed figures at the top have got what they want. If the objective is not the people, the sole aim becomes taking power; the rest, for such people, is minor detail.
Looking at coups, it is not hard to see that it has become a tradition in parts of Mideast and Africa. These regions have two main things in common: Rich lands and the way they are quickly dragged into conflicts. These two features have always been highly acceptable for certain western forces. The energy-poor West is turning to the states “under its control” instead of being dependent on major powers such as Russia. One way by which these secret forces can take control of these countries is through creating instability in them. That is why these forces are not at all unhappy at the “backwardness” of some energy-rich countries.
It is no longer a secret that there are various police regimes in these regions, with its past history of coups, generally carried out reportedly under US supervision with American funds. The Arab Spring was closely watched in terms of changing that vision. Yet with the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the coming to power of Ennahda in Tunisia — even if their line is now a more secular one — and the killing of the US ambassador in Libya showed that the situation was by no means what they had expected.
The deployment of a US Marine team in southern Italy last week, just four days before Gen. Hiftar’s attempted coup in Libya, on the pretext of a threat to the embassy in Libya, was significant from that point of view. It is not of course surprising that the US should be aware of such a coup. It must not be forgotten that Gen. Hiftar, who attacked the Parliament building in Tripoli on May 18, is a commander who fled Qaddafi’s regime after the Chad defeat and sought US protection.
Hiftar has now declared that he has founded a “Libyan National Army” with no official links to the Libyan Army and is claiming to bring about a “socialist revolution.” His target is the secular part of MENA region, in such a way that will please Europe and the US, along the lines of “War on the radicals!” says Hiftar.
“We have reclaimed our country from blood-sucking, murdering looters; the country is now the Libyan Socialist Republic.”
Of course, for energy-poor European countries these words meant another unstable country in Africa. It must not be forgotten that a country that is too unstable to control its own energy resources will always be under the control of other strong countries. Let us also remember that Europe has been employing this strategy ever since the end of colonialism. However, there is an error here.
The West, which is trying to establish control over parts of the MENA region — the heart of energy resources — used to bring in paid dictators for that reason and was expecting a secular tendency to emerge from the Arab Spring. But it is now facing movements in which radical aspects predominate; as in the past, it is still making a mistake today. It is striving to eliminate radicalism using atheist-communist ideologies. It is well aware that socialist-communist regimes will be a rod for its own back in the future. In other words, it senses that the supporters of this regime may meet a similar end like Qaddafi yet it insists on implementing this strategy, the only one it knows.
The problem of radicalism cannot be solved by military men like Gen. Hiftar who has declared a war in parts of Libya, pointed his guns at democracy and seeks to impose a Marxist ideology on the devout people of Libya. Radical tendencies stem from skewed understanding of religion, and the solution therefore must come from religion itself.
Countries, such as Libya, can only be saved by leaders who are devout in the true sense and who know and live by the religion of the Qur’an — people who are modern, rational, joyful and democratic and more or less ostensibly libertarian. Muslim countries with such leaders must engage in an intensive education campaign to eliminate radical ideology.
Stability in the MENA region should not alarm the West, as countries, which follow the pristine teachings of Islam shall pose no threat to the West. What the West needs to do is rather than backing coups against the radicals, support the defenders of true Islam against the radicals.
The West must not support these coups, either covertly or overtly. It is senseless to keep on trying the old and failed methods. The world must abandon this primitive idea of using coups, bombs and atheism against radicalism and must instead support “true religion” against radicalism. The only antidote to radicalism is the true teachings of Islam.
The writer has authored more than 300 books translated into 73 languages on politics, religion and science.
He tweets @harun_yahya