Four decades of darkness is finally surrendering to a glorious dawn in
Moammar Gadhafi's fall is more momentous than that of Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian army saw the handwriting on the wall when
But as the rebels organized themselves and reclaimed their land inch by inch, aided by NATO bombing, naval blockade and American aerial surveillance, the tide began to turn. Gadhafi's initial roar dissolved into a pathetic whimper. When caught, he will most likely face justice at the International Criminal Court in
The transformation of Muslim Middle East, though still incomplete, is perhaps the most significant event of the twenty-first century. Its effect will define the course of history in ways that are beyond the comprehension of even the most astute observers. But few signposts can be discerned:
1. Dictatorship in all its forms and manifestations, even the ones under the guise of democracy, is doomed. People who cowered in fear have discovered freedom from fear, a discovery that has gone viral around the world. Today’s invincible autocrat is tomorrow’s cowering prisoner. "A man can be destroyed,” wrote Hemingway, “but not defeated." The architects of the Arab revolution have proven this with their blood.
2. People in power can no longer use religion for political ends, at least not with the ease they were able to in the past. It is a fact that the overwhelming majority of Muslims killed since the Second World War have died at the hands of other Muslims. Invoking bogus threats to torture dissidents and perpetuate dynastic power will no longer work. A significant corollary of this is that more and more Muslims, particularly in the
It is not just in the
The world’s epicenter of courage and commitment is now at the Green Square of Tripoli, newly and appropriately renamed Martyrs’ Square. Libyans are determined to rebuild their shattered nation on their own terms. They have made possible what was unthinkable only six months ago. Even though their dawn is tinged with the red of blood, there is no doubt that their land will soon be bathed in the bright sunshine of freedom.