The following is the translation of an Arabic Q&A from the website of Sheikh Ata Abu Rashta, global leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Question: There are certain issues regarding the events that remain still unclear:
1: We learn that the events in Egypt and Tunisia began at home and we described them as good and blessed. Similarly in Libya and Yemen, they were started by huge crowds. Why did the revivalists then settle for a 'revolution' which is nothing more than mere cosmetic surgery on the Tunisian and Egyptian regimes as if the revolution had been accomplished...while the 'mainstay' of the regime remained intact and even the agents of the regime were not changed?
2: Similarly, the events in Tunisia and Egypt moved fast up to a point, but when it spread to Libya and Yemen, it dragged and drifted along, why is this difference?
3: During the last three days, the media has been reporting that Europe (Britain and France) are considering intervention in Libya and are preparing to enforce a no-fly zone over it and that the US also intends to do so but is wavering! Then on 9th of March, 2011, France announced its recognition for the Libyan Provisional National Council and urged the European Union to recognize it. Then on 11.3.2011, at its special session in Brussels, the EU was on the verge of according its recognition to the Libyan Provisional National Council, in fact it was considered to be mere formality by one member state, and demanded Qadhafi to step down at once... at the same time, the US did not display keenness like Europe even though it was expected that events presented an opportunity for the US to exploit it in its favor and replace Britain’s influence...why is that Europe is more keen to intervene than the US?
4: Then regarding the ‘revolution‘, can they persist in the face of the heavily armed Libyan forces who are openly bent upon a bloody path and have announced that they will turn Libya into burning flames?
Please clarfy these issues, may Allah reward you.
1: It is correct that the events started locally not only in Tunisia and Egypt, but also in Libya and Yemen...and there has been a positive impact of these protests because it has shattered the barrier of fear that the people had from their rulers, such was their fear that it even overcame their Islamic sentiments. The people moved out and shouted without any fear of retaliation by their rulers and this will certainly benefit in mobilizing the people...thus from this aspect the events were welcome and blessed.
On the other hand, the events with the people shouting their emotions. Such events can easily be crushed by the international powers and their agent rulers in the country, which is why Europe i.e. Britain and France were able to crush these protests in Tunisia through their trained proxies who joined the protestors and succeeded in keeping the foundations of their regime intact with mere cosmetic changes.
The same was repeated in Egypt except that it was the US that did so there through its agents...
To any sincere and aware person, it was clear that these events stemmed from people’s emotions and that such situations are easily controlled and crushed by international powers. This is why the sincere persons focused on keeping in contact with protestors in order to keep them aware of the happenings and to urge them not to let their spilled blood be humiliated and wasted and more importantly that their demands are in accordance with their deen which they profess...
Despite such sincere, true and intense attempts with the protestors, other forces utilized their proxies and harnessed their resources to the extent that the protestors at the Tahrir Square in Egypt who offered prayers in thousands, cried the greatness of Allah and were overwhelmed by their Islamic sentiments, but yet they neither demanded the rule of Islam nor mentioned Jihad against the Jewish state which has usurped Palestine, and more over did not even call for rescinding the Camp David accord!
This underscores the truth of the statement that two aspects are required in order to achieve the correct change:
* Public Opinion which stems out of their awareness, and not merely public opinion as such.
* Support of the people of power, and not merely any support.
The protestors were aware of these two issues and thus the result was the cosmetic change without any real change in the political structure.
2: The difference between the events in Tunisia and Egypt on one hand where Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak were removed from power within days, and the events in Libya and Yemen where the situation has dragged more than it did in Tunisia and Egypt; is that the international powers who have influence in Tunisia and Egypt persisted in authority and kept their influence intact in the region. Europe had its grip on the events in Tunisia which it addressed in stages, whenever the people stood up, the powers changed the face of the rulers and kept the basic structure of the secular capitalist system of governance intact without any changes. Similarly in Egypt, it was the US alone which was in touch with the political forces in the past and the present regime and treated the situation in steps; whenever the protestors roared, they changed one face with another!
Thus the forces who supported Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak in their last days were international players and basically one; Europe in Tunisia and the US in Egypt...these players, through their agents in these countries who had supported the previous regimes for decades, were able to crush the protestors. These powers encouraged the protestors to shout at the top of their voices, call for their demands in forceful voices against the oppression and suppression enforced by the tyrannical rulers in Tunisia and Egypt and yet the same forces cheated the protestors!
In other words, the warring parties in Tunisia and Egypt were:
The protestors who had forgiving sentiments for the oppression...and,
Europe through its agents in Tunisia, and the US through its proxies in Egypt...
