World News and Trends: The Arab awakening and Islamic fundamentalism

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The Arab awakening and Islamic fundamentalism

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Even though most of the recent revolts have had a secular appearance, alead editorial in the April 2, 2011, issue of The Economist points out that "religion is a growing force in the Arab awakening" ("Islam and the Arab Revolutions"). Another article in the same issue stated, "Jihadists are both supporting and exploiting the Arab spring [as the uprisings have been dubbed]" ("A Golden Opportunity?").

What the Western world fears may occur in the Middle East is already well under way in Pakistan. Yet another article in the April 2 Economist explores, as it describes it, "why Islam took a violent and intolerant turn in Pakistan" ("A Great Deal of Ruin in a Nation"). Will this happen in the Arab world as well?

The Economist's editorial also acknowledges that "Islam is bound to play a larger role in government in the Arab world than elsewhere. Most Muslims do not believe in the separation of religion and state...and have not lost their enthusiasm for religion, as many 'Christian democrats' in Europe have."

One question we should all ask is: How will all these troubling events end up? Ultimately, that's a question only the Bible can answer.

A sidebar in our free booklet The Middle East in Bible Prophecy warns of "A Rising Tide of Arab Nationalism." Its concluding paragraph observes: "In this cauldron of nationalism, resentment toward the West, hatred of Israel and frustration among citizens with their own governments and leaders, an ancient force has re-emerged to bring terrorism and grave concern to the heart of the West—Islamic fundamentalism" (pp. 44-45, emphasis added throughout). Additional pages of this booklet highlight the fact that fundamentalist Islam will continue its resurgence.

An article in the March 14, 2011, issue of The Wall Street Journal was aptly titled, "The New Mideast Will Still Mix Mosque and State" (Nader Hashemi, March 14, 2011). It warned that "after Benal [in Tunisia] and Mubarak [in Egypt], many Arabs and Muslims in the region identify secularism with tyranny."

We need to realize that current events across the region could ultimately lead to the end-time fulfillment of Bible prophecies, such as those found in Daniel 11 and Psalm 83. Several articles in this issue of The Good News cover some of the crucial historical background and the vital prophetic framework. And more may be found in our free booklet The Middle East in Bible Prophecy. (Sources: The Economist [London], The Wall Street Journal.)