WHEN the news circulated that Morocco’s leading political group, the Development and Justice Party, has been trounced in the latest elections, held in September, official media mouthpieces in Egypt celebrated the news as if the PJD’s defeat was, in itself, a blow to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood movement. Regionally, political commentators who dedicated much of their time to discredit various Islamic political parties — often on behalf of one Arab government or another — found in the news another supposed proof that political Islam is a failure in both theory and practice.
‘Regionally, the news of the failure was greeted with jubilation,’ Magdi Abdelhadi wrote on the BBC English website. ‘Commentators regarded the fall of PJD as the final nail in the coffin of political Islam,’ he added.
Missing from such sweeping declarations is that those who greeted the defeat of the PJD with ‘jubilation’ are mostly the very crowd that dismissed political Islam even during its unprecedented surge following the Arab Spring in 2011; and the same intellectual mercenaries who unashamedly continue to sing the praises of such dictators as general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt and the various Arab monarchs in the Gulf.
The PJD was not only defeated but almost completely demolished as a result of the vote, saving only 12 seats from the 125 seats it had obtained after the 2016 elections. The reasons behind such failure, however, are being misconstrued by various entities, governments and individuals with the aim of settling old scores and tarnishing political rivals. The ultimate objective here is to cement the status quo where the fate of Arab nations remains in the grip of brutal, corrupt and self-aggrandising rulers, with no tolerance for genuine political plurality and democracy.