This way, the international powers were in a position to keep the foundations of their secular capitalist system intact in the name of liberties and democracy. They achieved this by offering cosmetic changes which certainly will be exposed later, however after its time has lapsed!
As for Libya and Yemen, Europe could not prevent American intervention and the stage was not monopolized by Europe in both these countries to manage the affairs as it wanted. They satisfied or pacified the people with token gestures and retaining their agents intact as they had tried to earlier; Qadhafi in Libya and Ali Saleh in Yemen by offering initiatives to convince the people. This provided them some say in the matter until it became clear to them that they have failed in continued achievement of their interests even by controlling the protestors through slaughter and spilling their blood. Their strength lost its influence in the two countries, which means that they played their roles and it is over for them, this is why an alternative was crafted up from among the political arena which was carved up in Libya and Yemen. But all this was not as easy as in Tunisia for instance because here they have to contend with another global power (i.e. the US) who has seriously moved into Libya and Yemen...thus the stage was not controlled by Europe alone, if it were so it would have settled as easily as in Tunisia. But here the US intervened in the arena in its early days by coming in contact behind the scene... In other words, there were three warring parties in both these countries:
The spontaneous protestors whose emotions settled for forgiving the oppression...
Europe (i.e. Britain & France in Libya, and Britain alone in Yemen) striving to retain its previous influence by merely changing the face...and
The US which is trying to establish effective control in the two countries...
The two international parties have tried to project through their media that they are against the totalitarian and oppressive rulers, as if Europe and the US were hitherto unaware about the oppression by the previous rulers. The fact is that it is these Kafir colonialist nations that have been supporting the oppressive and tyrannical regimes in the Muslim lands as long as they can achieve interests, but once the oppressive rulers have played out their roles, they are discarded and disowned and a search is carried on for a less repulsive face!
In other words, it is the international conflicts presence in Libya and Yemen which continues to drag the matters more than the events in Tunisia and Egypt.
3: As for intervention, it has been clear since the inception of the events on 17th February, 2011 that the US is keen to intervene and enforce a no-fly zone. It mobilized its ships closer to the Libyan coast...and as is known about America, it wanted to exercise complete hegemony all on its own as if it was supporting the 'revolution' and through it wanted to look for an alternative to Qadhafi so that it could replace Britain there.
However, the British also moved in without delay and sent its aircrafts to Cyprus and joined forces with France on the issue of no-fly zone and in fact sent a delegation to the Provisional Libyan National Council in Benghazi...which was sent back by the council.
European intervention is not the same as US intervention, Britain has a crew of its proxies in the political circle which it nurtured during the reign of its influence in Libya. Qadhafi and his men were serving British interests during his term and since he has almost fallen, Britain is trying to firm up its other proxies under the pretext of no-fly zone so that it can carve out an alternate for Qadhafi. Thus its intervention through any ‘legitimate’ and appropriate means is meant to ensure that one of its proxies is able to replace Qadhafi whose face has become repulsive and unacceptable to people and it needs a new face which is not so blackened! Thus Britain’s military intervention will provide a political cover along with its agents. This explains France and Britain’s actions on the issue of no-fly zone as well as the resolutions of the EU special session today, 11th March 2011.
It is known that other European countries like France and Italy have great economic stakes in Libya and it is in their interest to intervene if possible, in order to protect their interests. This strengthens Britain’s position vis-a-vis the US...Hence Britain has started to make its preparations through its agents inside and outside of Libya in order to enable them to come to power in the event of Qadhafi’s downfall. Britain has its agents among the politicians who can change their face to suit people.
As for the US, it has no politician to toe its line other than Qadhafi, which is why it wants to ensure presence of its agents before any military intervention.
However, the US is delaying to intervene until the revolutionists realize that it is America which will save them from Qadhafi’s fire. This is why they are stooping before the US to intervene and specially since America is aware that a no-fly zone alone will not solve the problem.
Thus the US delaying intervention, not that it doesn’t want to intervene, rather the delay is to first of all have a set of its agents in place before it embarks on intervention, which means that it wants to ensure that the results achieved are at least worth the trouble, since any US intervention would mean great troubles.
