Arab Awakening Embarrasses Al-Qaeda

Jihadis had nothing to do with any of this
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2011 1:31 PM CST
Egyptian protesters gather to demand Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi step down during demonstrations in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Feb. 25, 2011.   (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

(Newser) – Change is sweeping across the Middle East, and you can bet al-Qaeda is grinding its teeth over it. Why? “Because Jihadists have played no role whatsoever in the great revolution,” writes Yassin Musharbash for Der Spiegel. The uprisings have exposed the fact that, “contrary to the propaganda they have been spreading for decades, their mobilization potential is virtually nonexistent.”

Oh sure, al-Qaeda has tried to spin this, to claim victory as secular regimes fall. But when Ayman al-Zawahiri cheers the downfall of an Egypt too “secular and democratic” for his tastes, it sounds pretty ridiculous, since democracy is precisely what protesters were calling for. “The divide that is apparent here between the real and the wannabe revolutionaries is enormous and embarrassing,” Musharbash writes. Jihadism has been exposed for what it is: the “bloody practice of a very small minority.”

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