Popular Saudi author and religious scholar Ayed bin Abdullah Al-Qarni says the current ferment in the Arab world can be traced to the denial of power to Islamists in the past. Only Saudi Arabia and some other Gulf states have been the exception where Shariah or Islamic law became the constitution.
Writing in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Ayed bin Abdullah Al-Qarni said that in Egypt, a revolution for change took place in 1952, championing reform and an adherence to post-monarchical values, whereas the Egyptian people actually wanted Islam as their means of reform, as advocated by Muhammad Abduh and Jamaluddin Afghani.
When the Free Officers assumed power in 1952, they cast Islam aside, denounced the Shariah and ruled according to a constitution derived from French and English law.
In Yemen, Islamic scholars, judges, and intellectuals such as Al-Zubayri, Ibn Al-Numan, Al-Kibsi and others, staged a revolution in 1962. Al-Qarni said they were putting forth the Islamic project against the Yemeni imamate. However, Abdullah Al-Sallal, a former student of Abdel Nasser, hijacked the Yemeni revolution along with the military. Again, they cast Islam aside, objected to Shariah law and ruled in accordance with a set of legislation derived from various dubious sources.
The Algerians staged their glorious revolution against French colonialism, under the leadership of great Islamic scholars such as Abdel Hamid Ben Badis, Lakhdar Brahimi, and others — all carrying the spirit of Islam. Al-Qarni noted that when Algeria achieved independence, it was governed by a socialist, Western-orientated regime, which deprived the Algerian Muslim people of their ambitions and aspirations for Islamic rule. “The Algerian people are Muslims; Islam is inherent to the Arab nature,” Al-Qarni said.
In Sudan, the Mahdi reformist revolution took place advocating a project of Islamic renaissance. When English colonialism was ousted, military figures assumed power, although they knew nothing about Islam. Hence, they rejected the Shariah and imposed a foreign, Western-oriented constitution.
In Libya, the descendants and followers of the martyred freedom fighter, Omar Mukhtar, were eager to raise the banner of Islam during the 1969 revolution. However, the Libyan people were surprised when this movement was hijacked by a government that discounted the Shariah and usurped freedom.
In Iraq and Syria, Al-Qarni said the people were 100 percent Muslim, and they led their struggle and revolution against French and English colonialism under the banner of Islam. However, when the Baath Party assumed power in both countries, its first move was to denounce Shariah and marginalize Islam.
Regarding revolutions in the Middle East, Al-Qarni said no one has adhered to Islam, its rule, doctrine and approach, except King Abdul Aziz when he led the revolution in the Arabian Peninsula. He was revolting against delusion, heresy, division, dispute, looting and robbery. His first announcement was that Saudi Arabia was an Islamic state, which would be governed according to the Qur’an and Sunnah. He wrote on its flag: “There is no god other than God, and Muhammad is His Messenger.”
Al-Qarni says this is not hypocrisy or flattery, but it is a fact to which historians, Western or otherwise, have testified. Such historians include Muhammad Jalal Kishk, author of “The Saudis and the Islamic Solution.”
He is an impartial writer who wrote the book from a neutral standpoint supporting it with documents and evidence. Another example would be the late Austrian Muslim, Muhammad Asad, who mentioned in his book “The Road to Mecca” that he had met King Abdul Aziz. According to Asad, all that King Abdul Aziz spoke about during their meeting was Islam and his pride in the religion.
The Tunisian people are Sunni Muslims who follow the Maliki school. Their land is the home of great heroes and conquerors such as Uqba bin Nafi, Ibn Khaldun and Al-Tahir bin Ashur. It is also the land of great seats of learning such as Al-Zaytuna and Al-Qayrawan. The majority of Tunisian people want Islam as their source of governance. However, the followers of some left-wing parties considered themselves to be worthier of running the country than anyone else and thus tried to remove Islam from Tunisian life. "This was yet another example of a revolution being hijacked in the same manner as previous Arab republics," said Al-Qarni.