Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects

Zaidi Perspective on the Arab Pro-Democracy Movements

As a part of my series on Zaidism, I’m hoping to revive interest in the movement and I’m compiling other blog posts found on the internet. This one is from a different blog than the previous one. I’m not a Zaidi myself per se, I consider myself a Universalist, but my current beliefs heavily come out of Zaidism, hence I thought I ought to share. The following was written by Zaida on March 21st, 2011.

Regarding the wave of anti-dictator protests in the Arab/Muslim countries of Tunis, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen, the world’s 10 million Zaidis must be asking themselves what kind of leadership do these protesting Sunnis, 12er Shi-ites, Copts and atheists want once their corrupt dictators are banished? There doesn’t seem to be a plan or a vision for what comes next…just some vague idea about freedom and democracy. The trouble is, the West is all too aware of this and is already taking advantage of the situation with their oil-inspired invasion of Libya (under the guise of “helping” the Libyans shake off their nasty dictator.) You can bet the West is already making plans how they can use the wave of protests to their economic/strategic advantage, all the while pretending they want to “help” the long suffering Arabs.

It’s time for Arabs to consider their alternatives carefully and wisely, and the best form of leadership available to the Arab Muslim world right now is Zaidi leadership. We Zaidis say that leaders of the Muslim world should be descended from the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.), they should compete for leadership roles according to stringent criteria as laid down in Zaidi political theory, and there is no reason why Zaidi leadership can’t be combined with a democratic system of representation for the masses.

Why Zaidi leadership? Sunni leaders will always oppress 12er Shi-ites, (e.g. like Saudi Arabia does), and 12er Shi-ite leaders will always oppress Sunnis (e.g. like Iran does). Either way there will be oppression, disunity, rivalry, possibly civil war. Worse still, even a war between the Sunni oil monarchs and their 12er Shi-ite rival Iran is on the cards. The West loves this division; it weakens the Muslim umma and makes it easy to dominate them. The only hope for a unified, peaceful, strong Middle East/North Africa/Asia is to restore the Prophet’s family to its rightful place, inspiring and unifying the Muslim masses. Until the world’s Muslims sort out their differences on the Sunni/Shia issue, which has divided them for centuries, and come to the compromise position, I don’t hold out much hope for peace and stability in the region. What is the compromise position? Zaidism.

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Liberal Muslim, social justice and human rights activist, cat lover, author and fellow human.

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