In Arabic newspapers, websites and social media it’s very hard for a liberal writer to express an idea or a point of view that doesn’t conform with mainstream Islamist narrative. The most famous and populated websites in the Arabic Internet are directed and manipulated by either uncompromising islamists or die-hards pan-Arab nationalists. A quick check on the materials published at aljazeera.net, which hosts the most popular arabic blogging platform with prominent writers across the Arab world; is enough to give the reader the impression that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had regarding the situation in the Mideast: ‘it’s a mean, nasty world out there’, he said.
If a writer dares to present a different point of view, a Jewish friendly discourse for instance, or a secular analysis of the status of women in the shariah-based family code, or even a decent criticism of a well-established theological credo, he or she will be systematically exculuded from any chance to see his or her ideas published. However, if the material was published, it will be at the cost of the author being a target for the indoctrinated masses by their wrathful mud-slinging comments, which doesn’t hesitate to call the writer a traitor and a blasphemer or at worst threaten him or her of death.
The Arab media in general is generated and financed by the theocratic gulf states; those are the most fanatics and propagandists of Islamism in the Arab world, along with the Muslim Brotherhood and its branches. Since the oil and gas are still dominating the world economy, Islamism will never loses its charm and influence, and will keep fueling hardships and terror.
For the last forty years, the gulf states have become the spearheade of conservatism and extremism in the Middle East, and have long challenged the secular progressive way of life that the Arabs outside the Arabian peninsula inherited from the so-called Liberal Age, which saw its birth at the beginning of the 20th century as Egypt and Lebanon were its strongholds. In the 1960s, the gulf states became the heaven of Islamists militants and ideologues who fled Egypt after president Nasser crackdown on them. Their, they have established the first universities and colleges of sharia law and Islamic studies, and launched a colossal and unprecedented project of scientific editing and printing of big volumes of the old forgotten manuscripts of Islamic Tradition and doctrines, and written the main chapters of the ideological literature, which turned out to be the Spiritus Rector of the global terrorism and Jihadies groups with antisimitism at the heart of it.
As time goes by, the secular era gave way to the nouveau riche, the multi-billionaires Sheikhs of Arabia who invaded with their petrodollars the economy and societies of modern Arab states like Egypt, Syria and Tunisia and pushed forward their Middle Age’s salafi dogmas at an industrial scale. In the 1980s most Arab women began to wear headscarfs and modest clothes. Many leaders of the left, intellectuals and novelists became devouted pupils of Islamic orators and demagogues, the jurisdictions of many states took the shape of an Islamic rigid Wahhabi code; stating that the country is an Islamic state and the shariah law is the main source of legislation became an obligatory prologue in mostly every arab country’s constitution. Selling alcohol became forbidden, extramarital relations became penalised, and women’s rights and gender equality denied and deemed as Taghreeb or westernization.
Ever since, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict became an Islamic struggle, a matter of jihad or wholly war that took its instructions and definitions not from realpolitik and peace negotiations but from the verses of the Quran and the apocalyptic prophecies of the prophet Mohammad; which promice the annihilation of the Jewish people and their slaughter by the hands of the Muslim fighters and swords of the true believers before the end of time.
As the gulf states became more wealthy and powerful, due to the rise of oil prices that have skyrocketed after the October 1973 war between Egypt and Israel, they also became the makers of ideas and leaders of the cultural transformation. Their age of renaissance is different then the French, they calle it Al–Sahwah, the wakening, and its aim is to revive Islamic literature and ideals of the heydays of Muslim caliphs, the glorious religious wars and the spirit of the conquistadores. A vision of a bipolar world where the party of god, Hizbu–llah, wages the holy war against the enemies of god (Jewish and crusaders); promulgating across Muslims the concept of Muslim Ummah or the great Islamic nation that doesn’t recognize borders nor the concept of modern nationalism. The Ummah which will initiate a new era of Futuhaat or the invasions of the infidels’ lands. That’s how the Islamist mind seek to revive the economy of the coming Ummah by plundering and exploiting war booty and new fortunes of the conquered nations.
As the Arab world became dominated by islamism and inundated by hatered towards the Jews, the gulf states and Qatar in particular seek to expand their influence far beyond the abode of Islam. In the west, the Islamist dynamism is in the rise, conquering more spheres and recruiting eminent journalists and politicians and infiltrating parties and prestigious think tanks Institutes. That is attracting more attention now with the ascending of Islamist figures such as Rep. Ilhan Omar to the highest levels of the political system in the U.S., with a reckless antisimitic discourse that seeks eagerly to reshape the so-called Overton Window.