It is no more a green Arab Spring, it is a vague, misty Salafist spring, a fall of unrealistic expectations.
The Arab states will never reach democratic civil states through Salafist parties.
The Muslim Brotherhood regimes in Egypt and Tunisia showed in few months their real political and religious intentions, they adopted dogmatic political system that banish democracy, free citizenship, freedom of expression and free media. They work steadily to make future change of political power impossible by deeply changing the state, the institutions and the political system.
Dominating all government and non-government institutions has been their major target from the outset. The constitutional decree that would have given President Mohamed Mursi full power was the breaking point; Mursi changed places with Mubarak in six months, facing a wide sector of angry population protesting and rejecting the mistakes committed by a president who follows a rigid dogmatic line, permitting his supporters, mainly the Muslim Brotherhood, to use violence against opposition, as happened recently around the presidential palace, when seven citizens were killed and hundreds were wounded.
The opposition also used harsh means, attacking and burning several locations of the Muslim Brotherhood party. Both parties accuse each other of violent behavior.
A one-sided regime is obvious in Egypt as well as in Tunisia where Al Nahda Islamic party formed a special militant militia to protect the revolution. This militia attacked and burned the main headquarters of the Tunisia Labour movement, creating a severe crisis.
The new regime is confronting the Labour union, the strongest syndicate in Tunisia, and a general strike is expected in protest against the one-sided dominating regime in the country.
In Egypt, at least half of the population is opposing the policies of a president, who deliberately ignores the large, 10-day-old demonstrations all over Egypt, some of them surrounding his office, demanding a change of president and his regime. Mursi believes that the massive public protests are nothing but a political conspiracy directed by the supporters of the Mubarak regime, in spite of the fact that the differences and subject of protest are mainly concentrated on the president’s decisions and the way the Muslim Brotherhood runs the country.
The biased committee formed to write the new constitution, mainly members of religious parties that prefer a constitution leading to a religious state, was a contentious issue, as was the constitutional decree that gives the president absolute power at this critical stage.
The president ignored the opposition protests and announced a hasty referendum to pass the disputed constitution, saying that he decided what is good for the people.
Democracy here lies in the head of the ruler, not in the will of the public. The dominating political attitude is the core of the crisis in Egypt and Tunisia, and probably the problem for all the Arab regimes, old and new alike.
The crisis in Egypt stems from what the president and his party are doing, just as in Tunisia, where Al Nahda, a Muslim Brotherhood Party, dominates the political scene, brushing aside other social and political groups that participated in the Tunisian revolution.
It is difficult to predict how the situation will develop in Egypt and Tunisia. The public is divided on the nature and future of the states; on whether to adopt a modern civil democratic state run by representatives of the people, or a religious state run by heavenly deputies; on whether to choose the future or the past.
This might be the real political and social dilemma facing the Arab societies in this turbulent Arab Spring.
Nasouh Majali is former minister of information and media expert. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.