It seems as though the decision to involve the Arab League in the campaign to demonise the Muslim Brotherhood came after Saudi Arabia entered the picture and announced that it considers the movement to be a terrorist organisation. It is the involvement of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in this issue which has encouraged Egypt’s new leadership to drag the League into the fray.
In this sense, therefore, it is easy for us to look at the Arab League now as an organisation that encourages the deterioration of the Arab world instead of preventing it from falling into the abyss of conflicts over identity. It should be working towards unity and not divisions, keeping out of internal conflicts and avoiding favouritism of one party over another.
The time has come for the Arab League to work day and night to find resolutions for conflicts instead of standing on the sidelines and adding fuel to the communal fires. If today there is a conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt, the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia, this does not mean that all Arab countries feel the same way. The Islamic movement functions as a valued political partner in many Arab countries with members of parliaments and governments. So how can the Arab League possibly get involved in the disagreement in Egypt by taking the side of the coup government?
The League’s move will be the catalyst behind its destruction as its role now appears to be limited to passing charters and resolutions on issues that do not serve the interests of the Arab world and its people, or the unification of the region. A prime example of this is the organisation’s attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause and find a solution to the crisis that is compatible with the hypocrisy inherent in the Palestinian political arena, American interests and Kerry’s so-called plan for peace, which all work in favour of the Israelis.
The Arab League must contain the disruption in the region and return to its previous role as an advocate of Arab unity, free from outside influence and pressure from individual regimes. Any decision made by the organisation which designates the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist group will be met with protests from many Arab countries, which may well pull out of the League, leading to its own demise. It should be kept in mind that the Arab League has done little in terms of activity to prevent Israel from doing whatever it wants on the land it has occupied for nearly 66 years.
I hope that the Arab League does not follow Egypt’s agenda and that it distances itself from such destructive steps. And that it reverts to its traditional role of unifying the Arab world instead of fragmenting it even more than it already is. It should avoid serving the interests of one party and work towards serving the entire region’s long-term interests.
Translated from the Palestine Information Center 10 March, 2014
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.