America is not in a position to undertake a third war while it is already engaged in the Afghanistan and Pakistan wars and the one in Iraq has not ended yet. Further, the US is encumbered by a financial crisis which does not give it any respite despite the various reports and forecast which are regarded as incorrect. Hillary Clinton pointed to this during her address to the US House of Representatives and complained of the shrinking of budgetary allocations for the US State Department to half. She termed the budget as "weak difficult times ahead." At the same time, the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said: "the military operations may have indirect consequences which need to be studied with great care." [Washington Post: 02.03.2011]. Thus America's direct entanglement in three wars will further put her under greater troubles and weaken it in addition to its sufferings in different regions as well as internal issues. This is why Robert Gates justified his orders to the two war ships "Caresarge" and "Bonsai" on 1st March, 2011 to move close to the Libyan coast, he said these ships have been ordered closer to the Libyan coast in order to provide humanitarian assistance. So the US sends its naval warships under the pretext of humanitarian help!...Although the truth of the matter is that the ships are sent to monitor the military operations and even work from such proximity if the need arises, as well as weaken Qadhafi’s regime and prepare for any eventuality by striking Libya.
Despite all these, the US is working in contact with the protestors and the revolutionists, and Hillary Clinton has declared so. She also talked about other contacts during her forthcoming visit to Cairo, she is working to support them without direct intervention in order to achieve influence by winning over internal leaders as far as possible, and also to tighten the noose around Qadhafi. Thus if she wins over some leaderships or enlists them and is assured of appropriate penetration into Libya, she will then have something that merits a military intervention and is worth the accompanying troubles.
These are reasons for delaying for announcing its decision of intervention or for announcing its contacts with the revolution, this is only meant to gain time to ensure effective political penetration inside Libya. It appears that the US is inching towards such a scenario...
4: As for the persistence of the "revolution", it is clear that they are steadfast in the face of the criminal Qadhafi. Their steadfastness in confronting Qadhafi’s heavy arms and weapons and their fearlessness is borne out by the fact that they have shattered the fear barrier, taken up arms and a section of the armed forces having joined with them. They have taken control of a number of regions and various tribes have also joined them. They are prepared for the new situation and their sentiments are ardently Islamic...All these factors have enabled them to stand up to Qadhafi’s mercenaries in their great heroic acts...
However, there happens to be a great imbalance in terms of arms and weapons of the protestors and the forces of Qadhafi...who is spitting fire on the protestors along the burnt landscape of Libya.The colonialist forces, i.e. Europe and the US are raising the balance in favor of Qadhafi’s weapons and projecting as if they are helping the protestors. It is feared that the colonialist forces may find a justification under the garb of "humanitarian assistance" and intervene to put an end to the slaughtering and blood spilling being committed by Qadhafi...
The sad part, or rather the humiliating part is that the neighboring Arab rulers have not moved at all and their armed forces are resting in their barracks, they are ordered out of barracks only to kill people and not for coming to the rescue of the victims in Libya, the Arab armed forces remain unmoved, deaf, dumb and even blind, they perceive not...
What is feared that the Kafir colonialists will exploit the bloody slaughter being committed by Qadhafi and thus they will find a pretext for military intervention in Libya. They have no shortage of either an Arab or Libyan party calling them to intervene, in fact the Secretary General of the Arab League has hinted this already.
In addition to this, there is another apprehension, that Britain may enable its proxies who are presently managing the protests to bring them to the fore in case the regime of Qadhafi doesn’t fall. Similarly the US agents may take hold of the situation if they can and find their own proxies and buy new support. The situation until now is neither tilted towards the sincere people nor the Qadhafi regime loyal to the British and nor to any alternate British proxy or even the US agents. Even if the protests are victorious and Qadhafi falls, the situation would still not tilt in favor of any of the parties in the short term. This is because of the intervention of those colonialist countries and their rivalry in remaining behind scenes as well as because of the presence of their proxies among the people who are striving to take control. The people in Libya will not succeed except by clearly and publicly adopting Islam as the system of life in the country and society in all aspects...But so long as things remian under the banner of nation, everyone will move in and work to take control of things and drive people, spilling innocent blood along the path and still be unable to achieve a fair and just authority under which it can live in peace and safety.
This is what we fear for the Muslims in Libya because of the betrayal of the neighboring rulers and wait for the kafir colonialists to enter the Muslim lands as well as the tyranny of the slaughter at the hands of Qadhafi forces...
It becomes the duty of the Ummah to put pressure upon their rulers especially those neighboring Libya in Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia to stand up to the tyrannical rulers and force them to move their armed forces so that Qadhafi gets the taste of his own blood and is made to face his actions: humiliating punishment in this world and the punishment of hell in the hereafter, indeed it is no big task for Allah.
6th Rabee al Thani, 1432 A.H
11th March, 2011 C.E