Arab Spring

     God created man in His own image, male and female he created them. And because we were fashioned in the image of our Creator, we are uniquely capable of enjoying a relationship with Him in a way that no other living being can. God has given us the unique ability to know Him, to understand His self-revelation, and to consciously worship Him. He created us to be worshippers, and that’s exactly why everywhere we look we see that mankind does in fact worship.

     Every great society has had its gods and temples and religious ceremonies, but the same is true of the most primitive civilizations as well. Indigenous and isolated peoples of the Amazon basin, whom we are still discovering, are profoundly spiritual. They worship. Their religion is animistic, a belief that objects in the natural world have souls and associated spiritual power, but it is unabashedly worship.

     It’s true of modern people as well. The major world religions, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam engulf the entire globe, and though we increasingly feel the pressure of aggressive and evangelistic atheism here in the west, the truth is that the modern world is very religious and very fervent in its worship of the divine. This most glaring observation often escapes the western secular-humanist.

     For instance, when widespread riots began to break out last year across the Islamic world and very quickly toppled a notorious list of corrupt and tyrannical strongmen, the western media glorified it as a new awakening, calling it the “Arab Spring.” Even President Obama trumpeted the rapid accomplishments unfolding across North Africa and assured us that the angry Muslim youths clashing with government soldiers in Egypt’s Tahir Square was the inevitable opening of a new chapter in world freedom. The New York Times led us to believe that Jeffersonian democracy was breaking out across the southern Mediterranean. The manifest destiny of global human liberty and equality was taking one giant leap forward. We were witnessing a Middle Eastern political and personal renaissance.

     But one year later, we see that Tahir Square is still aflame in violence and protest, and that recent Egyptian elections have yielded a windfall for Islamic fundamentalists. The Muslim Brotherhood now controls a solid majority of parliament and they openly speak of cutting all ties with Israel and revoking the historic Sinai Accords of 1979. The Israeli embassy was looted and burned as the ambassador and his family fled for their lives. Even pro-democracy groups from the United States have been harassed and are currently being held and prevented from leaving the country. So much for springtime, it looks like late autumn.

     How did the liberal press and the U.S. State Department and the President get it so wrong? Because their secular-humanist worldview would not allow them to see the underlying truth undergirding all of these movements. The hardcore Muslim is an avid worshipper, and he wants to worship Allah according to his religious conviction. And since Islam has no organic concept of separation of church and state, the revolutionaries are merely taking their religious convictions to the street in order to establish Islam at every level of culture and society.

     The Arab uprisings were not primarily about implementing human freedom and liberty, they were about casting off self-serving, hypocritical despots who impeded a broader Islamic awakening. Hosni Mubarak was hated for his accommodation of Israel as much as he was for his shameful excesses. When the first acts of Egypt’s newly formed parliament were meant to demonize Israel, we could see that a rainbow of peace was not looming behind the black clouds of upheaval.

When the first acts of Egypt’s newly formed parliament were meant to demonize Israel, we could see that a rainbow of peace was not looming behind the black clouds of upheaval.

     Conservative Christians who looked at the Arab uprising and saw it primarily in colors of religious conviction were dismissed as biased and naive. We couldn’t see the collective goodness of man and his cry for freedom bursting forth from the stone-throwing mobs in Tahir Square. But as events continue to unfold, it becomes obvious that the Muslim Brotherhood is cementing it’s place of leadership and that the Arab street is lending it’s full support. This revolution is about Islam’s absolute claim to mind, body, and soul. It is political because it emanates from a religion that demands total domination.

     Don’t look for good news coming out of the Arab spring. This is not a movement heralding freedom and democracy, it is a movement of worshippers who demand to worship according to their Muslim conscience. Israel will be the first to feel it’s chilling affect, just as they did when Gaza used its nascent democracy to elect the self-avowed terrorist organization Hamas.

     Western secular-humanists can’t bring themselves to admit that man is, at his most basic level, a worshipper. He doesn’t want to believe that who and what a person worships will determine everything other aspect of his collective effort, from art to culture to politics. But it’s true. We have been created to worship, and we will either worship what is true or we will worship what is false, and every other facet of our being will spring from that decision, including the Arab spring.